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The Dukan Diet

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

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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.

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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

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(Page 4 of 5, 97 total comments)

Rachel Holt


Why have i not lost my weight, having been on the diet for 8 weeks, i have only lost 1 kilo, (need 2 kilos) Whilst i am enjoying the diet, i have only got 3 kilos to lose, and have so far only lost 1 kilo, i have been on the diet for 2 months now, although i am still having the occasional alcoholic drink on the weekend. It is very frustrating, i run everyday and do gym 5 days a week.

posted Jun 9th, 2011 10:21 pm



I have been on Dukan for about 6wks. I've lost approximately 20lbs but have been unable to exercise due to injury & subsequent surgery.

Lots of people protest the Dukan diet is unhealthy, but it is a matter of what foods you choose. I don't eat processed foods, nitrates, artificial sweetners, etc. I use Stevia for sweetening things. I do use olive oil (sparingly) despite Dr Dukan's admonishment.

I have been a long-time 'healthy Atkins' dieter but have been stalled for a long time. Making the adjustment has been pretty easy. I am a 'foodie' and have been to come up with many delicious & creative meals. I don't feel deprived.

Non-fat Greek yogurt has been a staple. Very easy 'go to' for me.

My challenge is lack of appetite. I am just not hungry. I log everything I eat/drink on sparkpeople. Some days I haven't even had 400 calories & I was not hungry/weak.

To battle constipation, I drink 100oz water or decaf organic iced tea. I may take a natural supplement to deal with the 'back-up'. Problem solved.

I didn't have any sort of cravings/headaches - but. Have been eating low carb for years. I have Lupus, so I get fatigued from time to time. I cannot say I have experienced more fatigue than normal.

I found the book itself hard to follow. There should have been a better ghost-writer involved. Dr Dukan's on site & boards at time contradict what is in the book.

It has worked for me (from a weight loss perspective), but no matter which diet you choose, you have to make it work for you and adapt long-term. I still have a ways to go before I move toward Consolidation - one cannot go bck to eating like they used to when reaching their goal.

posted Jun 3rd, 2011 5:53 pm



It is very effective, but I have changed the 'protein-only' days to include lettuce and/or spinach or kale, as they have hardly any carbs anyway and add a lot of fibre. They have not impacted the weight loss at all.
I decided to track what I ate on livestrong.com, and discovered that I was eating less than 800 calories per day - it is hard to eat a lot of calories on a lean-protein, low-fat diet! I was not hungry after the 2nd day of the attack phase.

posted Jun 1st, 2011 2:11 pm



On Day 7 of Attack Phase and have already lost 5 lbs.

posted May 29th, 2011 2:35 am


Like many others here, I didn't have a lot of weight to lose (12 lbs) but had been unsuccessful despite being a pretty healthy person. The idea of reaching my goal in 1.5 months seemed great! In 3 days of attack I lost 4.4 lbs, and I am now in my 17th day with 7.2 lbs lost, which still puts me on track to lose the rest in another 3.5 weeks. I have adjusted to the diet pretty well, and am looking forward to the consolidation phase, which for me will be back to normal life.
I think people always have something to say because they want to find reasons to not try a diet, and try to justify the reasons why they are overweight. This diet is not like Atkins which promoted eating fats! And for those that criticize because you can't eat fruits, I would guess no one actually got fat by eating fruits, so it's time to make a sacrifice and try something that works! And this one does...

posted May 26th, 2011 12:53 pm


This is the best diet I've tried so far ;no counting calories, never hungry,I lost 8 pounds so far in three weeks; carbs are usually my weakness but after the first few days I did not really have cravings for carbs

posted May 19th, 2011 9:33 pm


Amazing! So easy to do. Felt more energetic from the first day. I am on day 11 and very optimistic that I can reach my goal weight within a month.

posted May 13th, 2011 8:59 am



can u have spelemda

posted May 10th, 2011 6:52 pm


If you have high cholestrol you can follow the diet still but you just use egg whites instead of the whole egg. In the book it recommends that if you high cholestorel that you only have between 3 and 4 egg yolks a week. This diet is really good as I'm not feeling hungry on it at all, but as I don't eat fish my choice of Pure Protien foods is fairly limited, I'd recommend it but you need to have good willpower to suceed and be really organised about haing all the foods you need and plan you daily menu that has helped me enormously, Good Luck :)

posted May 7th, 2011 11:57 am


The diet sounds wonderful but would like to hear from people that worry about high cholesterol. Mine has always been in the 500 range and is finally down to 222 with Crestor. I love my fruits & yogurt, veggies, beans, oatmeal too. I eat meat and fish but in very small portions. I love the idea of the diet but don't want my cholesterol to skyrocket or lose nutrition. Any advice would be very welcome. If allowed, would you also email me at Molly9094@aol.com thank you all.. good luck :)

posted May 3rd, 2011 11:49 am


I've been on the diet for 4 day and have lost 8 pound , I love the ( U Can Diet !!!! )

posted Apr 29th, 2011 11:18 am

Emilie Hassan


I hated that diet...

In fact I lost a lot of pounds (they came back with friends really fast lately) but I lost also my gallbladder. Too much cholesterol, bad breath, I looked so bad... 10 pounds lost, 20 found 6 months later after surgery.

posted Apr 28th, 2011 2:36 pm


A very important note on this diet: You aren't supposed to be on it forever. It's designed to make you lose a lot of weight very fast and then keep it off. Eating only protein is not a normal diet and never will be -- this is what makes it different than the Atkins diet, which goes out of its way to villainify carbs. Carbs are not bad, nor are they the enemy.

What this diet does is force your body into starvation mode while at the same time keeps your muscles from being attacked like they normally would if you were in total starvation. I've been following it and so far I've lost quite a bit of weight in attack mode (7 lbs in 6 days). I expected that and am delighted. However I didn't expect to be utterly sick of meat this quickly, lol.

posted Apr 10th, 2011 6:50 am


I am American, early 40s female whoā??d like to lose 20 lbs. I am 5ā??4ā? and would like to get back to size 6.

While I never had a weight problem up until about 5 years ago, a combo of lowered metabolism with age along with increasing habitual laziness (only partially due to herniated disc), Iā??ve gradually worked my way up 20 lbs.

Over the last couple of years Iā??ve tried Weight Watchers twice along with a few fad diets. With WW, I managed to lose 5 lbs only each time before hitting plateau and eventually losing patience only to gain it back.

Started Dukan 11 days ago and have followed the 5/5 plan to a T (except I admit for the 20 mins a day of walking, which I have been intermittent with). My typically protein days are: morning- coffee with skim milk +-fat free cottage cheese, lunch-chicken or turkey, afternoon snack-lite laughing cow cheese and a slice or two of deli turkey, dinner- fish, chicken, turkey or ground turkey (I had lean red meat twice), evening snack- fat free plain yogurt (I add a dash of vanilla extract and 1 splenda). I drink 2-3 liters of water/day and try to include some mineral water. On protein/veg days I eat similarly, but with a bit less protein portion and add lots of veggies (no starchy, only those on the list). The only condiments Iā??ve used are Dijon mustard, vinegar, dash of lemon/lime juice and spices. If I have a question as to whether something is acceptable (sugar free jello for example), I do without. I have not strayed once.

I went crazy missing carbs the first day ā?? totally like withdrawal from a drug. Second day was not so bad, and I can honestly say itā??s gotten easier with each passing day. Toughest time Iā??ve had so far was resisting the strawberry margaritas at a friendā??s dinner party last weekend!

First week I lost 5 lbs, yay! I am not a big person, and Iā??ve never lost so much weight so quickly!
Over the last 6 days Iā??ve lost 2 more lbs, bringing me below the ā??plateauā? weight I was able to reach with WW. No disrespect to WW as I know itā??s a healthy route and works for many. I am impatient, and I think thatā??s why Iā??m having some luck with Dukan. The switching it up every 5 days makes me feel as though Iā??m starting something new, and actually helps me to continue. The quick weight loss is motivating. Iā??m not a fan of protein weeks, not only because I miss the variety of other foods, but also because I know how dangerous those toxins can be to your kidneys/liver without PLENTY of water. However, I am cognizant of hydrating, and understand that with Dukan pp is temporary. Once I reach goal, I see no problem living with this after incorporating fruit and a couple of pieces of whole wheat bread, and in fact, that combination of foods is actually a great for long term.

posted Apr 1st, 2011 3:00 pm


So I started the diet on 2/23/11 and in 5 days I have lost about 9 lbs. I still feel great and am making sure to eat just the foods that are allowed in the attack phase. I am starting the cruise phase on Monday. I really don't feel like it's too hard to follow the rules of the diet, and I honestly don't think that it will be that hard to follow I mean eat almost anything you want 6 days a week and then just protein on Thursdays!!I have 35 lbs to lose total and can't wait until its all gone! Get the book

posted Mar 27th, 2011 1:37 am


I am in the US and we can't get the book until the middle of April. Can anyone give me the directions for the first two phases and how do you eat the oat bran?

posted Mar 26th, 2011 6:37 pm



Guys, i think being obese is a bigger risk that an unbalanced diet for a year. I am just doing it to lost 7 pounds so its only 2 months for me. but seriously people go o and on about not being able to eat this and that but your only restricted for a certain amount of time. then you get the celebration meals and then at the end, you eat whatever you want in moderation of course with the one day a week protein only..

I think being grossly overweight is faaar worse for your health than an unbalanced diet.... obese people are always making excuses not to lose weight... well.. sorry but your life span is a whole lot shorter! so lose the weight or suffer the consequences.

Good luck.

p.s. the recipes in the dukan books are GREAT!!

posted Mar 23rd, 2011 9:34 am


having read the comments, i started to get a little bit excited, "could this be the diet for me\2 having been on every damn diet known to man. I start of well, and end up resentful. The i read that this is a fad diet Is It?

posted Mar 15th, 2011 11:57 am


Actually there are two attack phases. The first is the initial Attack phase. If this diet is followed religiously, you get the heart attack some time later. Enjoy.

posted Mar 1st, 2011 12:07 am


What can you drink on this diet? I drink a lot of diet coke, so I was wondering if diet coke and coffee are allowed throughout the whole diet. Thanks!

posted Jan 1st, 2011 3:42 am


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