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The Dukan Diet

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

QUICK FACTS Start the Diet Now Advertisement
  • 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
BACKGROUND

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.

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

CON
  • 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
DIET and NUTRITION

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.

EXERCISE

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
CONCLUSION

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 2 of 5, 84 total comments)

Luvs_Dukan

Call me insane or looney but on the first day that I tried it, the next day that I woke up, I lost 5 pounds!!!!! And then another 3 pounds on the day...I thought it was just water weight but then when I tried on some of my clothes that didn't fit me before, I was surprised that I could fit into them already!!! Before I started this diet, I was already a size 4...I couldn't be any happier now that I'm shrinking more. All my life, I've been into yo-yo dieting and went to my heaviest at size 8 at one point..That was horrendous for me!! THank God, I found this diet..My advice is to strictly stick to the plan and if you feel hungry or you're having some cravings for forbidden foods, drink some diet coke, water, and coffee w/o sugar and cream..It works!! I'm definitely recommending this diet to the ones that I care for :)

posted Feb 19th, 2012 12:26 am


Star

I started this diet a year ago and lost 30lbs in a month and a half. Unfortunately, I didn't make it to the 3rd phase because a friend of mine died suddenly and I said the heck with the diet. I'm re-starting the diet and am excited because I know that I will lose the weight again and this time, make it to the consolidation phase. The attack phase isn't much fun. Especially since I only eat seafood and eggs when it comes to meat. I'm on my 3rd day of the attack phase and to be honest, I haven't lost anything yet, BUT it's also that time of the month. I remembered from my last experience that the water weight will shed, so I'm not discouraged. I already feel the difference in my energy levels and feel confident that I will see the "hidden" results once my period ends. I'm so looking forward to eating vegetables again. Once you get to the cruise phase, the diet is pretty much a breeze. I was really motivated and would walk 45 minutes to an hour right as I began the diet. Then I was able to start running for 5-10 minutes sometimes, which was impressive to me since I really haven't ran for long periods of time since high school. Lol. I tried WeighNot and became very aggravated with it. I was seeing results, but having to weigh my meals, take pills, drink gagging beverages and counting my steps was just a pain. So I'm back for round two on Dukan and am positive I'll be satisfied with my results. I think you will be too.

posted Feb 16th, 2012 9:18 pm


Siobhan

I LOVE this diet already! I'm on day 5 and have lost around 3 kilos!!! I feel great, really energised and I'm never hungry! A hint would be stock up on good foods before you start- I bought so much roast chicken before starting and I'm glad I did because otherwise this diet would've been finished after day 1!

posted Feb 15th, 2012 9:08 am


Candice

I had lost 25# on Atkins last year, stabilized for 6 months - and then was stuck. So I signed up for the website coaching with Dukan.
They wanted my goal weight to be about 8# more than my insurance company wants, and more than I would have liked, but given my history (you fill out a detailed history) they feel it's a weight I could maintain easily. We'll see!

I was very skeptical about the short amount of time they felt I would reach my goal weight - about 6 weeks for 15#, and those last pounds are always the pits. But, I'm a week from Consolidation, and I'm only about a pound from my goal, so there you go.

Pros: Really works if you stick to it and do the exercises. And seems to work in the allotted time - a real surprise to me. Having been promised all kinds of things by lots of diets, having one that worked as predicted was a revelation. And I've tried LOTS of diets in the last 30 years.

Having to sign in and put in my weight and measurements every day has helped me stick to it. Knowing I need to get on the scale and get the tape measure out every morning helped me keep going, even though my weight and measurements went up and down almost every day.

You're rarely hungry - you can always have a boiled egg or a yogurt with Stevia if you're feeling peckish. And I found some of the flavored waters to be just the ticket to help out.

My doctor is delighted I've lost weight, and I was able to go off my B/P meds. She was impressed!

Cons: the recipes are totally worthless if you live in a small town not on one of the coasts (lots of seafood). And most of them are not what I'd eat anyway. They include a dessert with every meal, which is OK if you're hung up on desserts, but since I hardly ever eat desserts, I just skipped them.
The website will not take into account what foods you have available, - the menus appear to be canned - no surprise there.So plan on finding things you can make with the foods you have available. Took me a couple of weeks to get the hang of this. Be patient, and scour your stores for possibilities.

Will do nothing if you have a big pot-belly. I am now a very fit person if you don't look at me from the side. I've lost almost nothing on my belly- lost everywhere else. If you're looking to lose belly fat, this diet may not help much - but then none of them do.

Questions can be asked on the website, and the answers vary depending on who answered. I found some folks to be much better than others at answers.

On the whole, I'd say this is much better than the usual diet, and you're not hungry all the time. I'm hopeful that with the continued coaching (when you sign up, they take you through consolidation) I'll be able to stabilize at this weight and stay here.

posted Feb 8th, 2012 12:31 pm


Teresa

If you have a blip on phase 2 of the diet, can you restart Dukan Diet at anytime? dukan diet

posted Feb 7th, 2012 4:24 pm


megann

I started the diet Jan 29/2012. I have stuck to the restrictions of what I can and can not eat. I have done a minimum of 20 minute walk everyday. I am excited for my body to retrain how to eat. I am in my early 20's and I have about 40 pounds to loose in total. From the unreliable scale I have it says I have lost 3 pounds so far but I will be picking up a new scale this evening. Reading the reviews there are a mix of good and bad and I don't understand why people are bashing it saying it doesnt work and its no good. Not every diet is going to work for everyone. However I appreciate the feedback. If anyone has some recipes they would like to share that would be greatly appreciated!

posted Feb 1st, 2012 6:24 pm


kak

extremely unhealthy. I would never recommend this diet! Losing weight is a fact, but it destroys your organism.

posted Jan 18th, 2012 4:07 pm


suzette

I have started last Friday having yet weighed but feels great

posted Jan 10th, 2012 1:36 am


smilesandsheep

I'm on Day 12 of the diet and have only recently started the Cruise Phase; however, it seems to be working. I'm down 12 lbs from my starting weight (have close to 50 more lbs to lose, though).

I think it'd definitely be easy to get very bored with what you're eating day-to-day and discouraged on this diet, so it takes a certain amount of investment; i.e. I don't recommend this whole-heartedly to every one of my friends. I do really like the emphasis this diet has on avoiding processed food, though.

It definitely helps to have support on this diet, so the fact that my mother and I are coordinating, trading recipes, and checking up on one another has certainly helped.

posted Dec 9th, 2011 9:42 pm


Teegan

How long would it take for me to lose 7-10kg? I'm hoping for a week? How long would it take for me to lose 7-10kg? I'm hoping for a week, because that's all I have... until I go on my holiday. That being said, how much weight CAN you lose in a week? Also, I have a food question: The Dukan Diet allows OAT bran, so would porridge be ok? With no sugar, that is. Also are sausages allowed? Thanks for everyones answers!

posted Nov 18th, 2011 8:19 am


Janine

On 4th day of Attach - feeling bloated! Only have 5-7 kgs to lose before a holiday, and have lost a kilo, whereas when I stick to strict calorie control I get a flat stomach on Dukan i seem to have lost the weight from my breasts! Not good.

posted Nov 1st, 2011 3:05 pm


Janine

I have around 5-7 kgs to lose in hurry before my holiday.
Currently on the 4th day of Attack and I'm not struggling to stick to it and have lost over a kilo BUT when I lose through simple strict calorie control I get a flat stomach and feel slimmer within days. On this diet I feel bloated and sluggish and the weight seems to be coming off my breasts - which, as a pear shape is NOT what I want! I think I may go back to simply being strict on my calorie consuption.

posted Nov 1st, 2011 3:03 pm


Gary

Hi all, i've been on this diet for 11weeks. Starting wt 15st. Lost 6lbs in 7 days on Attack. Lost 8lbs on 1st week of cruise phase. 1 stone in 2 weeks...i couldnt believe it! Then went 5 days and the scales would not move...i just doubled the walking time to 1 hr for next few days...this did the trick! Reached target weight of 13 stone after only 8wks. Then started 3rd phase of diet...introducing more treats...cheese..wholemeal bread..celebration meals! My weight has kept on dropping!! now 12st 7lbs (11weeks in)!! Trying to eat more food..but as other people have found...i feel fuller sooner..i feel satiated sooner..i have given up alcohol (I was drinking EVERY single day before this diet) now im happy just drinking tea or sugar free pepsi max. I now enjoy food more and feel healthier even though i did go through the periods of feeling fatigued, mood swings and constipation as my body was coming to terms with and having to readjust to the very low carb intake. Plus points now...my cholesterol has lowered...snoring stopped..sleep apnea stopped...blood sugar normal...beer belly gone! eating healthier...energy levels increasing...no more hangovers!.... less chance of developing diabetes(both my parents are type 2 diabetics!)...and i can now touch my toes in the shower! :-D. Dont try the Atkins diet as someone previously suggested! How can you suggest going back to eating fatty foods cooked in fatty greasy oils after doing this diet..numpty! Is that good for your heart??

posted Oct 19th, 2011 3:45 pm


Jessica

This is working for me thus far, but there doesn't seem to be a mention on how high protein diets affect the kidneys...I could have missed it but I feel that's very important and people need to do their researching regarding this before they embark on such a diet... :)

posted Oct 6th, 2011 3:50 am


Phil

Have been doing Dukan for 8 day. 5 on Attack and 3 in cruise. I am 57 with 20 it's to lose. Have lost 3 already with no negatives.

posted Sep 27th, 2011 4:07 pm


pelmeni71

The concept has very similar principles to other high protein diets BUT is VERY restrictive and almost impossible to sustain as a permanent lifestyle change. A definite FAD in my opinion. Very unimpressive results. I have used other eating plans where i eat more but lose a LOT more....try Atkins or Body Trim instead, they have more achievable and permanent results whilst introducing a small % of complex carbs at the same time. This means that when you finally achieve your goal weight you can maintain it.

posted Sep 24th, 2011 1:33 am


marianne

I am getting ready to start the Dukan diet tomorrow. I am an avid protein shake drinker. Has anyone used protein shakes (no carbs, no sugars) on this diet?

posted Sep 18th, 2011 9:32 pm


krykyl

Hello all, after reading all the reviews I decided to try the diet. I started Wednedsay and I have already lost 4 pounds. I have a total of 15pounds to lose. Phase 1 is alot harder than I thought. I can't wait to incorporate vegetables into my diet!!! I must admit thought I am not that hungry so the cravings are not there. I just have the idea of seeing my plate with only a pice of chicken on it. :-( I could see myself enjoying Phase 2 as I am a big salad eater. I will keep you guys posted.

posted Sep 16th, 2011 10:03 am


Michelle

I have been on th diet for five and half weeks and have lost twenty-three pounds. I feel better than I have in years.

posted Sep 5th, 2011 7:56 am


Corina

I'm on the little heavier side of the scale. I originally weighed in at 303 lbs. but now 223 lbs. I want to applaud ww for getting me down to 260 lbs. Prior to embarking into the dukan diet, I weighed in at 234 lbs. and worked my may down to 223 lbs. I am proud to say that this diet does work if you stick to what it calls for. I believe sacraficing a little and give you a lot. It's only been the second week, and see how much progress I've made so far....it is tough to teach a dog new tricks but it's worth trying. Thank you for this chance to start a new life for me. I am not near my goal of at least 195 lbs. lighter but will hopefully or eventually get there someday.

Thank you!!

posted Aug 12th, 2011 5:07 pm



 

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