What is the Dukan Diet?

One of many newest food plan crazes is the Dukan food plan. In response to the tabloids and blogs, Kate Middleton went on it earlier than her marriage to Prince William in 2011 and dropped two gown sizes. Developed by Dr. Pierre Dukan, a French neurologist-turned-nutritionist, the food plan has been printed in best-selling books throughout Europe and now within the U.S.

Not surprisingly, the Dukan food plan web site options a lot of glowing testimonials. However not everybody agrees it’s the most effective food plan du jour.

“Attacking” the load

The Dukan food plan is yet one more high-protein/low-carbohydrate consuming plan that guarantees speedy and everlasting weight reduction. It has 4 phases, all of which embody high-protein meals, oat bran, a lot of water and a bit train. Within the “Assault” part, you eat limitless quantities of lean high-protein meals, with no carbs in any respect. Within the “Cruise” part, you select from a listing of nonstarchy greens (comparable to spinach and inexperienced beans) on alternating days.

Within the “Consolidation” part, you eat greens day by day and steadily reintroduce small quantities of forbidden meals, together with fruits, cheese and whole-grain bread; each week you too can have two “celebration” meals and one or two servings of starchy meals, like pasta, polenta or beans. Within the “Stabilization” (upkeep) part, you possibly can eat something you need—so long as you embody a protein-only day as soon as every week, eat three tablespoons of oat bran a day, stroll 20 minutes day by day and at all times take the steps as a substitute of the elevator.

The French Atkins?

The Dukan food plan differs from Atkins as a result of there’s no carb counting and, in later phases, you possibly can eat limitless quantities of most greens. The Atkins food plan is extra restrictive about greens. Dukan additionally emphasizes lean protein, whereas Atkins permits limitless fats from unhealthy sources, comparable to hamburgers, bacon and ice cream, without having to trim fats from meat or pores and skin from poultry. And the place Atkins promotes its protein bars and shakes, Dukan recommends unprocessed complete meals.

That’s to not say there aren’t sales-promoting pitches—for one, Dukan Weight-reduction plan model oat bran and different meals and dietary supplements are bought on the web site. And the food plan comes with a questionable fee-based on-line teaching program.

Duck the Dukan

It’s not shocking that folks shed extra pounds on this food plan—in spite of everything, chopping down on carbs cuts out a lot of energy. The excessive protein, together with the fiber from oat bran, might also make you’re feeling extra full so you could eat much less.

However as with all low-carb diets, a lot of the preliminary loss shall be physique water, not physique fats. And as with different fad diets that limit complete meals teams, you’ll miss out on essential vitamins, phytochemicals and different compounds that solely these meals present. Taking a multivitamin/mineral complement, because the food plan recommends, received’t make up for all of them. In the event you keep too lengthy in essentially the most restrictive first part, you could possibly particularly find yourself with important nutrient deficiencies.

The larger query is whether or not the load stays off. In response to an impartial French survey of shut to five,000 Dukan dieters, printed in 2011 within the journal Obésité, about 35 p.c had regained the load they misplaced inside a 12 months, 64 p.c after two years and almost 80 p.c after 4 years. That’s, the food plan appears to be no more practical than different restrictive fad diets over the long run.

Bear in mind, too, that high-protein diets can put added stress on the kidneys. Folks with diabetes or kidney illness shouldn’t be on them—and plenty of older individuals are unaware that they’ve impaired kidney operate. Pregnant and breastfeeding girls must also keep away from high-protein diets. Unwanted side effects of the food plan embody dry mouth, unhealthy breath, fatigue and constipation.

The Dukan food plan is unbalanced and doubtlessly dangerous, in accordance with a French well being company. In 2011 the British Dietetic Affiliation named it one of many worst fad diets, calling it “complicated,” “very inflexible” and never backed by science.

Backside line: Like different diets, the Dukan food plan could assist you to shed extra pounds initially. However the actual problem is preserving it off—and there’s no proof that it results in lasting weight reduction. Plus, its guidelines will be onerous to comply with, and the food plan itself onerous to swallow. As we’ve stated many occasions, totally different diets work for various folks and the secret’s to discover a balanced reduced-calorie consuming plan you can stick with for the lengthy haul, whether or not it’s increased in protein, carbs or wholesome fat.

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