Weight loss tips: What is the Dukan Diet?

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PHOENIX – It’s the program many believe Kate Middleton used to drop weight before her wedding – the Dukan Diet – and now it's catching on in the U.S.

The Dukan Diet has been one of the most popular diets in France since its introduction in 2000.

Created by French physician Dr. Pierre Dukan, the four-step program is designed to help you lose weight quickly and keep it off. What many people like is that Dukan guides you through each day with the goal of redesigning your eating habits.

One of the keys to the Dukan Diet is oat bran. It’s the one thing you will eat every day. Dukan advises that you have 1.5 to 3 tablespoons each day to help fill you up. It’s doesn’t matter how you take it, but it’s important that you do take it.

Water is also extremely important. You need to drink at least 1.5 liters per day.

Registered dietitian Patti Milligan ran through the steps of the Dukan Diet with Tara Hitchcock.

The program starts with five days of nothing but lean protein, water and the oat bran.

“In a way, it’s kind of like scrub brushing your intestines,” Milligan said. “That’s calorie control. There’s only so much lean protein you can eat.”

With the second phase, you continue with the protein and add in some vegetables. That phase lasts up to two weeks.

The third phase is the “consolidation” phase. At this point, you introduce some fruit and whole grains, as well as an extra serving of carbs. Once a week, you can have a “celebration” meal. That goes up to twice a week once you’ve been in the phase for awhile.

“What’s great about it is there shouldn’t be deprivation,” Milligan said. “He plans that in.”

The length of the consolidation phase depends on how much weight you have loss. It’s three to five days for every pound.

The stabilization phase is designed for maintenance. Basically, you can have what you like as long as you keep the guidelines of the consolidation phase in mind. One day a week, you’ll restrict yourself to protein only.

“We like road maps,” Milligan said. “I think what he lays out very clearly is what to eat as you go throughout your day.”

While the Dukan makes use of water and fiber, processed food and sodas are conspicuously excluded.