Dukan Diet


The Dukan Diet was created by Pierre Dukan, a French physician. More than 30 years ago, he was faced with an obese patient who struggled to lose weight on a low-fat, low-calorie diet. This inspired him to try a low-carb, high-protein approach. Since then, he has researched weight loss and nutrition, publishing a book in 2000 and then releasing the book “The Dukan Diet” in the United States in 2011.

Basic Principles

The foundation of this diet is a high-protein, low-carb approach that is divided into 4 distinct phases. The Dukan Diet is similar to the first Atkins diet and variants of the Paleo diet. However, this diet differs in that you are allowed to eat unlimited portions of allowed foods.

These allowed foods are limited and explicitly stated in each of Dukan’s 4 phases and you must remain faithful to the designated foods in each phase. The Dukan Diet strictly prohibits any cheating.

Phase 1 is the Attack phase. In this phase you are allowed to eat 68 different foods some of which include lean beef, pork, turkey, chicken, eggs, and non-fat dairy. This phase also incorporates 1 ½ tablespoons of oat bran each day.

This phase is designed to create a noticeable weight loss, which helps to motivate dieters to keep progressing. The length of time in phase 1 depends on the amount of weight you want to lose. Typical dieters spend 5 days in phase 1 and lose between 4 to 7 pounds.

Phase 2 is the Cruise phase. This phase allows you to add unlimited amounts of 32 vegetables to your diet along with 2 tablespoons of oat bran. It is recommended to alternate pure protein days with protein and vegetable days. The Cruise phase is where the majority of the weight loss will occur. Average dieters can expect to lose 2 pounds each week. The Cruise phase lasts 3 days for each pound that needs to be lost.

Phase 3 is called Consolidation. It is at this point that dieters face the greatest risk for rebounding. To help avoid a rebound, forbidden foods are gradually allowed. Each day you are permitted unlimited protein, unlimited vegetables and 2 tablespoons of oat bran.

However, this phase also incorporates 1 piece of fruit, 1 portion of cheese and 2 slices of whole-grain bread each day. Each week in this phase allows for 1 or 2 starchy foods and 1 or 2 celebration meals where you can eat anything you want. The final component of this phase is designating 1 day each week as an Attack day. This day reverts back to the Attack phase and is composed of only protein. The length of this phase depends on the number of pounds lost in the Cruise phase; you must spend 5 days in Consolidation for each pound lost in Cruise.

Phase 4 is Stabilization. It is the final phase and lasts for the rest of your life. This phase promises to maintain your new weight if you follow 3 rules. You must eat 3 tablespoons of oat bran a day, designate 1 day a week as an Attack day and walk for 20 minutes each day.


The Dukan Diet has a significant set of rules. For people who like to be told exactly what to do, this diet offers exactly that. However, if you need more flexibility, this might not be the best approach. On the other hand, many people will appreciate the feeling of being full and satisfied while on this diet. Feeling satiated is a result of not limiting calories and also consuming large portions of protein.

When entering phase 2, many people appreciate being able to lose weight while feeling satisfied. The Dukan Diet will lead to weight loss in the same manner as other low-carb diets as the body begins using fat as energy rather than carbohydrates.

Side effects of low-carb diets can include bad breath, constipation and fatigue. Additionally, it is important to drink adequate amounts of water to flush the uric acid created by digesting large amounts of protein. Health professionals note that a lack of water can potentially lead to kidney problems. Finally, it is recommended to take a multivitamin while on the Dukan Diet.

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