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The Dukan Diet

A French diet that has helped many A-list celebrities lose weight.

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  • Established: Book published in 2000 after over 20 years of research
  • Founder: Dr. Pierre Dukan
  • Headquarters: Paris, France
  • Accessibility: Book and online coaching
  • Diet Type: Low-glycemic index, high protein and low-carbohydrate
  • Gender: Male and female
  • Celebrity Endorsements: Kate Middleton, Jennifer Lopez, Gisele Bundchen

The Dukan Diet is a French-based weight loss plan that was rumored to be followed by Kate Middleton, model Gisele Bundchen and Jennifer Lopez, following their pregnancies.

Created by Dr. Pierre Dukan, the diet is the number one weight loss plan in the UK attracting women of all shapes, sizes and ages to help them lose weight. It is also referred to as the "Je ne sais pas maigrir" ("I don't know how to lose weight") diet plan.

The plan is centered around eating protein-based meals in a four-cycled program. The four cycles are: Attack, Weight Loss, Stabilization and Cruise.

The Dukan Diet is a remastered version of the Protein-Sparing Modified Fast (PSMF), which is a high-protein diet that was created over three decades ago for obese individuals.

The Dukan Diet has been criticized for being a fad diet as well as a diet that may be dangerous because of its strict guidelines.

You can expect to lose three to five pounds per week while following it.

There is both a Dukan Diet website and book that lays out very clearly what the diet entails including what you can and can't eat, portion sizes and the length of time you should remain in each phase in relation to your weight loss goal.

A new English language edition of Dr. Dukan's book was released on April 19, 2011. It is called The Dukan Diet: 2 Steps to Lose the Weight, 2 Steps to Keep It Off Forever and claims to be "The Real Reason The French Stay Thin." There is also a companion cookbook.

  • Will result in weight loss
  • Can help to jump-start a sluggish metabolism
  • Includes a daily exercise plan

  • Strict guidelines are likely to cause weight regain
  • May be dangerous for some who are at risk for electrolyte imbalances
  • Considered a fad diet
  • Likely to produce moodiness and lethargy especially during the first phase

The Dukan Diet is comprised of four specific phases that cycle the kinds of protein and carbohydrates you consume. The reason for this cycling is to dip into fat stores for energy and trick the metabolism into an efficient fuel-burning machine.

Few starchy carbohydrates are allowed except for those in the form of low glycemic vegetables like lettuce, spinach, celery, cucumbers, bell peppers, tomatoes, radishes and broccoli. In addition, oat bran should be consumed each day. Its amount varies according to the phase of the diet you are in. Oat bran is also a staple ingredient in many of the Dukan Diet recipes.

Here is a breakdown of the four cycles:

  • Attack Phase: Only very lean veal, beef, chicken (skinless) and turkey (skinless), fish and shellfish, eggs, fat-free dairy products are allowed. Greek yogurt with 0 percent fat and plain yogurt are considered great choices for dairy. Tons of fresh water is also required. This phase should not be followed for longer than 10 days.

  • Cruise Phase: Alternating in five-day cycles, you cycle back and forth between eating protein and non-starchy vegetables and eating only protein. No butter or oil can be used and tons of fresh water is required. Follow this phase until your goal weight is attained.

  • Consolidation Phase: One serving of fruit, two slices of whole wheat bread and 1.5 ounces of cheese is allowed each day. Two times each week, you are allowed to eat two 5-ounce servings of starch, like potatoes, rice or another grain. Protein is also a mainstay. In addition, two times a week, you can eat a cheat meal including wine and dessert. But the day after these cheat meals, you can only consume protein. The Stabilization phase is done for the number of days that equals four days for every half-pound lost.

  • Stabilization: Normal eating is resumed with one day a week devoted to consuming only protein.

A quality vitamin and mineral supplement must also be taken in order to maintain proper nutrient intake. Spices, moderate amounts of diet soda, artificial sweeteners are allowed. No added sugars, fats, oils or sugary condiments are allowed.


Walking is the form of exercise that is strongly encouraged within each phase. You are expected to walk 20 to 30 minutes a day, depending upon the phase you are in. The book also includes several strength-training exercises you can also incorporate into your daily routine.

Learn More
View About The Dukan Diet Slideshow

The Dukan Diet is a high protein weight loss plan that cycles you back and forth between a protein-based diet that allows for certain kinds, quantities and frequencies of carbohydrates.

The diet is a mega hit in the Europe as well as with some celebrities. And while it receives a few gold stars for its clear guidelines and its capacity to help you lose weight, it probably won't result in long-term weight loss and it may even cause health problems or at the very least, moodiness and dreams of bread, particularly during the Attack phase.

Common Misspellings

dukand diet, duken diet, ducan diet, duckan diet, ducking diet, duekan diet

Related Diets: Atkins Diet, The Cheater's Diet, High Protein Diet, Low-Carb Diet, The Cheat to Lose Diet, Crack the Fat Loss Code

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(Page 1 of 5, 92 total comments)


Unbelievable success with this program. I have been a yo-yo dieter for years - exercised till I dropped when I was young. Did phen-phen, Weight Watchers, Adkins, TOPS, all of them. I have lost 105 pounds. It took me 14 months. I have maintained for 6 months - which means I have been committed for 20 months. I have never felt better. I am 60 years old, have lost my cravings, am never hungry and feel like I am 40 again. So glad one of my friends told me about the program!!!

posted Oct 28th, 2015 12:51 am


lost 18 pounds in 2 month,didnt keep up with consolidation phase and end up gaining weight back...
First phase Attack was somewhat boring (limmited food alllowed),but it helped me with carb addiction:) I actually dont have crazy cravings anymore.My energy level actually was high,I didnt need coffee or carbs to start my day.I didnt finish my diet,because I didnt plan well my meals. I am doing Dukan again...:)This time I am excited about new receipies to try out,have calendar with all dates when I can eat what..SO,should do better this time! Overall,this is MY diet! It worked the best for me. It requires some effort,buy,hey,it worth it!

posted Sep 14th, 2015 9:20 pm


I started the Dukan Diet July 23, 2014 - to date I've lost 77 pounds. I started at 231pounds and I'm 154 pounds. Still going with phase 2 until I reach 145 pounds. This is the only diet that has worked for me. A very close friend of mine who has known me for 30 years said he couldn't believe it. Every other diet I would lose 15 pounds and that was it. It didn't matter how long I stayed on it and followed it. I've found this diet to be easy to follow and I've never felt hungry. Thank you Dr. Dukan.

posted Jun 16th, 2015 10:47 pm


The only diet I ever lost any weight on. I am 67 and have tried every diet possible. This one really kicks you into weight loss right away. Can be a bit hard to follow when travelling and when you have no control over what is served. You need to carry a stash with you. The gradual transition back into normal eating patterns is essential to follow.

posted May 30th, 2015 11:45 pm


Went on the Dukan on Sept. 22 at 212 pounds...78 days later I met my goal and weighed in at 179.6. It's an amazing process...and all it took was putting on a medium t-shirt and a pair of 34 waist jeans to make me realize for sure I won['t gain it back. It's March 30th and I'm still at 180...I do Monday and Tuesday as protein days to make certain I stay on track. What a great program...

posted Apr 1st, 2015 5:12 am


I tried this a couple of years ago and lost about 30 pounds in about 5 months. The only problem I had was that I didn't do well in the Consolidation phase...I was just tired of the strict diet. I have now gained that weight back+ 5 pounds. With that said, I am trying it again as it really is so effective and this time I am exercising...I did not last time. So I am hopeful that I can exist to the stabilization phase. I am a foodie and miss my carbs, but I also need to lose weight for my health so I am much more committed this time. I have tried other diets and none work as effectively as this one for me.

posted Mar 31st, 2015 7:04 pm


Worked marvels for me, I lost over 20 kgs without starving! Highly recommend it, but the no 1 success factor is to stick to the rules, and drink a lot of water!

posted Mar 6th, 2015 11:32 am

Kim Olsson

This diet is a miracle. I've lost 30kgs and I have been on the stabilisation phase for 2 years now. My health is excellent and I have truckloads of energy. Sadly, most reviewers of this diet usually haven't read and/or understood the diet before writing the review.

posted Nov 26th, 2014 2:30 am


Can't say enough about the Dukan Diet. I lost 33 lbs. in 45 days and feel great. Knee pain gone. Only issues I have is loss of muscle and loose skin, but I'm assured will return to normal.

posted Jul 19th, 2013 12:11 pm

Nuchjaree Saneyha

Hello, I have started this diet for 5 days already. I found that I love it because it helps me lose weights even it looks not easy to follow or control accroding to the rules. I have lost 3+Kg. in 5 days and feel fun to cook what the diet suggests doing. Tomorrow I am going to start my first day Cruise Pahase with Meats and Vegetables. That is great and I am looking forward to it :) Thanks

posted May 17th, 2013 5:39 pm


Kidney stones are a side effect of this diet if you don't drink enough water, so is constipation. You need to drink at least 2 litres of water a day and if you skip your daily exercise it won't work that well for you.
I am on this diet since January ( 4 months now) and I never felt better. I had constipation problems as well, but I had 1 extra spoon of oat bran( which is advised when you are constipated) and everything works out fine. My job is to walk around for 4-8 hours, so I consider this my daily exercise. IT is working wonders, so far I managed to lose 21 kg which is a big achievement for me. It is true I am using cod liver oil supplements for my joints because otherwise I would crush of painful joints, but other than that it's perfect. I don't have bad breath at all, I can see a lot of changes in my skin, my hair looks shinier than ever. Even now I crave fatty food, but when I feel the smell of it, it makes me feel sick. I am baking cakes and making desserts for my husband every other day and even if I crave having them, somehow my mind slips away to other things and go on without eating them.
Dukan Diet is like every diet, it works with some people and it doesn't with others. But in the long run. even with all the tiredness and moodiness it's all worth it!!!

posted Apr 20th, 2013 6:47 pm


So much of that is inaccurate. You are giving out wrong info to people.

posted Mar 24th, 2013 7:57 pm


This diet is awesome. I was sceptical at first cos I had tried so many diets before and it never worked. Today is 7 days since I started and I have already lost 3 Kg and am never hungry. So motivated now cant wait for the next phase.Good Luck to anyone that has just started . Remember nothing tastes as good as thin feels.

posted Mar 21st, 2013 6:12 pm


The Dukan Diet is fantastic. I lost 30+ kgs and have been in stablization for over 12 months. The other stages were reasonably easy for me and I did not feel like I was missing out on anything because the weight was coming off so well for most of the time and the online support was really helpful. I am finding that now though I do have some issues with not being able to eat carbs without gaining weight rapidly, but I am so happy to have lost the weight I never thought I would lose after many years of trying. It is the longest I have kept my weight down for many many years and am hopeful that my body will adjust happily, eventually.

posted Mar 19th, 2013 9:40 am


I have been in the Attack Phase for 5 days, and have not lost any weight. Anyone out there who tales medication that has resulted in weight gain-and tried this diet and weight loss still won't happen?

posted Feb 15th, 2013 4:34 pm


Started this diet today at 18stone. lets hope i can start getting rid of this.

So far i managed 2 boiled eggs for Bfast, Steamed chicken with black pepper for lunch with cottage cheese ( cant say im a grat fan of this!) for lunch.
as a PM snack - tuna with Greek Yoghurt ( fat free) and for dinner Steamed Chicken again and seafood sticks. with a few tbsp of greek yoghurt afterwards

so far there is not a great variety. however, tomorrow im attempting a DD chicken curry, and stroganoff on wednesday. tuna (egg white ) omlette tomorrow am. not sure about lunch yet. :)

posted Jan 7th, 2013 6:50 pm


I have been on DD since May 4, 2011. I have lost 74 pounds on DD and 38 prior to DD. It took me 3.5 years to loose the 38 pounds on the "eat to live diet" and my blood sugars were insane. I lost the 74 pounds in 8 months on DD my blood sugars are normal as well as all my other blood work. I no longer need to take medicine for diabetes. I am in the consolidation phase part 1 (240 days so far) and will enter the 2nd phase of consolidation in 40 more days). I would say that this has become a lifestyle for me and I love how I feel. I am 65 and never dreamed after 35 years of trying to get the weight off that it would ever happen for me. I am thrilled, my doctors are thrilled and I thank Dr. Dukan everyday for bringing this diet to the USA

posted Dec 26th, 2012 10:54 pm


It has been 15 days since I'm on this diet and I lost only 5.5lb. I stayed 5days on the attach and I'n on cruise phase for the last 10 days. I have missed a couple of walk-excercise otherwise doing it strictily. Seems slow, I don't know why?

posted Jul 15th, 2012 8:02 pm


I am trying this diet right now, and so far it is successful. I have lost 11kg in 7 weeks without too much effort and never starving. I do have to take some extra vitamins as I can see my body react to reduced vitamin C intake. I also do quite hard work-outs 2-3 times a week, so that probably also helps. Anyway, this is the best diet I have ever tried, and I would suggest it to anyone who has tried losing weight but not succeeded before.

posted Jun 29th, 2012 9:03 am


I love this diet

posted Jun 27th, 2012 8:25 am


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