The Dukan Diet is divided into four convenient phases that work together to progressively lead you to your target weight and help you to maintain it for as long as you want. The first phase gets your diet kick-started with a 5 to 10 day diet change accompanied by exercise. The second phase takes you to your target weight. The third phase focuses on solidifying your new diet and exercise habits, and the fourth phase encourages you to maintain your target weight via a changed diet and lifestyle.
Here are the outlines of the four Dukan Diet phases.
The Four Phases of the Dukan Diet
This first phase of the Dukan Diet is designed to build momentum that will help carry you through the remainder of the program towards the goals of 1) meeting your target weight, and 2) maintaining your target weight indefinitely. You can expect to lose from between 4 and 7 pounds within a short 5 to 10 days during the Attack Phase of the Dukan Diet plan.
Your diet during this period consists of only lean protein foods which entails neither the counting of calories nor the limiting of portions of designated foods. You can eat as much as you want as long as those foods consist of high protein, low fat items such as beef, chicken, eggs, fish, cottage cheese, soy, etc. The plan emphasizes avoiding any meats that contain added sugars or excessive fat.
You are also instructed to consume 1.5 tablespoons daily of oat bran which is the only permitted carbohydrate during the Attack Phase. Oat bran is high in fiber and is used to help suppress hunger during this important first dieting phase since it expands to around 20 times its original capacity, filling the stomach.
During the Attack Phase, you are also instructed to drink at least 1.5 liters of water daily as well as participate in some form of exercise (brisk walking, treadmill, etc) for 20 minutes daily. However, because dieters often feel fatigued during the first several days of the program due to the severe diet change, you are encouraged to decrease exercise activity the first three days if you feel tired.
When you move into the second phase of the Dukan Diet plan, 28 designated vegetables are added to your pure protein diet. Fruit, however, is still not allowed since they contain sugars.
At the beginning of the Cruise Phase, you determine your target weight and continue with this phase until your goal is achieved. You can gauge the approximate length of the Cruise Phase by calculating a one pound loss of weight for every three days of the program.
Your diet during the Cruise Phase consists of one day of pure protein (PP) foods (such as you consumed during the Attack Phase) followed by one day of eating protein plus vegetables (PV). This alternating combination is applied throughout the phase until you hit your target weight. The vegetables which you are allowed to eat are taken from the list of 100 allowable foods under the Dukan Diet plan. You can eat an unlimited amount as long as the foods are from the approved list.
You are encouraged to continue drinking at least 1.5 liters of water each day and to up your oat bran intake to 2 tablespoons per day. You also are expected to increase your exercise regime to 30 minutes a day.
Phase III – Consolidation Phase
Once you arrive at your target weight, you move into the Consolidation Phase of the Dukan Diet plan. Under this phase, you can eat unlimited quantities of foods on the approved list while adding one piece of fruit, two slices of wholegrain bread, and a portion of cheese per day.
One day each week is set aside for meals containing pure protein (PP) only. You are allowed to also add one or two starchy food servings as well as one or two celebration meals per week. A celebration meal consists of any foods you want to eat.
You should continue your 30 minutes of daily exercise, drinking at least 1.5 liters of water and consuming 2 tablespoons of oat bran each day.
You may be wondering how long to remain on the Consolidation Phase. The basic rule of thumb is to remain at this phase for 5 days for every pound that you lost during the previous two phases. For example, if you lost 20 pounds then you should remain at Phase III for 100 days.
Phase IV – Stabilization Phase
When you have completed the number of required days on the Consolidation Phase, you then move into Phase IV, or the Stabilization Phase, of the Dukan Diet which is designed to carry you forward at your target weight for as long as you want to continue following the program. This phase Dukan Diet will help you maintain your target weight and your new lifestyle unlike many other diets which leave you without guidance to gain back your lost weight.
Under the Stabilization Phase, you can eat whatever you want as long as you adhere to a few simple rules.
- One day a week you should eat a pure protein (PP) diet as you did during the Attack Phase.
- Raise your daily oat bran intake to 3 tablespoons.
- Continue a daily exercise regime of between 20 to 30 minutes.
- Walk as much as possible, avoiding elevators, escalators, and unnecessary driving.
Note for All Dukan Diet Phases
During all Dukan Diet phases, dieters are allowed to use spices, vinegars, artificial sweeteners, and sugar-free gum.
Dieters are also encouraged to take multivitamins with added minerals during all phases as well.