The Princess Diet: Is It Safe?
‘The Dukan Diet’ (informally dubbed ‘The Princess Diet’) is new weight loss diet program has created massive waves in and outside of Hollywood, and understandably so — it’s what the new Duchess of Cambridge says kept her svelte and looking oh-so-radiant on her grand wedding day. Since its royal endorsement, this so-called miracle weight loss strategy has catapulted its creator, Dr. Pierre Dukan, to popularity, giving birth to another insanely commercialized weight-loss program à la the Atkins Diet.
But does it really work? Let’s explore the different schools of thought on the famous, or infamous, Dukan Diet.
For many, the lure of the Dukan Diet lies in its celebrity associations; after all, if your favorite actress is on it and you see it’s working, why not have a go, right?Briefly, the Dukan Diet is a protein-based weight loss meal program designed by French dietician and nutritionist Pierre Dukan in 1975, at a time Dukan himself was confronting the problem of obesity. Back in the day, losing weight meant going on a low-calorie food program, with fewer meals and smaller portions, which wasn’t really practical because the body needs food to function. To address this contradiction, Dukan created an alternative strategy that enables the body to lose as much as 3 kilos per week without going hungry.
The Dukan Diet involves four phases, or ground pillars: attack, cruise, consolidation and stabilization. During these phases, the body undergoes a cycle of very rapid weight loss, gradual weight loss, weight gain prevention, and weight maintenance, respectively. This is done by concentrating on Dukan’s list of 72 foods high in protein. The program ends with the stabilization phase, where the achieved weight is maintained for life to avoid another round of weight gain and loss.
Unlike the Atkins Diet, which focuses on oils and fats, the Dukan Diet stays away from these and highly recommends the consumption of oat bran and other low-calorie foods. There are over 100 different types of food allowed in the program.
Who Says It Works?
The Duchess’ mother, Carole Middleton, is a staunch supporter of the Dukan Diet (which is probably why Kate was on it shortly before she tied the knot) and Hollywood celebrities Jennifer Lopez, Nicole Kidman and Gisele Bundchen have been known to use it. For many, the lure of the Dukan Diet lies in its celebrity associations; after all, if your favorite actress is on it and you see it’s working, why not have a go, right?
Those who’ve have undergone all four phases successfully have admitted to losing as much as 130 lbs on the program, and that’s men and women alike! The amount of weight lost largely depends on your supporting lifestyle while on the diet. If you take a sedentary approach, you can expect to lose around 25 lbs, while those who accompany it with exercise could shed over 100 lbs.
That said, don’t you find it a little ironic that it’s a French guy who’s telling us to steer clear of carbs when the French are known for being huge fans of bread and cheese? Some aren’t convinced.
Who Says It Doesn’t Work?
Of course, there are those who say that the Dukan Diet is one big fad that doesn’t promote healthy weight loss at all. The operative word here is “healthy.” While there’s no question that the Dukan Diet’s a viable solution to losing weight, some experts say the pounds you lose could come at the cost of your health.
The British Dietetic Association has slammed Dukan’s claims, saying the diet isn’t based on scientific research and may in fact lead to health complications farther down the line.
Because the diet limits you to mostly protein-rich and low-calorie food, other essential nutrients found in carbohydrate- and fat-rich food never gets into your system. The body requires a healthy balance of all nutrients to function properly, and some experts say the Dukan Diet not only leads to long-term issues, but also short-term ones like loss of energy, constipation and halitosis (bad breath).
Good and Healthy Eating
Losing weight is what the Dukan Diet will help you do. But whether you’ll be losing those excess kilos in a healthy manner remains open to debate and further scientific research.
Before jumping into any fad diet that promises to “work” and keep the weight off forever, you have to understand that the enemy isn’t carbohydrates. In fact, the body needs carbs to perform well and keep your energy up. Too much carbs is bad, but too little of it can also be deadly. Diets that totally eliminate carbohydrates will make you thin, no doubt, but it’s not likely they’ll make you healthy. The “carbs make you fat” statement is a myth.
Nevertheless, there still are women willing to go on celebrity diets regardless of the possible ill consequences. If you insist on following this program anyway, we recommend that you seek the assistance of an “integrative” healthcare professional or a nutritionist friend who can guide you through the Dukan Diet’s phases and make sure you emerge safely and sans the fat.