It's the weight loss program that's taken the world by storm. Celebrities and members of the royal family swear by the Dukan Diet because you can shed as much as three kilos a week. For the first time, the master of diets, Dr. Pierre Dukan, talks to Australians, granting an exclusive interview to Helen Wellings in Paris, the home of his Dukan diet. He reveals how easy it is to lose weight for life, be the happiest you've ever been and he talks about his new calorie burning recipes.
"That is the symbol of the enemy that is an Italian one, not a French one. So no ice-cream and no bench. If you sit down that is the symbol of sedentary, so no, no." laughs Dr. Pierre Dukan at a giant plastic ice-cream in central Paris.
It worked a treat for the new royal Kate Middleton, her mum Carol and sister Pippa. Supermodel Giselle Bundchen and singer Jennifer Lopez, are among scores of celebrities who embrace the Dukan eating program. But the weight loss guru says it's for anyone wanting to lose weight.
"It's easy, it's easy, everywhere in Australia, America, France, Germany anywhere you eat too much carbs, and too much fat," he said.
The most famous weight loss program started here in Paris, the City of Light, forty years ago. Over those last four decades the Dukan diet has attracted twelve million followers in France alone, twenty-four million globally, and is expanding every year.
Dr. Pierre Dukan, a medical practitioner and nutritionist, has seen his massive Diet empire spread to twenty countries. The Dukan Diet and its recipe books have been translated into seventeen languages.
In France the average weight people lose is 10 kilos, but in America and England it's more. Also Australia's most popular diet, The Dukan 4-step eating program has helped seventy-thousand overweight Australians shed kilos .. fast, like Isobel Coulson who lost thirteen and a half kilos.
"My waist, my stomach, my thighs, they've halved in size. I need to go out and buy some size tens now which is wonderful." said Kerry Kitson, another devotee who has ditched her baggy size fourteen clothes.
"The weight comes off really quickly which is really motivating."
Dr. Dukan revealed to us that the brain-wave for his diet all started by accident when one obese patient asked for his help, and it worked.
"He said do for me a diet you can prevent it, anything you want to do, just meat, I love meat, so I said okay eat meat. Eat lean meat for five days and then write to me and he lost five kilos, ten pounds."
So the Dukan Diet kicks off with the Attack phase for 3 to 7 days, guaranteed to lose at least 3 kilograms. Eat as much as you want but only lean protein-rich foods, plus one and a half litres of water and one and half tablespoons of oat bran. Next, the Cruise Phase introduces unlimited vegetables with protein on alternate days, to lose one kilo a week, ten kilos in two months.
"In my diet, what people like is a they are in a program very, very precious, very concrete just like a road map, military road map." Dr. Dukan said.
"I was not curvy, I was fat" says Parisian Mary-Lou Castella who had the perfect reason to drop fifteen kilograms fast on the Dukan Diet.
"My fiancé had just popped the question yes and then I say yes I have to be really well from my previous weight which was sixty kilos, so now I am sixty-five and still have five kilograms to lose"
After three months, Mary Lou's passed the third step, the Consolidation Phase, where slimmers start to eat wholegrain bread, fruit, cheeses, starch plus two celebration meals a week with dessert and a glass of wine. Now she's reached the last stage, Stabilization. The rule: every Thursday eat only pure protein and keep having the oat bran every day.
"He helped me to eat in the correct and healthy way really." said Mary Lou.
His essential message for us - keep moving.
"So Helen, now we are going to walk. We have sat enough because I told you we have to walk twenty minutes a day, tell it to Australians, twenty minutes a day, I have to follow your rules, it is not a lot but it is enough." Dr. Dukan advises.
Among nutrition experts, The Dukan Diet has its detractors, like Judie Davie and Arlene Normand
"The Dukan Diet has phases and in the phases it limits particular food groups which really I don't advocate." says Judie Davie.
Arlene Normand adds, "It really promotes yoyo dieting because you really do feel great after you've lost weight."
But Dr. John Dixon, head of the Obesity Unit at baker IDI Monash University, believes the Dukan Diet is a great kick start.
"If I want to rate these diets for losing 10 kilograms, this is losing it soon, then the Dukan is the way to go."
Dr Dukan's latest news, a new book, will be released in Australia in November with 150 weight-loss recipes. And he's started coaching slimmers on-line.
"The coaching website, every day you have instructions, every morning, you have your instructions of the day and a menu for the day and what you have to do to move during the day"
His final motivational message:
"My patients, they say doctor, when I do your diet I feel I get more pleasure by losing weight than by eating."
"The Dukan Diet" and "The Dukan Diet Recipe Book" by Dr Pierre Dukan, published by Hodder and Stoughton Ltd.