While new diet plans seem to emerge every day, only a select few seem to enjoy the benefit of being the latest ''it'' diet. The Dukan Diet plan is certainly enjoying this privilege as everyone is talking about it. Discover the basic principles of this new diet and decide for yourself if this plan really deserves the hype.

Although the basic principles of weight loss might be easy to understand, many people feel the need to have a certain structure to follow to be able to reach their weight loss goals. This might be one of the main reason why new diet plans are always received with a lot of enthusiasm. Among the hot new diets that have become extremely popular lately is the Dukan diet. This diet plan has been created by Dr. Pierre Dukan and it is rumored to have many celebrity fans such as Jennifer Lopez and Nicole Kidman.

The new diet plan, which nutritional experts see as a fairly accurate replica of the Atkin's diet, consists of four parts and it's essentially a high protein one. Dieters who hate complicated calorie counting or weighting foods to keep their caloric intake in check will surely be relieved by the fact that these behaviors are not required for this diet plan. Those who struggle with not eating after a certain hour or before bedtime might also be relieved to know that this is not a requirement for this diet plan. Let's explore each phase of the diet a little deeper in order to get a better understanding of it.

Phase 1 - Attack
This is the most drastic phase of the diet. It lasts from 1 to 10 days, depending on how much weight you want to lose. As expected, this is the most accelerated phase in the weight loss process, which often serves as an incentive to keep going and creating a sense of progress and achievement. During this phase a variety protein rich foods (aside from pork or lamb meat) and non fat condiments such as herbs and spices, vinegar, salt or mustard are allowed. Opting for non-fat dairy is advised. In addition to protein rich foods, one and a half teaspoons of oatmeal everyday is also permitted. Consuming 1.5 liters of water is also encouraged, but dieters are also allowed to have other calorie free drinks as well. Losing between seven to ten pounds in the first five days is considered normal during this stage.

Phase 2 - Cruise
Unlike the first phase, which should not be followed for more than 10 days, this stage should be followed until the desired weight is achieved. In this phase, low fat, protein rich foods are alternated with non-starchy vegetables. Dieters can choose from no less than 28 vegetables, however, carrots, peas potatoes and corn are avoided. Vegetables can be consumed any way you like: in soups and stews, raw, steamed or boiled. In this stage, losing a pound or two weekly can be expected.

Phase 3 - The Consolidation Phase
Being the maintenance stage, this phase is more permissive compared to the first two. Now, a portion of fruit and two slices of whole grain bread daily are also allowed. In addition, one extra portion of carbs per week and 1-2 servings of starchy vegetables are encouraged. One or two meals per week without restriction are also permitted.

Phase 4 - The Stabilization Phase
This phase is one that focuses on embracing the diet as a lifestyle plan and has very little restrictions. Dieters can go back to eating what they want as long as they have one day per week in which they consume only protein rich foods. The third phase of the diet can be used as guideline if necessary.

Taking vitamin supplements and walking 20 to 30 minutes daily is strongly recommended as well. While this diet can certainly deliver on its promise, quick weight loss, and doesn't have many complex rules, experts see a lot of potential disadvantages. First of all, this diet is not suitable for those with high cholesterol, kidney problems or gout. Secondly, side effects such and headaches, lethargy, bad breath or moodiness are not uncommon. This diet can also be hard to follow by those who don't eat a lot of animal products and can easily lead to boredom. In addition, the lost weight can be easily regained.

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