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Customer Review

158 of 174 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Like an even more extreme Atkins, despite the claims, 22 Sept. 2011
This review is from: The Dukan Diet (Paperback)
The bottom line is - the diet works for as long as you stick to it. But of course this is true of any diet you care to mention. Sticking at diets is the hard bit. I personally find sticking to the Dukan unreasonably hard so it's not idea.

The good news is that you will lose weight (not the same as fat) very quickly in the attack phase. This is because you're doing Atkins without the fat! You're eating mostly protein which means you lose a lot of water and glycogen and so are guaranteed to lose several pounds of weight. How much fat you lose will depend on the calorie deficit created. It could be a couple of pounds or more I guess. Normally you'd put this right back on in the first few carby meals you eat, but Dukan has thought of this and so tapers up the re-carbing slowly. You will put some back on but then you're losing some fat in the next phase anyway so it's not totally demoralising. By the time you get to the maintenance phase you're eating a relatively sensible lower carb diet.

The bad news is that over a few months, you don't lose any more weight than any other diet. You can't of course beat the cals in vs cals out rule and this diet is no exception. I found the attack phase almost unbearable and my wife found me literally unbearable. I had no energy, looked awful, wasn't happy and so on. but at least I'd lost a few pounds of whatever it was I lost!

The science behind it is sketchy to be honest. He plays down the water loss. He claims you're eating "Pure protein" but when you calculate out the carbs you are allowed to eat (low fat yogurts, cottage cheese, oat bran etc) you can actually eat a lot more carbs than Atkins. Not that this really matters because as long as your cals are low, you lose weight. But it's not what he's telling you, I find this off putting.

Some of the suggested recipes in the book and on his site are AWFUL! God knows who made up that fish pie thing but even my dog wouldn't eat it. I was reduced to eating cooked meat and the odd omelette and stopped trying to make things that looked like normal food but tasted horrid!

Would I recommend it? I'm not sure. It makes little sense as a diet but one this he has right is that some people (like me) need a kick-start - they need strict diet for a short time to get the ball rolling and see results. So in that respect he is dead-on. The larger amounts of protein definitely reduce appetite and cravings in me.

Since giving up after a few weeks I'm doing my own lower-carb diet where I eat a lot of protein and hardly any bread or pasta because of this appetite effect and this is working just as well as Dukan. I'm dropping a pound a week on average, don't feel hungry, few cravings and don't feel ill like on Dukan.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 4 Dec 2012 18:02:52 GMT
Last edited by the author on 4 Dec 2012 18:10:29 GMT
Joan S. says:
From your review, I have to wonder if you actually read the book - and you make statements about the effectiveness of later stages when you didn't even get that far.("The bad news is that over a few months, you don't lose any more weight than any other diet.")
I can't debate point by point, as I tried it and my long comment was cut off. So this is my 2nd attempt.
Proteins, unlike carbs and fats, cannot be stored by the body. Proteins have to be broken down into amino acids in order to be absorbed by the intestinal cells. In the end, you lose weight with protein because you do not absorb the total calories- some are absorbed and some are eliminated.
Water weight loss in the first week is not "downplayed" at all. Dukan explains it in the book. Water loss is not a hidden scam, it's science.
Phase one is 5 days - eggs, seafood, lean meats, fat free dairy. If you focus on what you can eat - instead of what you can't- the options can definitely carry you 5 days. Easy? Not for everyone, but doable - and the progress on the scale is a motivator. First 2-3 days you may be tired (carb withdrawal), but cravings decrease and energy increases after 2-3 days. I suggest committing to two days to start - and almost all people decide to keep going.
Phase 2, you are adding in veg every other day. Stir-frys, salads..get creative. And you eat as much as you want. You are not hungry.
You say: "Since giving up after a few weeks I'm doing my own lower-carb diet where I eat a lot of protein and hardly any bread or pasta because of this appetite effect and this is working just as well as Dukan. I'm dropping a pound a week on average, don't feel hungry, few cravings and don't feel ill like on Dukan."
On Dukan you'd be losing 2 lbs a week - double your progress- and you don't have as much hunger or cravings because you aren't eating carbs. But the success of Dukan is that in later phases it trains your body to accept/balance carbs without relying on them for fuel or making you hungry. When YOU stop your low carb diet and start eating carbs again, you will gain the weight back. Dukan changes how your body reacts to food and is a long term solution.
Sorry, but your review sounds like you're making yourself feel better by finding fault with the diet.
I suggest people get an unbiased review at HowStuffWorks.com and read Marshall Brain's review and experience. http://blogs.howstuffworks.com/2010/04/21/how-the-dukan-diet-works/

Forgot to mention: This diet wascreated in France for the French. Their food tastes are different. No matter, you take the ingredients allowed and you put together combinations and things you like. I used a few Dukan recipes such as the vinaigrette, but I never relied on any of his recipes - i didn't even use the oat bran. The diet still worked. I am 49 and I did not think anything would help me at this age. Do your own research and don't let others half-hearted attempts make you think you can't do it. Learn what it is, understand it, then tailor it for yourself.
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