I went on a diet during the spring of 2010 and shed 15% of my weight within three months. Happily, I have since maintained my weight with virtually no effort: I eat and drink as I choose. What prompted me was the fact that my girth had increased to a point where all my clothes felt a bit too restrictive and, I was having difficulties bending over to tie my shoe laces. It was not extremely difficult, but it did require an effort, which it shouldn’t. It bothered me enough that I decided to do something about it.
I am not a gym rat and not one for counting calories. I came across the Dukan Diet, which had recently been translated to English. I got the book and followed, more or less, what Dr Dukan prescribed and got the result I wanted without too much effort. Actually, it was very easy. (Caveat: not appropriate for vegetarians or vegans.)
Now that Dr Dukan has become much more well known throughout the world, and his diet has become a very successful enterprise, it has come under attack from various quarters, in France and elsewhere. The popularity of the diet has been fueled partly by reports of certain celebrities and those closely connected to famous people having had successful results, and its popularity has helped to attract other celebrities and mere mortals to try the diet. As with most things, celebrity end users and success tend to lead to two disparate things: more success and furious criticism.
I believe that some of the latter are based on jealousy, which is part and parcel to commercial success, but others seem to be based on science, not that science is entirely immune to sentiments and bias.
In his book, Dr Dukan did not have too many kind words to say about alternative diet programmes, such as those that relied on counting calories. Therefore, it was not at all surprising that a French colleague who promotes a calory counting method had a few choice words to say about the Dukan Diet. Dr Dukan took him to court on defamation charges and lost. No surprises there.
I understand that it was all a bit personal on both sides, and when things get personal, it is difficult to keep emotions in check. However, resorting to legal tactics instead of a robust communications strategy was an elementary mistake. Now, Dr Dukan lost the legal case and made it extremely difficult to construct a good comms strategy. Of course, this is all very easy for an observer to say, especially in hindsight.
Whatever the ambient noise, the diet worked for me. The trouble is, most of my clothes are now so big that I look like I am wearing someone else’s clothes, especially since I dropped about 2 sizes, which is too big a change for successful alterations.