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The Dukan Diet: Putting fat cells on a weight-loss plan

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How is it that the French can devour as much cheese, crème, chocolate, bread and wine as they like and still maintain their slim fashion-fit figures? The trick to it is having only one day of protein — affectionately called “Protein Thursdays”, says Dr Pierre Dukan, the French nutritionist behind the Dukan diet.

For the past 10 years the Dukan diet has successfully helped people in France manage their weight, says the author. It promises fast weight loss and allows you to eat what you like except on a protein-fueled day, the UK’s Daily Mail reported.

Dr Dukan says a person’s size is determined by the number of fat cells they are born with and if you are born with a large number of fat cells you have a greater capacity to gain weight.

Not surprisingly, eating unhealthy or too much food leads to weight gain, and eventually the fat cells reach the limit of their elasticity. When that happens, fat cells can divide into two “daughter” cells, doubling the body’s fat storage capacity.

To combat this, Dr Dukan says you need a diet where you introduce pure protein days as well as days where proteins are mixed with vegetables, called “alternative proteins” day.

The problem is, when you eat badly or too much and gain weight, your adipocytes put on weight too, becoming distended. If this continues, the adipocytes ‘hypertrophy’, or enlarge, and eventually reach the limit of their elasticity.

At this critical moment, if you continue to live unhealthily, each adipocyte cell will divide into two daughter cells, doubling your body’s capacity to make and store fat.

It also makes dieting much harder because although you may be able to reduce the size of your adipocytes, the daughter cells will never become a single mother cell again.

Having worked with tens of thousands of patients, Dr Dukan believes the crisis point happens when your body mass index (BMI) reaches 28, making managing and controlling your weight more complicated.But after ten years of widespread use in France, the Dukan Diet has been proven to help the obese as well as those with only a few pounds to lose.

The Dukan diet consists of four stages Source: Daily Mail

1. Attack Eating protein exclusively for up to 10 days, including meat, fish and non-fat dairy products.

2. Cruise You can have unlimited vegetables during this period, where you alternate protein-only days with vegetable and protein days.

3. Consolidation During the consolidation period, eat protein and vegetables every day. Add one piece of fruit, two slices of bread and a serving of cheese each day. Have a couple of starchy meals (such as pasta or risotto) each week as well as a couple of celebration meals where you eat what you like.

4. Stabilisation There’s one rule during stabilisation: only eat protein on Thursdays. Everything else can be eaten without restriction.

The Dukan Diet by Dr Pierre Dukan will be published by Hodder & Stoughton in May, 2010.

For more information,

French Womens’ diet secret

The Dukan Diet: Put your fat cells on a revolutionary weight-loss plan 

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