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Dukan Diet vs. Mediterranean Diet: Think Long-Term

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The Dukan diet, based on the French diet plan by Doctor Pierre Dukan is set to hit America by storm soon. This diet will be what everyone is talking about, a new diet trend similar to the Atkins diet plan.  The Dukan diet, already with 10 years of success in France is also a big hit over in the United Kingdom where it was introduced about a year or so ago.  And now it is coming to the good ole USA.  The diet, a high protein eating plan based on four stages is already causing a stir for those anxious to try it. Apparently Kate Middleton is even using it to slim down for her upcoming wedding.  And why not? She wants to lose weight quickly and this diet does that.


In the first stage, or “The Attack”  you are only allowed to eat pure protein, sea food and dairy products that are fat-free.  There is no limit to the quantity, just the quality.  You must stick to these high protein foods until moving to the next stage “The Cruise” where you can introduce vegetables.  During this second stage you alternate between days of eating only pure protein with days of protein and vegetables.  During the third stage, called “The Consolidation” other types of foods are slowly introduced into the diet.  This is the most critical stage of the diet, success here means success in the long-term.  The last stage, or “The Stabilization” requires one day of an all protein eating along with daily intake of oat bran.

Why will this Atkins-like diet be the next big diet fad to hit the states?  Simple:  this diet will help you lose weight (especially in Phase One “The Attack”) and doing this with very little restriction and deprivation.

As a registered dietitian living in France and having friends on this diet I can tell you from seeing it first hand:  this diet works.  Can I advocate you using it?  No.  Could this diet be potentially dangerous?  Yes.  Will you listen to me if I tell you not to do this diet but you desperately want to lose weight?  No.  That is why this diet will be tried by many.  Desperate situations require “desperate” solutions.  My friends on this diet are looking to shed pounds quickly, for a vacation, a wedding, a big event, a big date.  It will work.  But this eating plan, as with most diets, will probably result in gaining the weight back and could risk your health in the meantime.  Please, if you have any serious health issues check with your GP before starting this diet.  I am lucky…Uhm…never needed to lose weight and have a high metabolism.  I exercise enough and lastly I follow a special eating plan that does work for me, includes eating everything with healthy pleasure eating and keeps my weight stable.  This eating plan seems to be a beneficial way of eating without deprivation and feeling great without mood swings.  How?  By eating healthy lean proteins and fats.

A long-term eating plan that includes these two main constituents of healthy fats and proteins seem to work better than these low-fat high carbohydrate plans. One of the biggest studies done recently on nutrition, from the Women’s Health Initiative Dietary Modification Trial, showed no real benefits from a low-fat diet.   See two articles published here on “Frenchy Eating for Pleasure and Good Health:  Healthy Protein and Fats, plus “Lose Weight the French Way, Eat Fat” . A long-term eating plan based on “realistic” eating is something that dieters or those looking to get and stay healthy will stick to.  A healthy diet based on abundance of fruits and vegetables, lean proteins and vegetable fats is a more realistic approach.  If you read the articles above on healthy proteins and fats you will see a nutrition plan based on the Mediterranean diet.  However, each person is individual with a different genetic background and nutritional needs, varied cultural and budget restraints.  What works for some may not work for everyone.  Check out the articles and if you are interested in following the Dukan diet and have any questions, do not hesitate to contact me.  If you are serious about trying the Dukan diet, check with your general doctor first to be sure you are a good candidate for this.

The Dukan diet has its disadvantages, it can be dangerous and like every diet, it is very difficult to stick with long-term.  This morning I did a mini sondage (survey) with some French friends.  One friend had two family members use the Dukan diet.  Each lost about 46-53 lbs (21-24 kilograms).  Both on the diet regained all the weight back.  Try the long-term healthy protein and fat plan, the Mediterranean diet regime rather than using the Dukan diet plan.  A real “diet” pleasure with enjoying your 5 a day fruits and vegetables.  And you can eat your carbohydrates, in moderation with slowing down on bread and French baguettes!

Has any of you readers tried this Dukan Diet?  Have a say and leave a comment below.

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11 Responses to Dukan Diet vs. Mediterranean Diet: Think Long-Term

  1. Vanessa Silva November 5, 2016 at 20:48 #

    I must say that I have been doing Dukan and didn’t feel bad or with health problems, but I would not do Cruise for more than 4 months. Some people may do it in the wrong way, without getting to know the instructions. It is also important to check health through exams before and during any diet too.

  2. Tanya L M February 26, 2013 at 00:45 #

    I did the Atkins diet. Lost a lot of weight – had lots of bruising. Not a good diet. And yes, I gained the weight back.

    Tried the Mediterranean diet – not so well.

    My Endocrinologist just recommended the Dukan diet. So I am stunned it is rated with the Atkins.

    (Didn’t Dr Atkins die of a heart attack?)


    • mbrighton February 26, 2013 at 09:45 #

      Hi Tanya, there is controversy on Dr. Atkin’s death. Both sides (pro and against) have different opinions on his death and whether the diet contributed to it. Will you do the Dukan diet? This diet, like Atkins and others have a high rate of gaining the weight back. But it does work in the short term. I do not think this diet is as ‘cardiovascular’ unfriendly as the Atkins diet. Let me know how it turns out.

  3. Kevin rogers March 11, 2012 at 02:35 #

    The atkins diet does work but it also causes muscle loss and when you slip the weight comes back on two folds. It seems all diests do that.

  4. dukan diet diarrhea November 14, 2011 at 10:58 #

    The popularity of dukan diet is increasing day day.But the Dukan diet has its disadvantages, it can be dangerous and like every diet, it is very difficult to stick with long-term.So long term healthy protein and fat diet might be useful.So thanks for this information.

    dukan diet diarrhea

  5. Greg March 19, 2011 at 17:32 #

    Hi to you!
    Yes, we are busy with the goats – soon enough for us to make yogurt and ice cream!
    By the way, I did lose weight on South Beach Diet and I do think I am a bit insulin resistant so I do watch the carbs and lean on the protein more.
    Take care – off to clean the barn!

  6. Greg March 19, 2011 at 03:21 #

    No, this won’t work but people will by it. Have you heard of the Carb Lovers Diet? A big hit here in the states – a reaction to Atkins, low-carb a Yin/Yang.
    I definately eat carbs but in moderation and I make them whole.
    Best to you!

    • mbrighton March 19, 2011 at 16:44 #

      Hi Greg! You must really need some of those carbs to keep your energy up for all that wonderful news over there on your farm! Everything in moderation…right? What works for you is the best solution. A Mediterranean diet, high in lean proteins, big portions of veggies and good healthy fats work well for me…staying away from too manyFrench baguettes. Continued success over there!


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