As summer fights to show itself it is time to start looking through the pick of recent diet trends, and one of the trendiest has to be the Dukan diet. Sporting the inevitable celebrity endorsements and multi-million book sales, this diet also has it’s doubters in medical circles.

What is the Dukan Diet?

The Dukan diet was developed over ten years ago by french doctor Pierre Dukan, and while more than one and a half million french women are said to live by it, it only achieved dietary ‘superstar’ status in the last couple of years with the aid of popular personalities such as Giselle B√ľndchen and Kate Middleton.

How it works?

The Dukan Diet’s main trick is to cut out all carbohydrates – including most fruits, vegetables and cereals – concentrating instead on low-fat sources of protein like fish, poultry and low-fat dairy products. The first two stages, called the Attack and Cruise stages, are designed to bring the weightwatcher down to their target weight. This weight is calculated to be a healthy level of kilos which can be maintained for life.

The Attack stage involves approximately one week of purely high protein foods, followed by a longer Cruise stage where high protein days alternate with protein and vegetable days, bringing you slowly down to the target weight.

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Sustainable weight loss

The Consolidation stage seems to make a lot of sense, since most victims of dieting know that it is the time immediately after weight loss when they are at their most vulnerable. This stage is designed to combat the body’s natural instinct to regain lost body fat, and keep those hard-lost kilos at bay. They cleverly maintain the high protein emphasis, while gradually returning ‘forbidden’ foods to the table and allowing two ‘celebration’ meals per week.

After this quite long period – 5 days for every pound lost – comes the beginning of the rest of your life, or the hopefully entitled Permanent Consolidation stage. This again sensibly bases behaviour on moderate eating, a small amount of exercise and oat bran each day, and one purely high protein day per week. The aim is to have the body settle at it’s ideal weight and stay there long-term, and a lot of people say that it does!

Heard it all before?

As with all successful diets, this one has its share of critics. Some say that it is merely a rehash of the Atkins diet, although this diet does put the emphasis on low fat forms of protein. Perhaps more thought-provoking is the way that the Dukan Diet almost completely leaves out regular helpings of fruit and vegetables, flying in the face of some very well-established modern wisdom. As always, there are no guarantees, and you must be the one to decide which diet is best for you.

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