A diet that promises weight loss without hunger? Is the Dukan diet a fad diet or a weight loss miracle? We try to answer some of your questions and serve up some delectable recipes on the side.
Dukan diet is a high-protein, low-carb diet that promotes fast weight loss without keeping the dieters hungry. The much-celebrated diet has, however, been criticized for causing some health complications as well. So, is this diet really good for you? Let’s get to know the Dukan Diet a little better.
It was conceptualized as early as the 1970s by a former French doctor Pierre Dukan.
Dr. Dukan published his first book on the diet in 2000. It went on to become a French bestseller. However, it was not until 2010 that this diet started to gain popularity. That was the year it finally got published in the UK and US and earned its celebrity following.
The Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, her sister Pippa Middleton and their mother are the most notable Dukanians. Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson, Jennifer Lopez, and Gisele Bundchen are also Dukan diet followers.
Let us take a look at the elementary rules of the Dukan diet. Following this, we will provide you with amazing dukan diet recipes for each phase and a comprehensive Dukan diet food list.
Basic principles of the Dukan diet
Unlike most other restrictive diets, the Dukan diet is not based on eliminating major food groups. It relies on keeping the dieters satiated. People on this diet lose weight by eating as much lean protein and fat as they want while severely limiting carbs.
Plenty of lean protein foods, water, and a 20-minute walk are the staples of the Dukan diet.
According to Dr. Pierre Dukan, the diet is primarily based on protein  and allows 100 foods, 68 of which are animal protein foods and 32 are plant protein. You can consume one to two tablespoons of oil per day. You must also drink 64 ounces of water per day and/or any unsweetened beverages such as tea or coffee.
The Dukan diet is divided into the following phases:
- Phase 1: The Attack phase
- Phase 2: The Cruise phase
- Phase 3: The Consolidation phase
- Phase 4: The Stabilization phase
Here is a table  listing each phase along with its parameters:
|Choose from||68 proteins||68 proteins + 32 vegetables||68 proteins + 32 vegetables + Fruit, starchy foods, whole grain bread, and cheese||Include foods from all other food groups|
|Expected weight loss||Between 2 to 8 pounds during the phase||2 pounds per week on average|
|Duration||Between 2 to 7 days||About 3 days per pound||About 5 days per pound lost in Cruise||For life|
|Amount of oat bran (Tablespoon/day)||1.5 tablespoons||2 tablespoons||2 tablespoons||3 tablespoons|
|Physical activity (duration/day)||20 min||30 min||25 min||20 min|
9 delicious Dukan diet recipes to get you started
Just starting out on the Dukan diet? Confused about how to plan a tasty meal with a limited list of ingredients? Do not worry. We’ve got you covered. Here’s a phase-wise list of delicious, protein-rich Dukan recipes to help you get started on the Dukan diet.
Dukan Phase 1 – Attack Phase Recipes
The Dukan diet attack phase is designed to promote rapid weight loss. During this phase, which can last anywhere from two to ten days, you primarily eat pure protein. You can eat unlimited amounts of 68 protein-rich, low-fat foods. Here are two recipes that you can try during the attack phase:
Herbed Grilled Chicken
- 3 Chicken fillets (weighing around 100-125 gms. each)
- 1 tbsp olive oil or cooking spray
- Chilli flakes- 1 tsp
- Oregano- 1 tsp
- Black pepper powder- 1/2 tsp
- Juice of 1 small lemon- 2 tsp
- Coriander leaves/ Parsley chopped – 2 tbsp
- Garlic cloves- 3
- Salt- 1/2 tsp or to taste
- Olive oil- 1 tbsp
- Take a blender/grinder and add all the items for marination. Blend it to a rough marinade and pour it on the chicken fillets. Mix well and set aside for around 30 mins.
- Heat a grill pan and coat with a little olive oil or cooking spray. Once hot, add the chicken fillets one beside the other. Pour the rest of the marinade oil on top of the chicken. Grill on high heat for around 3 mins. Turn them on the other side & grill 3 more mins on the other side.
- Lower heat and cook for 3-4 mins on both sides flipping the chicken pieces. Cook till grill marks develop.
- 600 grams of ground turkey
- Two tbsps onion (minced)
- Two cloves garlic (minced)
- Two egg whites
- Oat bran
- Few sprigs of fresh mint (minced)
- One tsp Oregano
- Salt and pepper (to taste)
- Combine all the ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. Scoop out one tablespoon of mixture for each meatball and place each of them on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Broil the meatballs on high for about eight minutes, or until they are browned and cooked through. Serve with your favorite sauce or dip.
Dukan Phase 2 – Cruise Phase Recipes
This is the steady weight-loss phase where you can eat unlimited amounts of protein and 32 vegetables. Here you alternate days of pure protein with days of animal protein and vegetables. You are also allowed to have two tablespoons of oat bran per day. This phase can last until you reach your ideal goal weight. Here are two recipes to help you cruise through this phase:
Chicken and vegetable stir-fry
- 1 lb (450 gms)Boneless Chicken (cut into bite-sized pieces)
- Seasoning for the Chicken:
- Salt- 1/2 tsp
- White Pepper Powder- 1/2 tsp
- Dark Soy Sauce- 1/2 tsp
- Broccoli florets 100 gms
- Carrots, sliced 90 gms
- Red Bell Pepper 90 gms
- Yellow Bell Pepper 90 gms
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- Ginger, chopped- 1.5 tsp
Stir Fry Sauces:
- 1/4 cup Chicken Stock- (can use readymade low sodium chicken broth/stock too)
- Dark Soy Sauce- 2.5 tsp
- Red Chilli Sauce- 3 tsp
- Corn slurry- 2 tsp cornflour/starch (Mixed in 1 tbsp water)
- Oil- 1.5 tbsp
- Salt- to season
- Pepper Powder- 1/4 tsp
- Cut the boneless chicken into bite-sized pieces. Take out the broccoli florets, cut the carrots into slices, and the red & yellow peppers into cubes. Peel and chop the garlic and ginger.
- Heat oil in a wok and add the chicken pieces. Give a stir for 30 secs and then add salt & white pepper powder to season the chicken. Now stir fry on high heat for around 2-3 mins and then add 1/2 tsp Dark Soy Sauce. Give a mix and continue to stir fry on high heat for another 2-3 mins till the water has completely dried up and the chicken is fried and browned.
- Remove and set aside on a plate.
- In the same oil, add the chopped garlic & ginger. Give a stir for 15 secs and then add the sliced carrots and cubed red & yellow peppers. Mix and stir fry on high heat for 1 minute before adding the broccoli florets. Add salt to season (a pinch) and 1/4 tsp pepper powder. Give a mix and continue to stir fry on high heat for 2 mins.
- Now add the sautéed chicken pieces and give a mix on high heat for 1 minute.
- Add the Dark Soy Sauce, Chicken broth, and Red Chilli Sauce. Give a mix and stir fry on high heat for around 2 mins till the sauce has nearly dried up. Now add the corn slurry, give a mix, and continue to stir fry on high heat for 1 min till all the sauce has dried up and coats the chicken and vegetables.
Salmon with dill sauce
- One salmon fillet
- Salt and pepper
- Olive oil or cooking spray
- One tbsp of lemon juice
- Two tsp of dill (chopped)
- Half a cup of nonfat plain yogurt
- Season the salmon with salt and pepper. Heat a grill pan or skillet over medium-high heat and coat with oil. Grill the salmon for three to four minutes per side or until it flakes easily with a fork.
- Mix the lemon juice, dill, and yogurt in a small bowl. Serve the salmon with the dill sauce on top.
Dukan Phase 3 – Consolidation Phase Recipes
Congratulations, you have crossed the first two phases. You can slowly add back in some previously off-limits foods during this phase (limited quantity of fruits and starchy foods). You are allowed to have two celebration meals per week, where you can eat whatever you want. You are also allowed to have one starch per day and one piece of fruit per day.
This phase is designed to help you transition back into a more sustainable way of eating so that you can maintain your weight loss long-term. Here are two recipes for a healthy consolidation phase meal:
Turkey wrap with avocado mayo
- One whole wheat tortilla
- Two tbsp of avocado mayo or plain yogurt
- Half a roasted turkey breast (sliced)
- One tomato (sliced)
- One cucumber (sliced)
- Spread the avocado mayo or Greek yogurt on the tortilla.
- Top with roast turkey, tomato, and cucumber slices. Roll up the tortilla and enjoy.
Baked Tofu salad with cheddar
- Extra hard tofu (sliced)
- Fat-free cheddar
- Olive oil or cooking spray
- One teaspoon garlic powder
- One English Cucumber cut into half-moons
- Preheat the oven up to 200 degrees. Cut the tofu into 1/2 inch slices.
- Spray a small amount of oil on a baking paper and on the tofu and bake for 30 minutes.
- Grate the cheddar cheese and sprinkle it over the tofu.
- Bake for another five minutes or until the cheese is melted.
- Take it out of the oven, sprinkle it with a light dash of garlic powder, and serve on a bowl of cucumber and salad greens.
Dukan Phase 4 – Stabilization Phase Recipes
This is the maintenance phase for the rest of your life. You are allowed to eat whatever you want, whenever you want, as long as you follow three simple rules:
- Follow one pure protein day per week (this can be any day of your choice).
- Have two to three tablespoons of oat bran every day.
- Walk 20 minutes per day.
Here are three recipes you can enjoy guilt-free during this phase:
- Six eggs
- Half a cup of milk
- One frozen pie crust or crustless quiche dish
- One cup of shredded cheese
- Pre-cooked bacon, diced (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Whisk together the eggs and milk. Add cheese and bacon. Pour into the quiche dish.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until the quiche is set in the middle.
- One cup oat bran (powdered)
- Two eggs
- One cup of skimmed milk
- One tsp of baking powder
- Beat all the ingredients into a smooth batter.
- Cook on a pan over medium heat, flipping the pancakes when each side is browned.
- Serve with fresh fruit or syrup (optional).
- 3 tbsp oat bran
- 4 tbsp nonfat Greek yogurt
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp baking powder
- Turkey burger patty
- Onion slices
- Pickled gherkin slices
- 1tsp Dijon mustard
- Dukan ketchup
- Dukan mayonnaise
- Mix half of the oat bran, egg, half of the yogurt, and half the baking soda.
- Pour in a circle mold and cook it in the microwave for 4 minutes. Remove the bread and slice it.
- Fry the turkey burgers patty.
- Now, start building your burger. Spread the mustard on one half of the burger bread, and the ketchup and mayo on the other. Place the burger patty and then add the sliced onion and gherkin on top. Place the other half of the burger bread on top.
Dukan diet food list
Dr. Dukan’s diet has a consolidated list of 100 “allowed” foods, divided into distinct groups. Here is a comprehensive food list  for people who wish to go on a Dukan diet:
68 Pure Proteins: Starting on the first phase of the Dukan diet
Beef tenderloin, Filet mignon – Buffalo – Extra-lean ham – Extra-lean beef(kosher) Hot dogs – Lean center-cut pork chops – Lean slices of roast beef – Pork tenderloin, Pork loin roast – Reduced-fat bacon, Soy bacon- Steak: flank, sirloin, London broil-Veal chops – Veal scaloppini – Venison.
Chicken – Chicken liver – Cornish hen – Fat-free turkey and chicken sausages – Low fat deli slices of chicken or turkey – Ostrich steak – Quail – Turkey – Wild duck- Eggs.
Arctic char – Catfish – Cod – Flounder – Grouper – Haddock – Halibut and smoked halibut – Herring – Mackerel – Mahi Mahi – Monkfish – Orange roughy – Perch – Red snapper – Salmon or smoked salmon – Sardines, fresh or canned in water – Sea bass – Shark – Sole – Surimi – Swordfish – Tilapia – Trout – Tuna: fresh or canned in water.
Clams – Crab – Crawfish – Crayfish – Lobster – Mussels – Octopus – Oysters – Scallops – Shrimp – Squid.
Seitan – Soy foods and veggie burgers – Tempeh – Tofu.
Fat-free dairy products
Non-fat Greek yogurt, Cottage cheese, Cream cheese, Milk, Fat-free Ricotta, and Sour cream.
32 vegetables: starting from the second phase of the Dukan diet
Artichoke – Asparagus – Bean sprouts – Beet – Broccoli – Brussels sprouts – Cabbage – Carrot – Cauliflower – Celery – Cucumber – Eggplant – Endive – Fennel – Green beans – Kale – Lettuce, Arugula, Radicchio – Mushrooms – Okra – Onions, leeks, shallots – Palm Hearts – Peppers – Pumpkin – Radishes – Rhubarb – Spaghetti squash – Squash – Spinach – Tomato – Turnip – Watercress – Zucchini.
More foods allowed on the Dukan Diet
- Olive oil in limited quantity: 1 tsp
- Goji berries in a limited quantity: 1 Tbsp on pure protein days and 2 tbsps on protein and vegetable days.
- Wheat gluten: 4 tbsp/week (all phases).
Following the Dukan diet may help you achieve your goal weight through a sustainable weight loss program that is neither too restrictive nor overly complicated. Nevertheless, many experts opine that this diet may not be sustainable in the long term.
So then, is the Dukan diet a blessing for people trying to lose weight? Or a health hazard in waiting that is bound to harm our bodies in the long-term? The jury is still out, but if you’re considering trying the Dukan diet, speak with your doctor or a nutritionist first. And, as with any diet, listen to your body.