The Dukan diet- principles, menus and warning

The Dukan diet- principles, menus and warning

What is the Dukan diet?

The Dukan diet was created by the “eating behavior specialist and nutritionist” Pierre Dukan who was removed from the medical order. This diet offers you a diet rich in protein, hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic. That is to say a diet with a very low intake of carbohydrates and lipids.

It aims to make you lose the pounds you want to shed.

ANSES, the National Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health Safety, has warned on several occasions about the deficiencies and dangers caused by this regime.

As its name suggests, this high protein diet is based on the consumption of certain meats, fish, and eggs in unlimited quantities throughout the first phase.

This diet is very unbalanced and poorly effective in the long term despite its high popularity.

The principles of the Dukan diet method: How does it work? Express weight loss?

The Dukan Diet consists of 4 separate phases. Each of its phases lasts longer or shorter depending on the sex, age, initial weight and weight to lose.

Phase 1: the attack phase

The attack on Pierre Dukan is the first of the 4 phases of the proposed diet. It lasts from 1 to 10 days maximum. The more you want to lose weight, the more you should strive towards this maximum of 10 days. Your food bowl will mainly consist of foods rich in protein such as white meat, eggs, fish, ham, seafood …

This first phase is very restrictive because it causes weight loss. You are also forbidden from making deviations.

To give you an idea:

  • phase 1 should last 1 day for a loss of 5 kg.
  • phase 1 should last 3 days for a loss of 5 to 10 kg.
  • phase 1 should last 5 days for a loss of 10 to 20 kg.
  • phase 1 should last 10 days for a loss of 20 kg or more

Phase 2: The cruise phase

After the attack phase begins the cruise phase. During this phase, it is necessary to reintroduce vegetables in the diet. You will not find vegetables at every meal, it will be necessary to alternate proteins accompanied by vegetables and proteins without accompaniment. It is quite possible to alternate in different ways:

  • 1 day out of 2
  • 2 days out of 5
  • 5 days out of 10

This phase aims to make you reach the weight you want, it is also specified that you must walk at least 30 minutes a day.

Phase 3: The consolidation phase

This third phase represents the change of diet since certain unauthorized foods are reincorporated in limited quantities. The consolidation phase is actually a transitional phase that lasts 10 days per kilo lost.

To give you a small example, let’s imagine that you lost 7 pounds during the first 2 phases. It will therefore be necessary to maintain the consolidation phase for 70 days.

How quickly will I lose 20 kg? How many pounds lost in 1 month?

20 kilos is a very significant weight loss, Pierre Dukan, therefore, recommends extending the cruising phase over 1 month.

According to Pierre Dukan,

” This phase is very important and even essential because it avoids the yo-yo effect also called the rebound effect “

Phase 4: The final stabilization phase

This phase is supposed to announce the return to a normal diet without a dietary ban. It aims to keep you at the weight you have reached. It has no pre-determined duration since this phase can establish a life.

All foods are allowed, but Pierre Dukan emphasizes the fact that it is necessary to introduce one day per week or the meals will only be composed of protein foods.


The Dukan diet: Typical menu of the different phases

Attack phase menu: what foods should eat?

During these first 10 days, only pure protein is allowed. Here is the list of proteins that are available:

  • lean meats
  • Pisces
  • eggs
  • offal
  • ham
  • poultry
  • seafood
  • very lean dairy products

Pierre Dukan insists on the fact that these foods are to consume in unlimited:

Breakfast : protein

Lunch : protein

Dinner : protein

To give flavor, you can add spices, herbs, or aromatics.

Cruise phase menu:

During this phase, green vegetables are added at will without adding fat.

Breakfast: protein + tomato

Lunch: protein + mushroom

Dinner: protein + green beans

Consolidation phase menu:

We will always find proteins and vegetables at will.

Every day you have to add a piece of fruit, 40g of cheese, 2 slices of bread.

Each week you must introduce two starchy foods up to 200g cooked, two new types of meat (fatter meats) and you can set up two free meals where all variations are allowed. It is ideal to add 1 tablespoon of oat bran.

You still have to keep one day in the week when you only consume protein.

Breakfast : a piece of fruit, 2 slices of bread and 40g of cheese + 1 tablespoon of oat bran

Lunch : protein + broccoli + 100g of cooked rice

Dinner : protein + zucchini + 100g of pasta

Final stabilization phase menu:

You have to eat normally 6 days a week, keeping a day when you have to eat only protein. You should also eat 3 tablespoons of oat bran.


What is the difference between the Thonon diet and the Dukan diet?

The Thonon diet is a low-calorie and high-protein diet. Less restrictive than the Dukan diet, it remains very restrictive in terms of intake. Consumption of carbohydrates and fats and very controlled. If you want to know more, you can check out our article on the Thonon diet or here we explain and give our opinion.

As a qualified dietitian nutritionist – about Dukan diets:

The Dukan diet is a very restrictive high protein diet, which can cause significant deficiencies in vitamins but also in minerals. These deficiencies must absolutely fill, with the addition of food supplements in order to avoid any problem for your organism and your health.

Severe fatigue and a drop in energy can be felt following the removal of carbohydrates which are the main sources of energy for the human body.

Lack of fiber and high protein intake can also cause inconveniences like bad breath, mushy mouth feeling, and constipation.

You should also be aware of the fact that an excess of protein is very harmful to the kidneys. It is essential to stay hydrated throughout the day. The proteins produced ketonic acid which is a toxic waste processed by the liver and excreted in the urine. Therefore, this diet puts your kidneys at risk.

The attack phase can cause enormous frustration since the food choice is very limited. It takes a good mind to be able to cope with this lack of diversity both in terms of food and taste.

The Yoyo effect, ie weight regain following weight loss, is often seen a few days or weeks after stopping this diet.

The menus offered by Pierre Dukan simply break the nutritional balance.

What is the solution to losing weight correctly?

If you want to lose weight in a healthy way and without impacting your health, stay away from all the restrictive diets that you hear the echo. It is necessary to promote food rebalancing, which allows you to restore a healthy framework to your eating rhythm and your meals. With a rebalancing, no food is forbidden! You just need to eat the right amount of food. You can also indulge yourself, the key will be not to be in excess.

In addition, setting up a food rebalancing will allow you to bring about a slow, healthy, and sustainable weight loss over time, thus avoiding the appearance of vitamin and mineral deficiencies. By losing weight little by little, there is no risk of the Yoyo effect!

For this, do not hesitate to meet a dietitian who can guide you, support you, and help you start weight loss. You can also read our article How to start a food rebalancing.

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