What Is the Dukan Diet?

Jennifer Leigh

The Dukan Diet is a program created by the French physician Pierre Dukan that helps individuals lose weight by going through four different phases. These phases, which consist of attack, cruise, consolidation, and stabilization, can be individualized based upon a person's specific body type and weight-loss needs. Certain foods are not allowed on the diet, which has been compared to other diets because of the high protein content of the foods that are mainly eaten.

The Dukan Diet recommends eating oat bran.
The Dukan Diet recommends eating oat bran.

At the beginning, known as the attack phase, the diet consists of eating as much lean protein as an individual desires per day as well as a small amount of oat bran. The only liquid allowed during this phase is water. During the attack phase of the Dukan Diet, there are over 70 types of protein that can be chosen from, including low-fat meat, fish, and eggs.

Water is the recommended beverage for those on the Dukan Diet.
Water is the recommended beverage for those on the Dukan Diet.

During the next phase, known as the cruise phase, individuals on the Dukan Diet continue to eat an unlimited amount of low-fat protein sources along with the addition of an unlimited amount of 28 approved vegetables. Oat bran is still included daily in a small quantity and water is allowed as a beverage. In the consolidation phase, which comes next, dieter's have more to choose from. Unlimited amounts of protein and vegetables are still allowed but now the dieters can add one piece of fruit, two slices of whole-grain bread, and one portion of hard cheese. On two occasions per week, individuals can also have a celebration meal where they eat whatever he or she desires.

Stabilization is the final phase, which is meant to last for the remainder of an individual's time on the Dukan Diet. In this phase, a dieter can consume whatever he or she likes as long as he or she returns to the attack phase for one day per week. Dukan also recommends eating oat bran and exercising daily to maintain the individual's weight loss.

This diet can be tailored to fit individual needs by making the stages last for different periods of time for different people. There are consultants available to help with this. It is important for individuals to consult with a physician before taking on a diet plan such as the Dukan Diet because it drastically reduces the amount of carbohydrates and nutrients that are being consumed on a daily basis.

Discussion Comments


I'd definitely want to talk to a doctor about this before doing this diet. People can end up with strange nutritional deficiencies with these kinds of diets, so a doctor's advice would definitely be needed to avoid ending up with scurvy!

This is not as extreme as some diets I've seen, and probably, most people could stay on it in the short term. It might accomplish some near future weight loss goals, but most doctors would probably recommend other lifestyle changes for long term weight loss goals. Fad diets can be effective in the here and now, but they rarely add up to lifetime weight loss.

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