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Dukan review...


Call me Linzi...
S: 21st5.5lb C: 11st4lb G: 11st0lb BMI: 25.5 Loss: 10st1.5lb(47.25%)
Saw this on the website I use to monitor my carbs & thought it would be good to share the review.... as per usual on low carb diet reviews it doesn't get a good write up! I guess the nation of France must be wrong ay?? :rolleyes:

The Dukan Diet

Review By WLR Dietitian Juliette Kellow BSc RD

If you want to shape up in time for summer the Dukan diet, which claims to help you lose up to half a stone in just five days, might sound tempting. But just what does it involve and is it safe? WLR’s dietitian Juliette Kellow investigates…
The Dukan Diet, a ‘breakthrough’ diet book by Dr Pierre Dukan, has sold more than 1.5 million copies and has been a top 10 hit on the French Amazon website for three years. A-listers like Jennifer Lopez, supermodel Gisele Bundchen and Gossip Girl star Jessica Szohr are all said to be fans. And now it’s hopped across the Channel to land on British shores.
What does the Dukan diet involve?

The diet (or regime) is based on four phases, with each one following on from the other. Dr Pierre Dukan believes eating protein is the key to achieving weight loss, so the starting point is a very high protein diet combined with no carbs.
If that sounds similar to the Atkins diet, you’re thinking along the right lines. However, it’s even stricter than Atkins. The Dukan regime really does start with no carbs except for a small amount of oat bran. Even low-carb veggies like spinach and cabbage are off limits at the beginning!
Unlike Atkins, it seriously restricts fat so fried eggs, steaks and chops are not allowed. Instead the Dukan Diet replaces them with lean protein-rich foods. Throughout all the phases, this high protein, no-carb way of eating appears.
Dr Dukan’s theory...

Quite simply protein is a dieter’s friend, whilst fat and carbs are initially the foe. Pierre Dukan puts forward several good reasons to eat more protein-rich foods when trying to lose weight:
  • Proteins are composed of long chains of building blocks called amino acids, which are linked with strong bonds that take a lot of effort to break. This means the body has to work really hard to process proteins and so they stay in the stomach longer than fats or carbohydrates. In turn, this means the stomach empties more slowly, helping to keep us fuller for longer so we find it easier to stick to our diet.
  • Meanwhile, because the body has to work harder to break down proteins, it burns up more calories in doing so. So for example, when we consume 100 calories from protein, the body uses 30 calories to process it and so in reality we only get 70 calories. In contrast, the body only uses 12 calories to process 100 calories from fat; and just seven calories to process 100 calories from carbs. This means if we eat 1,500 calories of pure protein, in reality we only get 1,050 calories.
  • Complementing this high protein intake, carbs should be severely limited because they cause the secretion of insulin. Insulin controls blood sugar levels and encourages the storage of fat.
  • Fat needs to be limited because it contains the most calories per gram, and it tends to eaten in combination with carbs like bread and pasta. Protein contains only half the calories of fat – just four calories per gram compared to nine calories per gram of fat.
  • Fat only reduces our appetite a little and high intakes are linked with heart disease.
Put simply, Dr Dukan says: “you cannot lose your own fat by eating fat from other sources.”
How do I follow the Dukan diet?

There are four phases to the Dukan regime:
Phase 1: The Attack Phase

Made up of protein rich foods that are low in fat. See the ‘Attack Phase’ in more detail.
Phase 2: The Cruise Phase

The Attack Phase with limited added vegetables every other day. See the ‘Cruise Phase’ in more detail.
Phase 3: The Consolidation Phase

To help you keep the weight off. This phase adds a few more vegetables everyday and some fruit. See the ‘Consolidation Phase’ in more detail.
Phase 4: The Stabilisation Phase

The final phase is effectively a lifelong commitment to maintain your weight loss. Most of the time you eat normally, but every Thursday, you follow a pure protein day by eating only foods allowed in the Attack Phase.
Furthermore, you pledge to not use lifts or escalators, walk for 20 minutes a day and have 3tbsp of oat bran daily.
How much weight can I expect to lose?

If you follow the Dukan regime Attack Phase for five days, you can expect to lose up to 7lb although you may achieve 10lb if you are more overweight to start with. If you start with three days of Attack, then you can expect to lose up to 5lb. For a one day Attack, you can expect to shift 2lb.
Once you enter the Cruise Phase of the Dukan diet you can expect your weight loss to stabilise at around 2lb a week.
What can I drink on the Dukan diet?

You should have 1.5 litres of water every day through all the phases. It’s fine to use this in tea, coffee or herbal teas. Ideally, you should opt for mineral water that’s low in sodium, although tap water is still suitable. Diet drinks are also allowed.
This means no alcohol, fruit juices or non diet fizzy drinks.
You need to drink a lot more than usual on this diet because the breakdown of protein creates waste products such as uric acid. Plenty of fluid is needed to help the kidneys eliminate this from the body.
Does the Dukan diet have any side effects?

In the short term you can expect to experience similar side effects to the Atkins diet. When carbohydrates are absent, the body switches to burning fat as its primary source of fuel. This results in the production of substances called ketones, which can cause bad breath, a dry mouth, tiredness, weakness, dizziness, insomnia and nausea.
In fact, Dr Pierre Dukan recommends avoiding any strenuous activities in the Attack Phase as you will probably feel so tired. As for bad breath and a dry mouth, Dr Dukan simply explains they signify you are losing weight and so should be welcomed as proof of success. He recommends drinking more to ease these symptoms.
Constipation may also occur as a consequence of avoiding all carbs with the exception of a small amount of oat bran.
Longer term, this plan may lead to nutritional deficiencies, which cause health problems in later life. For example, if you have 40lb to lose, you could find yourself surviving on nothing but protein and a few vegetables every other day for three to four months. This lack of wholegrains, fruit and vegetables in your diet is likely to lead to a lack of antioxidants. Low intakes of which have been linked with a host of health problems ranging from heart disease and cancer to premature ageing and cataracts.
As a safeguard, Dr Dukan recommends taking multivitamins, but research shows it’s far better to get our nutrients from food rather than pills. Meanwhile, some experts agree that very high intakes of protein may cause kidney problems or weaken bones.
Are there any other bad points?

  • There’s absolutely no room for flexibility with the Dukan diet. In the same way a medical condition might be treated with drugs that must be taken, Dr Pierre Dukan believes that people who want to lose weight need a prescribed set of rules and instructions that must be followed.
  • The dieting phases of this plan (Attack and Cruise) are extremely limited so chances are the regime will get very boring with the result that many people will give up quickly.
  • It’s almost impossible to follow the Dukan Diet if you have a vegetarian diet that avoids dairy and/or eggs.
  • From a budget point of view, protein-rich foods such as meat, poultry and fish tend to be more expensive than starchy carbs, fruit and veg.
  • This diet fails to teach people about the basic principles of a balanced, healthy diet, which science proves can help keep us healthy and free from disease.
What are the diet’s pros?

  • The Dukan diet is designed to enable people to lose considerable amounts of weight very quickly and this can be very motivating.
  • It’s very prescriptive and gives dieters a strict set of rules - for some people this can be very effective.
  • The lack of choice can make mealtimes easier to plan to some extent, if you can put up with the monotony.
  • There’s no need to weigh food or count calories.
  • The diet encourages people to cut out refined, processed, fatty and sugary foods and alcohol, all of which are low in vitamins and minerals – definitely a positive move.
  • Unlike the Atkins diet, Dukan recommends considerably cutting down on fat and salt, both of which are important health habits to get into.
Juliette’s verdict

This isn’t a diet for the faint hearted. It’s extremely limited in the types of foods that can be eaten during the actual ‘slimming’ phases. The result being that dieters are likely to rapidly fall off the wagon due to mealtime monotony and boredom.
The Dukan diet is incredibly unbalanced and fails to follow healthy eating guidelines, which are designed to keep us free from illness. These guidelines are based on huge amounts of scientific research. In contrast, an extreme diet like this is unlikely to have been the subject of extensive studies and so the long-term affects remain unknown.
Of course this plan will result in weight loss – and rapid weight loss to start with. This is because calories are seriously limited. Whilst in theory you can eat as much protein-rich meat and eggs as you want, ultimately, your taste buds will limit the quantity you eat as you quickly get bored with the same flavours. As a result, chances are you will struggle to eat more than 1,000 calories a day.
A large amount of the weight loss that occurs in the Attack Phase is due to a loss of water, which is bound with a reserve supply of carbohydrate called glycogen in the liver. In the absence of dietary carbs, the body rapidly uses up this supply of glycogen and so you also lose the associated water. Indeed, Dr Dukan says that in the first few days you can often see a slight weight change by the hour and in reality, this can only happen when changes in fluid are occurring.
This also explains why one small deflection from the diet – a jam doughnut, for instance – can show an immediate increase of 3-4lb on the scales. Those glycogen stores are quickly replenished, together with the associated water, which pushes up your weight.
There’s certainly good evidence that protein-rich foods can help us to feel fuller for longer and so have a role to play in controlling our appetite. But increasingly, research is showing that we can achieve an even better hunger-fighter by combining protein-rich foods with high-fibre carbs – for example, scrambled eggs on wholegrain toast. It therefore makes no sense to focus solely on protein. It’s certainly a good idea to start enjoying protein-rich foods at each meal, but not in isolation.
Having oat bran every day is also not something that most health experts would recommend. Oat bran contains phytates, naturally occurring compounds that can bind with minerals such as iron and zinc and reduce their absorption. It’s far better to boost fibre with higher-fibre starchy foods such as wholegrains, pulses and fruit and veg.
On the issue of limiting fruit and veg, health experts have spent years encouraging us to eat 5-a-day and for many very good reasons – reducing the risk of cancer and heart disease, helping to control our weight, and even to keep our skin and hair in good condition. There is a stack of research to show that fruit and veg are good for us, whilst a continual lack of these foods is linked to poorer health. It makes no sense – and in my mind is actually irresponsible – to encourage people to eat fewer of these foods.
What this boils down to is another diet that dramatically reduces calories but packages itself as the latest ‘diet’ breakthrough. It’s the low calorie intake that results in weight loss – and frankly, this can be achieved by eating a mixed diet based on foods from all the four main food groups.
My advice is to give the Dukan diet a miss. Even if you can bear five days of surviving on a diet of meat and eggs, the sweet taste of rapid weight loss will quickly be replaced by bitterness the moment you eat a bowl of cereal or slice of toast and watch the scales return to normal!
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Gold Member
C: 11st3lb G: 10st0lb BMI: 25.3
It bores me so much when they go on about how boring the diet is. You can use sooo many herbs and spices I have never had so many ! You can flavour all your food.
Boo to them LOL


Gold Member
C: 11st3lb G: 10st0lb BMI: 25.3
i think it is interesting about the cals used to burn protein fat and carbs :D


** Chief WITCH **
S: 141kg C: 49.9kg G: 36.3kg BMI: 17.7 Loss: 91.1kg(64.62%)
Very interesting article indeed, and yes a good recap... and I agree with Vicky re cooking with spices and herbs, something I learned to do far more THANKS to Dukan. Also the walking...

And I think I even agree with the negative things in the conclusion.

1) Ditzee (sorry I've forgotten your "real name") - those Daily Mail articles which said "the diet 'the French' love" etc... total bull. Most of my friends here wouldn't touch it with a barge pole. Atkins hasn't made it over here, strangely enough, or meal replacement shake diets... and his original book was published years ago yet only now is he on the TV every day... most nutritionists here knock it too... "The French" do not Dukan diet. Some do...

2) Re the oatbran, for instance, he does say (in the French book at least) that the oatbran reduces the absorption of certain vitamins and minerals over a certain quantity... ie don't go over his daily quantity... he also says to take certain medications separate from the oatbran. I always take my vitamins and pill well away... The article could lead to suggest that he doesn't mention that fact, but he does!!

3) the increase in weight if you eat something not on the plan, that's correct. but the same happens with any high protein diet... so provided the "dieter" knows, I'd say 'let the buyer beware'! I do think that many people in the UK are just doing the diet because of the hype without reading the book necessary or even realising how lengthy the commitment will be. Necessarily comprising for most the entire summer - a boozeless, fruitless summer... fine now that the weather sucks, but when the barbies come out?! That'll separate the wheat from the chaff!

4) I too worry about the lack of veg... if the diet is done for a lengthy period (ie I read some people doing 10 days' attack and they've only a stone to lose? ridiculous! they'll make themselves ill!)

5) I also agree that all the weight WILL go straight back on, with extra besides, unless people stick to phases 3 and 4... (that's a note to myself... been there, done it, worn the tshirt several times!!).

So not altogether negative... but all stands true for any VLCD.

I even agree that it's hard to reach 1,000 calories on it. I've been calling warnings out here about eating enough... but... it's not easy to eat enough calories on protein alone!


Gold Member
C: 11st3lb G: 10st0lb BMI: 25.3
great post Jo. On phase 3 (i forget - i will re read the book before I get there) can we have veg every day?


** Chief WITCH **
S: 141kg C: 49.9kg G: 36.3kg BMI: 17.7 Loss: 91.1kg(64.62%)
Every day but one... the "Thursday protein day"


Gold Member
C: 11st3lb G: 10st0lb BMI: 25.3
thats fine. :D ill get there lol


** Chief WITCH **
S: 141kg C: 49.9kg G: 36.3kg BMI: 17.7 Loss: 91.1kg(64.62%)
My other half is moving onto phase 3 this weekend... He's lost 10K* since May 17... Men lose quickly!

* 10K but had gained about 5K the week before on holiday with me so not REALLY 10K long standing


Gold Member
C: 11st3lb G: 10st0lb BMI: 25.3
wow well done to OH. yes they do lose a lot quicker than us :( not fair!


Call me Linzi...
S: 21st5.5lb C: 11st4lb G: 11st0lb BMI: 25.5 Loss: 10st1.5lb(47.25%)
Hi Jo... I'm Linzi

I find that there are huge similarities to Atkins in alot of ways.. the negativity towards it, the people thinking its a quick fix, those that don't read up enough, or follow it properly by doing their own version, then it becomes the diets fault that is doesn't work!

When I started inputting my calories in for the day with Atkins I was just touching 1000 cals a day & thats even with the fat content, for me the whole reason it works is because our calories are lowered (which every diet does) by the fact we are full on protein which sustains us for longer & the lack of carbs reduces sugar cravings.

I fully admit these types of ways of eating aren't for everybody but I do wish that reviewers wouldn't exclude these diets 'for nutrional reasons' when what we eat to make us 'fat' is far worse!!

Ok off my soapbox now!!
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** Chief WITCH **
S: 141kg C: 49.9kg G: 36.3kg BMI: 17.7 Loss: 91.1kg(64.62%)
You're absolutely right Linz... and I was just reading a fascinating passage of his book (near the back, p.323-325... I read Chinese style!), where he talks about low calorie dieting. It's spot on for us serial dieters.

I also found an interesting phrase (near the beginning... I'm an active reader!!): that he hasn't forgotten to tell us about any food product, and so if it's not on the list, it's not for us!

Given all the queries "can I eat [this or that]" on FB notably, some could do well to remember this!!!


Full Member
S: 18st0lb C: 17st7lb G: 12st7lb BMI: 38.4 Loss: 0st7lb(2.78%)
I am struggling to hit 1000 calories too. I am feeling stuffed and yet the scales (on day 4 mind so not claiming epert status) are coping.

I also cannot remember ever getting to day 4 and being able to turn down cake etc in the office (was folks birthdays today!)


** Chief WITCH **
S: 141kg C: 49.9kg G: 36.3kg BMI: 17.7 Loss: 91.1kg(64.62%)
Yes it is a problem with this diet... of course it's not advisable to eat beyond one's hunger either, but I guess the "best way" to increase the calories is to have some red meat each day and not just rely on the lower caloried foods...

Still, this diet isn't a calorie based one, just that it's good to bear it in mind that, once we move onto Conso, it's inevitable that we have to watch the calories somewhat initially else the increase is too radical.

I've erred in the past...

Well done Emmzi... refusing cake etc is fairly "easy" on this diet once in ketosis... leastwise I always tell myself that nothing is worth coming out of ketosis for, as the 3 days' hell getting back in it require some psyching up for!

If you go to "Quick Links" in the blue horizontal bar up above, you could create a signature so that we can see where you're at... how much you've to lose etc. Are you posting menus?


Full Member
S: 18st0lb C: 17st7lb G: 12st7lb BMI: 38.4 Loss: 0st7lb(2.78%)
haven't been posting menus as it is fairly samey during my attack. yogurt, scambled egg, galette and quorn with spices. I am however a not bad veggie cook (had lessons for a while, v good on japanese cooking and that uses very little fat) so I will post next week when I start PV.

I can spend hours carving veg into flower shapes, so I can...

Can I have an opinion on Miso paste please?

1/2 teaspoon = 20 calories
0.5g fat
2.5g carbs
1g protein

I prefer it to making my own veg stock (which I guess I could do out of all the cabbage water, lol) as it is *excellent* for your digestive system. Could I get away with that during PV if I limited other tolerated things?


Full Member
S: 18st0lb C: 17st7lb G: 12st7lb BMI: 38.4 Loss: 0st7lb(2.78%)
oh., and so much to lose I am embarrassed to post it! When I get under the next stone barrier I will!! I thought it mught be today but I stalled and was depressed until I realised it's TOTM and I haven't put on for a change!!

No idea if I am in ketosis, and no desire to pee on sticks and see... just stopped being hungry!


Loves this site!
S: 11st1lb C: 10st9lb G: 9st10lb BMI: 26.4 Loss: 0st6lb(3.87%)
Em hun, we are all friends on here you have no need to feel embarrassed at all. No one on here will judge you at all. We are here for your support and ours!
As for people saying neg things about certain diets, dont you find these are people that are, sorry no nice way of saying it, fat and these are the fat people that make excuses. "I dont eat much at all", "Im big boned", "I dont know why i put on weight, ive always been big". Sod off these people will use every excuse in the book. The truth is they are far too bone idle to go on a diet of any sort and junk food is too easy for them...........Lazy!
The other are the skinnys that never have to diet so havent tried any out. I dont think you would ever hear a yoyoer or someone that diets complain about dukan or atkins. People forget that millions of years ago mcdonalds burger king didnt exist, only meat and few veg!
Ok so we have all decide to embark on a diet for us and no other reason. Which ever diet it is does not matter as long as its the right one for us. Sorry, rant over. Pmsl


Loves this site!
S: 11st1lb C: 10st9lb G: 9st10lb BMI: 26.4 Loss: 0st6lb(3.87%)
Morning grogeous. How are you? Im ok, kept waking in the night coughing and sts today but got my visit from my fairy friend last night.

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