The Dukan Diet: Get the Facts

If you haven’t heard of the Dukan Diet, odds are that you soon will. This new diet trend is sweeping across Europe. Reportedly, even Princess Kate Middleton turned to this method, which promises you can eat whatever you want without gaining weight. Is it too good to be true? Dr. Oz weighs in.

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Not since Atkins has a diet made such an international splash. The Dukan Diet shares Atkin’s pillar of low carbohydrate consumption. However, this new fad encourages eating anything you want 6 days a week. How does it work? The Dukan Diet breaks down into 4 phases.

  1. The Attack Phase This phase lasts between 1-10 days depending on how much weight you have to lose (around a week for people who have to lose about 25 pounds). During the attack phase, there are no calorie restrictions. Your diet consists mainly of lean protein and allows virtually no carbohydrates. Your meals also include fat-free dairy products and the “secret weapon” of the diet – oat bran. Proponents of Dukan maintain that 1 ½ tablespoons of oat bran a day allow people to feel fuller, while the fiber efficiently cleans out their system.
  2. The Cruise Phase During this phase, you continue to eat foods from phase 1 (lean proteins, fat-free dairy and oat bran), only now you add non-starchy vegetables every other day. You maintain this phase until you reach your target weight.
  3. The Consolidation Phase Dr. Dukan, the creator of this diet, maintains that this phase is where the Dukan Diet sets itself apart from the competition. The Consolidation Phase focuses on adding back the carbohydrates into the diet. Additionally, you can have 2 “celebration meals” a week where you can eat anything you want – but no binging on a regular basis. Once a week, you must go back to eating only lean protein.
  4. The Stabilization Phase.  The final phase of this diet focuses on applying the 3 rules to live by:
  1. One day a week eat just eat protein. It must be the same day each week.
  2. Eat 3 tablespoons of oat bran a day for the rest of your life.
  3. Never take elevators or escalators. Walk 20 minutes a day.

On the plus-side, the Dukan Diet gives you long-term management skills and generous flexibility with fruits and some carbohydrates. Dr. Oz’s main modification would be to cut out simple white carbs every day. Click here to read more of Dr. Oz’s thoughts on simple carbohydrates.

Dr. Oz maintains that the best way to lose weight is with a healthy diet full of balanced nutrients. However, he believes that it’s more important for you to maintain a healthy weight than to focus on calculated amount of nutrients for months.

If you are going to try the Dukan Diet, be careful to avoid yo-yo dieting where you gain and lose weight between phases. To stay safe, modify the diet so that it’s more along the lines of the Ultimate Diet, which provides more stability.

Click here for more information on the Dukan Diet. To read an excerpt, click here.