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How Long Does the Dukan Diet Take?

By Elise Wile ; Updated July 18, 2017

The Dukan Diet was developed by Dr. Pierre Dukan, a French neurologist turned weight-loss doctor. The diet is based on the idea that people burn the most calories when eating a high protein, low carb diet. Although Dukan provides estimates for how many pounds can be lost in a week, you will need to consider variables such as your weight, level of activity and age, as these all affect the rate of weight loss.

The Attack Phase

The first phase of the Dukan Diet, termed the "Attack Phase," is intended to jump start weight loss and motivation. Dieters are expected to eat a diet of pure protein for 2 to 7 days. The only allowable carbohydrates are those found in the 1.5 tablespoon of oat bran permitted each day and those found in nonfat dairy products and lemon. Dukan states that a dieter can expect to lose between 5 to 10 pounds after five days of this phase, and 2 to 5 pounds after three days.

The Cruise Phase

The "Cruise Phase" is the next section of the diet, which is intended for long-term weight loss. When in this phase, dieters alternate days of pure protein with days of protein and unlimited amounts of non-starchy vegetables. The length of time a dieter will remain in this phase depends on how much weight she has to lose. This phase is recommended until a dieter has reached her goal weight. Dukan anticipates that dieters will lose approximately 1 pound per three days of dieting in this phase.

The Consolidation Phase

The "Consolidation Phase" isn't really a weight loss phase at all, since dieters will have reached their goal weight by this time. However, Dukan recommends staying on the diet for five days per pound lost in order to prevent weight-loss rebound. This phase incorporates a wider variety of foods and permits two celebration meals per week. During this phase, and the remainder of her life, a dieter is expected to have one pure protein day each week to remain at a stable weight.


The Dukan Diet proposes a limited range of foods for what could be an extended period of time for people who have a considerable amount of weight to lose. Starchy vegetables, fruits and whole grains supply valuable nutrients and fiber and should be included in a healthy diet. The Dukan Diet does not promote itself as a way of life, other than the one pure protein day a week that is recommended. Weight, rather than overall health, is the goal of this diet. People who reach their goal weight may find themselves returning quickly to old habits.

Because the Dukan Diet eliminates entire food groups, it is considered a fad diet. These diets fail 95 percent of the time, according to nutrition specialist Julie Garden-Robinson at North Dakota State University. See Reference 3 -- If you choose to follow the Dukan Diet, consider how you will adjust your diet once you reach your goal weight in order to achieve good health as well as a slim figure.

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