The Dukan Diet, Reviewed

You've probably heard of it because J-Lo...uh, Penelope, Her Royal Highness... okay fine, it's a girly French diet for all intents and purposes. Still, it's appeared enough in the news lately (including this recent lawsuit inventeur Dr. Pierre Dukan filed against a rival best-selling dietician) that it's worth looking into. So what's the deal?

The Dukan Diet consists of four phases, Attack, Cruise, Consolidation, and Stabilization, to help trick the body into consuming its own stored fat. Dr. Dukan's "secret ingredient" is oat bran (not rolled oats or oatmeal), packing a a gut-walloping 9 grams of fiber per serving, to keep you feeling full.

For 10 Attack days, you can eat all the lean protein you want: fish, shellfish, eggs, tofu, fat-free cheese and Greek yogurt, and lean meats. But what will I EAT, you ask? Snack on your 6 required glasses of water per day.

In the Cruise phase you can begin adding in leafy, green, and non-starchy vegetables (meaning no corn, potatoes, or peas) and "cruise" to your ideal weight. The best part? You're allowed to drink all the water you can dispense. P.S. No fat allowed.

Once you've reached your goal, the Consolidation phase begins. Have a serving of fruit and two slices of whole wheat bread per day, with twice-weekly starch in the form of rice, potatoes, or other grains. You can even add in refined carbs as part of your two "eat whatever you want within reason days" per week. For every half-pound you've lost so far, Consolidate for four days.

Finally, return to eating normal food in the Stabilization phase with your shiny new metabolism. Do a protein-only day once a week and go easy on the fried and sugary foods or you'll quickly gain back that weight.

To be honest, it sounds like a lot of the other low-carb diets we've come across, but if you're itching to shed a few pounds before beach season (we'll just start calling you "The Situation" now), cutting carbs and increasing your protein and water intake is a time-tested, reliable bet.