Kate Middleton has been looking rather thin these days. Rumor has it she is following The Dukan Diet (this has not been confirmed, merely speculated like the rest of the wedding details). I felt obligated to fill my readers in on this potentially dangerous diet, but also give you the facts if you do want to try it.
The book has been around in Europe for a few years, selling over 5 million copies. So did Atkins. Just because it’s popular doesn’t mean it’s healthy or sustainable! The book reviews on Amazon also suggest that the details could be given out in a 10-page pamphlet and it’s not worth buying the book, so save your money and continue reading about The Dukan Diet aka Kate Middleton’s “diet”.
Disclaimer: I love Kate Middleton, especially her style. I love how she is always smiling and very photogenic. I personally think she is too smart to follow this diet, but since it’s all the buzz, I wanted you all to know how potentially dangerous it really is.
The basic principal is similar to Atkins but with a French twist. Phase one consists of unlimited protein, 1 1/2 tablespoons of oat bran and lots of water. There is ZERO fat in phase one. Phase two add some vegetables (think leafy greens, onions, mushrooms) every other day and increases the oat bran to 2 tablespoons a day. The first two phases last about 2 months depending on how much weight you need to lose! I don’t think I could last a week on this. Why would any sane person do this to themselves? There are better/easier/more effective ways.
Phase 3, aka The Consolation Phase, is meant for weight maintenance and begins when you reach your goal weight. It adds in non starchy vegetables and 1 fruit every day, as well as bread, rice, pasta, dessert and wine! If you lasted to this phase you will most likely gain anything back that you lost rather quickly I would think.
1) Continue eating protein plus vegetables to your heart’s desire. They are always on the menu.
2) You get one fruit a day, but you are looking for the watery fruits like watermelon, cantaloupe, apples, etc.
3) You get two slices of whole-grain bread.
4) You get one serving of carbs per week. This might be pasta or rice.
5) Your menu expands to include one “celebration meal” per week, where anything goes. As you move to the second half of Phase 3, you get two of these “celebration meals” per week. Read more of this bloggers experience here.
The last and final phase allows you to eat whatever you want, you just can only have 1 lean protein a day. According the book it says, “Go back to eating whatever you like, but continue to use the basic rules of the Consolidation Phase as a safety platform (eat unlimited protein and vegetables, one piece of fruit a day, two slices of wholemeal bread, a portion of cheese, two starchy foods and two celebration meals a week).”
Here is what Dr Barry Sears of the famed zoned diet has to say about Phase 1:
The reason this phase is dangerous is because there are virtually no carbohydrates or fats to counterbalance the protein. My best estimate is in this first phase more than 90 percent of the total calories are coming from protein. This will overwhelm the liver’s capacity to metabolize the excess protein leading to a condition known as rabbit starvation (1). This was a condition experienced by early Arctic explorers who only subsisted on lean protein. They quickly became dehydrated as the body desperately tried to excrete excess ammonia (the first breakdown product of protein) through the urine that could not be converted to urea by the liver. This leads to dehydration, diarrhea, nausea, low blood pressure and fatigue. At least on the Atkins diet there was a lot of fat coupled with the protein to help the liver metabolize the ammonia from the protein into urea that could be easily removed in the urine.
The dehydration from such a severely ketogenic diet explains the need for lots of water. As far as the oat bran, it contains virtually no carbohydrate, but lots of soluble fiber to help expand the stomach. Yes you will lose weight (primarily water) and insulin levels in the blood will drop dramatically, but you will reduce the elasticity of the blood vessels (2) and increase insulin resistance in the liver (3). The decrease in the elasticity of blood vessels increases the likelihood of a heart attack, (4) and the growing insulin resistance sets the stage for liver dysfunction that always promotes weight regain. This first phase is called the Attack Phase, I assume because it attacks your liver and your metabolism. Read the full article here.
It looks like a lot of self deprivation to only gain back the weight in the 3rd phase. I have not tried the diet, nor do I want to. I recommend eating a clean diet. If you interested in my own eating principles, I’ve partnered with my buddies at Tone It Up to create an amazing meal plan. If you are interested, you can check it out here. I’m currently following the 7-day Event Plan for a photoshoot I have next week! If you have any questions, feel free to “Tweet” me.