The Brits, especially Kate Middleton’s mom and sister, have made this book and diet program world famous. It was actually written by a French doctor, Pierre Dukan, over ten years ago, to help obese patients lose weight effectively. The diet has 4 phases, and is classified as a “high protein/low calorie” diet program. Protein is featured as a central dietary theme in all 4 phases as is oat bran, consuming significant amounts of water and taking a 20 minute walk every day. It’s similar to Atkin’s, and promises satiation despite its limit of certain food groups. Phase one is very rigid and limited to protein (whenever you’re hungry), oat bran and water. The next phase allows you to introduce non-starchy vegetables on alternate days. Phase three allows you to continue to eat unlimited protein, vegetables daily and one serving of low-sugar fruit every day. You also add 1-2 servings of starch-based foods per week and 1-2 celebration meals (eat whatever you want). Phase 4 helps you to stabilize, and ensures that though you are allowed to eat “whatever you want,” one day a week you still have to follow phase 1, continue to eat 3 tbsp of oat bran daily and keep the walking rule in place.
The diet allows sugar-free gum, artificial sweeteners, vinegars, spices and a multi-vitamin with minerals.
It’s also called The Caveman Diet, so not surprisingly it instructs you to look to our ancestors in the Stone Age and identify what they ate. Plants and meat were the primary focus of the diet back then, but remember that meats were lean. That means grains, dairy foods and legumes are not hugely emphasized in this program. But meat, fish, shellfish, eggs, tree nuts, vegetables, roots, fruits and berries are included in the modern version of the Stone Age diet. You won’t find potatoes or processed oils either, but you can have water, coconut water and green tea.
If you have a serious sweet tooth, you are allowed to include some raw honey and coconut palm sugar in limited amounts. There are some versions of this diet which dictate fasting days, eating substantial amounts of raw foods or eliminating tomatoes and other “nightshade vegetables.”
How can these diet reviews help you?
The take-away message from these diet reviews is to choose a full program or some of the recommendations, even from several of the plans, and figure out what will work for you, personally. Remember that you do need to figure out how to maintain your weight once you get to a healthy goal weight – and that may be the most challenging part of the whole experience. Finding a support group or a friend or family buddy can help you to diet successfully and then keep the weight off. So can the mantra “I am in weight remission, but I still have the disease called obesity, and I need to continue to treat it.”