Mister Magic’s diet


Why French woman do get fat

He used to be Mister Magic: Jennifer Lopez, Penelope Cruz, the French presidential candidate François Hollande and even Kate Middleton did lose weight with his method – and when it comes to the Duchess of Cambridge, I would say even much too much. Meanwhile the wind has changed. Dr Pierre Dukan faces an ethics hearing.

His method, the Dukan Diet that consists of eating mainly proteins and every second day even some veggies was controversial from the very beginning. Everything reminiscent of starch or carbohydrates is forbidden.

The yo-yo trap

His diet is extremely unbalanced, but it also works extremely well. At least during the first phase, when you’re losing weight, not necessarily during the much more sensible second phase, when it comes to keep your shape and avoiding what we all know as the famous yo-yo effect.

I have to admit, like most French women I tested it myself. Dukan was fabulous. I lost seven kilos, a good 15 pounds, in a couple of weeks, if not days. I had meat and fish coming out of my ears. And don’t ask me, if I gained them back. Of course I did – and even some more than I lost. But honestly, this was no surprise. Radical methods always have a flip side.

Eat as much as you can

Although I had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing Dr Dukan in his huge doctor’s office in the very, very posh 8th arrondissement close to Avenue Montaigne. He’s such a kind and soft person. He’s got lovely eyes. The moment you meet this guy, you already feel better, feel lighter. It’s somehow miraculous. He said funny things like “to lose weight doesn’t depend on the number of calories you are consuming”. Which is an interesting theory. Whether it’s new or it’s wrong.

The thing is, Dr Dukan is making money. A lot of money. Unimaginable amounts of money. He’s doing this not only with the seven millions of copies of his books he has sold. But he’s making a fortune on coaching, on products, you name it. This is not a crime, of course. Only, when it comes to ethics, it doesn’t look very good for a doctor. The college of Physicians says Dr Dukan is focused more on commerce than medicine, in breach of a part of its code that says medicine must not be practised like a business. Also a doctor in France is not allowed to do self-promotion.

Crime and Punishment

If he is found guilty at his ethics hearing, the punishments he could face range from a reprimand to being struck off the medical register.

Photo: © AFP, Loic Venance