Dukan Diet Reviewed And Explained. Does it Really Work?

dukan diet reviewAs popular as the Dukan diet is, does it really work or is it just hyped like many other plans? This review of the plan will explain.

Yes you can lose weight with it, but there are a lot of misconceptions about this plan you have to know before doing it. And this review covers all of that.


The quick summary of the Dukan Diet:

This is a long term plan (months) which takes you through 4 phases, each becoming less restrictive than the next, but ironically also longer as you’ll find out shortly.

Most of this plan centers around eating low-carb foods. As you progress further into this diet, it becomes easier to handle, but on the flip side, the weight loss results greatly diminish.

Thought it has a lot of fans, the Dukan diet also has a lot of critics, namely doctors and some institutions which do not recommend doing it citing health concerns. While there are side effects to the Dukan diet, there is no unanimous verdict on whether it’s safe or not. You can lose weight with this plan, but there are better alternatives as you’ll find out.

How it works:

There are 4 phases to the Dukan diet plan. In addition to following these phases, you must also do the following each day that you’re on this plan:

1. You must eat 2 teaspoons of oat bran (first phase). This helps with curbing hunger.

2. You must drink 8 glasses of water a day. This helps with digestion and weight loss.

Phase 1: Attackdukan diet phase 1 attack

This is commonly known as the Dukan diet 7 day plan. The reason being is that this phase is very short (7 days). Though it’s difficult, it’s also the phase where you’ll lose the most amount of weight. Typically 1 pound or more a day is what the average is here.  Sometimes depending on how much weight you need to lose, the attack phase can last 10 days, but never any longer because it may become unhealthy.

In this phase you can only eat protein (and oat bran). There are a number of examples, but fish such as salmon, lean meats such as chicken and eggs are the most common foods you’ll be eating in attack. More details on phase 1. It isn’t an easy phase, but the results are great.

Phase 2: Cruisedukan diet phase 2 cruise

In this phase, you alternate protein only days (phase 1) with protein/vegetable days. There is again no limit to how much you can eat day. Usually the fact that you’re not consuming carbs and eating so much protein is the reason you’ll lose weight.

Although in this phase, results greatly diminish. On average users lose about 1-2 pounds every single week on this phase. The cruise phase lasts until you reach your weight loss goal. From then, it’s onto the next phase…

Phase 3: Stabilizationdukan diet phase 3 stabilization

Though it gets easier in this phase, it will be the longest you’ll have to go through. Stabilization will last for 5 days for each pound you lost during the first 2 phases. So as an example, if I lost 10 pounds during phases 1 and 2, stabilization will last me for 50 days.

There is more flexibility here though. You will continue to eat in a phase 2 fashion, but now everyday you are allowed to add 2 servings of bread, cheese and 1 serving of fruit.

However, this is the phase where you will likely not lose any weight which is something most dieters don’t know until they try it. This phase is meant to literally stabilize your results and maintain them, which is good, since most diets go through a yo-yo trend anyway. Never the less, it’s a fact you should know!

Phase 4: Consolidationdukan diet phase 4 consolidation

Technically the diet ends with stabilization. This phase is really meant to last for the rest of your life. It isn’t difficult. The only rule here is this:

You can eat anyway you want, but once every week, you must do a phase 1 style diet and eat only protein. Dr. Pierre Dukan, the inventor of this plan recommends Thursdays, although the choice is completely yours.

Usually weekends are not a good idea since you’re more bound to relax and eat more loosely on those days. Just a suggestion.

dukan diet 4 phases explained

Note: The Dukan diet offers an official website where you can record/manage all your progress and see how long you should be on each phase. You can actually do it on your own, but this is an extra way to keep track of things.


  • You can lose weight with this diet, though most of it is during the attack phase.
  • Does help provide a short/long term solution.


  • Has a lot of critics in the medical field saying it’s unhealthy.
  • Not very flexible.
  • Very long diet. Can take months to complete. 
  • Does have side effects: Constipation, tartar build up. 
  • Was not used by Kate Middleton. This is a debunked rumor. 
  • Not recommended for people seeking short term/little weight loss results.
  • I personally like high fat diets as opposed to low carb ones, since they help with fat loss (And weight loss).

Want a simpler diet that is faster and much more lenient?

Dukan Diet Score:

2 stars

2 stars our of 5. You can lose weight, but it takes a very long time to do. It’s also difficult and controversial. See the #1 rated diet that is much shorter and easier to do (3 weeks).

dukan diet score breakdown

Conclusions on the Dukan Diet:

In all honesty, I believe the biggest reason are so excited about this diet is because they though Kate Middleton tried it.

The Dukan diet has been around for decades, but it was only when rumors spread that she may have used it that this diet really took off. As you already know, this is NOT true. 

Taking that out of the equation, let’s look at what we know: 

  • This diet does work. Though results are really only in the first phase.
  • This diet is very long, restrictive and demanding. 
  • It has enough critics in the medical field to think twice before trying it. 

Now when we look at it that way, the cons out weight the pros. This diet works, but I feel it isn’t worth the effort that it asks for. There are much easier ways to lose weight and keep it off for good without going through this kind of diet. Many times low-carb diets like this usually don’t end well, meaning most people go back to eating the way they did. 

Plans like the Dukan diet force people into a lifestyle they aren’t used and it’s no wonder sooner or later it ends. However, even though you do get to eat however you want by the end of this plan, it’s quite difficult to get there as it can take months.

The truth is, the only real benefits of this plan are that you do lose weight at first and it’s a long term solution, but aside from that, the rest is just not worth the effort. I personally recommend trying a much better, much more flexible diet that’s rated #1 on this site. Learn more.

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