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Everything You Need to Know About the Dukan Diet

Updated on March 6, 2021
BodystrongBen profile image

I have a masters degree in sports science and around 10 years experience in personal training and sports research.

The Dukan Diet

Before we delve into the detailed intricacies of the Dukan diet, let us form a quick overview of the routine and its origin. The denomination of the diet has been derived from the name of Dr. Pierre Dukan, a French general practitioner, whose primary area of focus was the tendencies of the human body towards healthy weight loss, and thus is the transcendental figure standing behind the formulation and exercise of this concept. The Dukan diet can be perfectly described as a low-carb and high-protein weight loss diet that is divided into four balanced phases for the body to adapt to these changes harmoniously. The objective of this diet plan is always to subside hunger by keeping the stomach full and eliminating the possibilities of giving in to the temptations of unhealthy snacks throughout the day.

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The Mechanism of The Dukan Diet

Another intriguing aspect of the Dukan diet is the fact that it is not the same for every individual. The entire plan is based on proportionately balancing the solitary characteristics such as age, present weight, weight loss history and the target weight which in turn produces the "true weight". Furthermore, the period to be dedicated to each of these four phases of the diet is also influenced by the calculated result of "true-weight". In the following section, we will be discussing in length the four stages of the Dukan diet and their requirements.

  • Attack Phase

The attack phase of the Dukan diet can last anywhere between the window of one day to seven days and solely aims at inculcating high portions of protein into the body. Some of the most common sources of protein recommended by physicians during this stage are eggs, lean meat, tempeh, tofu, milk, yogurt, ricotta and cottage cheese, along with the customary 9 grams of oat bran and 1.5 litres of water, daily.

  • Cruise Phase

The cruise phase must be followed for a period of 1 month to 12 months and must be alternated between two days. The time period generally stated should be 3 days for every pound of weight you need to lose to reach your true weight (target weight). In this arrangement, on the first day the diet includes foods from the attack phase. While on the second day, the attack phase foods are accompanied by vegetables like spinach, broccoli, cabbage, sprouts, lettuce, kale, bell peppers, asparagus, tomatoes, celery, pumpkin, eggplant, mushroom, artichokes, green beans, onions and leaks along with a mandatory portion of carrots or beetroot. Oat bran should also be consumed on a regular basis at this point. Apart from this list of vegetables and lean proteins, no other contemporary is permitted during these days.

  • Consolidation Phase

The amount of time to be spent in the consolidation phase depends on the pounds lost during phases one and two. You must complete 5 days for every pound lost in the previous 2 phases. Apart from combining the list of foods from the attack and cruise phase, people can also include fruits (100 grams of berries, pear, orange, apple, kiwi, apricots and plums). You can also add in portions of cheese, bread with low-fat spread or butter/. Starch can now also be added which includes things like rice, potatoes, legumes, beans, corn or pasta. Meat once or twice and oat bran daily is also to be consumed. Treat meals or 'celebration meals can now also be eaten twice each week (appetizer, entrée and dessert).

  • Stabilization Phase

The Stabilization phase continues for an indefinite period (life) and the kinds of food to be consumed during this stage are like the preceding one, yet a lot more flexible. As the term suggests, the "stabilization" phase is meant to stabilize the body with all the changes and effects brought about by the previous three steps. There are hardly any edibles that are strictly ruled out from consumption. Nevertheless, remember to increase the portion of oat bran to 17.5 grams daily


Dukan Diet Side-Effects

If we try to conclude whether following the Dukan diet would be safe, we will have to take the previous history and present the physical condition of the dieter into consideration. However, supplying the body highly with proteins for so long and depriving it of the other nutrients can pose innumerable side-effects in the long run. Remember, that any diet that assures a person with a quick resolution for weight loss is bound to fail at some point, thereby imposing the body with graver issues, that would take even longer to get cured. The diet is completely devoid of vitamins, potassium, and fibre which results in the loss of muscle mass in the dieters, along with the inevitable probability of forming gall-bladder stones and regaining all the weight once you step out of this diet. Moreover, some of the most common side-effects of the Dukan diet are constipation, dry mouth, bad breath and even fatigue.

Pros and Cons of The Dukan Diet

In the following segment, I will be listing down some of the fundamental advantages and disadvantages of the Dukan diet for you to weigh both sides and decide if this plan would at all be beneficial to your weight loss regime.


  • There is no need to weigh your portions or calculate the calories taken up for consumption during every meal.
  • If you are looking to lose weight swiftly without the intervention of drugs and synthetic pills, then the Dukan diet is a go-to plan.
  • Harmful substances like alcohol, refined grain and sugar are completely discarded from eating habits.

  • If followed diligently, it will hardly take a few months for the effects to surface.


  • The lack of enough vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants can meddle with the regular mechanisms of the body and make it vulnerable to diseases like cancer, weak heart, nerve and kidney dysfunction.
  • Constipation, weakness, fatigue, insomnia, and loss of strength
  • The Dukan diet should not be accommodated by people suffering from cholesterol, gout and kidney disorder or a frequent eating disorder.


Is The Dukan Diet Safe?

The degree of safety attached to the Dukan diet has been a concept under conjecture for quite some time now and there has been still no study performed in this area that can fully provide an answer to the question, 'Is the Dukan diet safe?'. This plan indeed accelerates the process of weight loss, but the incessant protein intake can be a pressing concern. Apart from people under the grip of kidney diseases, it isn't harmful to the others. Nonetheless, one must read through all the details before subscribing to it. Additionally, the rich amount of protein introduced to the body through the Dukan diet strengthens the bones and muscles, but its monotonous pattern can make it difficult for the dieters to follow it.

Thank you for reading this article.

© 2019 Ben Smith


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