Dukan Diet Review

Dukan Diet Review

What Diet Dukan Diet review of the French diet plan that is taking Europe by storm. Does the Dukan Diet work for weight loss and maintenance of a healthy weight? The Dukan diet  is based on four Dukan diet phases each phase following on from the other. The phases are:

  1. the attack phase
  2. the cruise phase
  3. the consolidation phase
  4. the stabilisation phase

Dr Pierre Dukan believes eating protein is the key to  weight loss. The basis of the Dukan diet is a very high protein diet with no carbs except for a small amount of oat bran. In this sense the Dukan diet is similar though stricter initially then the Atkins diet. Unlike the Atkins diet though it restricts fat.The Dukan Diet allows only lean protein-rich foods initially. Throughout the phases, this high protein, no-carb regime eases up till you are eventually eased back into “normal” eating -with a few life long rules to follow.

Dukan Diet Recipes and Foods

Dukan Diet Recipes
All foods are eventually allowed in the Dukan diet.

However initially you stick to high protein foods only adding in some fruit and vegetables as the diet progresses. See below for more details.

Dukan diet recipes can be found on their site at Dukan Diet Homepage as well as in the Dukan Diet Recipe Book. There are some tasty recipes that stick to all the Dukan diet rules and are targeted at each of the Dukan phases.

How much weight can you lose on the Dukan diet plan?

The Dukan diet is configured to have you lose whatever weight is your target. You pick your weight loss goal and follow the Dukan diet rules to reach that target. The length of the Dukan diet is also tailored to fit your weight loss goal.

If you follow the Dukan diet regime Attack Phase (the first phase) for five days, you can expect to lose up to 7lb although you may achieve 10lb if you are more overweight to start with. If you start with three days of Attack, then you can expect to lose up to 5lb. For a one day Attack, you can expect to shift 2lb.

Once you enter the Cruise Phase (later stage) of the Dukan diet you can expect your weight loss to stabilise at around 2lb a week.

How does the Dukan diet work?

The theory is that protein is a dieter’s friend, fat and carbs are initially the foe. Dr Pierre Dukan states several good reasons to eat more protein-rich foods for weight loss:

  • Proteins are composed of long chains of building blocks called amino acids, which take a lot of effort to break. This means the body has to work hard to process proteins and so they stay in the stomach longer than fats or carbs. This also means the stomach empties slowly, keeping us fuller for longer.
  • As the body has to work harder to break down proteins, it burns up more calories. So if we consume 100 calories from protein, the body uses 30 calories to process it so in reality we only get 70 calories. In contrast, the body uses 12 calories to process 100 calories from fat; and just 7 calories to process 100 calories from carbs. This means if we eat 1,500 calories of protein, in reality we only get 1,050 calories.
  • Complementing this high protein intake, carbs are severely limited because they cause the secretion of insulin. Insulin controls blood sugar levels and encourages the storage of fat.
  • Fat needs to be limited because it contains most calories per gram. Protein contains less than half the calories of fat – just four calories per gram compared to nine calories per gram of fat.
  • Fat only reduces our appetite a little.

Here is a summary of the Dukan diet four phases:

Dukan diet Phase 1

The Attack phase. Low-fat protein only. Drink a lot of water (coffee, tea and diet drinks are OK but they have to be zero calories and zero fat).

Protein is from meat (low-fat beef, chicken, turkey, fish) and dairy (zero-fat yoghurt, cottage cheese, etc) and vegetarian/vegan options are eggs, tofu and seitan). You can use seasonings that are zero fat and zero carbs, like salt, vinegar, onions, mustard and normal spices (oregano, basil, pepper, etc.). You also have some oat bran (1.5 tablespoons per day) to the mix and a 20-minute walk every day.

Dukan diet Phase 2

The cruise phase. Days of nothing-but-protein alternated with days of nothing-but-protein-and-vegetables. Salad is included as a vegetable. You continue the oat bran  but with 2 tablespoons per day, the water and the walking at 30 minutes a day.

You can choose how you mix the nothing-but-protein days with days of nothing-but-protein-and-vegetables. Some mixes are 5 days of protein only alternated with 4 days of protein and veggies. You can try other combinations.

Phase 2 could last for months if you have a lot of weight to lose. There are calculators on the Dukan Diet Homepage to see how long you need to go on phase 2 and how to calculate your target weight goal. One stone equals 14 pounds.


The vegetables you eat at phase 2 are limited. Some things considered “vegetables” actually contain a lot of carbs. Carrots, peas, corn and potatoes are out.

Greens are allowed. Anything normally found in a salad is permitted such as lettuce, spinach, broccoli, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms, onions. Also allowed are green beans, cabbage, cauliflower, asparagus and celery. You can eat these raw, steamed or boiled.

Your menu could include soups or stews that combine protein and vegetables.

Dukan diet Phase 3

The consolidation phase starts when you reach your target weight. You don’t lose weight at this stage, just maintain your new weight. This consolidation phase adds fruit, bread and cheese plus  one “celebration meal” a week when you can eat ANYTHING you want. As you move to the second stage of phase 3 you get two “celebration meals”a week.

Dukan diet Phase 4

Here you basically return to eating whatever you like but continue to use the basic rules of phase 3 as a safety net on Thursdays only. So to summarise you are back to normal eating except on Thursday when you eat nothing-but-protein. You continue your daily walks.

What Diet Dukan Diet Review 

It does work but can be fiddly to follow.

Dukan diet pros

  • It works and produces noticeable weight loss in the early days
  • No calorie counting
  • No portion control
  • It is a program for life
  • You are allowed to indulge yourself
  • It is a diet made for meat eaters

Dukan diet cons

  • Health problems such as high cholesterol, gout and constipation
  • Ketosis including bad breath
  • Nutritional deficiency potential
  • Not suitable for everyone eg vegetarians will find food choice limited though the diet can be followed
  • The impact on your social life

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