Dukan Diet bookDukan Diet menu

Dukan Diet Overview

Impatient? This link goes straight to the sample Dukan Diet menu.

The Dukan diet is by far one of the most popular diets in the world. Although it is most popular in France, dieters in other parts of the world are beginning to pick up on its many benefits. Once you learn more about this diet, including how it works and what it can do for you, there is a good chance that you’ll like it enough to try it at some point in the near future.

The Dukan diet was designed by Pierre Dukan, a well known French dietician and nutritionist. Although he has been promoting this diet for more than 30 years, it only began to take off over the past decade. While it has been in existence for a very long time, it has evolved a little bit here and there over the years. Before you actually do the diet you should buy a copy of the book and read it to get a full understanding, this site provides overview so you can see if you like the sound of it. This is a best seller in France and has sold more than 10 million copies all over the world, has been translated into 14 languages and made available in 32 countries.

Dukan Diet Core Values

On the Dukan Diet you can eat as much as you like, as long as you stick to the allowed foods list which contains over 100 foods, in other words, you do not have to starve yourself in order to lose weight. Eating natural foods is central to the diet, as is exercise (a daily walk of 20-30 minutes at a minumum).  The diet is based around how much you want to lose and can last as long as necessary, even if you have the odd hickup.

Phases

The four pillars that Dukan refers to as: attack, cruise, consolidation and stabilization are the four phases that are going to help you reach all of your weight loss goals. Here’s a brief description of each.

Attack Phase

During the attack phase, you are going to lose weight rapidly, hopefully at a rate of 4.4 to 6.6 pounds (2-3 KG) over the course of two to seven days. During this time, you are kick starting your metabolism – this is easier than it sounds. Believe it or not, you can eat as much as you want of 72 foods during this time. As long as they are protein rich and on the approved list, you can continue to eat as much as you want. Does it get any better than that? This is not something that most diets can stake claim to. Read more about the Dukan Diet attack phase.

Cruise Phase

Moving on, the cruise phase is next. This is designed to allow you to gradually lose weight by eating protein rich food along with a list of 28 vegetables. During this phase, you are expected to lose roughly 2.2 pounds (1 KG) per week. Of course, this is based on your personal situation and how your body reacts. These figures are averages, you may lose more or less. During this phase, there are tolerated foods that you are allowed to eat. However, if you gain any weight during this period, these tolerated foods must be banned. Read more about the Dukan Diet cruise phase.

Consolidation Phase

The consolidation phase is third. This is designed to help prevent massive weight gain in the future. It is during this phase that you are reintroduced to a normal diet that includes bread, cheese, fruit, and starchy foods. These are the types of foods that most dieters think they will never be able to eat again. Fortunately, this is not the case with the Dukan diet. Instead, you are going to be introduced to these foods once again. Doing so in the appropriate manner will ensure that you don’t pack on any weight. As directed by the plan, you are allowed to eat two celebratory meals per week. Again, this is something that makes this diet quite unique when compared to others. Read more about the Dukan Diet consolidation phase.

Stabilization Phase

The final stage is known as stabilization. During this time, you can eat whatever you want without gaining weight. There are some rules that you need to be aware of, though. For example, you have to eat only protein one day per week, you have to eat oat bran every day, and you must be committed to following this stage for the rest of your life. If you truly want the Dukan diet to work, you cannot finish the four stages and then go back to your old way of doing things. Instead, you need to follow this final stage the rest of your life – this will help you avoid any future weight gain.

Is it Easy?

Just like all diets, you need to be aware of what you are putting into your body and what it could potentially do to you. This is a low carbohydrate diet, some people find it diffuicult for a few days while the body suffers from withdrawal from carbohydrates. Some of the symptoms that are associated with the early stages could include: lethargy, nausea, headaches, and loss of concentration. While this may be difficult to deal with, symptoms should only last for a short period of time.

The Dukan diet has been proven successful by millions of people, you can be successful with it too!

Once you know the ins and outs of the Dukan Diet, you can decide if it is right for you. Interested? You might find the Dukan Diet FAQ useful.

Here’s a great overview of the diet and an interview with Pierre Dukan that was originally shown on ABC Nightline.

Dukan Diet phasesDukan Diet meal

Dukan Diet Menu

There’s no set Dukan Diet menu, instead there’s an allowed foods list which contains over 100 different foods which you must stick to but generally you can eat as much as you like. During the Attack phase you’re limited to 72 of the 100+ foods in order to kick-start your diet. The majority of the foods are lean and high in protein which means that you won’t feel hungry all the time like with other diets.

Attack Phase Allowed Foods

Here’s the list of 72 foods that are allowed during the Attack Phase. Additionally you eat 2 tablespoons of oat bran every day, Peirre Dukan recommends you have it as a galette (a pancake).

Meat and offal
Beef steak Fillet of beef Sirloin steak
Roast beef Rump steak Tongue
Bresaola, air-dried/wind-dried beef Veal escalope Veal chop
Kidney Calf’s liver Pre-cooked ham slices (without any fat or rind)
Pre-cooked chicken and turkey slices (without any fat or rind) Fat-reduced bacon Game (venison, pheasant, partridge, hare, grouse)
Rabbit/hare

 

Fish
Bass Cod (fresh) Crab/ocean sticks (surimi)
Dab/lemon sole Dover sole Grey mullet
Haddock Hake Halibut
Herring Mackerel Monkfish
Plaice Pollock/Coley Rainbow trout/salmon trout
Red mullet Salmon Smoked salmon
Sardines Sea bream Skate
Swordfish Tuna Turbot
Whiting Fish roe (cod, salmon, herring)

 

Seafood
Calamari/squid Clams Cockles
Crab Crawfish/crayfish Dublin Bay prawns
Lobster Mediterranean prawns Mussels
Oysters Prawns Scallops
Shrimps Whelks

 

Poultry
Guinea fowl Ostrich Pigeon
Quail Turkey

 

Eggs
Hen’s eggs Quail’s eggs

 

Non-fat dairy products
Non-fat cottage cheese Non-fat fromage frais Non-fat Greek yoghurt
Non-fat yoghurt (plain or flavoured with aspartame) Skimmed milk

 

Vegetable Proteins
Tofu

 

Cruise Phase Allowed Foods

In the Cruise Phase you can eat all the foods allowed in the Attack Phase plus the vegetables listed below on alternate days.

Vegetables
Artichoke Asparagus Aubergine
Beetroot Broccoli Cabbage/Kale/Brussel sprouts
Carrot Celery Chicory
Courgette Cucumber Fennel
French beans/string beans/mangetout Leek Mushrooms
Onion Palm hearts Peppers (capsicum)
Pumpkin/marrow/squash Radish Rhubarb
Salad leaves: all types of lettuce, rocket etc Soya beans Spinach
Swede Swiss chard Tomatoes
Turnip

 

Consolidation Phase Allowed Foods

  • Same as Cruise Phase but you have vegetables every day
  • fruit
  • 2 slices of wholemeal bread with a scrape of low fat spread
  • 1 portion of carbs per week, in the second half this increases to 2
  • 1 celebration meal per week, in the second half this increases to 2
  • back to the Attack Phase for one day per week (same day every week)

Here’s a sample Dukan Diet menu for the Attack phase.

Breakfast

  • oat bran pancake
  • turkey ham slices
  • green tea

Lunch

  • steamed trout/salmon with herbs

Dinner

  • roast chicken breast (without skin)

Here’s a short video from ABC News that covers the phases towards the end.

Dukan Diet book

Dukan Diet FAQ

When it comes to the Dukan Diet, there are sure to be a few questions on your mind. This holds true with most diets, as you want to learn as much as possible before getting started. The more you know about your diet, the better chance there is that you will succeed both in the short and long term. Although you may never answer all your questions, as long as you address any major concerns, you will find it much easier to benefit from this diet.

What is the best way to prepare for the Dukan Diet?

The Dukan Diet is a long term commitment. If you are not ready to devote a lot of time and energy to this diet, you should look for another. To get a better idea of what the Dukan Diet is all about, read the entire book – this will help you get a better understanding of what you are up against. You should also consult your doctor to ensure that you are not doing anything that will harm your health.

How much weight will I lose?

The Dukan Diet is designed to help you reach your weight target, whatever that might be, so as long as you stick to the diet you’ll reach your target weight.

Can I really eat as much as I like?

Yes, as long as you stick to the allowed foods list.

Do I have to exercise?

Yes, exercise is a fundamental part being fit and healthy (2 of the core goals). Exercise is mostly limited to walking 20-30 mintues per day so it’s not strenuous. There are additional exercises you can do at home without any special equipment. See exercising during the Dukan Diet for full details.

Can I snack between meals?

Yes, as long as what you eat is on the allowed foods list. A core principle of this diet is that you can eat as much as you like.

Can I use sugar substitutes?

Yes, you can use Aspartame, Stevia, Splenda (sucralose) or saccharin (Sweet’NLow).

Can I drink alcohol?

When you reach the consolodation phase you can, otherwise no.

What can I drink?

Read Dukan Diet drinks?

What kind of yoghurt can I eat?

As much fat-free yoghurt as you like at any time. If it contains fruit pieces limit yourself to 2 servings per day, if your weight loss starts to stall reduce this to one serving per day and cut it out if you plateau.

Can I eat …?

Yes, in moderation (without dressing).

Can I eat nuts?

No.

Can I eat lentils?

If you’re vegetarian or vegan you may have 2 tablespoons of lentils per day only on pure protein days, otherwise no.

What is the best time of the day to weigh myself?

It does not matter when you weigh yourself, as long as you are consistent when doing so. Generally speaking, you are lightest in the morning after using the bathroom. If you want to motivate yourself throughout the day, by seeing your lowest weight, be sure to step on the scale early in the morning.

I cheated – is there any way that I can get back on track?

Let’s face it: staying on any diet is a difficult task. Fortunately, this is a forgiving diet. If you cheat and find yourself making mistakes, it does not take much to get back on track, continue with your diet plan.

Dukan Diet Cruise Phase

As with the Attack Phase, during the Dukan Diet Cruise Phase you can eat whatever you want and in whatever quantities, so long as it is on the food list. The list for phase two is much more extensive than its predecessor. Now you can eat vegetables! Some vegetables on the Dukan Diet foods list include but are not limited to: soy beans, spinach, artichoke, peppers, tomato and pumpkin. In limited quantities you can also have carrots and beetroots.

The length of the Cruise Phase is determined by the rate of weight loss. This phase continues until the target weight is reached. It is estimated that the Cruise Phase takes approximately 3 days per pound of targeted weight loss.

This phase builds on the Attack Phase by adding to the menu an unlimited quantity of 32 non-starchy vegetables allowed in what is called an every other day rhythm. There is also a daily increase of oat bran to 2 tablespoons, water consumption remains at 1.5 liters, and exercise is increased to 30 minutes.

Dukan does allow for different rhythms of altering between pure protein and protein plus vegetable days. While the core program is currently designed with an every other day rhythm, Dukan’s original program for maximum effectiveness was designed with an rhythm alternating every five days. This was difficult for many to maintain hence the current every other day rhythm. Those that have less weight to lose or who are older can opt for alternating between two days pure protein then 5 days with protein and vegetables. Once a rhythm is chosen it must be kept, switching between rhythms is not allowed.

The use of non-starchy vegetables keeps carbohydrate intake to a minimum and the additional oat bran intake helps to keep the body in balance and process the carbohydrates in the allowed vegetables effectively. Exercise is recognized as necessary to lowering insulin resistance, building muscle, burning calories, and reducing fat as well as assisting in a sense of well-being, strength, and health while maintaining the Cruise Phase.

This phase continues to deviate from accepted healthy eating guidelines. Even though supplements are a poor substitute for natural nutrition, supplements should be taken during all phases of the Dukan plan in an attempt to bridge the nutritional gap and mitigate health risks.

You will notice the rate of weight loss beginning to slow down. The slower rate of loss does not in any way, shape, or form mean that the diet is not working. The decrease is beneficial for healthy weight loss, this is not a yo-yo diet.

When our bodies begin to lose weight, our skin does not immediately fit its new form. Our skin is one of many pieces to our body that needs to adapt the change in weight. The slower pace in weight loss allows for the tightness of our skin to catch up.

Your daily walk that is part of the diet will also begin to change your life. The walk is more than likely, noticeably easier, just like the diet itself. Regulating your breath will be easier and strides are more consistent. Now that your body is adjusting to the new lifestyle, you should increase your daily walk to 30 minutes. Now phase one is complete, you may have noticed that in general you have more energy and vibrance.

Here’s a short video in which Pierre Dukan explains the Cruise Phase.

Dukan Diet Attack Phase

The length of the Dukan Diet Attack Phase is determined by the specific amount of weight that you want to lose and ranges from one to ten days. One day for those targeting less than ten pounds (4.5 KG) of weight loss with seven to ten days reserved for those targeting forty or more pounds (18+ KG).

During the Attack Phase the diet is restricted to an unlimited quantity of 68 high protein, low fat foods prepared using low fat methods (see the food list). In addition to the high protein foods, the attack phase requires 1.5 tablespoons of oat bran per day and you must drink at least of 1.5 liters of water each day. Oat bran assists the diet by helping to lower cholesterol, providing a feeling of fullness, and slowing fat and sugar absorption.

For the duration of the Attack Phase it is crucial the diet is precisely followed. According to Dr. Dukan, any deviation will not properly jump start the body into weight loss so the Attack Phase must be started again from day one.

This phase of the deviates from standard healthy eating guidelines which stipulate that each day a person should consume 50% of daily calories from carbohydrates and 18g of fiber. Within this phase, calories from carbohydrates and fiber intake is much lower than the guideline.

Aside from a restricted diet the Dukan Diet plan includes a required 20 minutes of easy exercise during the Attack Phase. Walking is suggested along with some simple strength building exercises that can be added if desired. Dr Dukan suggests walking because it burns calories, produces serotonin and endorphins, builds muscle, and is a low impact risk free exercise that can be used long term.

Dr Dukan does warn that there can be short term negative side effects such as bad breath related to dry mouth, fatigue, and possible constipation all of which are common with high protein, low carbohydrate diets.

Here’s a short video in which Pierre Dukan explains the Attack Phase

Dukan Diet Drinks

Whilst on the Dukan Diet you may drink up to 3 cans of diet soda (diet coke etc) per day, however mineral water (or tap water) should form the main body of hydration (try to drink at least 1.5 liters per day). Flavored water should be viewed with caution, if it contains more than 7g … Continue reading

How does the Dukan Diet work?

The Dukan Diet is often compared to the Atkins Diet, due to the emphasis on cutting out carbohydrates from your daily eating patterns and eating much more protein than usual. The basic principle of the diet is to consume foods that are high in protein while being low in carbohydrates and fats. The idea is … Continue reading

Pierre Dukan

Although Pierre Dukan has been practicing medicine for many years, his name is just now starting to become more mainstream across the world. In short, Dukan is a French nutritionist and medical doctor. This may not mean much to you, but there is a good chance that you know a thing or two about his … Continue reading

Dukan Diet Consolidation Phase

The Consolitation Phase is designed to prevent the weight you’ve lost from being put back on. It lasts for 11 days for each KG you’ve lost (or 5 days per pound). During the consolidation phase you eat the same foods as on the Cruise Phase but have vegetables every day. Additional Foods Additionally you have … Continue reading