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Does the Dukan diet work?

The Dukan diet is the brainchild Dr Pierre Dukan. Kate Middleton, Victoria Beckham and Jennifer Lopez are allegedly some of its famous followers.

The diet follows different stages. The first is the ‘attack’ phase which advocates the intake of high protein foods to help with rapid weight loss. The ‘cruise’ phase is still high protein, but includes specific vegetables to aid weight loss. Then the 'consolidation' and 'stabilisation' stages help to ensure that the weight stays off.

Many followers love the diet, which Dukan himself has been promoting for over 30 years. But does the Dukan diet actually work?

If your aim is to lose weight quickly rather than implement a healthier diet, then yes - it works. But if you want to lose weight healthily and sustainably then steer clear.

When speaking about the Dukan diet, the British Dietetic Association said: "There is absolutely no solid science behind this at all," and went on to say that cutting out food groups is not advisable. The French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety issued warnings about nutritional deficiencies of diets like the Dukan and also stated that most people who follow restrictive diets tend to put the weight back on.

In one study, 80% of Dukan followers put the weight back on over a period of four years, 35% of which regained the weight after a year.

Restrictive diets can be potentially dangerous because they are not nutritionally balanced. They tend to be low in vitamins and minerals, high in salt and low in fibre, which can lead to digestive problems, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and a range of other health problems. If you want to lose weight the healthy way, consult your doctor for a tailored weight loss plan.

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