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Top tips for starting the Dukan Diet

Updated on October 5, 2015

Get ready to start the Dukan Diet

The Dukan Diet can help you lose weight- fast. However, you need to plan before you start the Dukan Diet, as it has firm rules and you need to be prepared with the right food. I've put weight on over the holidays, and now I need to take action to get back in shape. I'm starting the Dukan Diet again. I've used it before and it works- fast! You can eat lots, and you never go hungry, but you do lose weight.

The key to success is organization.Think ahead, read up about the diet, buy the items you will need, then when you're ready, you'll be set to go. New Year New You.

The Dukan Diet guarantees fast results. That's what all dieters want.I tried the Dukan Diet and it worked for me! Find out more here.

The Dukan Diet is a high protein, low fat, low carbohydrate diet devised by French Dr Pierre Dukan, The Dukan diet came to high prominence in the UK at the time of the Royal Wedding, when rumour said that Kate Middleton's mother, Carole Middleton, owed her perfect figure to the Dukan Diet. Now the press tells us that Kate Middleton,the Duchess of Cambridge, keeps her trim shape thanks to the Dukan Diet.

The Dukan Diet has four phases. The first phase , which only last a few days, is called the "Attack Phase". This is a pure protein diet. You have rapid weight loss at the start, which is very motivating for a weight loss program.

The second phase, the "Cruise Phase" involves eating protein and vegetables. This Cruise phase is followed until you reach your goal , or your "true weight" as Dr Dukan calls it. On average people lose two pounds a week. This is pretty quick weight loss, and you should never be hungry.

You then go on to the "Consolidation phase", which ,as the name tells you, is where you add foods to your diet whilst still following strict rules, in order to ensure that you keep to your "True weight" You must do this phase to ensure that your rapid weight loss is consolidated.

Finally, after you have passed through this transition phase you return to eating anything you like 6 days a week, with one pure protein day every week without fail. This, Dr Dukan says, will keep you at your true weight forever. This is called the "Stabilisation phase"

The Dukan Diet also puts exercise into your routine. Exercise is not an option, it's compulsory, as prescribed by Dr Dukan!

Lots of articles you may read about the Dukan Diet just rehash the outline of the diet, but here I'll give you my own personal tips from my experience of starting the Dukan Diet.

Starting a new diet like this takes preparation. I'll help you make a start by sharing my experience and giving you my top tips for starting the Dukan Diet.

Welcome and Good Luck.

Photo credit amazon.

The first thing to do when starting the Dukan Diet is to buy the book - Buy the book and read it properly before you start the Dukan Diet

The 4 step Dukan Diet, described and explained by French doctor, Dr Pierre Dukan.

This diet took France by storm, and it then became available in the UK and USA.

The translation is pretty good, and the book is really informative. I suggest you read it carefully before deciding if the Dukan Diet is worth trying.

The Dukan Diet is very straightforward- proteins only during the "Attack Phase", proteins and vegetables only during the "Cruise Phase" until you reach your "True Weight".

The list of what you can and can't eat is absolutely non negotiable, but you can eat as much as you want of these foods. You must also execise- Dr Dukan says he actually prescribes exercise - it's not an option.

There is so much of interest in the book, I think you should read it all !

The Dukan Diet: 2 Steps to Lose the Weight, 2 Steps to Keep It Off Forever
The Dukan Diet: 2 Steps to Lose the Weight, 2 Steps to Keep It Off Forever

This book is absolutely essential if you want to succeed with the Dukan Diet. You can read website, magazine articles, or talk to your friends about the Dukan Diet, but here you have the diet from it's author, Dr Pierre Dukan. Read it!

UK readers can buy The Dukan Diet book here.


Oat Bran is an essential ingredient of the Dukan Diet. - You must eat Oatbran every day.

Oatbran is one item that you must eat every day if you are on the Dukan Diet. Some people find it hard to buy Oatbran locally, but you can buy it from Amazon in the USA. In the UK you can buy Oat Bran in most supermarkets, and from Holland and Barrett.

You must buy in a supply of Oat Bran before you start the Dukan diet. You will need around 2 tablespoons of oat bran per day, depending upon which stage of the Dukan Diet you are on.

When I first started the Dukan Diet I found it a struggle to use the oat bran, but now I love it. I add it to yogurt with a dash of sweetener and a squeeze of lemon to make a tasty, and more importantly, filling snack. The oat bran swells and fills the hunger gaps.

Bergin Nut Company Oat Bran Packages, 32-Ounce Bags (Pack of 6)
Bergin Nut Company Oat Bran Packages, 32-Ounce Bags (Pack of 6)

The one food item that you must have before you start the Dukan Diet.

UK Readers can buy oatbran here from

true weight dukan diet
true weight dukan diet

Before you start the Dukan Diet, find your "True Weight"

Find your True Weight, and how many days you should spend on the Dukan Attack Phase

You can find your "True Weight" via Dr Dukan's official website for the UK.

If you are in the USA, you can find this information on the US Dukan Diet website. If you want to sign up for a full analysis, diet plans, recipe and forum, there is a charge, but you can enter your details to find what your "True Weight" is according to Dr Dukan.

Your True weight is not some fantasy size zero Hollywood sort of weight, but a weight at which you are slim, look good , and can stay at comfortably once you have lost your excess weight.

When you find your True weight, you will also see a diagram and information that will tell you how long you must spend on the Attack Phase. This is very important when you start the Dukan Diet. If you don't want to pay to join the official Dukan Diet website, this is the best way of finding how many days you need on the vital, all important first stage of the Dukan Diet.

Photo thanks to Alan Cleaver and flickr

Keep a record of your diet progress with this lovely little Diary - Wellness and fitness diary from the wonderful Moleskine

I love these gorgeous little Moelskine diaries. You're working hard at your diet, so treat yourself to the best diary.

Moleskine Passion Journal, Wellness, Hard Cover, Large (5" x 8.25") Black, 400 Pages
Moleskine Passion Journal, Wellness, Hard Cover, Large (5" x 8.25") Black, 400 Pages

It's a lovely place to record your tremendous progress towards a fitter, healthier , happier you.

UK readers can buy the Moleskine Passion Wellness Journal here.

shopping list dukan diet
shopping list dukan diet

Your shopping list for starting the Dukan Diet

My tips for shopping before you start the Dukan Diet

The Dukan diet Attack Phase is pure protein only.

For the attack phase, stock up with foods from the allowed foods list on this very helpful blog, called My Dukan Diary . I've got no connection with this blog, except that I wish I'd written it!

Basically , you can eat all you want from beef in any form ( low fat if minced), chicken and other poultry without the skin, all fish and shellfish, and fat free yoghurt, cottage cheese, creme fraiche and skimmed milk.

Remember that you're only going to be spending a few days on the Attack Phase,before you move on to the Cruise Phase- alternate days of pure protein (PP days) and protein and vegetables(PV days) so add the salad and vegetables to your shopping list that are allowed in the Dukan Diet. This is most fresh vegetable apart from potatoes.

My top shopping tips-

Stock up on sugar free chewing gum, all flavors.

Stock up on your favorite diet drinks.

Check your yoghurts carefully- zero fat does not mean it's OK if the yoghurt has added sugar.

Buy lots of eggs.

Buy some wheat bran as well as the oat bran. Wheat bran is allowed, and you'll need the fibre/fiber to help avoid constipation (must be mentioned, sorry, it's a problem lots of Dukan Dieters have)

Buy onions- you're allowed onions for flavor on the Attack phase, and they help relieve the feeling of protein overload a little

Buy a really good quality non stick frying pan.

Photo thanks to CommandZed and flickr under creative commons commercial license.

Any Diet Works if you stick to it! Chose a diet you can stick to.

Lose weight fast and never go hungry on the Dukan Diet

You need a really good non stick pan for the Dukan diet - To cook without oil or fat you need a non stick frying pan

The Dukan diet is a very low fat diet. Food must be cooked without fat, and the most useful item for cooking is a non stick frying pan. You probably have a non stick pan in your kitchen already, but is it a bit worn, needing oil to make food cook in it? If so, buy a good quality new pan.

You can fry your "Dukan Galettes" in it ( the oat bran pancakes that many Dukan Dieters eat every day).

You can stir fry vegetables, cook your steaks, flash prawns coated in curry powder in it, make spicy chicken dishes- all without fat or oil.

T-fal E93808 Professional Nonstick Fry Pan, Nonstick Cookware, 12 Inch Pan, Thermo-Spot Heat Indicator, Black
T-fal E93808 Professional Nonstick Fry Pan, Nonstick Cookware, 12 Inch Pan, Thermo-Spot Heat Indicator, Black

A really good quality frying pan which is essential for success on your Dukan Diet.

UK readers can buy this superb Tefal Logics Saute Pan with lid Non-Stick , Thermo-spot - 26cm (Non-Stick Exterior) here


Should you sign up for the Dukan Diet online coaching?

Should I join the Dukan Diet website? Read this section carefully!

You'll have seen the Dukan website when you worked out your "True Weight". Dr Dukan promises "personalised coaching" to guide you through the diet, with recipes, motivational tips, support and feedback.

This comes at a cost, and you need to decide if this is worth it, or if you can manage by using the book alone, with the help of free online support groups such as Spark People

There are people on the Dukan Diet forum who signed up and are very unhappy. Their reasons include-

* The coaching is not "personal", but is a set of computerised responses based on the initial questionnaire and the daily report you make.

* The meal suggestions are ridiculous, possibly suited to French tastes but hopeless for readers in the USA and UK. "fried fish eggs" for example, were suggested as a meal one day. Ugh!

* The website is French, translated ( badly at times) into English , and somewhat confusing and contradictory at times

* Some of the recipes just don't work.

* The website is very poor. It needs a big upgrade and a proper English language website needs to be built .

* Questions to the website take a long time to be answered.

All of these above statements are true, but other Dukaners feel that these negatives are balanced by the positives such as

* The daily messages can seem a bit odd, but sometimes they can also be very helpful and motivational.

* The daily guidance means you can keep track of which day you are on, and what to eat that day( pure protein or protein and vegetables in the Cruise phase), and it guides you through the Consolidation phase once you have reached your True Weight or target weight.

* If you have a question or problem, you can email them and a real person will respond with the answer.(eventually) It will be one of the Dukan team, though probably not the Doctor himself.

* There is a live online chat session which is useful, and which you can read at a later date.

* The forum is good, helpful and supportive.

The decision is yours.

Do, however, just take a moment to think before you sign up to paying for this guidance. Some would be dieters, in a moment of madness and optimism sign up and then complain along the lines of

"I wish I'd not signed up- this diet takes so long!" Well, that would be because you're very overweight. Any successful diet will take months if not years if you are seriously overweight

"I'm a vegetarian, there's nothing for me to eat" I would have thought that this was obvious from reading the book, or anything that's been written about the Dukan Diet. If you don't eat meat, poultry or fish, forget it!

"I'm fed up with this diet, it doesn't even allow me to have a little bit of pasta/pizza/potatoes/beer/wine/chocolate ........" No, it doesn't- that's the strength of the Dukan Diet for many people. No messing about working out if you can have just a bit of pie, or a small glass of wine. You can't. Eat as much of you want of the allowed foods and nothing else.

Here are the links to sign up or just take a look-

In the UK The Official Dukan Diet weight loss site for the UK

In the USA The Official Dukan Diet weight loss site for the USA

So, do I think you should sign up for the Dukan Diet website?

I only have experience of the UK site, but the US site looks very similar from what I can see.

I would say first, read the book. There is a voucher towards the end that gives you a discount from the website. Go and check out the cost for your "coaching" .

If the cost is something that you can spend without worrying, then you might as well sign up, but if it's a cost you can ill afford, why not follow the book, and use the many free blogs and websites for help and support.

The free diet website, Spark People has a very helpful group called Doing the Dukan- the Dukan Diet on Spark People

Good Luck whatever you decide!

More information about the Dukan Diet Attack Phase

Read this before you start the Dukan Diet Attack Phase

Here is lots of useful information, links and tips for the crucial Dukan Diet Attack Phase.

Sounds scary, but it is an essential part of the Dukan Diet, and you will lose weight during the Dukan Diet Attack phase.

The Dukan Diet Attack Phase
The Attack Phase throws you into the Dukan Diet with a blitz on your old eating habits.The Attack Phase sounds scary, but it only lasts a few days, during ...

More essential items for your Dukan Diet shopping list - Make the Cruise phase easy with these allowed Dukan foods.

When you first start the Cruise phase, you are so happy to have vegetables on your list that you might not miss desserts and sweets.If you don't have a lot of weight to lose you might only spend two days on the Dukan Diet Attack Phase, so plan ahead for later in the week.

As the days roll on, you might find that you need something sweet. On the Dukan diet, not only must you turn your back on cakes, pastries, chocolate and all the obvious diet non starters, but you are not allowed any fruit either, except goji berries.

This means you'll soon be looking at ways to make quick and easy desserts, and the good news is that there arelots of sweet foods you can enjoy with just a little effort and planning.

The list of ingredients below will be vital in your fight to lose weight on the Dukan diet. There are lots of recipes in the Dukan Diet book and on the web to help you enjoy a range of desserts that fit in with the Dukan guidelines.

Goji Berries are allowed on the Dukan Diet

Fruit is restricted in the early days of the Dukan Diet due to the amount of sugar in fruit. I found this hard. Goji berries are allowed though, so you might want to have a few to eat when you feel the need.

Sweeten without sugar.

Sugar is not allowed on the Dukan Diet, so you need a good sweetener. I like Splenda the best. My favorite use for Splenda is in hot chocolate, which you can drink on the Dukan Diet if you make it with sugar free cocoa.

SPLENDA No Calorie Sweetener Granular, 9.7-Ounce Resealable Bags (Pack of 2)
SPLENDA No Calorie Sweetener Granular, 9.7-Ounce Resealable Bags (Pack of 2)

A really good sweetener that makes eating the Dukan way easier for anyone with a sweet tooth.


Sugar free desserts are allowed on the Dukan Diet

Until I started the Dukan Diet I did not know that you could have sugar free Jello. You can. Buy some to make yourself.

JELL-O Black Cherry Sugar Free Gelatin Dessert Mix (0.30 oz Boxes, Pack of 24)
JELL-O Black Cherry Sugar Free Gelatin Dessert Mix (0.30 oz Boxes, Pack of 24)

Sugar free jello is a treat for those who miss fruit on the Dukan Diet. Delicious with Bird's custard of fat free Greek yoghurt.


Make your own hot chocolate

You can drink hot chocolate on the Dukan Diet if you pick the right cocoa.

Wondercocoa Pure Fat-Free Cocoa Powder, 6-Ounce Pouches (Pack of 3)
Wondercocoa Pure Fat-Free Cocoa Powder, 6-Ounce Pouches (Pack of 3)

Chocolate mousse, chocolate cheesecake, hot chocolate drinks- these are all allowed on the Dukan Diet provided you use low fat real cocoa and sweeteners.


What do you think about the Dukan Diet? - Is the Dukan Diet right for you?

If you've arrived on this page, you're probably thinking about dieting, so you're already interested in the subject.

What do you think about this diet? Take the poll! Leave a comment please too!

Is the Dukan Diet the diet for you?

See results

When you're feeling thinner you might like some new clothes. Here are some suggestions.

Skinny pink jeans- a top fashion trend for Spring
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The classic shift dress- a fall fashion trend
Shift dresses are a top fashion trend , easy to wear, kind on the figure, giving you instantly the sort of classic look associated with Audery Hepburn in th...

Patterned jeans- the celebrity fashion trend
Celebrities are stepping out in skinny patterned jeans, so why don't you? Shy of abandoning your old blue jeans? Well, they are so last year. Safe but dull....

Measure yourself before you start the Dukan Diet - Losing weight is all about your measurements

Don't forget that the whole point of losing weight is actually to lose fat , and therefore lose inches.

Before you start the Dukan Diet, measure all your vital bits;






Upper arms.

Write these measurements down in a notebook, or enter them on a diet tracking website such as Spark People . After a few weeks, not only will your clothes start to feel too big for you, but you'll have the hard evidence of inches lost.

Add together all the inches lost on all the different measurements for a real motivational booster.

A good tape measure is an essential tool for your diet. When the weight loss stagnates (as it always does at some point), the tape measure will tell you the truth- you have lost inches- that's what the diet is all about.

Dukan Diet recipes - Don't let the diet get boring- try new recipes

You can eat lots of food on the Dukan diet, but a high protein, low fat, low carb diet can get dull unless you use your imagination.

Here are some links to useful recipe pages written by people who have used the Dukan Diet and found that it works.

Buy your weigh scales on ebay - You might find bargains on ebay

You need a really good set of scales. See what you can buy on ebay.

Starting out on the Dukan Diet is an adventure. Please let me know if this page has been helpful.

Are you planning to start the Dukan Diet? - Has this page been helpful to you?

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    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Interesting information, thanks for making these contributions.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I know people who had very good success with the Dukan Diet.

    • DvdMovieGirl profile image


      6 years ago

      I did the Dukan Diet 2 years ago and can highly recommend it. I lost 25 pounds in 67 days and have not regained a single pound since!

    • squid-pinkchic18 profile image


      7 years ago

      Very interesting lens! I'd be interested in reading more about this. Apparently my true weight is 121 pounds. Oye!

    • Grasmere Sue profile imageAUTHOR

      Sue Dixon 

      7 years ago from Grasmere, Cumbria, UK

      @anonymous: Great start! Good luck with it.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I have done one week so far and have lost 6lbs I have 1 stone 11lbs left to loose, but am worried about christmas social events that i can not get around with the food choices, plan is to stick to the diet as much as possible, then allow a social event meal if i have to and then kick start again in january! dukan time scale means i should be my true weight in time for my birthday - goal set!!!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Incredibly helpful, honest and well-written, with really useful links. Thankyou so much!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Great lens, thanks!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Not healthy? gotta be healthier than my stomach rolls like spare tires! I'm gonna get my shopping list and preserver .... I know it's will power! Good ideas,

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Thanks for sharing this lens

    • ViolaSuSi profile image


      7 years ago

      Sounds promising. Maybe one day I'll try it. Good things to know. Thank you.

    • spids1 profile image


      7 years ago

      Great lens very well written.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Great lens but I preffer not so strict diet plans.I've heard that for some people Dukan diets is even not healthy.

    • Angelgirl1976 profile image

      Lisa-Marie Kavanagh 

      7 years ago from Lincolnshire

      Fantastic and very informative lens :) my mother had a gastric band a couple of years ago now and is still not the weight she wants to be. This sounds like a sensible diet so do you think this would be safe for her to do?

      Brilliant lens, I have shared it on my fb and liked :)

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Hiya, ive been on the diet monday, and Tuesday and wednesday however I broke it with junk and carbs and sweet things at midnight on wednesday what should I do? Start back from scratch or carry on with attack phase or consolidation phase?

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      this sounds very promising, I have been walking 2 miles everyday and seeing a drop of weight, Maybe I will add this diet also

    • Grasmere Sue profile imageAUTHOR

      Sue Dixon 

      7 years ago from Grasmere, Cumbria, UK

      Thank you all for your comments and good luck if you decide to try the Dukan Diet

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Very well put together article with lots of information, doing a little research on this diet before I give it ago.

      Thank you,


    • gesh1948 profile image


      7 years ago

      Not started a Dukan diets, but thanks for sharing so much great information

    • Onlinemum3 profile image


      7 years ago

      Thanks for a great lens. I have started the Dukan diet. Yes, it is a bit difficult at first but once you get used to it I found it really good. I absolutely the oat bran galettes!!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Yes found this page very use full,thank you

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Yes found this page very use full,thank you

    • Grasmere Sue profile imageAUTHOR

      Sue Dixon 

      8 years ago from Grasmere, Cumbria, UK

      @anonymous: It certainly has some similarities, but crucially, this is a low fat diet- Aitkins was very high fat.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Shame on Dukan for not crediting Dr Atkins as this is the Atkins Diet.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I like the high protein idea of this diet. I see quite a few things I would never use but I'm a basic eater. I don't need to make a dish from a recipe so this diet might work for me. Interesting.

    • kimbesa2 profile image


      8 years ago from USA

      I'll keep an eye on this one. High protein diets have been useful for my metabolism in the past. Thanks!


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