Dukan- the good and the bad

Posted on: 14/02/2011

Ambro / www.freedigitalphotos.netI thought I would post this on a day when you’ll all be so sick of reading about love and romance you’ll be desperate for something different.

Doctor Pierre Dukan – a French doctor who seems to have taken France by storm with his way of keeping people in trim.  Imaginatively named ‘The Dukan Diet‘.

Now, if you are vegetarian, you can forget it.  This diet is all about meat.  And lots of it.  This is probably why I bought the book in the first place.

But isn’t that Atkins, I hear you ponder?  Nope, this is a little different, and possibly slightly more sane.  Sane relative to Atkins, anyway.

Atkins is all about meat and fat and no carbohydrate.  Dukan cuts out the fat.  He goes into great detail why this important, but to be honest, when has eating copious amounts of fat ever been good for you?  For Dukan it’s protein, protein, protein all the way.

With some oat bran sprinkled in, before you find yourself so stopped up you’re about to explode.

Thankfully Dr Dukan is aware that this in itself is unsustainable, so he puts in different phases.  ‘Attack’ when you have protein and nothing but, ‘Cruise’ when you can have veg on alternate days (how considerate), and ‘Maintain’ when you give your body a chance to get used to the new weight for a while, and you can have a reasonable amount of carbohydrate at long last.

I may have the words wrong.  I couldn’t bring myself to look it up again.

So, the bad things about this are:

  1. It’s a proper diet. You have to radically alter your way of eating until you lose the desired amount of weight.
  2. It’s incredibly expensive.  The amount of meat you need to eat is quite frightening.
  3. It’s totally impossible to adapt for the rest of the family.

No doubt you’ll think of more – feel free to comment below.

There are a few good things, though…

  1. Dukan advocates only losing to your ‘true weight’, i.e a realistic weight that’s appropriate to your age, build etc.  Something you can maintain without too much effort.  No dropping down to size zero unless you’re only a size six already.
  2. The ‘maintain’ phase.  No other diet highlights that if you don’t want to pile double the pounds on the moment you come off the diet, you need to give your body a chance to adjust.  I seem to recall he suggests 5 days maintenance for every kilo/2 lb lost.

Needless to say this isn’t the diet for me, but hey, I will take on board the two good things I learned from reading his book.

And for those of you out there that this might work for, I have a book going spare!

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3 Responses to "Dukan- the good and the bad"

Dukan advocates only losing to your ‘true weight’, i.e a realistic weight that’s appropriate to your age, build etc.

This seems like good advice, but who decides what that weight is? I’ve known quite a few people for whom any realistic weight would still be considered overweight.

Well, there’s a questionnaire on his website ( which will determine it for you. I don’t claim to know what it might suggest for the sort of people you describe, but surely any loss is better than none..? And better still if they’re not beating themselves up about what is essentially unachievable?

Ooh, good link, thanks!

And yes, it does indeed confirm what I thought – some people’s recommendations are still not just “overweight” but even in the “obese” range.

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