How to do the Dukan Diet

Dukan diet
If you haven't heard of this diet heavy weight then we're not sure where you could have been - ever since 2010 The Dukan diet has been everywhere.

The Dukan Diet

Followed by royalty - yes we mean Kate Middleton not The Queen - and by dieters in their millions the Dukan diet is one of the biggest diets to come out of the 21st century and for good reason.
Focusing on a high-protein intake the diet was created by French nutritionist and eating behaviour specialist Dr Pierre Dukan around 30 years ago in France. But since the book The Dukan Diet was translated into English in 2010 is has become a phenomenon in the UK.
We all need a little help to feel our best sometimes, in fact a lot of us aren't happy with our bodies. A recent survey conducted by the diet showed that 96% of the women asked didn't think they had a good enough body to go to the beach.
So for anyone who is looking to get that confident beach body, Dr Pierre Dukan says that today is the official start for Dukaners to commence their Beach Body Countdown.

If you want to try it for yourself here's all you need to know.

How the Dukan Diet works

Similar to a high protein diet, the Dukan Diet has a 4-phase programme. It's high in protein, low in calories and also reduces your appetite.
What’s more, the body’s absorption of protein leads to high calorie expenditure and allows weight loss without loss of muscle strength.
The programme also takes the post-diet period into account and helps you avoid putting weight back on when you return to a normal eating pattern.

How much weight can I lose?

The Dukan Diet isn't about being super skinny, it's about finding your true weight and reaching it. Calculate your true weight for free here.

How to do the Dukan Diet - Phases

  • Pure protein attack phase: you only eat protein, i.e. meat, poultry, fish, seafood and fat-free dairy products. This phase lasts for 3 to 10 days depending on your target.
  • Cruise phase: like the attack phase, only vegetables are gradually added to the protein. All that's off the menu are starchy foods (potatoes, sweetcorn, peas, lentils, green beans etc).
Then you alternate these 2 phases until you reach your desired weight (maximum loss 1kg per week).
  • Consolidation phase: you return to normal eating as slowly as possible to avoid the dreaded yo-yo effect, reintroducing forbidden foods gradually. Allow for 10 days of consolidation for each kilo lost.
  • Stabilisation phase: you eat normally, respecting two golden rules: have a pure-protein day once a week for life, and eat 3 tablespoons of oats and bran per day.

Foods allowed during the Dukan Diet phase 1
Meat (beef and veal), poultry without the skin on (apart from duck and goose), lean ham, fish, seafood, fat-free dairy products, water, tea and coffee can all be eaten in whatever quantities you want. All other foods are cut out.

Foods allowed during the Dukan Diet phase 2
The above mentioned foods and vegetables (apart from potatoes, rice, sweetcorn, peas, lentils, green beans and avocadoes).

A typical day during the Dukan Diet attack phase

  • Breakfast: Unsweetened coffee or tea, either 1 or 2 low-fat yoghurts (fruit yoghurts if desired) or 200g fromage frais, and either 1 slice of turkey or ham with the fat cut off, or a boiled egg, or a bran pancake.
  • Snack: 1 yoghurt or 100g of fat-free fat fromage frais (optional).
  • Lunch: Seafood sticks, crab, 1 turkey escalope, and either 1 helping fromage frais or a bran pancake.
  • Snack: 1 yoghurt or 100g fat-free fromage frais (optional).
  • Dinner: Chicken liver or a hard-boiled egg, fish or shellfish, 1 yoghurt.

Does the Dukan Diet work?

The attack phase guarantees substantial weight loss.

Plus points of the Dukan Diet

Weight loss is initially fast then controlled.
This diet includes a long stabilisation period.
The Dukan diet allows for 2 'pigouts' per week so you can have your cake, eat it and avoid getting downhearted!

Downsides of the Dukan Diet

As phase 1 is very low in fibre, you may experience constipation.
The first phase has the same disadvantages as a high protein diet, notably the risk of deficiencies. It’s advisable to take vitamin and mineral supplements to avoid any problems.
You can eat as much egg and meat as you want during the early phases, and this could increase your cholesterol levels.


As with any diet, there is a risk of nutritional deficiency. Consult your doctor for advice on vitamin and mineral supplements.
Other diets to try...
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Published by editorial staff Health and Fitness
9 Nov 2007
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