Diet and Nutrition

What is the Dukan Diet?

What is the Dukan Diet?

Key Takeaways

  • The Dukan diet requires strict guidelines that must be followed in order to lose weight.

There are many diets available out there in the world to maintain that physique of yours. Especially with the growing awareness of health and fitness, we, human thrive to walk on the healthiest path in order to live a full and vigorous lifestyle. Estimated 95% of the people who do some kind of diet to lose some fat gain the weight that they’d lost quite rapidly.

Dukan diet highly focuses on protein, low fat, low carb and it forces its participants to follow the strictly mentioned diet and the only way you could alter the food mentioned is when you have any allergy and medical condition. Other that Dukan diet is really a fun diet to try once, its motto says ‘EAT WHATEVER YOU WILL LIKE AND AS MUCH AS YOU WISH’.


Dukan diet has gained its popularity all throughout the western world and rapidly gaining global fame because of its effective way, rather quick way to lose weight.  Dukan diet cared more about healthy lifestyle to weight loss thus including exercise routines to escalated its effects.

The Dukan diet, designed by French physician Pierre Dukan who treats people with obesity, has become very popular in other parts of the world. Pierre Dukan since been gaining praises for this uniquely designed and effective diet plan. The diet plan, which helped about 5 million French people to lose extra weight, is a phased, high-protein, low-calorie diet.

Besides spreading its route all over France and helping French people fighting obesity as well as getting their lifestyle back on a healthier track. The base of the diet includes eating lean-proteins and oat bran with plenty of water, rather than counting calories it focuses on taking healthy food. Sometimes in order to get slim we tend to lose hope quickly because of the constant crave of sugar and hunger and obviously when we see, no result on the weight meter, Dukan diet actually lifts moral as it doesn’t promise any instant results and obviously, it also doesn’t cut off food spontaneously.

The diet plan also recommends at least one 20-minute walk daily. Exercise, forever and a day it is known to multiply the affectability of the diet you are following. The diet will restrict your intake but doesn’t make you feel hungry, its protein jam-packed diet will keep you full and not with an unsatisfied stomach.

Perhaps these are the reasons contributing to its immense popularity in the western culture. Many nutritionist actually recommending Dukan diet for its effective nature. 

This phased plan helps people who desire to lose weight, lose weight rapidly in the initial phase, which motivates them to continue further. Vegetables are taken in the second phase with small amounts of fruits, you may have guessed it by now, in Dukan diet we take baby steps towards altering our eating lifestyle.

Changing our eating habits can hit hard on ourselves but Dukan diet takes great care of it. But the author warns that those who choose this diet may have to face bad breath, constipation, dry mouth, and fatigue, which are common symptoms of high-protein diets.

Everything has its flip side but just because of one negative aspect we cannot suppress the high positive aspects of Dukan diet.

It generally divides into 4 phases; each phase serves different meaning and importance to the healthy journey you are on. It is said that paleo diet is a rip off of Dukan diet. Dukan diet has been criticized heavily because of its strict nature in 2014, but soon it revived its market position and gained its No. 1.

The phases of the Dukan Diet:

  • Phase 1 – This phase is also known as the ‘attack’ phase, not actual attack, you don’t have to take a shield but it is indeed an attack on your junk food habits. In this phase 1 the participants are allowed to eat a good amount of lean protein with 1.5 teaspoons of oat bran and 1.5 liters of water every day, this will keep you full and energetic throughout the day without giving you any fatigue feeling as this diet doesn’t completely cut off the calories you usually would take in a day extemporaneously. This phase is designed to increase the metabolic rate of the participants and help them to lose as much as 4.4 to 6.6 lbs within a week, pretty good progress to make in a week. About 72 types of protein-rich foods can be taken during this phase, including low-fat meat, fish, poultry, eggs, soy, and non-fat dairy. Dukan diet does have variety to it as well as you can alter the diet plan according your preferences and if you have any medical condition or allergy you can eliminate and add to some specific diet or food item but only after consulting your nutritionist, Dukan diet is very flexible when it comes to ingredients and food but only if you have some condition otherwise you cannot alter the diet completely.  The participants are expected to stay on this phase up to 10 days at a stretch.
  • Phase 2 – Also known as the ‘cruise’ phase but this phase doesn’t take place in sea so don’t keep your hopes high, this is a gradual way to reach the weight they aim for by choosing from 28 different kinds of protein-rich vegetables, along with the unlimited low-fat protein, and two teaspoons of oat bran. As mentioned above you can absolutely eliminate any diet component you may be allergic to or if your medical condition doesn’t allow you to take some specific mentioned food. The participants are not allowed to eat starchy vegetables like carrots, peas, corn, and potatoes at this stage. The number of days to be spent on this phase depends on how much weight a person wants to lose, it can go up to a month or 20 days it is completely up to your personal preference. According to Dukan, the participant should stay in this phase till they achieve the goal weight.
  • Phase 3 – This is the ‘consolidation’ phase of the diet, it is the third strike on that unwanted fat you have been holding onto. This ‘consolidation’ diet is designed in such a way that it prevents the participants from gaining more weight in the future, as you might have noticed that people who goes on a diet gain the weight they’d lost pretty fast, many diet plans have this loop hole. In this phase, the participants are allowed to have one to two servings of starchy foods and one to two ‘celebration’ meals per week along with unlimited protein, as always you need some motivation to go with and a cheat day always helps best if following a diet. This phase is the most important step in weight loss and maintenance and if look after carefully it will bring on some overwhelming weight loss results on the table and you will be absolutely delighted to see your progress and the fit physique you have. The author urges the participants to stay on this phase for about five days for every pound that is lost. This will prevent regaining the lost pounds.
  • Phase 4 – This phase is referred to as the ‘stabilization’ phase as the says itself, it meant to stabilize and maintain the perfect and healthy weight you have achieved and the vigorous lifestyle you are following. This is the maintenance part of the diet plan thus most important of all. During this phase, the dieter can eat whatever they feel like as long as the participant follows the rules. The rules include one day a week of an all-protein diet (similar to phase 1), three teaspoons of oat bran per day, and 20-minute walking session a day. The diet is incredibly easy to adopt and even easier to maintain on a long run and the benefits out of this diet plan are miraculous and obviously, you will lead a healthy life, what else you may wish for.

The diet plan also allows the followers to have sugar-free gum, artificial sweeteners, vinegar, and spices just to keep that sugar crave satisfied. Dukan diet as said doesn’t shut down all sugar supplements, we all know hard it can be to keep our sugar tooth away from those sweet treats. The author of the plan urges the participants to have a daily dose of multivitamins and minerals because eventually, this isn’t a diet plan to lose weight its main focus falls on maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Expert Opinion on Dukan Diet

Experts do agree that the Dukan Diet will definitely help in losing extra pounds as calories are cut down considerably. Reducing the carbohydrates will help in cutting down hunger also thus keeping a great distant from many sugar oriented diseases. But, they feel that the diet does not include all the nutrients that are required for proper health.

According to Keri Gans, MS, RD, a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, the daily dose of a multivitamin may not be enough to compensate for those obtained from fruits and whole grains. “If the restrictive phases of the diet plan are continued for a longer period of time, it may result in nutritional deficiencies and renal problems”, added Gans.

Experts add that rapid weight loss may lead to muscle loss, gallstones which show that this is not a healthy diet. Dukan diet does have cons but the pros overpower the bad side, even if you opt for any other diet plan it will still have as many cons as Dukan diet perhaps more or less.

Dukan Diet – your decision

This diet plan is sure to help in losing extra weight, but whether it can be taken up for the long haul is still a question for you because after all, you are the one who’ll be doing and following the Dukan diet. The side effects and lack of healthy food groups in the diet make it a wrong choice for some, it is seriously not recommended if you’ve some food deficiency.

A healthy diet is made up of food groups, including vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and healthy fats along with lean protein, but this diet makes protein a standalone component. Whether to take up this plan and follow it as a life-long commitment is totally your choice.

However, experts feel that choosing a calorie-controlled eating plan, including all the healthy groups would be a better choice at any given point of time. Following a diet plan can bring many joyful changes to your lifestyle, you will feel good both from inside and from outside. 

As I mentioned this diet does have some room for flexibility in extreme conditions only but you cannot possibly alter every element of the diet. The diet is very strict but the results are beneficial and to gain something you have to go through pain.