The Dukan Diet, also known as the princess diet, is a diet plan originating in France. It is a protein-based diet designed by French doctor Pierre Dukan. Although Dukan has been promoting his diet for over 30 years, it gained greater popularity after publication of his book in 2000. His book The Dukan Diet has sold more than 7 million copies globally. The book has since been translated into 14 languages and published in 32 countries. The Dukan Diet was released in the United Kingdom in May 2010, and in the United States in April 2011.
In 1975, Pierre Dukan was a general practitioner in Paris when he was first confronted with a case of obesity. At the time, being overweight or obese was thought to be best treated by low calorie and small sized meals. Dukan thought of an alternative way to prevent patients from regaining their lost weight. He designed a new approach in 4 phases, including stabilisation and consolidation. After more than 20 years of research Pierre Dukan published his findings in 2000 in his book Je ne sais pas maigrir (I don't know how to get slimmer) which became a best seller.
The diet is based on a list of over 100 allowed foods, as well as four specific ground pillars also known as phases: attack, cruise, consolidation, and stabilization.
The attack phase is designed to enable dieters to rapidly lose 2 to 3 kilograms (4.4 to 6.6 lb) in 2–7 days by kick-starting their metabolism. Dieters are allowed to eat as much as they want of 68 protein-rich foods.
The cruise phase is designed to allow dieters to more gradually achieve the weight they aim for by eating protein-rich foods with the addition of 28 specific vegetables (but avoiding those especially starchy or fatty, e.g., potatoes or avocados). The length of this phase is usually calculated as 1 kilogram (2.2 lb) of weight loss per week, but this is based on specific personal conditions. Tolerated foods are also allowed as per the programme, but any weight gain will ban some of these.
The consolidation phase is designed to help in preventing any future massive weight gain. During this phase, fruit, bread, cheese and starchy foods are reintroduced into a normal diet, leaving two celebratory meals a week as directed by the plan.
Finally, in the stabilization phase, dieters can essentially eat whatever they want without gaining weight by following a few rules: protein day once a week, eating oat bran every day and making a commitment to "take the stairs". According to Dukan, dieters shall follow this last phase for the rest of their life to avoid regaining weight. Of course the glycemic index (on a scale from 1 to 100) of the kind of carbohydrate consumed is also of importance (see the GI diet).
- Atkins diet: This diet was created by Dr Robert Atkins in 1972 and focuses on high fat, moderate proteins and limited amount of carbohydrates. Foods that have a low glycemic level are featured. This method was the first one to suggest no calorie counting which at the time was considered a dietary revolution. The Dukan diet is similar, although it does not allow fats and oils, recommends relatively lower calorie counts, and insists on the consumption of oat bran every day.
- The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, adequate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet that in medicine is used primarily to treat difficult-to-control (refractory) epilepsy in children. The diet mimics aspects of starvation by forcing the body to burn fats rather than carbohydrates. As with Dukan and Atkins this diet focuses on burning fat by eliminating carbohydrates.
Exposure in the UK media
The French magazine L'Express' list of the top 20 non-fiction books for the week of December 27, 2010 ranked La Méthode Dukan Illustrée in 19th place.
Channel Four included the Dukan Diet in the program Will my crash diet kill me? on 26 January 2011.
- Dukan is No1 diet in France | The Connexion
- Dukan Diet Plan Review
- The Dukan Diet Bestseller Book In France Now In The US | Batangas Today
- The Toronto Star on The Dukan Diet: "The book has sold 10 million copies worldwide, but didn’t really make an impression on North America until [...]" (18 April 2011)
- "Ma boutique régime Dukan".
- Allen, Peter. "Creator of the Dukan Diet suffers 'total defeat' after losing libel case in French court". Daily Mail (London).
- "Womans' Hour". BBC Radio 4. 14 May 2010.
- "Will my crash diet kill me?". Channel Four.
- "Top 5 Worst Celebrity Diets to Avoid in 2014". The British Dietetic Association. 25 Nov 2013. Retrieved 16 Jan 2014.