Have you heard about the new diet craze that has taken Europe by storm? It’s called the “Dukan Diet” and it is currently on fire because, supposedly, Kate Middleton has been on it to shape up for the wedding (like she needs it). If you lose weight, you are now officially labeled as a “Dukanniste.” The diet is the brainchild of Dr. Pierre Dukan, a French medical doctor and neurologist by trade.
A New Breakthrough Diet
Or Just Another Fad?
So what’s with this diet that claims to be a life-long weight loss cure? Basically, it’s a classic high protein, low-carb diet that has been tweaked a bit. The Dukan Diet has the classic segmented design – the “South Beach Diet” and the “Atkins Diet” have “phases,” the “Sonoma Diet” has “waves” and the “Protein Power Diet” has intervention, transition and maintenance.
In the case of Dukan, there are four phases: Attack, cruise, consolidation and stabilization. “Attack” is the protein feast phase with some added oat bran fiber thrown in, washed down with tons of water. The “cruise” phase lets you have some veggies, but no fruit yet. The “consolidation” phase lets you finally eat a tad of fruit along with your two servings of carbs a day. You also get two “celebration meals” a week, which include wine and dessert! Then the piece de resistance: For the rest of your life, you can eat anything you want six days a week as long as you revert to a single day of the “attack” phase every week.
The “diet” according to Dr. Janet:
This is clearly a classic low-calorie, high-protein, low-carb fad diet, the kind that resurfaces in different forms every few years – yep, just one more low-carb fad diet to add to the heap of ineffective self-help diet books.
Any diet that doesn’t address emotional overeating as well as exercise as a means to lifelong weight control is pure rubbish. The simple fact is that calories count, no matter how you package it. Eat less and you lose weight.
The problem is that these types of diets are a quick fix for a long-term problem. High-protein, low-calorie diets are not nutritionally balanced and do not promote long-term health. Yes, you will lose weight (and it’s easier to eat less on a high-protein diet as protein is more filling and also speeds metabolism), but the problem is that as soon as you revert back to old habits, you will eventually end up right back where you started. So why bother?
There is no magic, just a lot of hype and false promises of health and permanent weight loss. The secret to good health and longevity lies not in a low-carb, high-protein fad diet but in learning how to practice eating a nutritious, calorie-controlled diet and coupling those lifestyle choices with daily exercise.
Janet Bond Brill, PhD, RD, LDN is author of the books, “Prevent a Second Heart Attack, 8 Foods, 8 Weeks to Reverse Heart Disease” (Random House/Crown Publishing 2011) and “Cholesterol Down: 10 Simple Steps to Lower Your Cholesterol in 4 Weeks Without Prescription Drugs” (Random House/Crown Publishing 2006). She is a leading diet- and nutrition writer, educator and practitioner. She consults for the health- and fitness industry, specializing in cardiovascular disease prevention. For more information, please visit: www.DrJanet.com or www.PreventaSecondHeartAttack.com
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