This new diet has been masterminded by French nutritionist Dr Pierre Dukan and his book has been available over the Channel for nearly ten years, stomping to the top of the French bestseller list after its launch. And it is finally available here now.
Unlike a lot of fad diets, the Dukan diet is positioned as a way of living your life and is not too dissimilar to the Atkins diet plan. But, unlike Atkins the protein has to be low in fat, so sadly no streaky bacon cooked in butter allowed.
The first phase of the plan is called the Attack Phase, this is where you can eat nothing but protein and non-fat dairy products. You can stick to this phase for anything from one to ten days depending on how much weight you need to lose.
Five days tends to be the optimum amount for this phase for most people. This stage works by reducing water retention, dulling the appetite all the while maintaining your muscle mass. The next phase, the Cruise Phase, is tough. Mostly due to the fact that weight loss slows to a rate of 2lb per week. For this stage you can add unlimited vegetables to your protein intake. Lucky you.
As soon as your goal weight is reached, the Consolidation Phase begins. For this you can gradually start eating fruit, carbs and cheese again. You are also allowed two celebration meals where you can have anything you want including dessert.
This stage of the plan helps you realise you can be slim and enjoy your food, as long as you keep it in moderation. You won’t lose any weight during this stage, instead it stops you from giving up and going back to your old ways. Once this phase is over and your weight has stabilised you can go forward eating and drinking what you like.
The only catch? You must have a “protein only day” every single week for the rest of your life. Dukan suggests Thursdays. The diet has caught on so much that you shouldn’t be surprised to see people in France on Thursdays with plates of protein in front of them in restaurants.