The Dukan Diet, Everything You Need to Know

The Dukan Diet, Everything You Need to Know

The Dukan Diet has become popular in recent years as an attractive resource for those looking to lose weight in record time.

What is the Dukan Diet?

It is a high-protein diet, prioritising high protein intake, which aims to help get you to the right weight, quickly, through a controlled diet during its four phases.

High Protein diet

High-protein foods.

Its creator, Dr. Pierre Dukan, designed a structured method of slimming in four phases, with a list of 100 authorised foods, without carrying any calories.

What’s it for?

The Dukan Diet is an approach to weight loss with the sequential implementation of each phase, with the restriction of certain foods depending on the phase you’re in its primary philosophy.

The right weight is the one you’re wanting to reach and maintained in the long term. But is it really as effective as it looks?

Dukan Diet Phases

The Dukan diet is designed for ,weight loss during the first two phases, attack and cruise.

Then, consolidation and stabilisation to maintain the right weight.

The duration of each phase depends on the individual and the weight to be lost. Below we explain the criteria to follow in each of the phases.

Phase 1: Attack

Slimming is accelerated by the exclusive intake of 72 pure protein foods, as much as you like.

Below, the criteria:

  • Consume 1.5 tablespoons of oat bran a day.
  • Drink between 1.5 – 2 litres of water a day.
  • Perform 20 minutes of physical activity a day.

Dukan diet phases

It’s estimated that it’s possible to lose between 1.5 and 4 kg.

The duration of this phase ranges from two to seven days, although a multitude of different options have already been implemented, depending on the weight to be lost.

Phase 2: Cruise

Alternating between pure protein days and protein days with vegetables. The dietary intake is based on 72 protein-rich foods, which are supplemented with 28 vegetables.

It also implies additional criteria:

  • Consume 2 tablespoons of oat bran a day.
  • The quantities of food allowed are unlimited.
  • Drink between 1.5 – 2 litres of water a day.
  • Perform 30 minutes of physical activity a day.

The weight loss is approximately 1 kg per week.

This phase lasts for 7 days per kilo of weight to be lost.

Phase 3: Consolidation

The gradual reintroduction of ‘pleasure foods’ (wholemeal bread, fruits, cheese…) is allowed, which go by the name “Gala food”.

This phase, according to Dukan, prevents the rebound effect.

Rebound Effect

Allowed foods alternate between days, except for Thursday, which is for pure protein.

Like the other phases, certain criteria must be met:

  • Consume 2 and a half tablespoons of oat bran a day.
  • The quantities of food allowed are unlimited.
  • Drink between 1.5 – 2 litres of water a day.
  • Perform 25 minutes of physical activity a day.
The duration of this phase is 10 days for each kilo lost in the previous phases.

Phase 4: Stabilisation

This phase is crucial for the success of the diet, and sets out 3 measures to be applied for life:

  • Consume 3 tablespoons of oat bran daily.
  • Keep Thursday for Pure Protein only.
  • Perform 20 minutes of walking or exercise and take the stairs instead of the lift, as well as similar other physical activities.

As with the previous phases, you should drink between 1.5-2 litres of water a day.

The amount of food allowed is unlimited.

How long does the Dukan diet last?

The duration of this phase (stabilisation) is permanent: the objective is to maintain the right weight for life.

What foods can you eat?

It’s important to know the 100 allowed foods, of which 72 are pure proteins (meat, fish, seafood, vegetable proteins, 0% fat dairy products), while the other 28 are vegetables.

Oat bran

The fundamental food is oat bran.

Each phase allows for various food preparations to structure a menu.

Dukan Diet reviews

Opinions in user forums that have experimented with the Dukan diet are varied.

Some of the feedback is positive, from those who claim to have lost the necessary weight to reach a state of wellbeing, while others find the diet difficult to follow and have relapsed because they haven’t kept up with the stabilisation requirements.

Among the recommendations, the most important is:

  • Be disciplined in each phase of the diet;
  • Pick out what you’re to eat every day to ensure consumption as balanced as possible, within the allowed foods; and
  • Don’t forget about the water intake.
It’s crucial to be consistent, because if you don’t complete the whole process, you may run the risk of regaining the weight you lost in the first two phases.

Dukan Diet menu

Here’s a suggestion of how you can prepare your daily menu, according to the phase you’re in.

  • Attack phase:

    • Breakfast: Glass of skimmed milk, 1/2 a tablespoon of oat bran, 2 slices of turkey ham.
    • Lunch: beef sirloin in a 4 cheese sauce, prepared with skimmed milk
    • Dinner: grilled chicken breasts, cheese topping, and turkey ham, for example.
  • Cruise phase:

    • Breakfast: Skimmed yoghurt, 2 tablespoons of oat bran, egg pancakes and tomato.
    • Lunch: beef fillet in tomato sauce, lettuce, cucumber and aubergine salad.
    • Dinner: salmon fillets in mushroom sauce, carrot salad, chard and courgette.
  • Consolidation phase:

    • Breakfast: Glass of milk, 2 and a 1/2 tablespoons of oat bran, a slice of wholemeal bread with cheese, lettuce and tomato.
    • Lunch: a can of tuna, wholemeal pasta with pesto, raw vegetable salad, orange.
    • Dinner: chicken breast in broccoli sauce, brown rice, raw vegetable salad, apple.
  • Stabilisation phase:

    • Breakfast: Skimmed yoghurt, 3 tablespoons of oat bran, 2 slices of wholemeal bread with cheese.
    • Lunch: beef tenderloin fillet, brown rice, beans, 1 pear.
    • Dinner: cured mean, pumpkin cream, fresh salad.


Keep in mind that this approach is one of many hundreds of similar approaches throughout history, but it is NOT dietary re-education.

Many people don’t make it to the end and those who do are often unsuccessful because they never learn what’s good or not and when to eat it. This leads to them eat tiny amounts, only a few foods that are often deficient, or excesses of others.

Nutritional Education

The most common result is a rebound effect that will cause you to regain everything you’ve lost, and more.

It’s always a good idea to put yourself in the hands of a professional who can guide you through a process that’s personalised to your situation and goal.


  1. “Toda la verdad sobre la dieta dukan”. Álvaro Campillo Soto 2014.
  2. Dukan Diet.
  3. “El método Dukan”. Pierre Dukan 2010.
  4. Opinion and personal experience in clinical practice with real patients who have undergone the diet.

Related Entries

  • Everything you need to know about a High-Protein Diet click here.
  • We tell you about the importance of Food Education from an early age in this Post.
  • Why do proteins help you lose weight?: Go now.
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About María José García
María José García
María José has been linked to sport since she was a child when she entered and even competed in various sporting disciplines, such as skating, swimming and gymnastics.
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