Not all diets are created equal, and for every expert who plumps up for a particular way of eating, there are others who will ask you to avoid it for several other reasons. And that problem becomes worse as more and more diets come into the picture, thanks to advances in nutrition science.

Diets are a dime a dozen but the Dukan Diet promises to be different. Created by French general practitioner and nutritionist Pierre Dukan in 2000, the diet may help you drop 10 pounds in a week. That’s a lot! And that’s not all. The inventor claims that following the diet rules will ensure that you don’t gain the weight you shed.

The deal
The Dukan diet focuses on the consumption of lean protein, oat bran, water and a daily walk each day. The logic is that limiting the intake of carbs will force your body to burn fat. This diet isn’t a week-long or 10-day diet. It needs more commitment and may stretch up to six months or more. But think of the payoff!

Who’s done it
Kate Middleton, Jennifer Lopez, Gisele Bundchen
Also known as
The Je ne sais pas maigrir (I don’t know how to lose weight) diet plan.
Diet type
Low-glycemic index, high protein and low-carbohydrate

The 4 phases
The Dukan Diet can be split into four phases, all of which are integral to the programme.

The first 10 days are a time when you are encouraged to eat all the lean protein you can handle. Along with 1.5 tablespoons of oat bran and at least 6 cups of water each day.

In this phase, which can last several months, add unlimited amounts of non-starchy vegetables every other day along with an extra half-tablespoon of oat bran.


For this phase, adds 5 days for every pound you’ve lost. Have all the vegetables you can every day with 2 slices of whole-grain bread, a serving of hard cheese and a piece of fruit. You’re allowed 1-2 servings of starchy foods and 1-2 “celebration” meals where you can eat whatever you want.

The final phase is all about maintenance. You can eat whatever you like except for one day a week when you follow the diet’s “Attack” phase. In this phase, you also eat 3 tablespoons of oat bran a day and walk 20 minutes every day.

What’s allowed
Sugar-free gum, spices, unsweetened coffee and tea, artificial sweeteners; those who like their tipple can have a glass of wine per day only during the last two phases.

Suggested exercise
A daily 20-minute walk is suggested to obtain the best results.
Don’t miss
Since you won’t be eating all kinds of foods, a quality vitamin and mineral supplement is a must to maintain proper nutrient levels.

Should you go for it?
The diet may help boost a sluggish metabolism and losing weight is a certainty. But the strict guidelines tend to make things very boring – and are likely to lead to mood swings and lethargy during the first couple of phases. It may be risky for some at risk for electrolyte imbalances. But if you’re looking to lose weight and don’t have any underlying medical condition, take a shot at it and see if you can shed those last five kilos.

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