There’s been Atkins, South Beach, The Baby Food Cleanse Diet, The Zone and The Master Cleanse. Everyone’s tried them, attested to them, then ditched them in exchange for carbohydrates and the ability to eat food that doesn’t consist solely of bacon. However, true to Hollywood form, a new diet is on the horizon that promises to end obesity and leave everyone with figures that mimic French women’s (long and lean). To save you the hassle of trial and tribulation, here’s our breakdown of the Dukan Diet, why it works and why it doesn’t.
The Dukan diet was created by French Dr. Pierre Dukan and it’s very similar to Atkins.
There are three phases. Phase one is the “Attack” phase – five days of eating nothing but low-fat protein, oat-bran, water and zero-calorie/zero-fat beverages. (Apparently, you can lose up to seven pounds.) Phase two? The “Cruise” phase: rotating between days of nothing-but-protein and nothing-but-vegetables with oat-bran, water and brisk walking thrown in. Depending on your goal weight, the second phase can stretch for weeks or months before beginning phase three (“Consolidation”): weight maintanence in the form of what you were doing before, but with added cheese, fruit and bread. The upside? One “celebration meal” per week where anything goes.
Then behold phase four: returning to your old eating habits but using the basic rules of the Consolidation Phase as a “safety platform”. Those that ventured down the road of Dukan found that it’s best to abide by the rules of phase three with a cheat day once a week. (And on that day, make sure you allot yourselves the once chance for carbs you’re given.)
It’s important to decipher between a French diet and French dietary habits, so while some may you may think Dukan is synonymous with olive oil and red wine, you couldn’t be further from the truth. (Enter: phase one.) However, with you in control of how much weight you take off, and with an emphasis on low-fat, low-calorie, vegetables, protein and exercise, you’re essentially abiding by the rules of a healthy lifestyle.
Though Dukan essentially promotes healthy living, there’s always a downside to a dietary route that results in rapid weight loss over a short number of days. Dropping pounds is great, but not at the risk of health risks, so while an “only-protein” regimen may result in a small waist, make sure you’re not depriving yourself of the calories essential to daily living.
What’s also questionable is the “anything goes” mentality of your token cheat day. When not given the chance to snack on that Timbit or have that latte, the 24 hours you’ve given yourself to feast on anything can take on the binge dynamic that can streamline into eating disorders. Before you begin any diet, it’s absolutely essential to talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits so you can avoid complications or straight up sickness.
Clearly no diet worth considering is without celebrity endorsements, and when it comes to Hollywood clientele, Dukan is not lacking in an A-list roster. After giving birth to twins, Jennifer Lopez slimmed down using the French tactic, and so did glamizon Gisele Bundchen. Basically, if you have an affinity for organizing your meal plans and keeping track of your daily consumption (while boasting incredible willpower), you may be in luck. However, as previously mentioned, any diet that results in rapid weight loss is one best discussed with your physician.