The Dukan Diet is all the rage with the French, the royal bride-to-be Kate Middleton, Middleton's mother, and Gisele Bundchen. Now, it's coming over here, because Americans could always use another celeb-endorsed fad diet!
The Atkins Diet has always driven me nuts, because extreme measures (like cutting out all carbs and going on a fatty protein binge) have never gone hand-in-hand with effective, lasting, healthy weight-loss. But somehow, his old diet and various incarnations of it are still around. He really pulled a number on yo-yo dieters, convincing them that carbs are the devil.
So, being that Dukan has been called the "French Atkins," I have a feeling I'm not going to be too keen on what he has to say. Still, the 69-year-old neurologist's books have already sold millions of copies and been translated in 14 languages.
I guess the U.S. is a bit behind the eight-ball on this one? Alright, so let's catch ourselves up to speed on what this Dukan guy has to offer ...
According to the The New York Times:
The diet’s high-protein, low-fat approach is organized into four phases, the first of which encourages dieters to eat as much as they want of non-fatty, protein-rich foods, including oat bran -- a key component -- washed down with oceans of water. The second stage introduces vegetables, but no fruit; the third brings with it two slices of bread, a serving of cheese and fruit and two servings of carbohydrates a day, with two weekly “celebration” meals with wine and dessert (the diet is French, after all); and the final stage -- six days a week of “anything goes” and one day of reversion to strict stage one.
Isn't this the South Beach Diet? Stages ... no-carb, low-carb? I guess it's South Beach plus a little "cheating" with sugar and carbs. Bleh. Who has time for STAGES? Can't we just eat healthy off the bat and adjust our habits? These diets treat overweight people like food addicts who need to be weaned off of junk. Maybe some are, but not all.
The U.S. skeptics have already come out in droves against Dukan. For instance, there's this one guy from Harvard named Frank Sacks, who is a professor of cardiovascular disease prevention. He told The New York Times:
This is just another one of those diets invented by a charismatic individual who makes a lot of promises and has loads of testimonials but is not based on any scientific data whatsoever.
Oooh, BURN! How long 'til you think he comes out with his own diet book, though? Ha ha.
Now, see, this kind of just blase dismissal of the guy altogether is a bit suspicious in itself. He does seem to have some valid points. There's nothing wrong with focusing on protein-rich foods and vegetables and oat-bran! But at the same time, it sounds like a strict regimen that most people won't be able to adhere to for the long haul. Even Dukan himself says that 40 percent of people who do the diet did not regain the weight they lose. That means 60 PERCENT are gaining it back!
And French researcher Jean-Michel Lecerf says diets like Dukan's have "disrupted the body’s natural metabolism and led to serious nutritional imbalances."
With the odds and findings like that, you'd probably be better off skipping Dukan -- or any diet for that matter. How 'bout just eating healthy, real, whole foods and exercising? It's not as glamorous as something the princess-to-be is doing, but it should work even better.
Are you intrigued by the Dukan diet?
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