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So does the infamous Dukan diet really work? Dietitian Melanie McGrice investigates...
Diet Basics: High-protein, low-kilojoule diet plan
Diet Ground Rules: The Dukan Diet, created by French physician Pierre Dukan more than 10 years ago, has four phases. The first is the ‘attack phase’, which promotes rapid weight loss with a protein-only diet, based heavily on animal protein only and no fruit or vegetables for up to 10 days.
The second ‘cruise phase’ involves more protein, vegetables are only allowed every second day, and you’re advised to follow this phase until you reach your goal weight.
The third ‘consolidation phase’ introduces some carbs and a little fruit, and the diet’s final ‘stabilisation phase’ is the maintenance part of the plan, and is meant to be lifelong. During this stage you can eat relatively unrestricted for six days a week as long as one day a week you follow an all-protein diet. As well as being high in animal protein, also encouraged is oat bran, lots of water and a 20-minute daily walk.
Diet Review: The Dukan Diet may have rocketed up best seller lists, with everyone keen to get their hands on the French secret to weight loss, but this diet may not be the best solution for losing unhealthy kilos.
“The cutting out of food groups raises alarm bells for me,” says accredited dietitian Melanie McGrice. “People who are overweight may require extra protein, as it’s been shown to assist with weight maintenance, however, any diet that says you shouldn’t eat vegies and fruit is concerning.” This eating pattern may cause constipation, tiredness and bad breath. “There are certainly better choices out there.”