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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 4 of 5, 88 total comments)


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 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


I started Dukan diet today. I have great hopes for it. It encompasses the foods I love and lets me enjoy dairy. My question fat free dairy...e.g. yogurt and

posted Dec 19th, 2010 10:01 pm

Graham McFadden

My step-mum went on this diet because she needed an operation on her knees. The doctor told her they would both need to be replaced by artificial ones!
She lost 4 stone in three months.
I have been on the diet for four weeks now and have lost 15lbs. I don't feel hungry and have lots of energy. The moodiness and constipation haven't hit me, so all is good!

posted Dec 16th, 2010 1:04 pm


I have been on this diet for two months and have lost just over 30lbs (13kgs) and I am absolutely delighted.
I have found the diet extremely easy and never really feel hungry. I have also become very organised with food for the week by planning ahead. (so I don't cheat).

I have had two moments of madness when I have cheated really badly, but there have also been lots of time that I could have cheated but haven't as I feel motivated by how well I am doing, and also just learning to say no.

The Oatbran and Muller Light in the morning will now be my staple breakfast even when I finished because I love it so much and it fills me up till lunch time. I alternate and have eggs & lean bacon for brekkie every three days. I love vegetables and chicken and fish so maybe that is why I have found it so easy.
I don't miss bread as much as I thought I would, but I do miss my crisps, chips and fruit.

What I have learnt from this diet is what my body needs and doesn't need and how to moderate my eating (a plus for me as I am a serial snacker)
In our office this diet is slowly becoming a way of us, as five people have done it and stuck to it and kept the weight off and more are starting in the New year as they are so impressed with the weight we have lost and how fab we look.
I am consolidating now and instead of just eating an apple in one go, I cut it up and pick at it through the day, which means I appreciate it more and the same for melon. I am not eating bread every day just at the weekends, when I can enjoy my cheese on toast with the kids, and I only have pasta one a week. But that's what works for me and now I look forward to it more and don't feel like i'm denying myself, especially as I'll be in the phase until early March.
No I'm about to get out there and buy my size 12 party dresses for Christmas yay

posted Dec 11th, 2010 7:58 pm


I am on day 7 of this diet and I do not feel good. The pros' and cons' of my experience:

1. I haven't been drinking alcohol (except for one slip) for a week and for that I feel great. (actually this is the best part of the diet)

2. The no carbs bit means I am more alert and I can watch a movie now without falling asleep!

3. The Dukan emails each day make you feel like you are not alone in the battle

4. I didn't feel hungry on this diet but you must have a full fridge of the food suggestions or you will fall off the wagon


1. This is a terribly unhealthy diet.

2. Any diet that doesn't allow that holy grail of heath food like 'olive oil' should not be followed

3. It positively encourages you to eat dreadful stuff like 'diet coke' and it proclaims how great 'aspartame' is (which is carcinogenic)

4. It encourages the eating of dry cured meats, which are full of nitrates.

5. You can't eat fruit until the consolation stage which could take months

6. It causes terrible constipation, despite my drinking 2 litres of water a day, I actually put on weight because my healthy ' daily regular pattern' evaporated and I felt terrible as a result.

7. I stopped the diet because, apart from the fish, it felt so unhealthy. My mother was encouraged to do on a low-fate diet decades ago and she developed Parkinsons. I'm not saying low-carb diets do that, but not eating a balanced diet is wrong.

8. Women (as they are the tarket market) are held hostage to these fad diets without thinking it through. Yes we eat too much carbs but you donā??t have to eliminate them. Yes itā??s important to eat good G1 food so you donā??t get hungry but not when it risks your health. We are almost prepared to die for a diet and pay for the privilage!

Many followers of this diet proclaim great results but we really should know their start weight. Because if they have a lot to shift then any diet is going to do this quickly.

On a positive note it did teach me about choosing things like fat-free yoghurts etc when shopping which I will work into a normal healthy diet.

I can't believe I fell for this rubbish, I am a healthy woman that wants to lose approx 16 lbs, I feel that this diet has make me feel unhealthy and I hope it hasn't caused long-term health issues.

As for it being the reason that French women are thin, that is total rubbish. I live in France and any cooking program here always have chefs liberally using olive oils, butter, creams. The reason the French are thin is (a)0 its genetic and they are small-boned (b) they do have very little carbs on a dinner plate but what they do have is delicious and therefore you don't need much. and (c) they eat small portions of everything.

I am so missing my baguette and salt crystal butter, which I will return to now, but this time I will eat it in small quantities.

Why I might take away from this diet is to do a protein day on a Thursday, eating mainly fish and consigning all the other nasty Dukan stuff to the bin.

posted Nov 21st, 2010 8:20 am


For those of you who have done the program, do you recommend getting the Recipe book as well? Is it worth the investment or is there a site I can go to for free?

posted Oct 24th, 2010 4:26 pm

jessica lang

has any one bought the products from the dukan online shop?

posted Oct 22nd, 2010 1:09 am


The Dukan Diet is working for me.

I have been on it for 24 days and have already lost 16 pounds.

It is easy to follow and drinking a lot of water is good for you as well.

I stayed on the Attack Phase for 10 days and lost 8.5 pounds.

It appears that I will reach my desired weight sooner than anticipated. Then I will continue with the last 2 phases to maintain my weight loss.

posted Oct 21st, 2010 1:25 am


Day 7 for me, and I'm down 9 pounds so far which is amazing to me! It doesn't feel like I'm starving myself, and the weight keeps dropping off. The first four days were in the Attack phase, and the main challenge for me has been planning menus that I can convert for the rest of my family. I've found it easiest to cook lean meat the Dukan way, and then add sauce & sides for the other family members. Favorite meal last week was skirt steak on the Foreman grill, seasoned w/ salt & pepper, and then made a Greek yogurt dip w/ a bit of lemon juice, paprika, & slim chives...delicious and I didn't feel like I was missing out, even though hubby got to enjoy twice-baked potato & veggies with his.

It is definitely a restrictive diet, and I've had to be more creative in the kitchen with seasoning and coming up w/ new ways to use oat bran (mix it w/ egg whites & cook like a crepe, and it makes a decent tortilla for taco night...yay!). I haven't experienced any moodiness or fatigue, like some people on this diet complain about, but I've also been doing more yoga which I'm sure helps with that.
Before this diet, I tried to lose weight by cutting calories...even consuming under 1000 calories a day, I still didn't lose weight. My body just became used to having fewer calories, and therefore used up fewer calories, i.e. slowed down my metabolism, no good!
I've learned from the Dukan diet it's not the amount of calories that we eat, it's the type of calories that make all the difference. Our bodies burn up four times more calories digesting protein than fat or carbs! Essentially, that means if you eat 1,500 calories of protein, 450 of them don't even count since your body burns them off just in the digestion process.
I'm loving my new smaller size and how my clothes are fitting looser and looser each day. I highly recommend this diet to anyone who wants to lose weight quickly...try it, it works!

posted Oct 8th, 2010 9:44 am


@ Patti - if you're in the UK you can get your oatbran at Tesco. You should find it in the cereal section. It fine ground oats and looks like wheatbran, not like flakes or the oats you make porridge with.

posted Sep 30th, 2010 6:19 pm


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