Interested in the Dukan diet but not sure where to start? We've got the full low down here!
Dukan Diet Overview
The Dukan diet was created by Dr. Pierre Dukan, designed to help you lose weight, but keep off the weight.
The diet was designed to help train you healthy eating habits, so you are able to maintain your results far after you complete the diet.
The diet includes four phases: The diet includes rotating macronutrients throughout the week, and also combines exercise with healthy eating to achieve and maintain results.
Foods to Choose From
+ fruit, starchy foods, whole grain bread & cheese
all food groups allowed
Expected Weight Loss
2 - 8 lbs during the phase
2 lbs per week
approx 3 days per lb
5 days per lb lost during Cruise
Amount of Oat Bran (tbsp per day)
Physical Activity (per day)
phase #1: attack phase
The Attack Phase is the beginning phase of the Dukan diet, during which you'll only be eating pure protein.
The idea is that the sudden, drastic change in diet triggers a quick weight loss start, helping you stay motivated to continue the diet after encouraging initial results.
During the Attack Phase, you can only eat natural, pure protein foods. You can choose from 68 proteins, in unlimited quantities (aka you can eat as much as you want).
The protein intake flushes out excess water from your body, and the digestion of proteins will also produce ketones. During this time, you'll want to be sure to drink 6-8 cups of water each day. You'll also need to take 1.5 tablespoons of oat bran per day.
You'll also start to gradually exercise during the Attack Phase - the Dukan diet suggests gentle walks consisting of 20 minutes per day.
The duration of your Attack Phase depends on a number of factors including your age, the amount of weight you want to lose, and how many diets you've done in the past. Usually, the Attack Phase lasts from 2-7 days.
foods to eat during attack phase
- Lean Meat: Ex: Beef tenderloin, filet mignon, buffalo, extra-lean ham, lean center-cut pork chops, reduced fat bacon, flank steak, pork tenderloin
- Poultry: Ex: Chicken, Chicken liver, Cornish Hen, Fat-free Turkey and chicken sausages, ostrich steak, quail, turkey, wild duck
- Fish: Arctic char, Catfish, Cod, Flounder, Grouper, Haddock, Halibut, Herring, Mackerel, Mahi Mahi, Monkfish, Orange roughy, Salmon, Tilapia, Trout, Tuna
- Shellfish: Clams, Crab, Crawfish, Crayfish, Lobster, Mussels, Octopus, Oysters, Scallops, Shrimp, Squid
- Vegetarian Proteins: Seitan, Soy foods and veggie burgers, Tempeh, Tofu
- Fat-free Dairy Products: Fat-free cottage foods, fat-free cream cheese, fat-free milk, fat-free ricotta, fat-free sour cream
- Eggs: Chicken, Quail, Duck
foods to not eat during attack phase
All other food groups, including vegetables, starchy foods, grains, and fruits.
phase #2: cruise phase
The cruise phrase will bring you back to your "true weight."
During the cruise phase, you'll add 32 vegetables to your diet, bringing you to a total of 100 natural foods to choose from.
During this time, you'll alternate days between pure protein days, where you eat only protein, and days when you eat veggies + protein.
This period lasts for a varied amount of time - you'll spend 3 days for each pound you want to lose in the cruise phase. The weight loss is slow but steady - most people lose 1 lb every 3 days.
You'll also want to plan on 30 minutes of brisk walking each day, plus 2 tablespoons of oat bran per day.
foods to eat during cruise phase
All foods from the Attach Phase are allowed, plus:
- Green beans
- Palm hearts
- Spaghetti squash
foods to not eat during cruise phase
Similar to Attach Phase, you still can't eat starchy vegetables (like potatoes and sweet potatoes), whole grains, or fruits.
phase #3: consolidation phase
The consolidation phase is intended to prevent the rebounding effect that happens with so many diets.
During this time, you'll gradually reintroduce forbidden foods back into your diet, in limited quantities. While retaining your established base of veggies and proteins, you'll begin to add back in some starchy foods.
Each week, you are also allowed up to two "celebration" meals.
What is a Celebration Meal? A celebration meal is composed of 1 appetizer, 1 entrée, 1 dessert and 1 glass of wine. You may only have one serving of each item.
This phrase is composed of a strict timeline. For each pound lost during the Cruise Phrase, you'll spend 5 days in the Consolidation Phase.
Make sure you also maintain 25 minutes of brisk walking during this period, take 2 tablespoons of oat bran per day, and continue your Pure Protein Thursday - the day where you eat only protein!
Pure Protein (PP) Days
From the Consolidation Phase onwards, you'll continue to have every Thursday as a Pure Protein day. This is the day when you'll eat only protein.
foods to eat during consolidation phase
In addition to the 100 natural foods, in the first half of the Consolidation Phase, you can now begin introducing:
During the 2nd half of the Consolidation Phase, you can add:
foods to not eat during consolidation phase
Despite your general fruit allowance, you are still NOT allowed to have bananas, grapes, figs, or cherries.
phase #4: stabilization phase
In the Stabilization Phase, all the good habits you've practiced previously will become cemented into your life! Now that you have a pattern to follow, you'll continue it.
In addition to keeping up the schedule you've already established, the Dukan Diet also requires that you:
That concludes our intro to the Dukan Diet! Have you ever gone on the Dukan Diet? If so, share your experience in the comments!