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Dukan Diet: The French Atkins-Like Weight Loss Method

First Posted: 03/22/11 11:47 AM ET Updated: 05/25/11 07:40 PM ET

Dukan Diet

The Dukan Diet has taken France by storm, selling 3.5 million copies in 14 different languages and being hailed as a life-long weight loss answer.

But many Americans have never heard of it.

Well they will next month when the diet books make their American debut, according to the New York Times. Dr. Pierre Dukan, the diet's creator, sold the North American Rights for $1.3 million up front.

But the diet may be nothing more than a glorified Atkins impersonator.

The NYT summed it all up in one paragraph:

His own diet's high-protein, low-fat approach is organized into four phases: attack, cruise, consolidation and stabilization. The first encourages dieters to eat as much as they want of nonfatty, protein rich foods, including oat bran (a key component) washed down with oceans of water. The second stage introduces vegetables, but no fruit; the third brings with it two slices of bread, a serving of cheese and fruit and two servings of carbohydrates a day, with two weekly "celebration" meals with wine and dessert (the diet is French, after all); and the final stage six days a week of "anything goes" and one day of reversion to strict protein-only stage one -- for the rest of your life.

According to the New York Times article, the diet has become such a staple of French culture that almost any public figure that loses weight is labeled as a "Dukanniste," including Carole Middleton, the mother of Kate Middleton. There have been rumors that the princess-to-be is also on the diet in preparation for the royal wedding, according to ABC News.

Critics claim it's really nothing more than a fad. Dr. David Katz, Director of Yale University's Prevention Research Center, called it the new fad diet for 2011. According to CBS, many critics even believe the diet may be wholly unhealthy and unsustainable.

The program differs a bit from the Atkin's diet, and time will tell if it's a fad or a lasting method of weight-loss.

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Filed by Dean Praetorius  |