Like most things to do with the upcoming British royal wedding, the speculation that bride-to-be Kate Middleton may be a proponent of the Dukan Diet has catapulted it to the forefront of the media’s attention. The buzz started in earnest this past week when Middleton’s mother, Carole, reportedly admitted that she had tried the diet, leading others to conclude that Kate’s recent weight loss may be due to the plan as well. The palace has denied the rumors.
The Dukan Diet bears a striking resemblance to both the older Atkins Diet and the most-recent addition to the diet craze, the 17 Day Diet, which raced up the bestseller charts earlier this month. Like the Dukan Diet, which was put together by a French nutritionist, both the Atkins Diet and the 17 Day Diet were also constructed by physicians.
Like the Atkins Diet, the Dukan Diet places its emphasis heavily on protein intake as the key to weight loss, initially restricting the intake of carbohydrates, vegetables, and fruit. There are daily water and exercise requirements built in, the basic premise being that with no carbs to burn, the body will turn to using up stored fat, thereby causing weight loss.
The Dukan Diet copies the four-phase construct made popular by both Atkins and the 17 Day Diet. While the 17 Day Diet uses a system of 4 “A’s” — Accelerate, Activate, Achieve, Arrive — the Dukan Diet calls them Attack, Cruise, Consolidation, and Stabilization. Whatever they may be labeled, the general idea is fairly similar-to get bad foods out of your diet, and get good foods in, hopefully setting up a lifetime habit of better eating and moderate exercise in the long run.
Critics are pointing out, however, that the diet’s heavily restrictive nature can make it difficult to maintain over a longer period of time. Boredom with such a set menu may make it more tempting for dieters to stray, thereby gaining back the weight. Additionally, some nutritionists have pointed out that the diet’s lower allowance of vegetables and fruits may rob the body of essential nutrients, a long-standing concern in regards to dietary fads.
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