Introducing the new healthy diet option that swept the wellness community by its feet—the Dukan Diet. This is a game-changing weight loss plan that Dr. Pierre Dukan, a French general practitioner and clinical nutritionist coined in the year 2000. It promises you impressive results in just one week!

Dukan Diet is a popular wellness option for people aiming to lose weight without sacrificing much of their food intake. To put it plainly, you can eat as much as you want. As long as you’re keeping an eye on the number of carbs and fat you consume.

So you want to know more about this amazing dietary option—let’s discuss it further then, shall we?

What is Dukan Diet?

What is Dukan Diet

The Dukan Diet is also known as the Dukan method. It’s a weight loss plan that requires you to commit to its four diet phases. This includes consuming foods rich in protein while laying off huge portions of carbohydrates and fats. It is also important to note that this isn’t suited for vegans and vegetarians since it requires eating meat.

On their official website, they have a choice of 100 foods that you should strictly follow while on the Dukan Diet. It mostly contains natural produce like meat and vegetables rather than processed ones. Other than the food choices, daily exercise is also advised to achieve your desired results. [1]

Additionally, the diet grounds itself on this theory; The less a person consumes carbs, the more of their body fat is being burned. Also, our bodies are actually inclined to lose fat at a much slower rate when we’re hungry. These premises are backed by the fact that [2]:

  • Our bodies spend more energy-burning calories when we eat foods rich in protein
  • That we tend to feel full the more we eat high protein foods, and;
  • Meat and proteins in general have low calories

During this diet, our bodies will be forced to go through a starved-like state for extended periods of time to lose weight. Hence, it is highly advised that you consult your doctor. Before deciding to do it—especially if you have any underlying health conditions.

The Four Phases of the Dukan Diet

What is Dukan Diet

You go on a diet with the intention to lose weight. Unfortunately, you may have just ended up gaining the pounds you lost over time, which can be understandably discouraging. But this is where the Dukan Diet promises to deliver.

The Dukan Diet aims to help you recalibrate the way you eat. And since this is a realistic weight loss option, you should remember that it will take time to see drastic changes in your body. This method will only serve as a guide. For you to achieve your “True Weight” or the healthy weight that you can maintain with your current lifestyle once and for all. [3]

So below are the four distinct phases of the Dukan Diet:

The ATTACK Phase

To kickstart your Dukan Diet journey, you will have to go through the Attack Phase. 

Early on, you are advised to eat meals consisting only of pure protein. From the 68 high-protein options available in the list of 100 foods you are allowed to eat while on this diet. This is because eating foods rich in protein will throttle your metabolism. And greatly aid you in the process of losing weight. 

On top of the high-protein foods, you are also required to consume a minimum of 1.5 tablespoons of oat bran. At least a liter and a half of water, and exercise daily for 20 minutes. 

This initial phase of the diet usually stretches for about two days to even a full week. Depending on how much weight you’re planning to burn.

The CRUISE Phase

The second leg of the Dukan Diet is the Cruise Phase. During this phase, the remaining 32 natural foods you’re allowed to eat are introduced—vegetables. At this point, you can now choose to consume any of the 100 options available, you can mix and match the proteins with vegetables or you can stick to just either of the two separately.

Nonetheless, they highly recommend alternating your daily meals consisting of only pure protein and protein with vegetables to achieve the best results.

The duration of this phase depends on how much weight you’re planning to burn. On average, the schedule is based on three days per pound that you want to lose. So this part might take time if you want to lay away some hefty pounds.


The third phase is the Consolidation Phase. This part of the Dukan Diet won’t focus much on weight loss. Instead, this is where you will try your very best to avoid gaining back the weight you lost during the entire diet. In this phase, you will now slowly allow yourself to return to eating the foods you previously weren’t allowed to eat.

For a maximum of two instances per week, you will now be allowed to eat ‘celebratory meals’, which consist of foods you were previously forbidden to consume. This will be done in slow and steady succession. 

Admittedly, this phase might sound very promising after days of eating strictly pure proteins and vegetables. However, this part of the Dukan Diet is actually considered by many as the most challenging. This is because you really have to practice self-restraint and avoid giving in to the temptation of eating too much of the food you weren’t allowed to eat before.

The duration of this phase depends on how much weight you lost during the Cruise Phase. Every pound you lost during the previous phase is equivalent to five days in the Consolidation Phase. It is also highly advised to remain steadfast on the pure protein meals on the same day every week, along with a daily 25-minute exercise.


The last leg of the Dukan Diet is the Stabilization Phase. This includes the rest of the days you will commit yourself to the diet—basically the rest of your life if you want! Since you are now familiar with the patterns of the three earlier phases, you can choose to develop a routine from them if you have taken a liking to this diet.

And since this phase focuses on the maintenance of this wellness lifestyle, you shouldn’t worry about gaining or losing weight from now on, as long as you keep up with the momentum you’ve created. To preserve the body that you achieved from doing the Dukan Diet, you are advised to follow these simple but strict rules:

  • Eat three tablespoons of oat bran every day,
  • Pull a pure protein day once every week,
  • Avoid using the elevator and opt for the stairs if possible, and;
  • Exercise for 20 minutes daily

The Dark Side of Dukan Diet

Dark Side of Dukan Diet

It is indeed true that going for a diet mainly composed of foods rich in protein helps people to lose weight. However, there are no studies that claim this lifestyle is actually beneficial to people’s health. Quite the opposite, a high protein diet actually poses more inconvenience and problems to the body than good.

Given that the Dukan Diet heavily relies on the consumption of high protein foods, it makes the whole routine very challenging to maintain, especially for those who don’t live on their own. Occasional bodily side effects of the diet also include nausea, headache, bad breath, fatigue, and constipation. [4]

According to experts, the Dukan Diet develops an eating pattern that isn’t nutritionally balanced. Essentially, it gives way to having risks of long-term complications in the body if people won’t follow the methods instructed in the diet guide. Among the serious health issues of an unbalanced diet—specifically, protein-heavy ones include [5]:

  • kidney failure
  • liver disease
  • bigger risk of acquiring cancer (breast, prostate, and colorectal)
  • more prone to complications in the heart
  • poor bone health; osteoporosis

Bottom line: Dukan Diet

The Dukan Diet is somehow a realistic and seemingly good wellness option for people who want to burn some weight without the restrictions most famous dietary methods recommend. However, do not forget that every weight loss option out there does have its own set of drawbacks. 

And that’s about it for this write-up. We hope we were able to fill you in on the primary information about the Dukan Diet that you need to know. But as a general rule, always consult licensed professionals before you decide for yourself to ensure that you will always get what’s best for you.

Disclaimer: This article is only a guide. It does not substitute the advice given by your healthcare professional. Before making any health-related decision, consult your healthcare professional.

Editorial References And Fact-Checking

  • Staff, A. (2018, November 27). Effects of varying amounts of carbohydrate on metabolism after weight loss. The Nutrition Source. Retrieved September 14, 2022, from
  • Staff, A. (2018b, November 27). Effects of varying amounts of carbohydrate on metabolism after weight loss. The Nutrition Source. Retrieved September 25, 2022, from
  • Freeman, T. F., Willis, B., & Krywko, D. M. (2014). Acute intractable vomiting and severe ketoacidosis secondary to the Dukan Diet©. The Journal of emergency medicine47(4), e109–e112.
  • Delimaris I. (2013). Adverse Effects Associated with Protein Intake above the Recommended Dietary Allowance for Adults. ISRN nutrition2013, 126929.


  • Elijah Redoble

    Elijah enjoys creating content that educates and entertains at the same time. During the health-content writing process, Elijah takes extra care and precaution to craft research-backed articles that are helpful, educational, and relatable to readers from various walks of life. LinkedIn

  • Kim Monasterial, BSN

    Kim is a Registered Nurse and has been a medical freelance writer for more than six years. Starting off as a writer, Kim moved to proofreading and editing all the articles posted on HealthPlugged. She’s an enthusiast for health and wellness, being one to keep herself fit and adventurous for outdoor activities. LinkedIn


Elijah enjoys creating content that educates and entertains at the same time. During the health-content writing process, Elijah takes extra care and precaution to craft research-backed articles that are helpful, educational, and relatable to readers from various walks of life. LinkedIn