What You Need To Know About The #1 Diet Book (Dukan Diet)

The Dukan Diet

April 25, 2011   20 Comments

A brand new diet book hit #1 on the New York Times bestseller list, "The Dukan Diet" by Dr. Pierre Dukan. And, Snack Girl was excited!

This book promised to tell me the REAL reason the French stay thin. Hurray!

Snack Girl is ALWAYS on the hunt for new ideas to help her and YOU (my dear reader) lose weight and be healthier. So, I requested a copy from the publisher and got readin'.

Ummm, so he suggests that I eat nothing but grilled meat for FIVE days to begin the diet.

Huh? That suggestion is counter to everything I have learned about nutrition and health (forget saving the planet). So, I did what an informed reader does and looked for the BIBLIOGRAPHY.

How did he formulate his diet? I decided to check out his citations (research papers he read to come up with his methods) and then I can understand why he is suggesting solely meat for five days.

And, surprisingly, there was no bibliography. That is right, dear readers, no scientific research supporting his "Dukan Diet".

That is when I kinda lost it. So, the Dukan Diet is "Atkins without the fat", and I am sure you will lose weight on it. You will also be constipated, feel lethargic, and have bad breath. You could potentially harm your kidneys with all that protein in your diet.

Look, I know we are all desperate to lose weight, but this is not the way to go about it. Not only do you want to shed pounds, but you should want to get HEALTHIER not UNHEALTHIER.

The Dukan Diet relies on you eating a lot of protein and very little of anything else. It is inflexible, unrealistic, and drastic.

I have been asked many times about my favorite diet book. I love "Eat, Drink, and Weigh Less" by Dr. Walter Willett and Mollie Katzen (see below).


Well, first of all there is a bibliography. The diet is based on a study of 127,000 people! This diet suggests you eat lots of fruits and vegetables, reduce your meat intake, and eat whole grains (among other things). The recipes are easy and delicious and the plan will bring you the holy grail of health AND weight loss.

Dr. Walter Willett is the Chair of the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health and has published over 1,000 scientific articles on various aspects of diet and disease.

Who are you going to trust? A French doctor who has experimented on his own patients for 35 years or Dr. Walter Willett?

Maybe Dr. Willett should put on a beret, change his name to Dr. Fromage, and republish his book as the "Dr. Fromage Diet". Instant bestseller!

Eat, Drink, and Weigh Less: A Flexible and Delicious Way to Shrink Your Waist Without Going Hungry

$16.99   $12.14

Amazon.com   Barnes & Noble

The Dukan Diet: 2 Steps to Lose the Weight, 2 Steps to Keep It Off Forever

$27.00   $19.82

Amazon.com   Barnes & Noble

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well, if ate nothing but grilled meat for 5 days, I am sure I would loose weight. Why? Because after the second day, I would be so tired of meat, I would eat hardly anything at all. That is way all restricted food diets work.

on April 25, 2011

This diet has been getting so much press with Kate Middleton and her mom on it - appreciate you taking the time to give us the real "skinny" (sorry, I couldn't resist). Anything extrene is a bad idea and Atkins without the fat sounds like a very bad idea.

on April 25, 2011

And Kate has gone from a healthy-looking size ten to an anorexic-looking size 4. She does not look healthy! She may be one sick princess soon!

on April 25, 2011

i just bought the 17 day diet by Mike Moreno...any thoughts?

on April 25, 2011

After having lived in France, I can tell you what they do to stay trim. Everything in moderation, lots of fruit and veggies. If you do have cheese, no dessert and vice versa and fruit counts as dessert as well. There is A LOT of walking involved. They do drink wine, but usually only one glass if it's just a regular evening. No pop (soda), only water. Eat breakfast everyday. That's pretty much it!

on April 25, 2011

Meat is not the criminal that everyone makes it out to be. However, this diet is crazy! The best way to lose weight is to have a balanced diet so you get all the nutrients you need. You do need protein!
When my husband was younger, he was a missionary's kid living in Indonesia. They traveled to some other city where they were guests in someone's home for one week. The hosts gave them meat for every meal - and hardly anything else! They were only thinking, Americans love meat, so we must give them meat! By the end of that week, my husband and his father were incredibly constipated and CRAVING vegetables. The first thing out of my husband's mouth when he got home were "Give me some vegetables!"

on April 25, 2011

Thank you so much for posting!!!

on April 25, 2011

Great post Snack Girl! I recently listened to a great lecture by Dr. Willette, and he even has a sense of humor! After finishing the lengthy lecture he mentioned his books. He said that even if you felt you didn't get much out of reading them, he was sure that if you mixed one up in a Vitamix with enough olive oil, you'd be sure to get at least 18 grams of fiber ;-)

on April 25, 2011

THANK YOU! I just bought the 17 Day Diet and was so mad to see that it was just another low carb / no carb diet. I'm so tired of all the BS out there! I'm a huge Mollie Katzen fan and will be purchasing Eat, Drink and Weigh Less. I only wish I could return a kindle book and get my money back for the 17 Day Diet book.

on April 25, 2011

Thanks for the post. Diets suck, I'm so sick of gimmicks. My sister-in-law is on Herbalife (replace 2 meals with 2 shakes), my mother-in-law just switched from Nutrisystem (gross) to Sensa (double gross). SO TIRED OF HEARING ABOUT THIS DIET NONSENSE!! I myself have decided to weight in less and take it one day at a time with food. I know how to eat healthy, whether I do it or not is up to me.

on April 25, 2011

Thank you, Snack Girl! Can I ask what you think of the Paleo Diet? Haven't seen the book yet to check for citations but, if you've seen it what do you think?

on April 25, 2011

That is really interesting. Thanks for saving us the price of a book!

on April 25, 2011

Glad. . . you weed out crazy diet books, so we don't have to. Thanks! I love Dr. Oz and Dr. Roizen's You On A Diet. Not rocket science (lots of whole grains, veggies, fruits, and a few lean meats), but the recipes are all delicious and it makes sense to me. My husband lost 35 pounds following this book's principals and I feel great and shed about 10 pounds. Can't wait to check out your diet book pick from my library.

on April 25, 2011

Snack girl, have you ever read anything on the Diet Solution Program? What do you think about it if you have? If you haven't, I would love for you to study it and let me know what you think.

on April 25, 2011

I've been doing Dukan since March 30th and have lost 4 lbs. on it (which is extraordinarily fast for me). And my bodyfat percentage has dropped by 3% so it's not just water weight. I haven't had any problems with lethargy or constipation. In fact, I'm getting between 20 & 40 grams of fiber per day because of all the vegetables and oat bran I've been eating.

The "pure protein" is only the first 1-10 days (I did 2) and then vegetables are added back in.

I was doing Sonoma prior to trying Dukan but had plateaued. Dukan helped me blast through the plateau and I'm feeling great.

I've looked at Paleo but don't think I can give up dairy if I'm already giving up grains and legumes.

on April 26, 2011

I love you for telling it like it is, Snack Girl!

on April 26, 2011

I believe in individuality. What works for me might be a death sentence for you. Based on your metabolic profile and your blood type each individual should decide what works best for you in terms of weight, and your energy level. I enjoy eating lean grass fed meat, cage free chicken and wild fish, but not at the expense of foregoing my veggies. I can't live without good quality healthy fats either. Nothing tastes as good as being healthy feels....

on April 26, 2011

While I am not necessarily a fan of the Dukan Diet; I have investigated it. You should explain the whole program before you put it down. It has 4 phases and you eventually get to the point that you are eating a completely ordinary diet and having one-day of pure protein per week. It also gives a plan for when you reach your goal weight and how to maintain it.

Please give all the facts or none at all, please.

on April 28, 2011

I am currently reading Dr. Dukan's book. And, the review above is right...and wrong. There is more than just "meat" in the first phase for the protein choice. Egg whites---guess what??---can also be defined as pure protein; is considered the most perfect protein, and encouraged in his protein stage, as are vegan choices as well. So, I'd advise any reader who is negative after the "telling it like it is" reviews and comments to check out the book themselves,and note
that guess what again?? veggies ARE introduced after the pure "protein"---NOT MEAT ONLY---stage is complete and tailored for the individual. Equating protein as "meat only" is so provincial,
and so totally wrong.

Get the facts right, please.

on April 28, 2011

The fact that I am highlighting in this article is that there is no scientific basis for the Dukan Diet - that is irrefutable. I decided not to explain the diet in full, because I want in NO way to promote it.
Snack Girl is not an unbiased journalistic source - it is an opinion page - and while that can be frustrating for readers - I believe most of them understand that these posts reflect my opinion.
I read the entire book and felt it wasn't worth sharing all the details when the diet itself is extremely suspect.

on April 29, 2011

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