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The Dukan Diet

Sunday, December 30, 2012

I've been shopping around for a diet. I read the book "The Dukan Diet" by Dr. Pierre Dukan. I was utterly enchanted by his writing style. His somewhat stilted Gallicisms are adorable and I love being addressed as "Dear Reader".

Some of the things I like about his plan are its specificity, the smattering of recipes included seem good, and the book is well-indexed. Dukan does not make grandiose promises and exercise is a must with his program.

But I wonder about the validity of his claims. Would one stalk of celery really interfere with and sabotage a pure protein day? His first phase, "Attack" is nothing but protein. Unlike Atkins, no cheeses or butters are permitted. Only the most dedicated vegetarian could succeed on this diet.

I decided to give it a try. Following the plan for almost the entire day, I had eaten very few calories and was feeling a bit anxious and irritable. I broke down in the evening and ate a few celery stalks and much enjoyed the sinfulness.

I am going to keep this diet in mind. The ATTACK phase typically lasts from 1-8 days and then one moves into a "Cruise" phase wherein some non-starchy vegetables are permitted every other day.

I worry that the diet is simply too low-cal for me. I worry that there is a lack of nutrients. I worry about any diet in which a radish is "verboten". Fiber is virtually non-existent. I think that if a person was younger than I am and in better fundamental health, this diet could work. Once you get to your desired weight you can move to the Consolidation Phase, which last 5 days for every pound you have lost. It includes some (finally) fruit and cheese and bread.

Once you have "consolidated" you then follow the ATTACK all-protein phase one day a week (he recommends Thursdays). You also get to have two "celebration"meals a week--but only in a "reasonable quantity".

I suspect that if you loyally follow this plan you will lose weight more quickly. You will also be terminally constipated! My one day flirtation with Dr. Dukan did not work out but it made me realize that I could greet celery sticks as manna from heaven. I had a low-cal day and I had a really low-carb day but I don't think I can follow such a strict plan. I think I must accept the fact that at my age, I will lose weight slowly and that I should have a "celebration" blog to think that I so quickly got to the point where a celery stick was my sinful treat!

Onward to more diet books. Gratuitous picture posted for my own pleasure.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Thanks for the critique about this diet plan. I know I could not succeed doing this. I agree with your assessments.

    Also-- your kitty is adorable . I wish I had a photo of my cat in the snow like that. His coloring is exactly the same as yours except my cat is white underneath.

    Chris emoticon
    3083 days ago
    I like your honesty when reviewing these plans. It sounds like the perfect plan for you may have to be designed by you. We are all different, and what works for one (or even millions) will not work for another.
    3084 days ago
    I totally agree with your assessment. I have appreciation for the book but it is a diet, not a way of life.
    3085 days ago

    Comment edited on: 12/31/2012 2:10:20 PM
    I like the fact that you are analyzing the pro and con aspects of each diet you are looking at. If you designed your own what would it look like?
    3085 days ago
    I love your potato cats! They are adorable. emoticon

    My brother and my daughter both achieved good weight loss with Atkins, but with Atkins you are supposed to have some carbs/veggies after the first couple of weeks. I just don't have what it takes to do it. I'd much rather cut back on frequency and serving sizes but still have whole grain pasta & bread and my veggies. That said, I do think some people are more "carb sensitive" than others.

    I can't eat raw celery because of my diverticulosis, and I really do miss it at times.
    3085 days ago
  • no profile photo CD2566851
    This sounds very difficult to follow, so I wish you much success!!

    Just my two cents, are you looking for a diet and not a lifestyle change?? Please remember, too much protein can be very unhealthy for your kidneys. I would do more research, as anything "diet" book that celery can sabotage your "diet", I would be leery.
    3085 days ago
  • ANNANN63
    Love the picture. I did a low carb diet for 18 months. I lost 18 pounds and it was the easiest diet I ever followed. However, after 18 months I was so tired of all the food allowed that I ended the diet in a binge of chocolate and to this day eat very little meat, no eggs, and every recipe I used then has never been used again. For me, such a plan did not and will not work long term. On SP with counting calories and exercising reasonably, I lost 35 pounds in 6 months. That was 3 years ago and today I am about 2 pounds under that goal weight.

    Just my experience for what it is worth.
    3086 days ago
    Good luck finding a diet plan that fits your lifestyle. I learned something about this diet.Thanks for sharing.
    3086 days ago
  • POPSY190
    Loved the picture! I'd be worried about kidneys with all that protein.
    3086 days ago
    I'm like most of the other responses here, I've worked out a plan that I can live with so it's not an "on" or "off" diet, it's just a way of eating and I have every intention of staying with it even when I get to my goal weight - the only difference then being I will add enough of whatever to maintain my weight rather than lose more.

    I have a thing (attitude?) about being told what I can eat or can't eat - although I restrict myself to less than 50 grams of carbs per day and trying to get the ones I do have with the best possible nutrients.

    3086 days ago
    Personally I find that trying to be consistent and eating a balanced diet works best for me. I'm not a fan of blacklists. I'm not certain that this diet is terrible and I know a few people on it but it isn't for me.

    Celery is essentially a no-calorie food that has a fair amount of dietary fiber in it. I can't imagine it would be bad for anyone. In fact, I like celery and eat it fairly often.

    There's a world full of diets making all sorts of claims. Don't know about the claims for this particular diet but I can say categorically that I won't be following it.

    But to each his own.

    Focus on consistency and hitting your net calorie target.
    Track your food.
    Learn about your triggers and develop strategies to deal with them.

    Do these things and you'll succeed.

    Make it a great day!
    3086 days ago
  • LE7_1234
    LOL! I did Atkins for a few months. Got to the point where I was dreaming of oatmeal and craving brown rice (or possibly it was the other way around, but dreaming and craving and those two foods were definitely involved!), so I totally get the celery thing.

    These days, I'm not following any specific diet, though I've been slowly getting through The 3-Season Diet: Eat the Way Nature Intended, by John Douillard. Someone recommended it to me after I mentioned how I never want meat in the spring--apparently that fits in with this theory. He seems to feel the problem people have in following a diet for more than 4 months or so is because we're *designed* to shift our eating pattern every 4 months. So high carb in the summer, high protein/low carb in the winter, and... pretty much low everything but greens in the spring! LOL!

    I'm finding it interesting on a theoretical level--and it does fit some of my natural patterns--but the book's flow is somewhat... lacking. Since I'm reading it more for ideas than actual diet, I haven't bothered with the index yet, but the table of contents could use some work!! Still might be worth a look if you can get it at a library. Not sure I'd recommend buying it.

    3086 days ago
    Gee - I thought the Spark Plan was hard to follow.
    3086 days ago
    You have to have a plan you can follow for life, and this doesn't seem like one I could do for long. Slow but steady is the key.
    3086 days ago
    3086 days ago
    The sinfulness of celery - a very seductive phrase! laughed so much about you giving in and sneaking a stalk. Lovely blog.
    3086 days ago
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