The 4 Phases of The Dukan Diet Plan

Bowl of oatmeal

If you’re looking to see lasting weight loss success, one diet plan that you might consider that’s growing rapidly in popularity is the Dukan diet. This diet is really taking the world by storm as more people are starting up on it and realizing all the many benefits that it has to offer.

While it originally came about in the UK, now people everywhere around the world are abiding by the principles the plan lays out and are experiencing great fat loss success.

Before you make the decision of whether or not the Dukan diet is right for you though, it’s important to take the time to learn the basics of what this diet is all about so that you can feel confident moving forward it’s going to work with your food preferences and lifestyle.

Let’s give you all the details that you need to know about what the Dukan diet is about.

What Is The Dukan Diet?

The Dukan diet encompasses four different phases that take you one step closer to reaching your goal weight and staying there permanently. It’s not meant to be a quick-fix diet plan or one that you only follow for a set period of time.

While each stage does have a defined timeline or a set mission that you need to accomplish before moving forward, once you have hit your goal weight, principles of the diet are still incorporated in to ensure that you don’t see weight gain coming back on.

One big problem with so many diets today is that they help you reach your goal weight, but very few help you maintain it. That’s where the Dukan diet shines.

If you use the principles of the plan correctly, it has some key strategies built right in that will ensure that you don’t see the pounds coming back onto your body.


The 4 Stages of The Dukan Diet

As you progress through the Dukan diet, you’re going to perform four different phases, with the first phase being the most intense and strict phase and then each successive phase adding more and more foods back into the diet until you’ve arrived at a ‘lifestyle’ plan that will easily allow you to maintain your ideal body weight.

Phase 1 of The Dukan Diet – The Attack Phase

Fish is acceptable on stage one of this diet plan

The first phase, which is labeled the Attack phase is where the real fat loss occurs. This phase is meant to be rather rapid and where you will see both accelerated rates of water weight loss as well as body fat loss.

This phase is going to last 5-10 days in duration depending on what your current body weight is and how well you handle very strict diet approaches.

The idea behind this phase of the Dukan diet is that you’ll eliminate your food cravings for sugar, build solid nutritional habits, keep your metabolic rate high, and force your body to burn off body fat as fast as you possibly can.

Typically the first few days on this phase of the diet are going to be the hardest as your body adapts to the very low carb intake that is called for, so do prepare for a bit of a battle right from the start. If you can push through it, it should get much easier from there.

Some people may find that they feel quite tired and exhausted during this phase, so if that’s the case allow your body time to rest. Now is not the time to be doing intense workout sessions and in fact, intense exercise should be strictly avoided. It’s only going to increase your risk of losing lean muscle mass and potentially cause serious problems with dietary adherence.

When on this phase you’re supposed to eat at least three meals per day, adding more if necessary. Hunger should not be felt while on this portion of the plan.

You’re allowed to eat as much as you like as long as it follows within the list of allowable foods (see below).

In addition to the foods listed below, you are also supposed to drink at least 1.5 liters of water each day, which is going to help to keep you hydrated and further reduce your hunger along with eating 1.5 tablespoons of oat bran per day as well. This will help to keep your bowel movements more regular while you’re taking in less fiber.

If you do feel the need to exercise during this portion of the Dukan diet, then you can do one 20 minute walk daily but keep it to a moderate intensity.

Dukan Diet Phase 1 Foods

Eggs can be eaten when on phase one of the dukan diet

  • Any form of fish as long as it’s not canned in oil or other sauces
  • Beef, veal, or chicken liver
  • Chicken and turkey
  • Dairy products that are low fat or fat free
  • Eggs (two whole eggs per day and an unlimited amount of egg whites)
  • Herbal tea and coffee
  • Lean beef, veal, or rabbit
  • Shellfish or crustaceans
  • Sweeteners
  • Very low fat ham
  • Vinegar, mustard, herbs, garlic, lemon juice
Once you get to the cruise phase of the Dukan diet, then you can add the following vegetables into your meal plan.

Phase 2 of The Dukan Diet – The Cruise Phase

Broccoli can be eaten at stage 2

Once this phase is completed, then you are to move into phase two of the diet which is called the Cruise Phase. During this phase, you are to use the diet until you get down to your target weight.

For some people, this may only mean following it for a week or two, while for those of you who have quite a bit more weight to lose, it may mean following it for another month or longer.

The weight loss rate in this phase will be slightly slower as more food is added in, but it should still be much faster than with most diet approaches.

During this phase, you’re going to alternate between pure protein days, where you follow the same diet you did during the attack phase along with protein and vegetable days where you get to add an assortment of vegetables into the daily meal plan.

How you choose to structure this phase of the diet is really up to you. Some people prefer to use five pure protein days in a row followed by five protein vegetable days, while others will choose to have one pure protein day and then have one protein and vegetable day after that, alternating back and forth.

Still others may opt to have two protein days followed by five protein and vegetable days if they’re the type to really struggle to get through those pure protein days.

On the protein and vegetable days you can add in as many vegetables as you’d like provided you choose from the list below.

During this portion of the Dukan diet you’re still to consume your 1.5 tablespoons of oat bran each day as well and make sure that you’re keeping your water intake up as high as possible also. This will be key to help keep fat loss moving along.

Finally, you can now increase your former 20 minutes of light walking per day to 30 minutes of brisk walking if you’d like.

Dukan Diet Phase 2 Foods:

Foods when on phase 2 of the dukan diet

  • Artichokes
  • Asparagus
  • Aubergine
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts
  • Celery
  • Chicory
  • Courgette
  • Cucumber
  • Fennel
  • French beans
  • Leeks
  • Mushrooms
  • Onion
  • Peppers
  • Pumpkin
  • Radish
  • Salad leaves
  • Sorrel
  • Soya beans
  • Spinach
  • Swede
  • Swiss chard
  • Tomatoes
  • Turnips
As you move into the consolidation and stabilization phases, you can add back in the following foods:

Phase 3 of The Dukan Diet – The Consolidation Phase

Fruits can be eaten when you reach the the Consolidation Phase

Once you’ve reached your goal weight by using the first two phases of the Dukan diet, then it’s time to move on to the consolidation phase of the plan. During this phase you’re going to learn how to maintain your weight.

The rule to note for this phase is that for every pound that you’ve lost so far, you will need to stay on the consolidation phase for five days. So if you lost 20 pounds on this diet so far, that means you have 100 days of consolidation to do. Fortunately, this phase is much more flexible than the first two phases so for most people it won’t be a problem.

During this portion of the Dukan diet you’re allowed to add back in bread, fruit, cheeses as well as some other foods that are richer in carbohydrates. This is going to help to bring your overall energy levels back up much higher than they were before so that you can start up a regular workout program if you wish.

The basic rules to note for this phase are that you are to eat one portion of fruit per day (one piece or one cup), two slices of whole grain bread a day, up to 40 grams of cheese except for goat cheese, camembert, or Roquefort, as well as you’re allowed to have two servings of high carb foods each week.

Dukan Diet Phase 3 Foods:

  • Cheeses except for goat cheese, camembert, or Roquefort
  • Fruits of all kinds
  • Most other foods you enjoy except for white bread and white rice
  • Oatmeal and other cereal grains
  • Quinoa, barley, and millet
  • Whole grain bread
  • Whole wheat pasta

High Carb Foods Allowed:

  1. Cereal
  2. Oatmeal
  3. Pasta
  4. Quinoa

Another great thing about this phase of the Dukan diet is that you’re allowed what’s referred to as a celebration meal. These are to be had twice per week and you are allowed to eat anything you wish at these meals. However, you have to make sure that you only have one serving and that you space your celebration meals at least one day apart.

The Final Rule of the Consolidation Phase

Finally, the last rule of the consolidation phase of the Dukan diet is that you are to still maintain one pure protein day each week. This will help to cancel out any extra calories you eat on the other days and help to prevent weight gain.

Most people will do best having this pure protein day on Thursday before the weekend, but you can choose to have it on another day if you really prefer.


Stage 4 of The Dukan Diet – The Stabilization Phase

Finally, the last stage of the diet is the stabilization phase and this is where you go for lifelong maintenance. During this phase you are still to maintain the pure protein Thursday diet but now you can add back in any foods you please in moderation.

Remember to maintain similar eating strategies as you’ve learned in the diet (a higher protein intake with plenty of vegetables) to help keep your total calorie intake in check.

Along with that, now that you are going to be consuming more calories again, make sure that you make a constant effort to keep your activity level higher.

This is going to help to ensure that you burn off more calories throughout the day and prevent weight gain from coming back on.


Foods To Avoid On The Dukan Diet

Avoid white bread

Avoid white bread

While on the Dukan diet plan, what you’ll want to avoid varies depending on the stage you are in.

During the first stage of the program you want to avoid anything that isn’t entirely pure protein. On the second stage, anything that isn’t entirely pure protein or vegetable based has to go.

As you move into the third stage, you can add back in almost all foods you enjoy in moderation at selected times except for white rice and bread.

Once you’ve reached your goal weight, the Dukan diet becomes more about moderation than anything, so that’s the key thing that you need to be making note of.


Helpful Tips Whilst On The Dukan Diet

Drinking plenty of water is essential when on The Dukan Diet Plan

Drinking plenty of water is essential when on The Dukan Diet Plan

Finally, to finish off our discussion on the Dukan diet, there are a few important things that you’ll want to note. First, do not neglect to drink enough water.

This cannot be stressed enough. Dehydration on this plan is highly likely, so make sure that you are drinking enough water every day.

Secondly, also make absolutely sure that you are resting during the first and second phases. It’s imperative that you don’t attempt normal workouts at this time as you will just burn yourself out and make it much harder to stick with the plan. Follow the diet as best as possible and you will see the results you’re after.

So there you have everything that you need to know about the Dukan diet. When used properly, this is definitely one plan that can bring about great weight loss success.

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