Foods rich in proteinCredit: wikimedia common - National Institute of Health

Do you want to know a French secret? For over 3 decades, this regimen has been a famous French diet designed by Dr. Pierre Dukan. But, it was only in the year 2000 that he published a book entitled “The Dukan Diet”. This book has all the details you need to know about this diet plan. In the year 2010, this book circulated all over Europe and US and it became a worldwide trend. So, what exactly is this diet plan all about? 

A Brief Description

The great thing about the Dukan diet plan is that you don’t have to watch your calorie intake. You can even eat meat any time of the day without any restrictions. Well, except for one, you can only opt for lean proteins or white meat. Plus, you also need to include oat bran and water in your daily routine.

That is actually the first stage of this weight loss program. You will expect to consume high-protein meals for the first 10 days or more depending on how much weight you’re planning to lose.

During this phase, you can expect to lose 1 or 2 pounds of weight per day. Does it sound extreme? Well, according to Dr. Pierre Dukan, this will motivate dieters to finish and use the program for a lifetime. But, don’t worry. As you progress to the second, third, and fourth stage of this weight loss program, you can start eating fruits and vegetables. By the time you reach the fourth stage, all you need to do is maintain your desired weight.

However, keep in mind that this regimen is not all milk and honey. You will also experience some undesirable side-effects, such as halitosis, constipation, fatigue, and sometimes dry mouth. These effects are typically experienced when you're under a low-carbohydrate and high-protein diet. Nonetheless, these effects are not that extreme. Hence, using this diet regimen is safe.

Phase 1: Attack Phase

As mentioned, the stage 1 or simply known as the "attack phase" of the Dukan diet plan is where you rapidly lose weight. This is because during this phase, your metabolism is gradually intensified. Typically, you can lose an average of 2 or 3 kilograms of weight within 5 to 7 days.

The mechanics of this stage are simple. You can eat any lean meat products and other high-protein products such as eggs, low-fat dairy, and soy. In addition to that, you will also consume 1 ½ tablespoons of oat bran and 1500 ml of water daily. In regards to eating eggs, it is strongly recommended to limit your intake to 4 eggs per week. Other than that, you don’t have to do or follow anything else.

Phase 2: Cruise Phase

Weight lossCredit: Petr Kratochvil

In the second phase of the Dukan diet plan, you can now eat fruits and vegetable provided that it is not rich in carbohydrates. Thus, you cannot eat potatoes, pumpkin, squash, wheat products, and other starchy foods. But, you can still eat unlimited amounts of protein-rich foods, oat bran (2 tablespoons) and drink plenty of water. You can also try adding agar-agar in your meals. This seaweed turned gelatin product is efficient in reducing cholesterol and calorie absorption. Finally, a 20 to 30 minute walk every day is also included in this stage. 

During this phase, you can lose 900 grams of weight per week. That is not much compared to phase 1. The main reason for that is because once you’ve introduced vegetables in your diet, water retention will slightly occur. But, don't worry. You’re probably near your ideal weight by this time. Thus, this stage would last until your desired weight is finally reached.

Phase 3: Consolidation Phase

WalkingCredit: Image courtesy of Ben_Kerckx (

In the third stage, you'll start to reverse the undesirable effects of sudden weight loss. As you know, calorie restriction has consequences. It can trigger hunger, reduce your energy level, and put your body into hibernation mode. All these will eventually result in weight gain.

Remember, this is a very crucial phase of this weight loss program. Depending on how you apply the rules of this phase, you may or may not succeed. But, don’t worry, this diet plan is essentially designed to battle this inevitable weight loss phase.

During this phase, you can start introducing starchy foods, fruits and vegetables in your diet. You can also start eating red meat along with lean proteins, oat bran and water. But, of course with restrictions. You can only eat starchy foods and red meats for an utmost of two times per week. Furthermore, you will also choose one day per week wherein your meal will only consist of pure lean proteins. And finally, you still have to incorporate 20 minutes walk in your daily routine.

So, how long will this stage last? Honestly, there is no specific time-frame for this stage. It would actually depend on how many kilograms of weight you’ve reduced during stage 1 and 2. As a rule of thumb, 5 days are normally allotted for every 500 grams of weight you’ve reduced. For example, you lose 10.5 kilograms of weight. You have to stay in this phase for about 105 days. 

Phase 4: Stabilization phase

The Dukan Diet Plan

The last stage of the Dukan diet plan is where you will permanently maintain your achieved weight.

Basically, in this phase you can eat any healthful foods you like without worrying about weight gain. However, the best way for you to successfully retain your current weight is to follow the rules of the consolidation phase. Hence, you still have to allot one day per week as the “protein meal day”. Oat bran (3 tablespoons) and 2 liters of water are still imperative. And of course, a 20 minute walk and a commitment to opt for the stairs instead of elevators are also essential.

Other than these specifications, this stage is essentially designed for you to enjoy your accomplishments. As long as you don’t starve yourself and keep eating protein-rich foods, including oat bran, you’ll permanently stay fit and healthy. 

If you think that the Dukan diet is not for you, you can also try another popular weight loss plan known as the South Beach diet. This article entitled "South Beach Diet: The Good, The Bad and Some Important Facts to Remember" can give you a better view on how this specific diet plan works. 

More Information about the Dukan Diet Plan