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The Dukan Diet: 2 Steps to Lose the Weight, 2 Steps to Keep It Off Forever

Dukan, Pierre Author

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Devised by Dr. Pierre Dukan, a French medical doctor who has spent his career helping people to lose weight, the Dukan Diet rejects counting calories and promises permanent weight loss while allowing adherents to eat as much as they like.
 
Originally published in 2000, the Dukan Diet swept across France, championed by people who successfully lost weight following its unique four phase regime. The Dukan Diet has helped millions in France, where it has been number one for more than ten years and adopted in twenty countries, including the United Kingdom, Poland, Korea and Brazil. All together, The Dukan Diet has sold more than 3 million copies worldwide.

The Diet: 4 Easy Steps to Permanent Weight Loss

Phase one: Attack
Using Dr. Dukan's True Weight calculator, dieters determine a reasonable and healthy weight loss goal. Then they begin the Dukan Attack phase a two-to-seven-day period during which only unlimited lean protein and a daily Oat bran galette (or pancake) are consumed and dramatic weight loss is achieved.
 
Phase Two: Cruise
Dieters alternate days of unlimited lean protein with days of protein combined with healthful vegetables until they reach their True Weight.
 
Phase Three: Consolidation
Dieters stay on this phase for 5 days for every pound lost. At this point the diet allows unlimited protein and vegetables, and other foods (such as cheese and bread) are reintroduced.  Dieters are also allowed two weekly celebration meals to stave off boredom.
 
Phase Four: Stabilization
This is the maintenance portion of the plan, in which followers are allowed to eat whatever they like without regaining weight--provided that they follow 3 unbreakable rules including eating only unlimited lean protein one set day per week. 
 
For each phase, The Dukan Diet offers clear simple guidelines for long term success.  The Dukan Diet is the perfect diet for people who want fast weight loss, that can be maintained without counting calories or weighing portions.

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About the Author:

DR. PIERRE DUKAN is a French medical doctor with 35 years of experience in clinical nutrition.  While he began his medical career specializing in neurology, Dr. Dukan discovered and refined his successful weight loss formula while working with his patients to adjust their diets. Since then, he has spent his career helping people lose weight and keep it off forever.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

The Dukan Diet

Thirty-five years have passed since my life-changing encounter with the obese gentleman. Since then, I have devoted my work to helping thousands of men and women lose pounds and stabilize their weight.

Like all my French medical colleagues, I was trained that calories counted and low-calorie diets were the way to lose weight. Every type of food was allowed in moderate quantities. Nowadays, what I know and practice I have learned through direct daily contact with flesh-and- blood human beings who have constant cravings to eat.

I very quickly realized that it was not by accident that an individual was overweight. Their appetite and their apparent lack of restraint were a camouflage concealing a need to find comfort in food. This need is all the more overwhelming as it is connected to our survival mechanisms, which are as archaic as they are instinctive. It soon became obvious to me that I could not make an overweight person lose weight and stay slim simply by giving sound advice, even if that advice was based on common sense and scientific research.

Support is what overweight people determined to lose weight really want and is what they need from a counselor or a method-support so that they are not left alone to face the ordeal of dieting, which deliberately goes against their own instinct for survival.

What overweight individuals are looking for is an outside will, a decision maker who walks ahead of them offering guidance and specific instructions, because what overweight people most hate and simply cannot do is decide for themselves when and how they are going to deprive themselves of food.

As for managing their weight, overweight individuals will admit without shame-and why should there be any-that they are powerless when it comes to controlling what they eat. People from every social and economic background have all sat in front of me and described themselves as being astonishingly weak when it comes to food.

Obviously, most of them have found in food an easy "escape valve" through which they can release excess tension, stress, and life's all too frequent disappointments. Any logical, reasonable, and rational instructions just cannot stand up to those pressures-at least not for long.

During my years of practice, I have seen many diets come and go. From analyzing these diets and the reasons behind their various successes, as well as the efforts of my own patients, I am convinced of the following: Overweight people who want to lose weight need a fast- acting diet that brings immediate results, fast enough to strengthen and maintain their motivation. They also need precise goals, set by an outside instructor, with a series of levels to aim for so that they can see their efforts and compare them with the results expected. However, I have also observed the strength of my patients' resolve at certain times in their lives and then seen how easily they lose heart when the results do not match their efforts.

Most of the spectacular diets that rocketed to success in recent years did in fact have that fast-off-the-mark effect and delivered the promised results. Unfortunately, their instructions and guidance faded away once the book was closed, leaving the overweight individual once again all alone on the slippery slope of temptations, and the cycle would start all over again. Once the goal was reached, all these diets, even the most original and inventive, abandoned their followers with the same old commonsense advice about moderation and balance that a formerly overweight person will never manage to follow.

None of these famous diets managed to find a way of protecting and guiding individuals during the period that follows their weight loss, giving advice and precise, simple, and effective landmarks like those that made their initial program so successful.

People who have lost weight know instinctively that on their own, and without any support, they will not be able to preserve this victory. They also know that left to their own devices, the pounds will creep back on. They need instructions that are simple, specific, effective, and not too frustrating-guidelines that can be followed for the rest of their life.

Dissatisfied with the majority of the diets in vogue, which are only concerned with a dazzling but short-lived victory, and aware of the ineffectiveness of low-calorie diets and the kind of commonsense advice that despite all the evidence hopes to reform overeaters into careful eaters, I developed my own weight loss diet. Years of medical practice allow me to consider it both the most effective and easy-to- follow diet available today.

I realize that the preceding statement may make me appear immodest. But I will take that risk because it is my most heartfelt conviction, and not saying so in the face of the growing scourge of weight control problems would amount to a failure to assist people in danger.

The Dukan Diet takes into account everything that is essential for the success of any weight loss program:

It offers overweight people trying to lose weight a system with specific instructions that get them on track, with stages and objectives, leaving no room for ambiguity or deviation. The initial weight loss is substantial and sufficiently rapid to launch the diet and instill lasting motivation. It is a low-frustration diet. Weighing food portions and calorie counting are banned, and it allows you total freedom to eat a certain number of popular foods. It is a comprehensive weight loss program, an integrated whole that you either take or leave. The diet can be broken down into four successive phases:

1. The Attack phase. The initial Attack phase is a pure protein diet that creates a stunning kick start, almost as quick as fasting or powdered protein diets but without their drawbacks. 2. The Cruise phase. In the Cruise phase, pure protein days alternate with days in which you eat pure proteins plus certain allowed vegetables. This phase lets you reach your chosen weight. 3. The Consolidation phase. The Consolidation phase is designed to prevent the rebound effect that occurs after any rapid weight loss. This is a period of high vulnerability when the body has a tendency to very easily regain those lost pounds. The duration of this phase is based on a precise formula: 5 days for every pound lost. 4. The Permanent Stabilization phase. Permanent weight stabilization is based on three simple safety measures that are easy to follow but which are indispensable if the weight loss is to be maintained: The pure protein phase of the diet must be followed 1 set day per week-for example, every Thursday-for the rest of your life; do not use elevators or escalators; and take 3 tablespoons of oat bran a day. These three rules are non-negotiable, but they are sufficiently specific and effective for you to stick to them over a long period of time.

The Theory Behind the Dukan Diet

Before discussing the diet in detail and explaining exactly how it works and why it is so effective, I want first to give you an outline of the whole four-phase program to make clear from the outset precisely for whom the diet is intended, along with any possible contraindications.

One of the major merits of the Dukan Diet is its educational value. It allows you to learn in real life and with your own body the relative importance of each food group from the order in which they are integrated into the diet. That is, the diet starts with vital foods, then introduces, in succession, indispensable foods, essential foods, and important foods, finishing off with unnecessary but pleasurable foods.

The Dukan Diet provides a system of perfectly interwoven instructions that will clearly and directly set you on the right track, avoiding the need for that never-ending effort of willpower that can slowly undermine your determination.

I will be giving these instructions to you in four successive diet plans. The first two make up the actual weight loss stage, and the second two ensure that the weight loss you achieve is consolidated and then permanently stabilized.

1. The Attack Phase: The Pure Protein Diet

The Attack phase is the conquest phase. Here dieters are always extremely motivated. They are looking for a diet plan that, however arduous it might be, meets their expectations in terms of effectiveness and quick results and that allows them to tackle their weight problem head-on. The length of this phase depends on how much weight one wants to lose. The Attack phase can last as little as 1 day or as many as 10, with most people falling in the 2- to 7-day range.

The diet plan for this initial phase of the Dukan Diet, great for a fast-track approach, limits food to just one of the three food groups- namely, proteins.

Except for egg whites, no food is 100 percent protein. The pure protein diet of the Attack phase selects and groups together foods whose composition is as close as possible to pure protein, such as certain kinds of meat, fish, seafood, poultry, whole eggs, and nonfat dairy products.

Compared with low-calorie diets, the pure protein diet is a real war machine, a bulldozer that, if followed without fail, crushes all resistance. It is effective in the most difficult cases, in particular for premenopausal women suffering from water retention and bloating and for menopausal women. It is just as effective with dieters deemed to be resistant because they have tried and given up on too many diets or aggressive courses of treatment in the past.

2. The Cruise Phase: The Alternating Protein Diet

As its name indicates, this phase works by alternating two diets: the pure protein diet followed by the same diet to which any nonstarchy vegetable, raw or cooked, is added (see "100 Natural Foods That Keep You Slim," page 168). Each alternate cycle works like the injection- combustion cycle of a two-speed engine burning up its calorie quota.

In the alternating cycles of the Cruise phase you can eat the authorized "as much as you like" foods at any time of day and in the combination and qua...

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