Right oh, having read lots of the reviews for this book, some great, some scathing, I decided to write my own review which I hope will help people decide if this is the book they want to follow or not.
First off, I am (unfortunately) a yo-yo dieter. I have tried pretty much everything out there, Atkins, Slimming World, Slim Fast, Weight Watchers, the GI Diet, The Holford Diet, Somersizing, you name it, I have the book. Some of these diets I had no success with, some moderate, and some great! But all the time, and all my own fault, I have put it back on :(
I have only been doing this Dukan Diet for 3 days, even though I bought the book about a month ago! I wanted to make sure I didn't just 'jump in' without really knowing what I was doing. I wanted to read this book properly and really understand it's concept.
The diet is split into 4 phases, Attack, Cruise, Stabilisation and Consolidation. Obviously only having been on it for 3 days, I can't talk about the last two parts, or their effectiveness, but the first two I can most definitely comment on!
Attack at first glance is very similar to the Atkins Diet. until you realise that Dr Dukan is only telling you to eat HEALTHY cuts of meat, unlike Dr Atkins who advocated eating all meats, cheeses, creams, anything no matter how high the fat content. Dr Dukan only wants you to eat lean cuts of meat, poultry, fish and pretty much all non or very low fat dairy products. Cheese and cream are out, as are oils of any kind. This might sound harsh, but come on, it's only for about 5 days depending on how much weight you want to lose! Is that such a price to pay to kick start your diet?
Typically you can eat non fat yoghurts (even fruit ones like Mullerlights!) Cottage Cheese, Quark, Skimmed Milk, Fromage Frais, and all the lean proteins mentioned above. You can also eat eggs quite happily (minus the yolk if you are prone to high cholesterol) and all herbs and spices are freely available. He also 'prescribes' oat bran galettes (basically a pancake) because of the roughage they provide to your diet. They are quick and easy to make and really are filling, they do a great job!
In the 3 days I have been doing this diet, I have so far lost 5.5lb's! I am realistic, a lot of this is water, you can't lose that much fat so fast! Don't kid yourself! But weightloss is a state of mind as much as anything, and to see the number on the scales going down is inspiration to keep going!
Phase 2, the Cruise Phase, is very similar to my favourite diet of all time, and the one with which I had the greatest success, The South Beach Diet. On this phase, you can reintroduce certain vegetables to eat with your proteins, and the idea is that you alternate a day of Attack and a day of Cruise. I can really see this working. The South Beach Diet is a really wonderful diet and I had amazing success with it, but I have stopped and started with it so many times, the initial phase has sadly lost it's effectiveness. My biggest downfall, and I am being honest for the sake of this review, is alcohol. Just stop drinking and you will see weight start to fall off. It is one of the biggest causes of weight problems. I am NOT an alcoholic, just to set the record straight! but I do enjoy a glass of wine, or two, or um, three! And it adds up! You have to decide which you want more, to be slim, or to eat and drink all you want and stay, shall we say, larger than you wish you were?
South Beach does allow use of low fat cheeses, something this diet does not, not until Phase 3. But if you want some great recipe ideas, you can happily use a lot of the recipes from SB on this diet plan, they work together very well. There is a Dukan Diet Recipe Book due out in September, but why wait when SB has lots of books available?
In another review, someone mentions the use of Aspartame and the possible carcinogenic side effects. All I can say is, and this is purely my opinion, if Diet Coke and all the other products that contain Aspartame were so bad, they would have been taken off the shelves by now, or be using an alternative sweetener. Or it would only be sold to over 18's, like cigarette's and alcohol. If this does bother you, there is absolutely no reason why you cannot use another sweetener of your choice!
Dr Dukan also 'prescribes' that you walk for 20 minutes every day. He says it is not optional, you MUST do it! Well of course, a book cannot make you do anything, it is down to your own willpower to get up off your butt and move! But it is sound advice. Dr Agatston of the South Beach Diet recommends the same. It is only common sense. We all know deep down that the best way to lose weight is to eat less and move more. But in todays world, life is pretty sedentary, and us humans don't move about like we used to! So we need to make the effort!
Phase 3 reintroduces breads, fruits, cheeses, etc, but in limited quanitities. You don't suddenly want your body to go into celebration mode and pile back on all you have lost! It recommends doing phase 3 at the rate of 5 days for every pound lost. I cannot say if this works, but in theory it sounds good!
Phase 4 is the final phase, where you can pretty much eat and drink all your favourite things, but for one day a week, you go back to Attack. You also continue to move (that 20 minute walk!) and continue to eat oat bran every day. These are the three rules of the Dukan diet that PROMISE you WILL keep the weight off. If it works, what's not to like about that?
As I said, I have not been doing this diet long, but I believe it has given me the kick start that my smarty pants all too clever body needed to shock it into losing weight again! And from Friday on, I can bring back the veggies and know that the weight WILL continue to come off! Don't cheat, you'll only be cheating yourself. Stick at it and the rewards are there to be reaped :)
The only reason I have given this book 4 stars is because some of it is a bit confusing, I think a bit of a translation problem. And also, the recipes are a bit hit and miss, I am not too sure that whoever devised them actually tried them before they got published! The floating islands are vile, and we tried a chicken dish the other night that curdled! So best to try some ideas of your own or from the South Beach books.