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What Is the Dukan Diet? Here's Everything You Need to Know

Get the scoop on Kate Middleton's weight-loss method.


By Tehrene Firman, Redbook

When Kate Middleton was preparing to marry Prince William, there were reports that she followed the Dukan Diet: a high-protein plan that's super popular in Europe. It's based on a list of 100 foods you can eat without calorie-counting. Here's what you should know about this weight-loss method.


What is the Dukan Diet — and how does it work?

There are high-protein, low-fat, and low-carb diets — and the Dukan Diet is all three. Protein and veggies are the main components of the 100 foods you can "eat as much as you want of," according to the official website.

The diet involves four phases that get less restrictive as you progress. "The first is called 'the attack' phase, where you focus on consuming protein," explains Lisa Hayim, MS, RD, founder of The Well Necessities. "Next is the 'cruise phase,' where you can eat a ton of non-starchy vegetables. The third stage is called 'consolidation,' where you add in fruit and whole-grain bread. This phase allows you to consume more starchy foods during 'celebration meals.' The final phase is called 'stabilization' and is ongoing. This is the maintenance stage where you can eat what you please, but one day a week, you go back to the 'attack phase' with extra fiber and exercise."


Are there any drawbacks to the Dukan Diet?

While eating plenty of protein and veggies isn't a bad thing and can most definitely result in weight-loss, there are some not-so-healthy components of the Dukan Diet, too. Plus, sticking to all the phases of the diet can be challenging — and there's no real evidence you'll actually keep the pounds off you worked so hard to shed.

"This diet is hard to follow and allows for artificial sweeteners that have been linked to a host of health issues, including diabetes and obesity," Hayim says. "It's also very strict. It might cause weight loss in the beginning, but it will likely come back after reintroducing your normal diet in the last phase."


Should you give the Dukan Diet a try?

If you're looking for a quick, simple way to lose weight, the Dukan Diet isn't it. Since it's a long-term plan, you might experience some highs and lows when adhering to the phases.

"This isn't a short-term plan," Hayim says. "This diet can take months to get to the end, and even at the end, you're still 'on the plan.' The first few stages will likely cause rapid weight loss, but after that, it becomes more difficult to lose a lot of weight and you may become frustrated and disappointed."

And, the crazy-high protein intake could cause some issues as well. "High-protein diets may be effective for weight-loss, but we don't really know the long-term effects on our health just yet," Hayim says. "Those with diabetes and renal disease should stay far away from this diet. Also, people who tend to eat more plant-based diets will likely struggle to stay satisfied. Vegetarians and vegans will probably become bored, as tofu and tempeh — soy-based products — are the only ones allowed, and beans are not."

If you do try the Dukan Diet, keep in mind that while it definitely has a fan club, it's not necessarily the healthiest plan, plus it can be very challenging to follow, so don't be disappointed if you can't stick to it for long.
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See more at: Redbook
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