'The Dukan Diet' Review

By Kathleen M. Zelman, MPH, RD, LD
WebMD Expert Review

The Dukan Diet: What It Is

It's been a best-seller in France for years, but now The Dukan Diet is getting attention on this side of the pond. It's no wonder: The book claims to have helped 5 million French people lose weight. And singer Jennifer Lopez and model Giselle Bundchen are reported to have lost their post-pregnancy pounds on The Dukan Diet.

The Dukan Diet was created by French physician Pierre Dukan more than 10 years ago as a treatment for obese people.

Essentially, it's a four-phase, high-protein, low-calorie diet plan. There's no weighing foods or counting calories. You eat as much as you want, at any time of day -- as long as what you're eating is lean protein, at least initially.

In fact, protein is the centerpiece in all four phases, along with oat bran, lots of water, and a 20-minute daily walk. Vegetables are allowed in the second stage, followed by small amounts of fruit and whole grains.

Sound familiar? It's much like the first Atkins diet. Dieters lose weight rapidly -- as much as 1-2 pounds a day during the first phase -- which Dukan says helps to instill lasting motivation. He promises that hunger will disappear after the third day.

However, the book warns that dieters may suffer from bad breath, constipation, dry mouth, and fatigue -- all consequences of low-carb, high-protein diets.

The Dukan Diet: What You Can Eat