the Duchess DIET


Reports suggesting that Catherine Middleton dropped two sizes due to a high-protein diet has made the Dukan Diet a fat success

It's a Royal diet. A high-protein, low-carb, low-fat plan, it reportedly helped Kate Middleton now Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge drop two dress sizes. As Prince William's bride walked down the aisle last Friday, looking slimmer than ever, she also inadvertently became a muse for those who want to follow the Dukan Diet, rustled up by French doctor Pierre Dukan in 2000.

The 29-year-old duchess had reportedly been introduced to the diet by her mother Carole Middleton, and is one of the biggest reasons that the book The Dukan Diet, is suddenly on the best-seller charts across the world. Its tagline, "The Real Reason the French Stay Thin" adds to the stereotype of the French who eat all the time but never put on weight. Among those who have picked up the book is Delhi-based theatreperson Sanjna Kapoor. "It's a good book and a good diet. I am following it," she says.

The Dukan Diet is based on the type of food the hunter-gatherers ate, and it works in four phases. The first is the "Attack Phase" consisting only of protein like beef, fish, shellfish, eggs or paneer and tofu. Herbs and spices, sugar substitutes, tea and coffee also get a permanent green signal. Dukan provides a list of 67 high-protein foods, as well as fat-free dairy products and sugar-free gelatin that result in immediate, noticeable weight loss. The "Attack Phase", that can last from two to 10 days, may sound easy until you realise that oil is forbidden and you must grill, steam or bake your meat or paneer. And, as dieters soon realise, eating out can become a challenge.

This is followed by "Cruise Phase" when a dieter reaches the desired weight, steadily losing weight by alternating pure protein and protein-plus-vegetable days. The length of this phase depends on weight loss. "The vegetables are the good part of the diet. After all, for how long can one keep eating only meat or tofu and paneer?" says city-based nutritionist Ishi Khosla, who gives a thumbs up to the oat bran that is a permanent must-eat in this diet.

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