Dukan Diet: What You Need to Know

Benefits of the Plan

There is little debate that the Dukan Diet will help you lose weight. And quickly. That alone is enough of a sales pitch to persuade many to try it.

Plus, the plan is simple, which is a big bonus for many of us who are leading exceedingly complicated lives. You don't have to count calories, or be concerned about portion sizes. The diet allows you to pretty much eat as much as you want, anytime you want, provided you're nibbling on lean protein (and a small helping of oats) and guzzling plenty of water.

High-protein diets are also effective at suppressing appetite, meaning that participants feel fuller longer and that prevents excessive eating [source: Hatfield].

Celebrity health expert Dr. Mehmet Oz told a "Good Morning! Arizona" television audience that he was initially unconvinced by the diet before having a sit-down chat with Dukan. "By the time you're done with his program, you can eat whatever you want -- literally whatever you desire -- except one day a week," he said. "One day a week, he wants you back on the strict diet. If you do that, he says you will not gain weight.

"By the time you've done the first part of the diet, you've learned how to eat well and you're on a program that's not that difficult," said Oz [source: Holland].

The plan also calls for 20 minutes of exercise daily, such as brisk walking, while encouraging dieters to skip the escalators and elevators. Though that hardly constitutes an exercise regimen, most experts agree that an exercise component is essential to any reasonable weight-loss plan.

There are, however, concerns.