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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, 88 total comments)


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


The first diet that has worked for me in 15 years!!

posted Jun 24th, 2012 8:39 pm

jj alexander

Today I have been on the diet for 3 weeks and have lost 17 pounds. I am a 62 year old woman and for me the most difficult thing is preparing food for my husband who is NOT on the diet. There is a good range of food and it is not as difficult as I thought doing without fats and carbs. The results are impressive and I am very pleased!

posted Jun 9th, 2012 12:36 am


I am mid dukan diet and... It is really working for me! I have been following it with ease, and have actually been eating a little bit more than I used to when I was trying to be 'healthy'. I have had no problems whatsoever. The attack phase was simple: I didn't feel tired at all and I'm extatic that I am halfway to my goal already! I really recommend it

posted Apr 8th, 2012 11:52 pm


To be honest, this is the most effective diet I have ever been on...and I have tried almost all of them over the past 45 years! Call me the 'star' of yo-yo dieting! But, I have the feeling (I know) that this one is really changing my life. It certainly is saving me from undergoing a gastric bypass!
I signed up for Dukan's online coaching on Feb 21, weighing in at 119.8kg (264 lbs) for a height of only 155 cm (5ft. 1in). My Attack Phase lasted only 3 days, so it was very doable - not difficult at all. I was delighted when I saw that I had lost 3.8kg (8.4 lbs) already!
True - I was quite tired in the first week or two, but I kept going, switching to the Cruise Phase on Day 4, and now, just under 6 weeks since starting, I have lost a total of 11.4 kg (over 25 lbs) and I am feeling great - so full of energy! My blood glucose levels have fallen back into fully normal range after being pre-diabetic for years! Compliments are flowing in re how well I look!
To everyone saying that this is an unbalanced diet, if you follow it under medical supervision (check with your doctor first), sign up to the on-line programme (the daily reporting and feedback are really supportive and motivational), apply the principles properly (not necessary to use all the menus suggested - you can substitute your own), drink-drink-drink...water, of course (and/or tea, herbal teas, coffee, etc) to flush out the toxins, have the daily bran (porridge, pancakes, muffins, galore on Dukan website) for intestinal transit and take your daily exercise...then you will see how easy and effective it is! What could be so dangerous about the Dukan Diet, especially since in Phases 3 and 4, there is a gradual transition back to 'normal' eating - whatever you want - except for one Pure Protein day per week?
Frankly, I would rather press on with Dukan than undergo obesity surgery with all its irreversible short-term and, especially, longer-term risks which are only now being revealed!

posted Mar 31st, 2012 12:04 pm


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