Dukan Diet

 By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)

The Dukan Diet was developed by French nutritionist and medical doctor Pierre Dukan over ten years ago and has gained incredible popularity since its creation.

According to media reports over 1.5 million French women rely on the diet to maintain their figures and apparently it has also been used by models and celebrities including Giselle Bundchen and Jennifer Lopez.

Until recently the diet has only been available in France but the English version of The Dukan Diet officially went of sale in 2010. In the UK it immediately went to the top of Amazon’s diet book list, and the online program is now available. The Duken Diet officially released in the USA in April 2011.

The Dukan Diet is now available online in the USA here. Or in the UK here.

Dukan Diet Basics


dukan dietThe Dukan Diet is based around eating high-protein foods while severely limiting all carbohydrates including fruits, starchy vegetables, legumes and whole grains. Unlike the Atkins diet the emphasis is on sources of protein that are low in fat such as fish, poultry and reduced-fat dairy products.

Phase 1: The Attack Phase

The first phase of Dukan is followed for one to ten days depending on how much weight you have to lose. Dieters are told they can expect to lose between seven and ten pounds within the first five days.

  • During this phase dieters consume only protein foods that may be seasoned with condiments that do not contain fat or carbohydrates such as vinegar, mustard, salt, herbs and spices.
  • Calorie-free drinks including water, coffee, tea and diet soda are also permitted
  • You can include one and a half tablespoons of oatmeal each day.

Dieters are warned that they may experience bad breath and a dry mouth during this phase.

Phase 2: The Cruise Phase

  • In this phase of the Dukan Diet, days of protein only are alternated with days of protein and vegetables.
  • The types of vegetables allowed in this phase are limited to those that do not contain starch such as lettuce, spinach, celery, cucumber, asparagus and tomato.
  • Vegetables can be consumed raw, steamed, or in soups and stews.

This phase is followed until you reach your target weight. Dieters can expect to lose up to two pounds a week on this phase.

Phase 3: The Consolidation Phase

This is the maintenance phase and commences once you have achieved your goal weight.

  • You will continue to base your diet on protein and vegetables but are also allowed one portion of fruit as well as two slices of whole-grain bread each day.
  • You are permitted one extra serving of carbs per week, which may include foods like pasta or rice.
  • In this phase of the Dukan Diet you are also allowed one ‘celebration meal’ each week, which is increased to twice a week after you have been in phase three for a while.

Phase 4: The Stabilization Phase

This is the ongoing lifestyle phase of the Dukan Diet. In this phase you are instructed to go back to eating whatever you like while continuing to use the rules of the Consolidation Phase as a guideline. One day of the week dieters are instructed to eat only protein.

Dukan Diet Made Easy

Some complaints about The Dukan Diet is that it is too complicated. The folks at Dukan took this to heart and created a new plan called Duken Diet Made Easy. It offers an easy way to do this diet and includes all the tools needed for success.

Click here to purchase this diet for a discounted price.

Recommended Foods

Lean beef, lean ham, rabbit, veal, chicken liver, chicken breast, turkey, fish, seafood, fat-free yogurt, low-fat cottage cheese, skim milk. egg whites, tofu, seitan, green vegetables, onions, herbs and spices, mustard, sugar-free ketchup, oat bran, coffee, tea, diet soda, Stevia, Silverspoon Sweetener, sugar-free chewing gum.

Sample Dukan Diet Meal Plan

The following is an example of a meal plan for a protein and vegetable day in phase two:

Breakfast

8 oz non-fat cottage cheese
1 slice turkey
Coffee or tea with skim milk and no-calorie sweetener

Morning Snack

4 oz non-fat yogurt

Lunch

Three-pepper tuna
Stuffed mushrooms
Café crème

Afternoon Snack

1 slice ham
Oat bran pancake (made with 2 tablespoons oat bran)

Dinner

Beef kebab
Courgette soup

Dessert

Floating island

Exercise Recommendations

Exercise is considered an essential component of The Dukan Diet and is non-negotiable. Dieters must walk briskly for twenty minutes each day in phase one and this is increased to thirty minutes a day in phase two.

Costs and Expenses

In the UK: The Dukan Diet retails for £12.99.
In the USA: The Dukan Diet retails for $26.00.

The Dukan Diet is now selling snack bars, cookies, soups, and supplements via their website. They range from $7-$23.

Click here to purchase this diet for a discounted price.

The Dukan Diet is now available online in the USA here. Or in the UK here.

Pros

  • Fast results in the initial stages can help to boost motivation.
  • Does not require calorie counting.
  • Includes vegetarian options.
  • Includes a meal plan and recipes.
  • In the final phases of Dukan the ‘celebration meals’ can help psychologically to improve adherence to the diet.

Cons

  • Highly restrictive and requires elimination of many healthy foods including fruit, grains, legumes and nuts.
  • Some dieters do not respond well to low carbohydrate diets like Dukan and can experience fatigue and mood swings.
  • Many dieters experience constipation, headaches and bad breath on high-protein diets.
  • Not suitable for those with a history of gout, high cholesterol, kidney disease or eating disorders.
  • Dietary boredom is highly likely due to the limited food choices, especially for those who don’t enjoy eating animal products.
  • Encourages consumption of artificial sweeteners and diet soda.

Basically a Low Fat, High Protein Diet

The Dukan Diet is an extreme approach that emphasizes low-fat protein. While dieters can expect to lose weight following this plan, it is highly likely that weight will be regained upon a return to normal eating habits.

 By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)
  • zm

    im a breastfeeding mom and planning to start this diet ? will it work even though im breastfeeding? my baby is 9 months im so done with my weight. please share if a breastfeeding mom has done this diet and achieved results?

  • Ruth Whiffen

    Im on day 8 of the dukan and did the attack phase for 6 days. I have lost 16lb. Im amazed, im so grateful i can start eating vegetables again. At least now im craving healthy foods instead of chocolate etc. Im having terrible mood swings though. I do high intensity cardio every morning so have chronic fatigue the rest of the day. Have a very dry mouth and smelly breath and I havent had a poo since the day I started. I also think im slighty aneamic because I just cannot get warm and my nails/toenails have a bluish tinge.

  • Bonnie

    I didn’t notice the weight coming off untill after the first 3 days, so just don’t give up, it will happen. I have been on ot for going on 9 days and I’ve lose 8-9 lbs….keep up the good work!!! Good luck!

  • maya

    i’ve tried this diet. It doesn’t work for me. i don’t know why. i did what this dukan diet told, even i did more workout like weight training plus cardio. but in 3 days nothing happen, i haven’t lost any pound

  • mary

    I was reading your comments,just want to say in2003 i had a stroke was on blood pressure meds an heart pill, I was so heavy an always tired.So i heard Kate Midd. now someday Queen of Eng. an her mom do this diet, so i started it ini think may of 2011 an lost 49lbs. Got taken off my blood pressure meds because of the drop in weight also droped blood pressure. But up date gain 14lbs back just got told i have ms an just ate for 2weeks that was oct 25. 2012,but i am now trying to get back on tract, now that i have accept the ms. Thank you for listing.

  • sylvia

    when the weight comes off the limbs will feel better

  • yenisei

    been on the dukan diet for three months lost twenty pounds still have ten more to go it has been a little slower than the other people i have been reading about but everyone is different i walk three times a day its all i can do for now cause i have a nine month old baby but this is better than nothing the dukan diet has worked for me i have tried many things diet pills,juice diet after i had my third child i weighed 180 now i am weighing 150 i will continue to stick with it till i reach my goal.GOD BLESS TO ALL AND KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!!!!!

  • Super B

    I have been doing this Dukan Diet for about 7 weeks and proud to say that I have lost 20 pounds.well there r times when I do get hungry but I make sure that I don’t starve myself and eat the food listed.Feels whole lotta better and dropped 2 dress size.some failures dats too for the PMS but yeah I did it.highly recommended for those who wants to try

  • Kerrie

    I have entered the 2nd part of the Consolidation stage and it has definitely changed my way of eating for the better; although I am now allowed cheese, bread, 2 celebration and 2 carb meals per week I don’t feel the need to partake in all of these these. The one thing I have missed is cereal but I have just found a virtually sugar free, low carb one that I am going to incorporate a couple of times per week. I found the diet relatively easy. One thing that helped me was Shirataki or low carb noodles as I also missed rice. I started the end of July on 67.8kgs and hit 63kgs at the end of the cruise period. Since then (whilst not “dieting” strictly) I have dropped to between 60.8 – 61.5kg and feel great for it!

  • nathalie

    *scales* and *luck*

  • nathalie

    well today is Day1 of the Dukan diet i feel completly focused on what i would like to achieve. i do not feel hungry although feel i have eaten a lot more than normal!!! i usually only eat a meal in the evening and spend the night picking and thinking about the next thing i can eat! its early days but i feel im on the right road to achieve my “goal”
    I’m so excited to see my results, and looking forward to checking the skills tommorrow to see if just one day has made any difference. Good luck fellow Dukan dieters i wish you all look.

  • Kell

    Just started attack phase finding it hard to understand exercises in the book, I need pictures cn anyone help?

  • Ann

    Well ive done alot of reading on the Dukan diet after hearing about it from a friend so I decided to give it a shot. I started on Friday 03/08/12 and felt starved the whole day. I ate oatbran for breakfast like porrodge. I didnt realise the consistency til I opened the package and because I was at work had no access to anything else so it wasent a good start. I then proceeded on the eleven o clock break to eating a couple of spoonfuls of cottage cheese and fatfree yougurt. Dinner consisted of lean red meat with yet more cottage cheese and by the time I got home had scrambled eggs, smoked salmon, chicken wings and a grilled sirloin. I really felt like a savage but honestly couldnt get enough food into me. Felt deprived with the lack of carbs fruit and vegetables. However I ot on the scales after day 1 and lost 5lbs. I really couldnt believe it. So here I am on day 2 having eaten just as much if not more than yesterday feeling still deprived and hungry but persevering out of curiosity of what the scales will read in the morning. I cant imagine much of a weight loss after my very successful first day. So Im going to bed. If its good news ill keep going but if not I will need some super motivation. Good night all until tomorrow.

    • WL

      I think you felt starved because you weren’t eatin enough of the right stuff. I have not been hungry at all. You’re only supposed to have 1 1/2 T of oat bran, but you can put it in a huge container of yogurt. I’ve been eating a ton of sliced turkey breasts when I’m hungry, and lots of non-fat yogurt and cottage cheese. There’s no reason you should be starving. Also drink lots of water. That helps. You can still eat a lot of food, you’re just changing what you can eat. Get creative. We had steak and eggs last night for dinner, and it was great.

    • shelley

      I enjoyed reading your comments and wonder how things are going now. I am starting it on Saturday 1 September and everyone keeps telling me how a fast weight loss is no good and why don’t I cut down and eat normally as I will put it all back on again! I am determined to do this as what I need is the initial boost to get me started and we all know that when you feel better about having lost a few pounds your confidence grows. Good luck with the continued plan and I keep my fingers crossed for the attack phase! Shelley

    • liz

      Would be good to know how you’re doing a few weeks on?

  • Sally bw

    Hi, I started the dukan diet on 20th may 2012 and was a sceptic. However I have stuck to it, doing the one day pp and one day ppveg and have lost 22 1/2 lbs so far. Only have another 5lbs to go until I reach my true weight. I have found the diet easy to follow, however starting to get a little bored now and looking forward to the next stage. I can honestly say that I feel so much better for not eating bread and potatoes. I am looking forward to the consolidation stage and hoping that I will not put wait on if followed correctly. I know that there has been a lot of bad press re this diet however I am hoping that my eating baits have changed. How bad can a diet be that cuts out all the rubbish in your diet and helps you eat healthier?

    • shelley

      Hi – this is very encouraging, as per my reply to Ann above – positive comments mean a lot and I agree how can it be a bad thing when you are not eating rubbish? It cannot be wrong if it has worked for thousands of woman can it. Well done on your substantial weight loss. Shelley

  • kate

    Hi all I’ve herd a lot about this plan , just wondering wat d do foods do u get eat other them meat I live on chicken sono problems there I gave tryed heaps of diets n pill but never work where would I start at any tips would be good

  • Lynne

    Got the book, the motivation and the oat bran……but i also have rhuematoid arthritis and am worried about any affects dukan will have on it….i am desperate to lose 40 lbs……this weight was gained during a flare of my illnes and although this is now stabilising, i would still like advise.

    • Dawn

      I too have RA and other health issues. I lost 30 lbs. while trying to figure out where all the fatigue and pain was coming from (duh RA), and then another 30 lbs. on the Dukan Diet. I have now kept it off for over a year, however, I am just not motivated to keep going on it. I do try to stick to the protein, fruits and vegetable menu and I am quite surprised that I am maintaining my current weight. That in itself was always a battle before when I lost weight, but I have to say I am doing pretty well with mostly protein and vegetables with a small amount of fruit here and there.

  • Pinkz

    I have been on this diet since March. I have lost 54lbs to date. I am an obese girl with a history of Breast and Cervical Cancer, High Blood Pressure/Cholesterol and Borderline Diabetes. I just had my follow up with my doctor and he was astonished at my chart results since 3 months ago. My HDL (Good Cholesterol) was up by 20 points, my Bad Cholesterol was down by 50 points, my blood pressure was right on target, Diabetes is now an afterthought and my weight is down 30lbs. I was on 3 blood pressure medications and my doctor just removed one of them. My doctor asked me what I was doing and he remarked “Well stick to it, whatever you are doing is working as your health statistics are moving in the right direction”. I also saw my trainer at the Gym 2 days ago. (I have been doing my exercise at home and outdoors on the weekends, so he had not seen me for a while) He could not stop commending me for how great I look and how proud he was of me.
    I have had several weeks where I hit plateaus on this diet but the key (as with any diet) is to stay the course and you WILL succeed.
    But as Dr. Dukan explains, it will take work. There is no such thing as a “quick fix”. And you will lose weight on this diet at different rates of loss depending on how much you need to lose. The diet does not offer a “quick fix”. It does tell you that with time, effort and patience, you will eventually reach a comfortable weight that you need to be at. I am having so much success on this diet and just wanted to share it in hopes that many of you can also find success with it.
    For me, my health chart, how I feel, reaching a weight that I have not been at in years, fitting in to smaller sizes, my stamina and self esteem elevation and the positive comments I receive from my Doctor, Trainer, Family and Friends is enough to sell me on this diet.
    It does work if you stay the course. And the best thing is that it does NOT drop you in the grease when you reach your goal. It weens you into a period of adjustment so that your body adapts to the new weight and learns to accept it. Then after that period it weens you back into a new way of eating normal. The only way you will gain weight back after this diet is if you do not complete all phases of the diet and go right back into eating normal after reaching your weight goal.
    I hope many of you will have the same success as I have experienced on this diet.

    • Teresa Allen

      Hi Pinkz, thank you for sharing. I have been looking at this diet for several weeks and finally ordered the book. Waiting for it to come in. I had breast cancer 4 yrs ago and gained 30lbs with the chemo and steriods. I worked with a trainer a year ago and was able to lose 25lbs, but came to a standstill for over 6 months. I desperately need to lose 30 more and am encouraged by your words that it has been successful for you. My life depends on my losing this weight. I was diagnosed 2 yrs ago with type 2 Diabetes and a liver disease that the only treatment is weight loss and control of the diabetes. Otherwise, a liver transplant is in my future, and I know that is not a great option. I am also on cholesterol and blood pressure meds. The meds I take for the cancer tends to cause weight gain. Anyway, thank you for sharing and I look forward to being able to write my own account of weight loss with this diet.

  • Adrienne

    I am allergic to bran in any form so oat bran is a no-no for me. What is the alternative please?

  • Deli

    Don’t do this diet. I know it WORKS, but that is not really the point. It gives you furry teeth and after a while, a completely distorted attitude toward eating to the point that you are afraid to go back to a normal diet because of the fast weight loss, and you are losing muscle, not so much fat. You end up really flabby if you don’t exercise.
    I’ve been on it or 8 weeks and started to feel really ill due to lack of vital nutrients. They are far healthier diets to do which allow a small amount of carbs daily.
    And – The doctor who devised this plan has actually been on trial in France for posing a danger to public health. So, even though it works – You will gain all the weight back once you even have a small amount of carbs again.
    So by all means, do it if you have an important event coming up soon, just don’t expect the weight loss to stay off because it is not a sustainable diet.
    I experienced heachaches and nausea while on this diet. I did lose 15 pounds though but that is not the point, as I stated.

    • Cay

      Fuzzy teeth comes from not brushing your teeth after consuming dairy products. I lost 10kgs from 56kg to 46kg, maintains a 20% body fat. and I do eat carbs (no refine carbs though). My trainer taught me to exercise no more than 45mins because anything more than that our body will start burning our muscle, not fat. I walk to work and never take the lift if possible other than that most of my day is sedantary. I enjoy my cake once in awhile. I havent gain another pound since early 2011 and I thank Dr Dukan for it.

    • WL

      Wow. You definitely have to excercise when you are losing weight. Weight training helps you not become flabby and walking or running will help with cardio. I am not an athlete, but I know that you can’t just sit around and eat differently but expect to not be flabby if you don’t work out. That’s crazy. Any diet will make you feel tired and flabby if you don’t actually excercise. As far as the fuzzy teeth, I haven’t had that issue because I brush after I eat, and fuzzy teeth is not a normal healthy issue.

    • Rachel Harlen

      Have you tried brushing your teeth

    • Kirstan

      Don’t blame the diet. It you follow it correctly you might have a different outcome. Also each human body does not process food the same way. You may need to consider that your outcome is not the norm before you give such a strong condemnation.

  • ryan

    i started the attack phase on tues its now thurs and ive lost 7lbs in these two days with no visible evidence im woried i might just be losing muscle mass instead of fat or am i just being parinoid

    • ted

      How much weight do you have to lose? An overweight person could easily lose 7 pounds of fat just around their internal organs, which usually goes first.

  • Louise

    Hi
    I am a new mom with an 8 week old little boy:-)) I really want to shift my baby weight..20lbs with another 10 with it (30 pounds in total) am I crazy starting this diet when I am up doing night feeds etc.. (no longer breastfeeding baby)…i just don’t want this weight to hang around for too long !!!!!
    Also if you have a fail day do you just continue on …or do you start back at Day 1 again???

    Any advise would be much appreciated

    Thanks

    • Row

      The diet recommends going on pure proteins for a day if you do slip up once, but you don’t have to go right back to the beginning and start the attack phase all over again. Don’t beat yourself up, just get back on the horse.

    • sandra dale

      Sorry you must start back at day 1 if you slip up cos i did the same

  • Rene Steelman

    I’m going to try this even though I am SO against eating tons of meat! This diet goes against everything I believe BUT I do weight training 3 times a week and cardio 3-4 times a week and the only way for me to keep my weight down or lose is highly restricting calories! I eat clean and healthy but when the scale goes up I lose patience and start eating junk! I hope I can do this but I’ve gotten my cholesterol down and am afraid to start this! Yikes! I’m tired of losing the same 10lbs over and over again and not losing the final 10lbs! Here I go!

  • Paulette

    I have been on this diet now for two and a half months. I have lost 25 pounds. I have found this a very easy to follow plan and it has definitely allowed me to alter my eating habits. I have 12 pounds to go and will hopefully be moving to phase 3 by end of July. No ill effects, occasional minimal gain on veggie days, but it is lost plus more on the protien days.

  • jackie

    hi im thinking of starting this diet………. i have been frying to lose weight for 10 weeks now… i have lost 14 pounds by eating fish chicken salad and a small jacket patoe…. and lots of fruit………if i give up patoes and fruits will i lose the weight quicker…….i have another 14 pounds to go

    • Rose

      Jackie: keep doing what you’re doing. The way you say you have been eating is closer to a realistic eating change. ANY diet that is too drastic will make you feel deprived and you won’t stick to it. A good change has to be a change that is reasonable to stick with for a life time. I was going to try the Dukan as well, in fact I bought the book until I saw how drastic it is. It may work in the short term but in reality how could a person keep that up for a life time without falling by the wayside?

  • Julia

    Hi Lindie-yes u can have egg whites-u can get the egg beaters from any grocery store-I mine from Bj’s and it comes in a pack of 6-good luck!

  • Deborahkeegan

    Im in cruise phrase doing well but wonder when will I be able to have an alcoholic drink again?

    • john doe

      dafuq did i just read? Whats this about no alcohol?

  • Brittany

    I have officially been on the Dukan Diet for exactly 1 month. I’ve lost a total of 16 lbs. in just 4 weeks! I’m really happy with this diet, and it’s been surprisingly really easy for me. I haven’t been tempted to cheat, or quit… although some days I am really hungry, that’s the beauty of this diet, you can eat as much as you’d like as long as it’s on the food list. I have 40 more pounds to lose, and i’m so excited to keep it up! I would highly recommend this diet to just about anyone.

    • Luc Evenepoel

      Dear Brittany,
      Congratulations on your weight loss so far. However, there is one point the vast majority of dieters forget, and that is that weight loss is not about weight loss. It is about KEEPING your weight off. I’m sure you are not interested in being slim for just a few months. You want to be slim for the rest of your life.There are literally thousands of ways to get slim. You can even get slim if you restrict yourself to 4 Mars bars per day. Yet there is only one way (even if you go for weight loss surgery) to keep your weight off for life, and that is good eating habits. Examine your past eating patterns in an honest way, and do something about it. The general principles are: portion caution, staying close to nature in your food choices, listening to body signals (hunger and fullness), and remaining physically active (this does NOT mean you have to go to a gym). That’s it. How you go about that is up to you, depending on your tastes, time table, and personal preferences. But if you are not going to do that, you – like the hundreds of millions of dieters before you – will regain all the weight, or even more.
      The human body is probably the most complex organism ever put on this earth. And every single day, our body tries to keep us to our ideal weight. Yet, every single day, we are obstructing our body in its efforts. Stop doing that, and your body will do miracles for you. You heard it a hundred times, and whatever adverts say, it remains true: there is no shortcut to long term weight control. You want a miracle cure? Well, it’s five years away. And will always be.

      • Jane Doe

        Seriously? Who are you to preach lifestyle advice to someone you don’t know? Maybe she can stick to the diet and learn good eating habits while on Dukan? Who are you to say she will regain the weight, do you even know her? Who are you to raise doubts about the success shes had so far? Do you have nothing better to do than to hope people fail? Are you a medical doctor with years of training and a vast knowledge of her medical and diet history? No you are not, so please take your unwanted, unprofessional advice and negativity elsewhere and let people happily eat and diet the way that works for them.

  • rachel

    I have been reading about the dukan diet and i understand mose of it but can you eat vegetables on the attack phase or just on the cruise stage. can anyone help plz? Thx

    • Mariam

      you can only eat vegetables
      in the cruise stage

    • Brittany

      I would highly recommend purchasing the book. It’s a good reference and it really has a lot of great information about the diet itself. I got mine on amazon for only 8 dollars! To answer your Q, No you can not have any type of veggies on the attack phase. It is strictly ONLY protein. After the attack phase you can have veggies every other day along with protein. Or if you want a faster weight loss you can do 5 days pure protein and then 5 days protein and veggies, (the book explains more about this option) either way, make sure you are only eating veggies when allowed! Good luck!!

  • Marsha Andrews

    I would like to know about the dukan diet. What do I need from the grocery store and what I can buy already prepared?

  • Linda

    I started the Dukan diet 3 weeks ago – I have lost 19 lbs – I am so pleased – I dug for information – recipes organized my fridge – cupboards – and put the program into full play – it’s enjoyable – it’s easy to follow – it leaves you full – no hunger pains – the key for sure is the water – I use splash from Melaluca – no sugar – strawberry-kiwi and raspberry and lemon. 1 pkg of splash makes 2 liters of flavored water – not having fuit this is very satifsying – I also use just a sprinkle of the splash crystals in my yogurt or cottage cheese to punch it up with flavor – absolutely awesome – I also bought no sugar jello – and pudding and use these to flavor up yogurt and cottage cheese – delicious. I use greek yogurt – 0 fat. Excited to see what the days ahead bring – remember to drink lots of water and to have your oatbran daily – it works.

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