Dukan Diet: Phases, Negative Effects and Exercises

This diet was created by the nutritionist Pierre Dukan.

This proposes a diet in four phases: Two where weight is lost and two of stabilization and maintenance of the reached weight.

The Dukan diet is based on the consumption of 100 authorized foods and can be eaten ad nauseam.

The Dukan diet is hyper protein and is considered one of the best options to combat obesity.

This diet is limited in carbohydrates, and in response, the body begins to look for lipid reserves, eliminating stored fat.

Phases of the Dukan diet

First phase or attack phase:

In this phase, there is rapid weight loss.

The diet starts eating nothing but proteins and allows the consumption of 72 foods without limitation of quantity.


This phase lasts from 5 to 10 days; this time will depend on how much weight you need to lose.

You should drink eight glasses of water a day.

Experience indicates that one pound or more per day will be lost.

A side effect of this phase is that you may experience constipation.

You should consume 1.5 tablespoons of oat bran daily.

The pure proteins are:

  • Lean meats

Game meat, ox sirloin, beef jerky, beef loin steak, veal chop (lean), ham, rabbit, kidney, beefsteak, beefsteak or hamburger, horse stock, beefsteak.

  • Poultry

Ostrich bisteck, quail, pigeon, graffiti, turkey ham, chicken ham, turkey, chicken.

  • Fish

Haddock, surimi, rooster, gulas, sardine, whiting, sole, tuna, cod, anchovies, sea bream, sea bass, mackerel, hake, mullet, swordfish, salmon, monkfish, turbot, ray, grouper, rescaza, mullet, bream, trout.

  • Seafood

Clams, sea urchins, cuttlefish, lobster, cockles, squid, crayfish, prawns, crab, lobster, octopus, scallops, mussels, and oysters.

  • Vegetable proteins

Tofu, konjac, seitán.

  • Milk products at 0% fat

Skim milk, fresh cheese, cottage cheese, Burgos cheese, and natural yogurt.

  • Various

Chicken eggs, quail eggs, oat bran.

The reason for weight loss is that with the consumption of proteins, the muscles and the body are nourished when carbohydrates are not consumed; it uses reserves, commonly known as “burning fat.”

Even if you need to lose more than 10 pounds, phase 1 can not be exceeded for more than ten days. However, a few extra pounds can be lost during the second phase.

The second phase or cruise phase

The cruise phase continues with the ingestion of the foods allowed initially in the diet, only that every two days, vegetables will be added to the meals in a 50:50 ratio.

You can consume an unlimited amount of vegetables and proteins as long as you maintain the proportion.

All vegetables on the list of foods are allowed, and choosing among vegetables is permitted, except avocado, due to its fat content.

After this change will return to the style of feeding phase 1 and not eat anything but proteins.

And the same rule applies to drinking eight glasses of water a day.

You should consume two tablespoons of oat bran daily.

Thus, every Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, you can eat protein and vegetables in the 50:50 ratio, and every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, only proteins will be consumed, as in phase 1.

  • Vegetables

These are the 28 foods of vegetable origin that can be consumed in the phase of

  • Cruise

Swiss chard, endives, asparagus, spinach, fennel, artichoke, celery, zucchini, mushrooms, soybeans, pumpkin, eggplants, lamb’s lettuce or cannabis, broccoli, cabbage, onion, Brussels sprouts, green beans, cauliflower, lettuce, cucumber, palm hearts, pepper, radish, leek, beet, carrot, tomato.

The results in the loss of weight are reduced considerably in this phase, which lasts from one to twelve months.

You can lose up to 2 pounds per week; you must stay in this phase until you reach the desired weight.

Once the ideal weight has been reached, you can move to phase 3.

Third phase or stabilization phase

Here you continue eating in the same way as during phase two, alternating the protein with the vegetables, but in this phase, two slices of bread and a serving of fruit are allowed, and you can consume cheese every day.

You must consume 2.5 tablespoons of oat bran daily; this phase is variable.

The main disadvantages of the stabilization phase are:

  • Slight weight loss This is because the average weight has already been achieved. This is a phase to maintain the results. The stabilization phase is essential not to regain weight, so it is important not to abandon the diet in this phase.
  • This phase is prolonged; its duration is five days for every pound that has been lost in the first and second phases.

Once this phase is completed, the last step is passed.

Fourth phase or consolidation phase.

In this phase, it is not tricky and undefined; in it, one must reeducate the organism to avoid the yoyo effect.

In this phase, the most energetic foods are progressively added.

Only the protein intake is maintained once a week.

And on other days you can eat whatever you want from the 100 allowed foods.

You should consume three tablespoons of oat bran daily.

Adverse effects of the Dukan Diet

As a result of following this diet, because it is low in carbohydrates, the following effects are sometimes experienced:

  • Low energy, fatigue, and dizziness due to low levels of carbohydrates.
  • Halitosis and dry mouth.
  • Constipation and problems in the digestive tract due to low fiber consumption.
  • Nutritional deficiencies due to the wrong choice of food.

Before starting any diet, consult the doctor, especially if you have any disease.


Physical exercise is essential in the four phases of the method and must be adapted to each individual.

Walking, dancing, cycling, aerobics, swimming or fitness, any exercise is good; this physical activity increases energy expenditure.