Dukan Diet Review - Does This Diet Really Work? Are outrageous claims and restrictions deal breakers?
Dukan Diet isn’t your grandmother’s diet product. We looked at the ingredients, side effects, clinical support, and customer service. Then, we read through hundreds of user comments to see what people really thought. We summarized and condensed everything to help you get the bottom line.
What is Dukan Diet?
Firstly, the Dukan Diet is a weight-loss plan that offers a “nutritional staircase”, weight calculator and pre-packaged foods. The original focuses on 100 allowed foods and four stages. A recent change to the program moves that to seven steps that focuses on gradual, sustainable steps.
The diet is named after French doctor and nutritionist Pierre Dukan, who developed it in 2000. There’s no date as to when the second plan was introduced, but it was at least 10 years after the first. We like that it suggests daily exercise and was created by an expert, but read on…
Outrageous Weight-Loss Claims – “Unhealthy Pace”
The first thing we noticed is the claim that you can lose 10 pounds in the first week and never gain it back. This was associated with the first plan. “Weight-loss that’s any faster than one to two pounds a week is not sustainable,” said our Research Editor. “The new plan seems to be a little more on that track.”
”I lost weight, but I felt like I was starving the whole time,” said one annoyed dieter.
”I only lost four pounds the first week,” said another.
But, others disagreed.
“The fast weight-loss the first week is what gave me the motivation to keep going,” exclaimed a dieter.
“I couldn’t believe how easy this plan was to follow,” said another thrilled customer.
Dietary Restrictions – “Hard to Stick To”
It gets easier the further along you go, but for the first 10 days, you can only eat all the lean protein you can handle, with 1.5 tablespoons of oat bran, and at least 6 cups of water. In the next phase, where you can stay for months, you can eat all the non-starchy vegetables you want, and 2 tablespoons of oat bran. Then, you can add back one piece of fruit, and one serving of dairy, two slices of whole grain bread, and a serving of hard cheese. When you’ve reached your weight-loss goal, you follow the first stage of the plan one day a week.
A less-than-happy customer said, ”It works, but when you add carbs back, you gian it back..”
”This was hard for me as a picky eater,” according to one review.
Still, many dieters had great things to say about the Dukan Diet.
We found one woman who claimed, “This encourages you to stick to complex carbs, not the simple ones that make you fat.”
“I lost 30 pounds with this plan and I love it!,” said another happy user.
We’ve learned that dieters will turn to other products and solutions if they see one small issue with something. The unreal weight-loss claims and dietary restrictions with the Dukan Diet are enough to send customers looking elsewhere.
The Science – “Maybe?”
The basic concept of focusing on lean protein and complex carbs is solid. Limiting simple carbohydrates is a good choice and can promote weight-loss. There’s not necessarily any science or reasoning to the phases in the program, however.
At DietSpotlight, we want to see science before we can recommend any product. Even when the science is there, we want it to be safe and healthy for our readers, and we want it to be easy for them to stick to.
The Bottom Line – Does Dukan Diet Work?
What’s the real deal with Dukan Diet? It’s got a solid foundation of nutritional basics, by suggesting that you should limit your simple carb intake. But the phases and limitations can make it difficult for a lot of people to follow long term, which may mean people give up. That leaves us with some strong reservations.
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Previous Dukan Diet Review (Updated August 21, 2013):
What You Should KnowThe Dukan Diet is an exciting diet program that comes to us straight from France. The French have certainly milked their reputation for thinness, so what does The Dukan diet bring to the table? The Dukan Diet’s main promise is “unique and personalized weight loss coaching.” How does it deliver? The official website for Dukan is a slick online weight loss portal. The website is very impressive, offering community chat rooms, recipes, and weight loss tip content. It seems that Pierre Dukan, the eponymous founder the The Dukan Diet, also often pops in for an online chat with his clients. There also seems to be a weight loss contest and, of course, The Dukan Diet Recipe Book is available for sale. Most recently, the Dukan Diet has been making headlnes as it is linked to Kate Middleton, Prince William's soon-to-be-bride.
List Of IngredientsNot applicable.
Product DetailsSo once you get past the hype, what all goes into the Dukan Diet? The Dukan website goes out of its way to promote their “Online Slimming Coach” feature. Is this a real person who answers your weight loss questions? It was a little difficult to find out. It seems that, when signing up for this diet, readers need to answer eleven questions. After signing the deal, you must answer a further eighty questions. Based on your answers to these questions, you are given a “personal slimming assessment” that outlines your weight loss strengths and weaknesses, and lays out a plan for attaining your desired weight and keeping you that way. Our first question was, “Does a real person write up your assessment?” Unfortunately, we could not find a straight answer to this question, making us think these assessments are pre-written and automatically generated based on your replies to the 80-question preliminary sign up form. This certainly doesn’t invalidate this diet, but it does take something away from their “personal” angle. We also learn that Dr. Dukan has developed and patented something called DER, which stands for “Daily Email Return.” The website boasts that this is an “interactive loop.” You receive an email every morning and report back on your day’s activities—presumably on your eating and exercise, although this is not specified. The DER takes this into consideration and sends you a modified email the next morning. Again, it is unclear if this is a human writing to you, or a set of triggered automatic responses. Apparently, there are 100 ingredients and 750 recipes that go with the Dukan Diet, and signing up online grants you access to all of these.
- Easy to sign up online.
- User testimonials are featured on the official website.
- It is unclear whether the Dukan Diet features human nutritionists, or if it’s an automated weight loss choose-your-own-adventure.
- We were not able to determine how much the Dukan Diet costs monthly.
- If diet and exercise have not worked for you in the past, we see little to set this diet apart from what you’ve already tried.