Developed by Dr. Pierre Dukan, a French neurologist turned nutritionist, the Dukan diet promises you will lose weight and be able to keep it off if you follow the diet’s rules. The Dukan diet is divided into four phases: Attack, Cruise, Consolidation and Permanent Stabilization. You may eat as much of the allowed foods as you want and you do not count calories, carbs, fat or protein.
During the Attack phase, you eat only lean protein. The attack phase lasts from one to ten days, depending on how much weight you need to lose. Dukan allows 68 protein foods such as lean beef, veal, chicken liver, up to two eggs a day, shellfish and non-fat dairy products. During the Cruise phase, 32 non-starchy vegetables are added to the Dukan diet, and you alternate between days of pure protein and days that include protein and vegetables. This phase usually lasts three days for each pound you want to lose. When you have reached your desired weight, you move to Consolidation. Forbidden foods are added, such as one serving of cheese daily in addition to one serving of fruit and two slices of whole-grain bread with low-fat butter. One or two “splurge meals” are allowed each week but there is also a protein-only day. The Consolidation phase of the Dukan diet lasts five days for each pound of weight lost. The last phase of the Dukan diet is Permanent Stabilization. You will continue to eat the foods allowed in Consolidation and have one protein-only day per week.
Dukan also recommends you drink lots of water, eat 2-3 tablespoons of oat bran each day and include low-impact exercise such as walking 25 minutes each day. The Dukan diet has been criticized as being unhealthy by the British Dietetic Association, however, research on low-carbohydrate diets has shown that they are effective for weight loss, although not necessarily for long-term weight control. The Dukan diet is considered healthier for most people than the similar Atkins diet because it is lower in saturated fat, but people with kidney disease should not eat high protein diets.