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Weight Loss - Diet Plans - Dukan

The Dukan diet is a healthy eating plan made up of 4 main stages.

Dukan Diet Plan

What is the Dukan diet?

The historically French Dukan diet, is a healthy eating plan made up of 4 main stages which aim to provide long-term weight loss through redesigning the way you think about eating. This diet aims to provide permanent stability to your weight, allowing you to achieve the long-term weight loss results you’re looking for.

As low-carb diets go, the Dukan diet is one of the lesser known.

Overall it is a low fat, low carb, high protein diet. It places emphasis on eating high amounts of protein and vegetables from a list of 100 foods.

With this low-carb diet, there are no ‘extreme weight loss fast’ results.

It places more focus on achieving a ‘True Weight’. A True Weight is described as a realistic weight, being one that is maintainable in the long term. This allows you to understand your long term goals are achievable but most importantly, maintainable.

The Dukan diet, like some other low-carb diets e.g. Atkins, places emphasis on a high intake of protein. This is for multiple reasons, the first being protein has minimal calories, secondly it ensures you feel full and thirdly, it’s digestion uses more of the body’s energy, thus burns more calories. And on the contrary, reducing carbohydrates consumed triggers a ‘starvation-like’ mode in the body. In turn this means stored fat is burned, and you lose weight!

Weight Loss – Diet Plans – Dukan Diet

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Dukan Diet Plan FAQs

What Is The Dukan Diet?

Developed by Pierre Dukan this diet plan is a high-protein low-carbohydrate diet and the ultimate in prescriptive eating.

What Do You Eat On The Dukan Diet?

On the Dukan diet you can eat all types of lean meat, such as beef, pork and lamb.
Fish and shellfish. Fat-free dairy including cottage cheese, milk and Greek yogurt.

Why Does The Dukan Diet Work?

Fad diets such as Dukan or Atkins promote a high-protein, low-carbohydrate way of eating.

How Long Does The Dukan Diet Last?

The Diet can last from one to seven days, depending on how much weight you need to lose. You only eat lean animal proteins in unlimited amounts during the whole phase.

Is The Dukan Diet A Fad Diet?

The Dukan diet is categorized as a fad diet and does carry some risk of causing kidney disease and worsened cardiovascular health.

How does the Dukan diet work?

As previously mentioned, similar to the Atkins diet, the Dukan diet means the intake of protein and fat is high, whereas the intake of carbohydrates is low. Whereas most diets aim for quick weight loss, this diet aims to permanently stabilize your weight.

The distinctive factor of this diet plan is that it comes in 4 phases. These are:

  •   Attack phase
  •   Cruise phase
  •   Consolidation phase
  •   Stabilisation phase


Let’s have a look at what each of these stages involve:

  1. The attack phase. The purpose of this phase is to kick start your weight loss. It consists of 68 items of protein to ensure a swift start to your weight loss journey. This phase promises immediate results, which works two-fold as you stay motivated and you lose a decent chunk of your anticipated weight loss immediately.
  • Duration: 2-7 days
  • Types of foods: only protein
  • Physical activity: 20 minutes
  • Oat bran (tablespoon): 1.5
  1. The cruise phase. The aim of this portion of diet is to allow you to reveal your true weight, which has been previously calculated. At this phase, you are able to eat over 100 types of food, the initial protein allowance plus 32 types of vegetables. Your days of protein and vegetables and days of pure protein are alternated so the vegetables are slowly reintroduced. This phase length is based on a basic schedule of 3 days per pound you aim to lose.
  • Duration: 3 days per pound
  • Types of foods: protein and vegetables
  • Physical activity: 30 minutes
  • Oat bran (tablespoon): 2


  1. The consolidation phase. The aim of this phase of Dukan diet, is to prevent any sort of regression or putting weight back on. During this consolidation phase, fruit, starchy foods and cheese are reintroduced. At this phase you are at your most vulnerable, as the body will naturally have a tendency to put some of your lost weight back on. Forbidden foods are slowly reintroduced to limited quantities, with 2 ‘celebratory meals’ per week. This phase also includes one of the original ‘pure protein’ days. 
  • Duration: 5 days per pound lost in cruise
  • Types of foods: protein, vegetables and fruit, starchy foods and cheese.
  • Physical activity: 25 minutes
  • Oat bran (tablespoon): 2.5


  1. The stabalisation phase. This is less of a phase and more of a lifestyle choice. After achieving your True Weight, and reintroducing carbohydrates it would be easy to over-celebrate as it were. This would be where you regain some weight and lose some of your hard work! Going forward, a healthy eating pattern will follow from such strict non-negotiable stages. The last phase is the least strict, but most important. There are only 3 rules to this phase in addition to a healthy balanced diet, which are: 3 tablespoons of Oat Bran per day; walk 20 minutes per day; pure protein day once per week.
  • Duration: for life
  • Types of foods: protein, vegetables, fruit, starchy foods, cheese and all other food groups.
  • Physical activity: 20 minutes
  • Oat bran (tablespoon): 3

The length of time spent on the diet is dependent on your current weight, goal weight and fitness level.

The revised Dukan diet

Since the original Dukan diet, as always with research, there have been further developments in this area. A follow up program was introduced which is a more granular plan of when each food group should be reintroduced. It suggested segmenting to consolidation phase up creating 7 phases in total whereby each food from phase 3 has its own phase.

How much weight can I lose with the Dukan diet?

Throughout this strict no-negotiation diet, a significant amount will be lost initially. The rest of the diet then ensures this weight will not return. There is sufficient evidence that this diet is successful and sustainable long term, as with similar low-carb diets, such as the Atkins diet. 

Although this is a safe diet, it is advised those with serious medical conditions try a more laid-back diet as the restriction of high-fat food can sometimes be troublesome if the medical condition is of a serious nature.


Celebrity endorsement of the Dukan diet

This diet plan is popular amongst celebrities and familiar faces due to its immediate yet sustainable nature. Kate Middleton supposedly turned to this 4-phase diet to slim down for the infamous royal wedding. Other celebrities such as Jennifer Lopez and Lauren Goodger are also largely advocates for the high-protein, low-carb plan.


Our top tips on the Dukan diet:

  1. Strictly sticking to the 4 phases
  2. Understanding which foods favourable in each stage
  3. Knowing which food group each food is part of
  4. Carrying a phases appropriate snack to avoid temptation


How are other low-carb diets such as Atkins different to the Dukan diet?

Each of these diets are similar in that they both advocate a reduced carbohydrate intake so stored fat in the body is burned quicker. However, the key differences are:

  • The Dukan diet has no calorie counting
  • The Dukan diet has over 100 foods to choose from
  • The Dukan diet focuses on low-fat proteins, but Atkins has no limits on fats
  • The Dukan diet emphasises natural foods over shakes and bars like Atkins does.
  • The Dukan diet provides unlimited consumption of the 100 foods, whereas Atkins has a limit.


Pros: immediate and sustainable weight loss, this diet provides long term results

Cons: not suitable for those with serious medical conditions.


Doesn’t sound like your cup of tea? Don’t worry, there are plenty of major diet plans to help you lose all the weight you want to, each with their own pros and cons. Take a look at our other diet plans.

Further Info for Weight Loss

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