Dukan Diet: What You Need to Know

Getting Started

A quick start is the Dukan Diet calling card. Dukan advertises that the plan will help dieters shed a pound or two per day during the initial "attack" phase, and Dukan himself claims those results will provide the necessary motivation to stay on the plan.

Of course, people delving into the Dukan Diet must be ready to make a serious, if short-term, commitment to the plan's rather exacting restrictions. Pack away the alcohol, and all the breads and crackers. Oh, and the fruit and vegetables will have to go, too. You can drink all you want, provided you're drinking water.

While the Atkins Diet permitted a minimal amount of natural fats, such as certain vegetables, Dukan's diet has no such "extravagance" during the first phase. In short, you'll have to get by on lean meats, seafood, poultry, nonfat cottage cheese and oats -- and large portions of good old H2O. Since the total number of calories is dramatically curtailed, weight loss is all but guaranteed. But is it permanent?

Up next: What are the Dukan advantages?