Diet & Weight loss

Complete guide on the Dukan diet to lose weight thanks to proteins


Many people want to go on a diet to lose weight fast. However, rapid weight loss can be difficult to achieve and even more difficult to maintain. The Dukan diet claims to be able to lose weight quickly, permanently and without hunger. Here is a detailed description of the Dukan diet, which will explain all the aspects to know.

What is the Dukan Diet?

The Dukan diet is a high protein diet classifiable in low carb diets. This low carbohydrate diet is divided into 4 phases.

It was developed by Dr. Pierre Dukan, French general practitioner who specialized in the fight against overweight.

Dr. Dukan created this dieting in the 1970s, inspired by an obese patient who said he could stop eating any type of food to lose weight, with the exception of meat.

After finding that many of his patients had impressive weight loss results , Dr. Dukan published a book in 2000 entitled “The Dukan Diet”.

This book has been published in 32 countries and has become a worldwide bestseller. It would have helped many people lose weight quickly and easily and without starvation.

The Dukan diet has some features of the Stillman Diet, high in protein and low carbohydrate, as well as the Atkins diet.

How does the Dukan diet work?

This protein diet is divided into four phases: two phases of weight loss and two phases of maintenance.

The diet starts with the calculation of his “ideal” weight, based on his age, his history of weight loss and other factors.

The time of each phase depends on the amount of weight you have to lose to reach your “ideal” weight.

Here are the four steps of the Dukan Diet:

  1. Attack phase (1-7 days): you start the diet by eating an unlimited number of lean proteins and 1.5 tablespoons of oat bran a day.
  2. Cruise phase (1-12 months): every other day you will eat only lean protein and the other day lean protein and vegetables (no starch), plus 2 tablespoons of oat bran each day.
  3. Consolidation phase (variable): lean proteins and vegetables without limit, some carbohydrates and fats. A day of lean protein only needs to be done once a week. Always 2.5 tablespoons oat bran a day. Its duration must be 10 days per kilogram lost in phases 1 and 2.
  4. Stabilization phase (indefinite): I am the basic guidelines of the consolidation phase, but the rules can be relaxed as long as the weight remains stable. The oat bran is increased to 3 tablespoons a day.

In summary : the Dukan diet has four phases and the duration of each of them depends on the weight you have to lose.

Foods to eat and avoid

Each phase of the Dukan diet has its own characteristics. Here is what you have the right to eat during each of them:

Attack phase

Attack phase

The attack phase is based primarily on high-protein foods, plus some foods that contain very few calories:

  • Lean beef, veal, deer, bison and other game
  • Lean pork
  • Poultry without skin
  • Liver, kidney and tongue
  • Fish and shellfish (all types)
  • eggs
  • Non fat dairy products (limited to 1 liter or 1 kg per day): milk, yogurt, cottage cheese and ricotta
  • Tofu and tempeh
  • Seitan (meat substitute made from wheat gluten)
  • At least 1.5 liters of water a day (required)
  • 1.5 tablespoons oat bran a day (required)
  • Unlimited artificial sweeteners, konjac shirataki
  • Small amounts of lemon juice and pickles

Cruise phase


Salmon, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and tomato can be eaten in the cruise phase of the Dukan diet.

This phase alternates between two days. On the first day, people are limited to foods from the attack phase list. On the second day, they are allowed to consume the foods from the attack phase plus the following vegetables:

  • Spinach, kale, lettuce and other green leafy vegetables
  • Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and Brussels sprouts
  • peppers
  • asparagus
  • artichokes
  • Eggplant
  • cucumbers
  • Celery
  • tomatoes
  • Mushrooms
  • Green beans
  • Onions, leeks and shallots
  • Spaghetti squash
  • Pumpkin
  • turnips
  • 1 serving of carrots or beets per day
  • 2 tablespoons oat bran a day (required)

Other vegetables and fruits are proscribed. With the exception of a teaspoon of oil in the vinaigrette or to grease the pans, no fat should be added.

Consolidation phase

During the consolidation phase, dieters are encouraged to mix and match foods from the attack and cruising phase lists with the following foods:

  • Fruits  : 1 serving of fruit a day, for example 1 serving of red fruits or melons; 1 serving of apple, orange, pear, peach or nectarine; 2 kiwis, plums or apricots.
  • Bread : 2 slices of wholemeal bread a day, with a small amount of light butter or spread.
  • Cheese : 1 serving of cheese (40 grams) a day.
  • For starchy foods : 1 to 2 servings of starchy foods per week, eg 225 grams of pasta or other cereals, corn, beans, legumes, rice or potatoes.
  • Meats : Roast lamb, pork or ham 1 to 2 times a week.
  • Festive meal: Two “festive or gala meals” a week, with an appetizer, a main course, a dessert and a glass of wine.
  • Protein meal : One day a week, only foods from the attack phase are allowed (lean protein).
  • Oat bran : 2.5 tablespoons oat bran a day (required).

Stabilization phase

The stabilization phase is the final phase of the Dukan diet. It is above all to keep the improvements made during the first phases of the diet.

No food is strictly forbidden, but there are some principles to follow:

  • Use the consolidation phase as the basic structure for preparing your meals.
  • Keep having a “lean protein day” every week.
  • Never take the elevator or escalator when you can take the stairs (do not be lazy / lazy)
  • Oat bran is your friend. Take 3 tablespoons a day.

Keep in mind : the Dukan diet allows for high protein phase 1 foods and protein with phase 2 vegetables. It contains limited amounts of carbohydrates and fats in phase 3, with more flexible recommendations in the final phase.

Examples of meals

dukan diet phases

Here are examples of menus for the first three phases of the Dukan diet :

Attack phase


  • Lightened white cheese with 1 tablespoon oat bran, cinnamon (with or without sweetener)
  • Coffee or skim milk tea (with or without sweetener)
  • Some water


  • Roast chicken
  • Shirataki noodles cooked in broth
  • Tea

Having dinner

  • Lean steak and shrimp
  • Decaf coffee or skim milk tea (with or without sweetener)
  • Some water.

Cruise phase


  • 3 scrambled eggs.
  • Sliced ​​tomatoes.
  • Skim milk coffee (with or without sugar substitute)
  • Some water.


  • Grilled chicken with green vegetables.
  • Greek yogurt, 2 tablespoons oat bran and sugar substitute.
  • Tea

Having dinner

  • Salmon fillet baked.
  • Broccoli and cauliflower steamed.
  • Decaffeinated coffee with skim milk (with or without sugar substitute)
  • Some water.

Consolidation phase


  • Omelette with 3 eggs, 40 g cheese and spinach
  • Skimmed milk coffee
  • Some water


  • Turkey sandwich with 2 slices of cereal bread
  • Portion of cottage cheese with 2 tablespoons oat bran, cinnamon
  • Iced tea

Having dinner

  • Roast pork
  • Grilled zucchini
  • 1 medium apple
  • Decaffeinated coffee with skim milk
  • Some water

Is the Dukan Diet based on scientific data?

There has not been much research so far on the Dukan diet.

However, a study of Polish women who have followed the Dukan diet revealed that they consumed about 1,000 calories and 100 grams of protein a day and lost about 14 pounds in 8 to 10 weeks  .

In addition, many studies show that other diets high in protein and low in carbohydrates have major benefits in weight loss  .

Several other factors contribute to the beneficial effects of proteins on weight.

See also: The ketogenic diet to lose weight

The first is the increase in calories burned during gluconeogenesis, a process where proteins and fats are converted to glucose when carbohydrates are limited and protein intake is high  .

The metabolism of your body also increases significantly after that thou hast eaten of the protein compared to carbohydrates or fats, and this makes you feel fuller as  .

The proteins also decrease the hunger hormone ghrelin and increase the satiety hormones GLP-1, PYY and CCK, so that you end up eating less  .

However, the Dukan diet is different from many other high protein diets because it restricts both carbohydrates and fats. It is a high protein diet, low in carbohydrates and low in fat.

The rationale for restricting fats on a low carb and high protein diet for weight loss and health is not really scientifically based.

In one study, people who consumed fat with a meal high in protein and low in carbohydrates on average burned 69 calories more than those who also avoided the consumption of fat  .

The first steps of this diet are also low in fiber, although a daily serving of oat bran is mandatory.

Portions of 1.5 to 2 tablespoons of oat bran contain less than 5 grams of fiber, which is a very small amount. So you can not take advantage of the many health benefits of a high-fiber diet  .

In addition, many healthy sources of fat, such as avocados and nuts , are not included in the diet because they are considered too high in fat.

Is the Dukan diet safe and sustainable?

The safety of the Dukan diet has not been studied.

However, concerns have been raised about high protein intake, in particular their impact on the kidneys and bone health  .

In the past, it was believed that high protein intake could cause kidney damage.

But recent research has shown that high-protein diets are not harmful for people with healthy kidneys .

However, people tend to suffer from kidney stones could potentially see their condition worsen with a very high protein intake .

Bone health will not suffer from a high protein diet either. Indeed, recent research suggests that high-protein diets have a beneficial effect on bone health.

People with kidney problems, gout, liver disease or other serious illnesses should obviously consult a doctor before starting a high protein diet.

In terms of sustainability, the complicated rules and restrictive nature of the program may make it difficult to follow.

Although most people will lose weight in the first 2 phases, overall the diet is quite restrictive, especially on “protein” days that only allow lean protein.

Consolidation and stabilization phases include foods rich in carbohydrates such as bread and starches, but prevent many healthy, high-fat foods, which can be a bad idea.

By including vegetable fats, you get a healthier, healthier and easier-to-follow long-term diet.

The Dukan diet can work, but it poses problems

According to his claims, the high protein content of the Dukan diet can cause rapid weight loss.

However, it also has several features that can make it difficult to apply in the long term.

In conclusion, it is a fast weight loss diet that works, but that forces you to unnecessarily avoid many healthy foods.

Leave a Comment