You have heard of many diets to lose weight. But, it is the Dukan Diet that claims you to lose weight and sustain it for very long time. According to an estimate, 80% people who have lost weight have rebounded to same weight or even more in just 2 years. This data appears captivating. Doesn`t it? If yes and now you wish to have a sustainable weight loss plan? Then, the Dukan Diet can easily become your cup of tea at least as claimed by Dr. Dukan.

Dukan Diet

Dukan Diet- The Claim by Dr Pieree Dukan

Dr. Pieree Dukan, who was a general practitioner in France in the 70s, has created this Dukan Diet. During the days of trials, he achieved successful weight loss results with his obese patients. It is then in the year 2000, he published his findings in a book titled as ‘The Dukan Diet’.




According to the book, Dr. Dukan Diet claims that you are not required to count calories to lose weight. You can eat as much as you like from the approved food groups. He further claims the Dukan Diet Plan to be a permanent weight loss solution for the weight watchers.

The Theory behind Dukan Diet

The Dukan Diet is a low carbohydrate and a high protein diet. Your body relies mainly on carbohydrates as a primary fuel for creating the energy [1]. Dr Dukan has a unique and a different approach as he limits the supply of main fuel in the body i.e. the carbohydrates.

Dr. Dukan Diet

He designed four different diet phases namely the Attack, Cruise, Consolidation and Stabilization Phase. These Phases are designed to limit carbohydrate intake while increasing the protein supply in your body. The limitation on carbohydrate allows you to lose weight rapidly. And the increased protein intake can help you feel satiated for long time [2].



Limiting the Carbohydrate turns your body to look for next alternative fuel for creating energy. This then makes your body resort towards burning stored fat for producing energy. The Four phases of Dr Dukan Diet are designed in way that initially helps you lose weight. And finally, once you reach your goal weight, this diet assists you in maintaining that body weight.

The first two phases in the Dukan Diet are dedicated to weight loss. And the remaining two phases help you maintain that weight loss. Sounds simple enough? Not that simple until you know the exact rules and the approved foods in the Dukan Diet menu. Let us now see how to do Dukan Diet the right way.

How to do Dukan Diet?

The Dukan Diet is high on dos and don`ts. The Dukan Diet has four diet phases and each phase has its set of rules that you have follow cautiously. You have to be careful enough as even a slight slip can deviate you from having weight loss benefits.  Follow these rules led by Dr Dukan in all the four diet phases.

Dukan Diet Phases

Attack Phase

The Attack Phase of the Dukan Diet is based on eating solely lean protein in your diet. This phase lasts for about 2-7 days to encourage your weight loss to happen. However, the duration of the attack phase depends upon your individual goal. It is linked with your age and the amount of weight you wish to lose.

Weight Loss Goal Duration
Less than 10 Lbs 2 Days
Up to 30 Lbs 3 to 5 Days
More than 40 Lbs Up to 7 days

What can you eat on Attack Phase?

  • Protein on Attack Phase:

During the attack phase you are required to eat lean protein from the Dr. Dukan approved 68 food sources. These food sources include Lean Meat, Poultry, Fish, Shellfish, Vegetarian Protein, Eggs and Fat Free Dairy Products. There is no restriction on how much you eat from this food group.

  • Carbohydrate on Attack Phase:

You are required to eat  1.5 tablespoon of Oat Bran daily. It will provide some carbohydrates and soluble fibre. The Oat Bran helps to slow down digestion process which promotes the absorption of nutrients and provide a feeling of fullness. It can help you avoid sudden food cravings and you are able stay away from over eating. Also, drinking at least 6-8 cups of water is must during this phase.

  • Fats on Attack Phase:

During the attack phase, Dr Dukan restricts eating of any fats in your diet. For this purpose, it is also advised that you should not add any extra fat while cooking your food. The best option is to only grill or roast your food. However, you can use spices and condiments to flavour your food. The permitted spices and condiments are Mustard, Soy sauce, Lemon Zest, Garlic, Vinegar, Gherkins and Shallots.


Dukan Diet Food to eat in Attack Phase

dukan diet foods

·         Non Vegan Sources
Lean Meat Beef, Pork, Bacon, Veal
Poultry Chicken, Turkey, Ostrich, Wild Duck, Hen
Fish Cat Fish, Cod, Haddock, Halibut, Arctic Char, Mahi Mahi, Herring, Sardines, Salmon, Tilapia, Tuna, Trout
Shellfish Crab, Lobster, Octopus, Mussels, Shrimp, Scallops, Clams
Eggs Chicken, Duck, Quail
·         Vegan Sources
Vegetarian Proteins Soy Foods, Tempeh, Tofu, Seitan
Fat Free Dairy Fat Free Cottage Cheese, Skim Milk, Greek Yogurt, Fat Free Ricotta

Cruise Phase

The Cruise Phase is the second phase in the Dukan Diet. Dr. Dukan has designed this phase to help you gradually reach your goal weight. In this phase, he introduces some vegetables along with protein foods. This diet phase lasts until you reach to your goal weight. Or according to Dr. Dukan, 3 days for every pound you want to lose.

You are required to eat in an alternating manner. One day, you will be eating only pure protein foods as in Attack Phase. And for the next day, you will eat Pure Protein Foods along with permitted 32 non starchy vegetables and Oat Bran.

What can you eat on Cruise Phase?

  • Protein in Cruise Phase:

The Protein Foods remain similar in the cruise phase as it was in the attack phase. Your protein consumption will be only from the permitted 68 food sources. Similar to attack phase, Dr. Dukan hasn`t put any restriction on the amount of food you eat from these sources.

  • Carbohydrates in Cruise Phase:

The consumption of carbohydrates in the cruise phase is restricted to only 32 non starchy vegetables. Along with these vegetables, you are also required to eat 2 tablespoons of oat bran. Together these food groups can serve you great nutritional value providing fibre, minerals and vitamins.

  • Fats in Cruise Phase:

Fats are discouraged during this phase as in the attack phase. But, Dr. Dukan has permitted the use of Olive Oil in the limited quantity. You can use only 1 Tablespoon of olive oil in either salad dressing or for greasing your pan. The olive oil is rich in antioxidants namely polyphenol, high in Vitamin E, and rich in Omega 3 Fatty Acids. According to a study, olive oil consumption is known to cause weight loss effectively than a standard low fat diet [3].


Dukan Diet Vegetables in Cruise Phase

Dukan Diet Foods

      • Artichoke
      • Arugula
      • Asparagus
      • Bean Sprouts
      • Beet Root
      • Broccoli
      • Brussels Sprouts
      • Carrot
      • Cauliflower
      • Cabbage
      • Cucumber
      • Celery
      • Endive
      • Egg Plant
      • Fennel
      • Green Beans
      • Kale
      • Lettuce
      • Leeks
      • Mushrooms
      • Okra
      • Pumpkin
      • Palm Hearts
      • Peppers
      • Radicchio
      • Radishes
      • Rhubarb
      • Squash
      • Spinach
      • Spaghetti Squash
      • Turnip
      • Tomato
      • Watercress
      • Zucchini

Consolidation Phase

The Consolidation Phase is the third phase in the Dukan Diet. You start this diet phase once you have reached your goal weight. This phase is meant to prevent you from the rebounding weight gain that can occur after the weight loss. Stay in consolidation phase for 5 day each for every pound you have lost in above two diet phases.

Dr. Dukan has laid some guidelines that you have to follow to prevent rebounding weight gain. This phase is meant to help you make a transition from a disciplined eating regime to somewhat habitual eating regime. You can now gradually reintroduce some of the starchy foods back to your daily eating. Also, up to two celebration meals are permitted during this phase. You are allowed to take only one celebration meal until you reach half of this phase. However, there is a set way on how you will reintroduce these foods.

What can you eat in Consolidation Phase

  • Protein in Consolidation Phase:

The consumption of Protein in Consolidation Phase remains same as in the attack phase from the 68 approved protein foods. You are required to take one pure protein day in a week. Also, you are not limited to eating only lean ham and can eat uncured cooked ham. Dr. Dukan also recommends eating one serving of roasted pork and lamb in a week.

  • Carbohydrates in Consolidation Phase:

The Carbohydrate Intake in consolidation phase is now not restricted to 32 vegetables. During the first half of this phase, you can include one serving of fruit, 2 slices of bread every day. Additionally, one serving of starchy food and 1.5 oz of rind cheese is permitted once a week.

After the first phase, the serving size will increase to 2 fruit servings and 2 bread slices per day. Plus, the serving of starchy food can be increased up to two servings in a week. As in the cruise phase, you need to 2 tablespoon of oat bran daily. These Carbohydrate foods are however not permitted on a pure protein day.

  • Fats in Consolidation Phase:

The Dukan diet is a high protein and a low fat diet. So, you can use only 1 tablespoon serving of olive oil in either your salad dressings or greasing your pan.


Dukan Diet Fruits to eat in Consolidation Phase

dukan diet foods

      • Watermelon
      • Strawberries
      • Peaches
      • Cantaloupe
      • Cherries
      • Grapes
      • Kiwi
      • Pineapple
      • Lemon
      • Mango

Stabilization Phase

The Stabilization Phase is the fourth and final phase in the Dukan Diet. This phase is meant to stabilize your weight loss while keeping your habitual way of eating. During this phase, you are free from strict guidelines and can resume normal eating away from dukan diet foods. You can eat any type of food you want in stabilization phase. But you have to follow a pure protein day in your week with foods from attack phase. And, has to eat 3 tablespoon of Oat Bran daily.

There are no guidelines to follow in this phase. But that doesn`t mean you can forget what you have learnt in above all phases. Make right foods choices and eat nutritious food. This phase is meant for lifetime and a sustainable way to keep your weight loss. Also, you can keep following this phase for lifetime until your weight remains stable.




The Dukan Diet Phases

The Big Question- How much Weight will you lose on Dukan Diet?

The sole purpose of following the Dukan Diet is to lose weight and keep it off for long period of time. But, what is an actual number you can expect to see on your weight scale? This is a big question that always comes to your mind before initiating a weight loss diet.

Dukan Diet Results

Well there is no exact answer or any quality scientific research that can claim the weight loss. But, there are evidences which can give an idea about the weight loss and results can actually surprise you.


The Evidences

  • IFOP Press Release:

The First Evidence on Dukan Diet Results comes from the press release by IFOP in the year 2010 [4]. According to the press release, 8 in every 10 participants have achieved their goal weight within 2.4 months (Attack Phase + Cruise Phase) by following this diet. The average weight loss was about 15.7 Pounds or 7.1 Kg. The average dieters were able to consolidate and stabilize their weight for up to 6.9 months.

  • ANSES Study:

The study conducted by ANSES indicates weight loss. But also shows that the 80 % of dieters have regained their lost weight within a year of completing the Dukan Diet. Only 20% dieters are able to stabilize their weight by following dukan diet plan.

  • Celebrity Weight Loss:

There are many references over the internet which shows the celebrity connection with the Dukan Diet. Kate Middleton, her Royal Highness is the member of the British Royal family has rumoured to lose weight by Dr Dukan`s Diet [5]. There are also evidences of celebrities like Penelope Cruz, Nicole Kidman and Jennifer Lopez losing their weight with Dukan Diet [6].

  • Lauren Bedosky Weight Loss:

Lauren Bedosky is an author at a leading website Women`s Health. She published her weight loss story after going on Dukan Diet. According to her article, she has managed to lose about 5 pounds of weight in two weeks [7].

Dukan Diet Review

The above evidences looks very promising for providing weight loss. But, the evidence reported by ANSES is showing a different side of the story of the Dukan Diet. It shows how people have rebounded back and gain the weight lost on the dukan diet plan. However, if we go by the evidence of ANSES, there are still 20% people who have managed to stabilize their weight loss even after one year.



So, what is the message to take home? Is Dukan Diet really effective for weight loss? Whether you can stabilize your weight loss by following dukan diet plan?

dukan diet review

The best way to understand this is by reviewing this weight loss diet. Though, this Dukan Diet Review is not going to be based on any scientific evidence. Rather it is a scientific evaluation of the elements present in the four diet phases. This evaluation can somehow help you understand the pros and cons of this diet.

The First Diet Phase:

  • Attack Phase Pros
    • The first phase of this diet is a pure protein phase. You have to follow all protein diet during these first 2-7 days. Eating nothing but protein can help you manage your weight while also improving your metabolism.
    • Intake of all protein diet is known to provide satiety effect and help you perceive fullness[8].
    • Following the all protein diet in attack phase can also enhance the thermic effect of food. This will help you in burning more calories to lose weight[9].
  • Attack Phase Cons
    • The pure protein phase seems very promising for weight loss but the people having issues with their kidney can have a negative impact on their health.
    • If high Intake of dietary protein is continued for long term, it can cause acid load in the kidney. This can further affect your bone health[10]. You should add potassium rich vegetables in cruise phase and fruits in consolidation phase immediately after the attack phase get over.
    • If you are suffering from Gout or any kind of liver disease, the attack phase in dukan diet is sure to give you hard time.

The Second Phase:

  • Cruise Phase Pros
  • Cruise Phase Cons
    • The Cruise Phase is the next step in the dukan diet after attack phase. It has same high protein foods with some vegetables. The cons of this phase mostly remain same as of the attack phase.
    • The Dukan Diet is a Low carb diet which also doubles up as a low fat diet. You are not allowed to eat any healthy fats or are limited to 1 tablespoon of olive oil daily. This may cause you to suffer from poor brain function and compromised cardiovascular health.
    • A Low Fat diet is also known to cause hormonal imbalance in the body. Following a low fat diet for prolonged periods can cause imbalance in sex hormones like estrogen and testosterone.



The Third Phase:

  • Consolidation Phase Pros
    • The Consolidation Phase marks the end of weight loss phase and reintroduces serving of fruit along with foods in cruise phase. The serving of fruit provides some amounts of carbohydrates which aren`t allowed on above two phases.
    • The reintroduction of carbohydrates back into your diet can help you sustain this long phase quite easily. And you will be able to revive your lost energy levels.
    • Long term carbohydrate deprivation can deplete your glycogen stores, slow down your immune system and host of other problems[11]. So, the introduction of fruits can help you beat this situation easily.
  • Consolidation Phase Cons
    • You stay in consolidation phase for a very long time if you have lots of weight to lose. You can easily get bore and withdraw yourself from this diet permanently.
    • Also, the long duration of this phase can lead to nutritional deficiencies and can cause eating disorders.

The Fourth Phase

  • Stabilization Phase Pros
    • The Stabilization Phase frees you from all the restriction from eating certain types of food. This is what makes it sustainable.
    • You can easily reintroduce all the required macronutrients back in your diet.
  • Stabilization Phase Cons
    • You can easily overeat on this phase as there is no restriction on the amount and type of food you can eat.
    • As, there is no regulation in this phase, you can easily regain all your lost weight. If you don`t make right food choices and start eating crap foods.

Should you follow Dukan Diet? – The Conclusion

The Dukan Diet claims to help you lose 10 pounds in just 5 days. This claim has seemed to be true in many evidences. People do have lost a considerable amount of weight in the first week itself. This Diet seems promising for most people apart from people having certain medical conditions.

The Dukan diet plan has a high protein and a low carbohydrate diet approach which is effective for fast weight loss. Dr. Dukan Diet seems to work but has downsides that we can`t close our eyes for.




The Diet has strict rules which make it less sustainable. Even if, you are able to sustain, it can cause nutritional deficiencies. The Diet doesn`t teach any lifelong lessons on healthy eating. Also, this diet eliminates many healthy and nutritious foods like the healthy fats which are important for fat loss on a low carb diet.

A high protein Diet is sure to keep your cravings and hunger in control. But the foods featured in this diet are very low calorie foods and you will be eating only 1000-1200 calories daily. Not to mention that such low calorie diets comes with health risks.

The Bottom Line

The Dukan Diet can do wonders in your weight loss as claimed by Dr. Dukan. But, it comes with a cost and concerns that can`t be ignored.

Dukan Diet FAQ




1. How much weight loss can I do on Dukan Diet?

You can lose up to 7-10 pounds of weight on the attack phase. And, about 2 pounds of weight every week on the cruise phase.

2. Should I need to do Exercise on Dukan Diet?

The Dukan Diet encourages you to stay active if you wish to lose weight. Dr. Dukan recommends you to walk per day for 20 minutes  in attack phase and 30 minutes in cruise phase. The other two phases requires you to walk for 25 minutes in consolidation phase and 20 minutes in stabilization phase. Doing exercise can help you reach your goal weight faster. It will in turn reduce your time that you spend in a particular phase.

3. Do I need any Supplements with Dukan Diet?

Dr. Dukan Diet doesn`t incorporate the use of any supplements in general. But, he recommends you to include a multivitamin if you are suffering from any vitamin or mineral deficiency.

4. Can I use Whey Protein Powder alone in the Attack Phase?

Eating out whey protein in the attack phase can land you in trouble. One serving of whey is a concentrated dose of protein in very small calories. Using whey protein for all your protein needs instead of real foods can cause imbalance in your body.

5. Can I drink Alcohol on Dukan Diet?

Dr Dukan prohibits the use of Alcohol until the consolidation phase. Once you reach this phase, you can have a glass of wine in your celebration meal.


6. Can I drink Fizzy soda or any other non alcoholic beverages on Dukan Diet?

You can drink low sugar and fat free beverages on Dukan Diet. The diet sodas, sparkling water and club sodas are allowed. But they should not contain more than one calorie and has to be sugar free. The coffee and tea are also allowed but should not contain any sugar or cream in it.

7. Is the Dukan Diet Cost friendly?

The cost of following a Dukan Diet can be a bit on upper side. You can easily expect to spend around $10-$15 per day for the dukan diet foods. Also, an additional fee of $29.99 will also levy monthly if you sign up for the Dukan Diet online coaching.

8. I am a Vegan. Can I follow Dukan Diet?

A Vegan can also follow a Dukan Diet. Vegetarians can consume protein from soy based products like Tofu and Soy Milk. You can eat yogurt provided it should be fat and sugar free. Also, you can eat two tablespoons of lentils per day only during attack phase.

9. How can I avoid sugar cravings on Dukan Diet Plan?

If you are constantly getting sugar cravings, you can eat goji berries in limited quantity starting from the attack phase. The quantity is limited to 1 Tablespoon per day on Protein Phase and 2 Tablespoon during Protein plus Vegetable Phase. Also, eating fat and sugar free yogurt can also help you counter your sugar cravings.

10. Can I occasionally eat out during Dukan diet plan?

You can eat out on a Dukan Diet occasionally. The only mandate thing is you choose the right foods. Always feel yourself free to ask for substitutions if you want to modify your food.

References:

  1. J. E, “Carbohydrates as a source of energy,”
  2. M. B. A. C. P. H. J. L. P. A. F. A. M. K. O.-B. A. P. A. J. M. R. B. L. J. P. J. B. J. P. C. L. K. M. C. E. K. M. A. M. P. Jaapna Dhillon, “The Effects of Increased Protein Intake on Fullness: A Meta-Analysis and Its Limitations,”
  3. R. S. Flynn MM, “Comparing an olive oil-enriched diet to a standard lower-fat diet for weight loss in breast cancer survivors: a pilot study.,” The Miriam Hospital and Brown University,
  4. “IFOP: Study for the DUKAN,” French Institute of Public Opinion,”
  5. P. Wehrwein, “Kate Middleton’s pre-royal weight loss: stress, “brideorexia,” or the Dukan Diet?,” Harvard Health Publishing,”
  6. C. B. JUJU CHANG, “’The Dukan Diet’: Meat Lovers’ Delight? Eat Meat, Don’t Go Hungry and Lose Weight Fast, Plan Claims,”
  7. L. Bedosky, “’I Tried the Dukan Diet for 2 Weeks—Here’s What Happened’,”
  8. C. P. A. A. W. T. W.-P. M. L.-M. N. W. S. M. R. Leidy HJ, “The role of protein in weight loss and maintenance.,”
  9. V. T. S. Dominik H Pesta, “A high-protein diet for reducing body fat: mechanisms and possible caveats,”
  10. M. L. Barzel US, “Excess dietary protein can adversely affect bone,”
  11. “10 Ways To Do A Low Carbohydrate Diet The Right Way,”