Dukan Diet- A Complete Guide to All Four Phases

By Summer Banks on Nov 08, 2017

The Dukan Diet is an eating program that claims to help people lose a significant amount of weight and learn to keep it off. The Dukan Diet was created in 1985 by nutritionist Peter Dukan.

After an encounter with an obese person struggling to lose weight, Dukan came up with his creation that he believed would help overweight people lose weight and keep it off. The diet is broken into 4 phases: Attack, Cruise, Consolidation, and Stabilization.

What is the Dukan Diet?

Many people may ask “What is the Dukan Diet?” The Dukan Diet is a diet that has been around for over 30 years. It was created in the 1980s by nutritionist Peter Dukan, who believed that obese people could find lasting weight loss. The principles of the Dukan Diet include using foods to help the body burn fat.

The diet consists of four different stages. Each stage requires certain foods to keep you satisfied and energetic.

  • Phase one is the Attack Phase. During this stage, the dieter can eat only meats and a small amount of oat bran.
  • Stage two, Cruise Phase, is where the dieter takes it easy and maintains the weight loss. By this stage, vegetables can be added to the program.
  • The third stage, Consolidation Phase, allows the dieter to eat bread, hard cheeses, and more fruit. The dieter is even allowed two celebrations meals.
  • During the last stage, Stabilization Phase, you should drop more pounds and begin to add exercise into your daily routine.

Dukan Diet Rules

The Dukan Diet has some rules that must be followed for it to be effective. The diet has four phases: Attack, Cruise, Consolidation, and Stabilization. Each plan calls for different food items to eat. The core of the program is food control, and each phase should be followed to the “T” to receive the best benefit.

The Attack phase has 68 protein ingredients that you can have, and with the Cruise phase, you add 32 items. With 100 natural foods, you should have plenty of variety to help promote a new way of eating for life and have smooth sailing into the Stabilization phase.

One of the most significant rules of the Dukan Diet is the necessity of oat bran to each phase. Oat bran will provide some carbohydrates to the Attack phase and will be increased with each level of the diet on your Pure Protein days. Dieters should eat only the foods that are allowed on each phase list. You should not skip any steps, under any circumstance. [1]

Dukan Diet Attack Phase

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The Attack phase lasts 1-10 days. This time-frame is determined by their “True Weight” calculation, [2] which is defined as the weight that you can reach and maintain for the rest of your life. True Weight calculation will give you the length that you should be in each phase and focuses on your mood, amount of struggling, and your overall health. During this period, you are allowed to eat all the protein you can stand. You should also add 1-1/2 Tbsp of oat bran.

You must also drink at least 6 cups of water daily. The Attack phase gives you a choice of 68 different low-calorie meat, fish and egg options. The great thing is you don’t even have to count calories during the Dukan Diet Attack phase for weight loss.

Dukan Diet Attack Phase Food List

The Dukan Diet attack phase is the first phase of the diet. During this 1-10 day part of the diet, the user is required to eat proteins only. The only other requirement found on the Dukan Diet, Attack phase, food list is to add 1-1/2 Tbsp of oat bran and at least six glasses of water.

The food list includes:

  • Poultry
  • Fish
  • Lean beef
  • Eggs
  • Shellfish

There are 68 meat and protein choices to choose from. (We were surprised we didn’t find more information on protein powder for weight loss.) The attack phase is created to give your diet a boost. Protein will speed up your metabolism and cause quick weight loss during the first phase, helping your motivation to continue.

Dukan Diet Attack Phase Weight Loss

The dieter is expected to lose anywhere from 5-10 pounds. Some people have lost more than 15 pounds during this phase. In fact, this phase is considered a jump start, and the most weight is lost during this period. On average you can expect to be in this phase 1-2 days for 10 lbs or less, 3-5 days for 15-30 lbs, and 7-10 days for over 40lbs. As always you should consult your physician before starting any new weight loss regimen.

Dukan Diet Phase 1 in Detail

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This phase concentrates on quality protein. The dieter can enjoy as much meat as they like, as long as it is not fried or battered. You will also be required to drink at least six to eight glasses of water. The high protein consumed during the attack phase burns raises the metabolism and burns fat, putting you into a state of Ketosis; [3]which often results in quick weight loss while remaining satiated.

Dukan Diet Cruise Phase

The Cruise phase lasts until your “True Weight” is reached. During this phase, 32 additional items to eat on your Protein/Vegetable days, giving you your 100 Natural Foods. This phase will include alternating days of Protein Only and Protein and Vegetable days. Of course, your 6-8 glasses of water and your oat bran is required.

Dukan Diet Cruise Phase Food List

The Dukan Diet Cruise phase is the second phase of the diet. During this time-frame, you will include the 32 non-starchy vegetables to the current 68 protein list to round out your diet.  The only requirement found on the Dukan Diet Cruise phase; you will increase your oat bran to 2 Tbsp daily while continuing at least six to eight glasses of water daily.

The food list includes:

  • Artichoke, Asparagus, Bean sprouts, Beets, Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrot, Cauliflower, Celery, Cucumber, Eggplant, Endive
  • Fennel, Green Beans, Kale, Lettuce (Arugula/Radicchio), Mushrooms, Okra, Onions (Leeks/Shallots), Palm Hearts, Peppers, Pumpkin
  • Radishes, Rhubarb, Spaghetti Squash, Squash, Spinach, Tomato, Turnip, Watercress and Zucchini

The alternating rhythm, 1/1 (1-day Protein followed by 1-day Protein and Vegetables) helps meet your lifestyle needs, and you can go all the way to a 5/5 rotating schedule for ones that have more weight to lose.

Dukan Diet Cruise Phase Weight Loss

This phase will be considerably slower, but the goal is to continue with fat loss while maintaining muscle mass. Sciencedaily.com shows research concluded that both a low-calorie diet, of standard protein and one of higher protein, that the high protein group was able to lose body fat and gain muscle mass. [4] On average, you can expect to lose 1 lb. every three days, roughly 2 lbs. each week. Depending on the amount of weight given as your “True Weight,” this phase could last for an extended time. It is critical that you make the food portion part of your daily life and by including 30 minutes of brisk walking you can speed this section as well.

DukanDiet-Cruise Phase Weight Loss

 Dukan Diet Phase 2 in Detail

During this phase, which can last for a few months, you will eat starchy vegetables every other day along with the proteins. You will have alternating Protein (PP) and Protein/Vegetable (PV) days during this entire phase and depending on your weight loss you can vary this schedule to increase success and prevent a weight-loss stall.

During this phase, you will drop pounds, but not as many as the attack phase. This phase can be a bit difficult because dieters lack options and diet fatigue. But it does prepare the dieter for the next phase, which is crucial for long-term success.

Dukan Diet Consolidation Phase

The Consolidation phase is possibly one of the most critical of all; its primary goal is preventing rebound weight gain. [5] Primarily, it graduates you from weight loss into a lifestyle change. MedScape.com shows that there may be evidence that blood test may reveal the likelihood of rebound weight gain. [6] During this phase, you will maintain your 100 food base but gradually increase or re-introduce starchier foods into your diet. It utilizes the 7-step nutritional staircase to help make the gradual re-introduction of fun foods. Of course, your 6-8 glasses of water and your oat bran is still required.

Dukan Diet Consolidation Phase Food List

The Dukan Diet Consolidation phase is the third phase of the diet. During this time-frame, you will bridge the gap by introducing other foods into your daily diet. The requirement found on the Dukan Diet Consolidation phase is only slightly different; you will continue your oat bran of 2 Tbsp daily while continuing at least six to eight glasses of water daily. Also, you will have a Protein only day every Thursday.

You will be able to add:

  • 1 serving of lamb and/or roast pork each week, use uncured cooked ham and are no longer required to eat extra lean meats.
  • 1-2 servings of fruit every day
  • 2 slices whole grain bread
  • 1.5 oz. of hard rind cheese
  • 1 serving (cup) cooked starchy vegetables every week
  • and 1-2 celebration meals per week.

The Celebration meal includes 1 serving of any appetizer, entree, dessert, and a glass of wine (if desired).

Dukan Diet Consolidation Phase Weight Loss

This phase is in a restricted time frame and is based on five days per every pound that you lost during your Cruise phase. It is critical that this entire phase is completed per the program instructions so that your body doesn’t regain any weight loss.

Make sure that you maintain physical activity during this as well, aiming for 25 minutes daily of a brisk walk.

DukanDiet-Consolidation Phase Weight Loss

Dukan Diet Stabilization Phase

The Stabilization phase is the grand finale and is the beginning of your healthier lifestyle of adequate nutrition and exercise.  There is no additional weight loss to be expected during this phase.

In theory, there are no more forbidden foods on the Stabilization phase; you can eat whatever you want, and in practice, your new way of eating must be controlled so you that you won’t regain the lost weight. You should aim for 20 minutes of daily activity of your choice.

Dukan Diet Stabilization Phase Food List

The Dukan Diet Stabilization phase is the final phase and in essence, has no foods that are off-limits. However, you should include foods from all food groups. The final requirements found on the Dukan Diet Stabilization phase is only slightly different; you will take the stairs whenever possible, you will increase your oat bran to 3 Tbsp daily, and continue at least six to eight glasses of water daily. One last piece, you will keep a Protein only day every Thursday!

Dukan Diet Menu

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The menu items for the Dukan Diet feature 7-day meal plans to make your diet easy to follow. Menu plans cover breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack choices. Many sample menus can be found online and in the diet book.

Dieters can adjust the menu and switch them out with the foods being used during the particular phase. It is a good idea to prepare meals in bulk if you are a person who is very busy and don’t have much time to fix meals. This way all you have to do is pop it in the microwave.

Dukan Diet Foods

Dukan Diet foods are a list of over 100 foods that will help you lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle. During the 4 phases of the diet: attack, cruise, consolidation and stabilize, dieters will enjoy a wide variety of:

  • Meats
  • Fish
  • Vegetables
  • Nuts
  • Fruit
  • Legumes

When to eat these foods will depend upon the phase. The way the meals are combined during each stage will help boost the metabolism and burn fat.

Dukan Diet Food List

The Dukan Diet food list is pretty extensive. But to prepare for the diet, it is suggested that the dieter make out a grocery list. You can either shop for all four phases or just for one. But for the initial “Attack” phase, you should shop for high protein meats like:

  • Beef tenderloin
  • Beef hotdogs
  • Center-cut pork chops
  • Bacon
  • London broil
  • Venison

Dukan Diet Vegetarian

The Dukan vegetarian diet is the same program, but it has vegetarian choices for those who do not consume meat. The protein will have to be obtained in another way. Beans can be used to replace protein. There will also be the elimination of dairy during certain phases of the diet.

If you are a vegan, you can also use tofu in place of meats. Vegetarians can even lose a tremendous amount of weight using the Dukan Diet vegetarian. The correct amount of protein can also be found in fish and shellfish. If you are a vegetarian that doesn’t consume fish, tofu will still work as an excellent replacement. There are dozens of ways that tofu can be cooked and seasoned to make it taste like meat.

Dukan Diet Reviews

The Dukan Diet has received some positive reviews. Many people have used the program to lose weight and keep it off. A few experts who reviewed the diet gave the Dukan Diet poor reviews because of its lack of completeness and difficulty to follow. Another expert didn’t rank the Dukan Diet high due to its lack of long-term effectiveness.

While the Dukan Diet received okay marks in some areas, the overall rating out of five stars was 2.2. Many researchers say that the diet has far too many deficiencies to be ranked among the best. People may consider the Dukan Diet reviews as a means to decide if the program is best for you. [7]

What About Dukan Diet 2?

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The Dukan Diet 2 is the retooling of the original diet and was published in the US in February 2015. With this version, more of your own pace, you will have additional choices. Dukan Diet 2 has seven steps to climb, which incorporates some foods over a week. For example:

  • Monday: A clean slate with no restrictions of protein.
  • Tuesday: Eat as many vegetables as you like.
  • Wednesday: Fruit is added to the plan.
  • Thursday: Bread and whole wheat are introduced.
  • Friday: Cheese is added.
  • Saturday: Starchy foods like potatoes and pasta are added.
  • Sunday: Eat a celebration meal with any food.

Some of the highlights of this version, the seven-day steps, replace the Attack and Cruise Phase in a mini Dukan style. With this routine, you simply repeat as often as necessary to get to your target weight. You will also have one celebration meal each week and can enjoy fruit five days a week, cheese on three days and even wine once a week. Of course, with this, your weight loss may be a little slower. [8]

Dukan Diet Tools

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Dukan Diet App

The Dukan Diet app is a diet app that can be downloaded to any Android application. The app has some features including a weight calculator, 350 recipes, a list of food tips, a measurement recorder, Dukan Diet rules, and keep up with progress. Dukan Diet app is straightforward to use. It is reviewed as one of the top 100 diet apps.

Dukan Diet Book

The Dukan Diet book was written by nutritionist Peter Dukan, who created the plan to help overweight people find lasting weight loss. The Dukan has been around for over 30 years, and many people have successfully lost weight by following its principles.

Peter Dukan decided to devise a new approach to tackling obesity. The book outlines the four phases that overweight people should adhere to attack, cruise, consolidation and stabilize. Each period has different expectations and includes a variety of foods that must be eaten for success. Dieters have hundreds of food options. You can choose meats, vegetables, nuts, legumes, fruit, and snacks.

The Bottom Line on the Dukan Diet

The Dukan Diet plan is a 4 phase diet plan that claims help a person lose weight and maintain it. During each phase, the dieter is allowed to eat certain foods to help the metabolism increase.

We can’t help but think it looks a lot like other low-carb plans like the Atkins Diet or Paleo Diet.

About the Author:

Summer Banks, Director of Content at Dietspotlight, has researched over 5000 weight-loss programs, pills, shakes and diet plans. Previously, she managed 15 supplement brands, worked with doctors specializing in weight loss and completed coursework in nutrition at Stanford University. full bio.