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Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, Carole Middleton, Gisele Bündchen, and Jennifer Lopez; all these prominent women have tried the Dukan Diet and the results are out there for the entire world to see and marvel at. Why is this diet so much of a big deal, you ask? Well, that is simply because of the fact that this diet not only helps you to lose oodles of weight steadily, but it puts equal emphasis on the need and way to maintain the perfect figure once you have gotten there. Maintenance of weight is something most diets do not pay heed to and as a result, one often goes ricocheting back to gaining weight all over again. Let's discuss a little about the four phases of the Dukan Diet and see the food list which primarily makes this diet work.

Dukan Diet

The Dukan diet, precisely the French Dukan diet, was developed by a French doctor Pierre Dukan and hence, the name. As mentioned, this plan mainly aims at hogging on protein-rich food items, while completely avoiding carbs and fats. More emphasis on proteins owes to the fact that proteins help promote muscle built and preserve the body mass along with burning fats or calories which otherwise is not possible in a normal diet. One of the important aspects of this plan includes maintaining stable body weight along with being habitual towards a healthy lifestyle.

Things You Can Eat in the Dukan Diet

Talking about the Dukan diet menu plan, it mainly consists of 4 phases: the Attack Phase, the Cruise Phase, the Consolidation Phase, and the Stabilization Phase. Check out the table created below to understand more clearly about the DOs and DON'Ts of this diet plan.

The Attack Phase
This phase (the lean-protein stage) requires the dieters to eat only proteins for a period of two to 10 days. A weight loss of < 20 lbs. (if done for 3 days), 20-40 lbs. (if done for 5 days) and > 40 lbs. (if done for 7 to 10 days) can be detected on the scales if one follows the stipulations for this stage completely. This stage basically regulates your metabolism to make is start functioning in the correct manner again and so one needs to incorporate all these items in the food plan along with packing in a 20-minute brisk walk everyday. During this phase, you can eat as much of these proteins as you want. In fact, eat more than you usually do on the very first day. That will prepare your body for the sudden change in diet optimally.

In order to spice up and offer a variety to your tongue during this phase, at least flavor-wise, use garlic, gherkins, herbs (basil, oregano, pepper), lemon zest, mustard, spices, soy sauce, and tarragon vinegar or simple vinegar liberally. These fat-free options will add some zing to your food and keep your palate happy.

Most essentially, drink a minimum of 1.5 liters (48 oz.) of water daily. This water content can be a part of zero-fat soda, herbal tea or coffee that you drink.

Caution: Keep off pork, lamb, fatty beef portions, mutton, duck, goose, beans and lentils, and fat-containing dairy products, such as cheese.
  • Dab/lemon sole, Dover sole, cod, salmon, herring, mullet, hake, halibut, haddock, monkfish, mackerel, plaice, pollock/coley, rainbow trout, salmon trout, salmon, sardines, red mullet, sea bass, skate, sea bream, smoked salmon, swordfish, tuna, whiting, turbot
  • Clams, cockles, crayfish, lobster, Dublin Bay prawns, Mediterranean prawns/gambas, mussels, oysters, scallops, whelks, prawns, surimi, shrimp, squid/calamari
  • Beef steak, beef filet, roasted beef, rump steak, sirloin steak, Tongue, bresaola or air-dried beef, veal escalope, kidney, calf's liver, veal chop, cooked ham slices (no fat, no rind), cooked chicken and turkey slices (no fat, no rind), bacon (reduced fat), grouse, partridge, pheasant, venison, rabbit, hare
  • Chicken, chicken livers, guineafowl, ostrich, pigeon, poussin, quail, turkey
  • Hen's eggs, quail's eggs
  • Skimmed milk, fat-free cottage cheese, fat-free fromage frais, fat-free Greek yogurt, fat-free natural yogurt (plain or no-sugar sweetener only), fat-free quark, vegetable protein, seitan, tofu.
You can also take 1½ tbsp. of oat bran a day, commingle it with some fat-free fromage frais or quark, an egg and some artificial sweetener. Now make a round, flat galette with this mixture. Very filling and abiding by the phase rules.

The Cruise Phase
Now, in this phase, you work towards achieving your True Weight. How do you go about it? Well, you have two main rhythms that you need to follow religiously in this phase - The Pure Protein days (PP days) and the Protein and Vegetable days (PV days). You can follow the following rhythms:
  • Alternating 1PP + 1PV day - This is the easiest to follow as it allows for variety and a change in taste. Also, the fiber you obtain from the veggies is more evenly distributed for the body.
  • Alternating 5PP + 5PV days - Try this only if you are the highly-motivated types. This needs a lot of will power as monotony tends to set in after a point.
  • Alternating 2PP + 5PV days - This gives the slowest results in comparison to the other two. This rhythm is apt for people who do not need to lose a lot of weight or belonging to the chronologically advanced set of the society.
Just remember, you need to eat proteins on PV days as well. The proportion of proteins and veggies you wish to take on these days however depends on you.

Also, increase your brisk-walking time to 30 minutes.

If you continue with this phase for 60 days, you will lose very close to 20 lbs. of weight. It is slower than the first phase, but this phase sort of puts your body in the rhythm of losing weight systematically, post the initial jolt.

Caution: Keep off avocado, beans, lentils, peas, potatoes, sweet corn and all fruits as they are high in carbs.
  • Alfalfa, artichoke, asparagus, aubergine, beetroot, broccoli/purple sprouting broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage (white/red/savoy/cauliflower/Chinese leaves/kohlrabi/kale), carrot, celery/celeriac, chicory, courgette, cucumber, curly endive, fennel, French beans/string beans/mangetout, leek, lettuce, mushrooms, onion, palm hearts, peppers (sweet), pumpkin/marrow/squash, radish, rhubarb, rocket, sorrel, soya bean sprouts, spinach, swede, Swiss chard, tomatoes loo., turnip, watercress.
You can make the same oat bran galette with 2 tbsp. of it.

The Consolidation Phase
This is the phase where you need to be the most patient and the most vigilant. I will tell you why. Patient because every pound shed till now will require you to stay in this phase for 5 days. So if you have lost 30 lbs. till now, you will need to spend 150 days in this phase. And vigilant because your body will be reintroduced to other food items in this phase. Slowly and steadily, you will be asked to eat things that you have kept away from all this while. These items will be portioned of course, but there is always a chance that you will go back to your old ways if you do not stay vigilant at all times.

The rhythm to be followed in this stage is simple -- one day out in every seven days, you must follow the PP day diet (Attack Phase food). Remember, it has to be the same day every single week. If you choose Wednesdays, standardize Wednesday as the PP day every week. Abiding by pure protein rules on this day is exceptionally important as this is the day that plays the part in keeping you from gaining back all the weight you have laboriously lost. The rest of the 6 days, you will have newer items on the list.

The brisk-walking duration now must be 25 minutes at least.

Caution: Keep off white rice, potatoes, goat cheeses, blue cheese, brie, Camembert, Roquefort, bananas, cherries, grapes, and dry fruits.

For 6 days a week, have:
  • Whole grain bread, 2 pieces (you can have it with a low-fat spread).
  • Cheese (Gouda, Swiss cheeses, cheddar), 40 gms. Eat the entire piece at once so that you do not tend to over-indulge.
  • Fruit (an apple, a melon, a grapefruit, a kiwi, a peach, a pear, a nectarine, a mango, an orange, a small bowl of strawberries, a handful of berries, a few plums), 1 portion (i.e., one fruit or a handful if the fruits are small)
  • Suppose you have to be in this phase for 150 days, then during the first 75 days, you are allowed to consume one portion of starchy carbs in a week. For the next 75 days, you can have two portions of it in a week. Have lentils, beans, 220 gms. (boiled weight) of whole grain pasta cooked al dente sans butter or cream/pasta polenta in tomato sauce, or whole grain rice/brown rice (225 gms.). You can also opt for bulgur wheat, couscous, and polenta. If at all you wish to have white rice, have about 175 gms. (boiled weight) and for potatoes, boil them with their skins on. DO NOT fry or make chips out of them!
  • Lean ham, pork or lamb once a week for the first half of the phase and twice a week for the second half.
  • The best part about this phase is the celebratory meal you are allowed to have once a week for the first half of the phase and two times a week in the second half of the phase! You get to eat whatever you want during these meals! This will act as an incentive for your body to work better and kill your cravings. However, hear me out. You cannot have second helpings of anything during these meals and you cannot have two celebratory meals on two consecutive days or for two consecutive mealtimes. So, no lunch and dinner arrangements are allowed on the same day for two of these meals. Also, if you eat a celebratory meal on Monday night, the next special meal should not be before Wednesday night. You can have a glass of wine with this meal.
You can make the same oat bran galette with 2½ tbsp. of it.

The Stabilization Phase
Okay as indicated by the name, this phase aims at stabilization of the body weight as well as the diet and recommends the dieters to eat whatever they want, except for one day in each week. This day is the Dukan diet day wherein one is supposed to eat the Dukan diet Attack Phase food list only. This phase gives you back your freedom to pamper your tongue again, but in a healthy manner. You can eat everything, at proper times and in small amounts.

You need to continue with the 20-minute exercise and brisk-walking everyday. Besides this, inculcate healthy habits such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator, walking to the nearby market, walking up to your colleague in office rather than calling on the intercom, standing in the bus or tube instead of sitting down. These measures will work wonders for your body.

Eat very slowly and do not worry about things while eating. Avoid indulging in second helpings. Have small portions of food several times a day. Drink at least two liters of water everyday, be it in any form. On PP days:
  • Dab/lemon sole, Dover sole, cod, salmon, herring, mullet, hake, halibut, haddock, monkfish, mackerel, plaice, pollock/coley, rainbow trout, salmon trout, salmon, sardines, red mullet, sea bass, skate, sea bream, smoked salmon, swordfish, tuna, whiting, turbot
  • Clams, cockles, crayfish, lobster, Dublin Bay prawns, Mediterranean prawns/gambas, mussels, oysters, scallops, whelks, prawns, surimi sticks, shrimp, squid/calamari
  • Beef steak, beef filet, roasted beef, rump steak, sirloin steak, Tongue, bresaola or air-dried beef, veal escalope, kidney, calf's liver, veal chop, cooked ham slices (no fat, no rind), cooked chicken and turkey slices (no fat, no rind), bacon (reduced fat), grouse, partridge, pheasant, venison, rabbit, hare
  • Chicken, chicken livers, guineafowl, ostrich, pigeon, poussin, quail, turkey
  • Hen's eggs, quail's eggs
  • Skimmed milk, fat-free cottage cheese, fat-free fromage frais, fat-free Greek yogurt, fat-free natural yogurt (plain or no-sugar sweetener only), fat-free quark, vegetable protein, seitan, tofu.
On six other days, you can have,
  • One portion of fruit and it can be any fruit at all
  • Cheese, but try not to have hard varieties of cheese too often
  • Diet sodas, sugar-free chewing gum and the likes once in a while and not too much
You can make the same oat bran galette with 3 tbsp. of it.

You can have whatever you like really. Just opt for healthy food items and make it a lifestyle!

The Dukan diet plan and specifically the Dukan diet food list sounds pretty impressive and easy-to-follow, isn't it? You just have to be up for it. Also, seek the help of a doctor for regular monitoring and guidance just in case. Take care and see you on the thinner side soon.