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The Dukan Diet, also known as the princess diet, is a diet plan originating in France. It is a protein-based diet designed by French doctor Pierre Dukan. Although Dukan has been promoting his diet for over 30 years, it gained greater popularity after publication of his book in 2000. His book The Dukan Diet has sold more than 10 million copies globally. The book has since been translated into 14 languages and published in 32 countries. The Dukan Diet was released in the United Kingdom in May 2010, and in the United States in April 2011.
In 1975, Pierre Dukan was a general practitioner in Paris when he was first confronted with a case of obesity. At the time, being overweight or obese was thought to be best treated by low calorie and small sized meals. Dukan thought of an alternative way to prevent patients from regaining their lost weight. He designed a new approach in 4 phases, including stabilisation and consolidation. After more than 20 years of research Pierre Dukan published his findings in 2000 in his book Je ne sais pas maigrir (I don't know how to get slimmer) which became a best seller.
In July 2011 a French court ruled against Dukan in his attempt to sue rival nutritionist Jean-Michel Cohen for libel, after Cohen had criticised his method in the press.
The diet is based on a list of over 100 allowed foods, as well as four specific ground pillars also known as phases: attack, cruise, consolidation, and stabilization.
The attack phase is designed to enable dieters to rapidly lose 2 to 3 kilograms (4.4 to 6.6 lb) in 2–7 days by kick-starting their metabolism. Dieters are allowed to eat as much as they want of 72 protein-rich foods.
The cruise phase is designed to allow dieters to more gradually achieve the weight they aim for by eating protein-rich foods with the addition of 28 specific vegetables. The length of this phase is usually calculated as 1 kilogram (2.2 lb) of weight loss per week, but this is based on specific personal conditions. Tolerated foods are also allowed as per the programme, but any weight gain will ban some of these.
The consolidation phase is designed to help in preventing any future massive weight gain. During this phase, fruit, bread, cheese and starchy foods are reintroduced into a normal diet, leaving two celebratory meals a week as directed by the plan.
Finally, in the stabilization phase, dieters can essentially eat whatever they want without gaining weight by following a few rules: protein day once a week, eating oat bran every day and making a commitment to "take the stairs". According to Dukan, dieters shall follow this last phase for the rest of their life to avoid regaining weight. Ofcourse the glycemic index (on a scale from 1 to 100) of the kind of carbohydrate consumed is also of importance (see the GI diet).
The French magazine L'Express' list of the top 20 non-fiction books for the week of December 27, 2010 ranked La Méthode Dukan Illustrée in 19th place.
Channel Four included the Dukan Diet in the program Will my crash diet kill me? on 26 January 2011.
In 2010, 2011 and 2012, The British Dietetic Association named the Dukan Diet the number 1 diet to avoid.