Dieting,  food,  Lifestyle

My success with the Dukan Diet|HOW to do ‘The Dukan’ successfully.

Well, the good news, it that I’ve lost over a stone and a half (21lbs), on my quest to trim up. I feel a million dollars now and people are really starting to notice, the buzz is absolutely great and slightly addictive. Celebrity fans include Jennifer Lopez, The Duchess of Cambridge (aka Kate Middleton), Giselle Bundchen.

A few of my readers have asked me to go into “HOW?” a bit more, some of you have bought the Dukan diet book and can’t get your head around it, so I said I would elaborate on it and give an example of my diet week. It’s really not hard once you get it. Okay, so Pierre Dukan’s diet rolls out in four stages:

  1. Attack: For 2-7 days, eat as much as you want of 72 protein rich foods.
  2. Cruise: Continue eating protein rich foods with the addition of 28 vegetables.
  3. Consolidation: Add fruit, bread, cheese and starchy foods and 2 celebration meals a week,  allowing 5 days for every pound lost.
  4. Stabilisation: Eat what you like without regaining weight and following 3 rules and introducing “Protein Thursdays”.

I personally follow ‘Attack‘/Lightening for 10 days and lose a stone (14lbs), you will hear people saying “Oh be careful, that cannot be safe!!” But relax, it’s been examined and it is.. This works through ketosis, your body switches over from consumed carbs and fat to body stores, essentially eating your fat for energy. The first three days will see you rapidly lose weight, this is mainly water retention and if you go back to normal eating after a week, weight will come back on, from day 4 you will properly be in keto and start burning actual fat and your cravings for carbs and sugar will vanish. You’re restricted to 72 foods, all lean protein, you can eat as much as you want but you must eat regularly to keep your metabolic rate high, so always carry a yogurt or hard boiled eggs or some cold cuts in a little cooler bag. You must also drink 2 litres of water a day and have 1.5 tablespoons of oat bran a day in your food, whether it’s in your food or making a porridge, which I normally do every morning. Oat bran acts as a fibre and a flypaper for fats that you may consume.

List of foods allowed:

  • Lean meats: beef (not ribs or rib eye), veal, grillled or roasted without oil or fat.
  • Offal: Kidneys, Liver or tongue (no thanks)
  • All poultry, except duck or goose, but without the skin.
  • All fish,  fatty, lean, white, oily, raw or cooked
  • All Shellfish
  • Low fat ham, sliced low fat chicken and pork
  • Eggs (2 a day max due to high cholesterol)
  • Non fat dairy products (no fruit or vanilla yogurts)
  • At least 1.5 litres of water MUST be consumed a day, with a low salt content (sparkling water has higher sodium)
  • Aspartame sweetener in limited amounts (splenda)
  • Diet Coke and coffee, no fruit teas.

Okay so we’ve outlined the Attack phase. Someone asked me about lactose intolerant people, you can still do the diet just leave out the dairy. You can’t however have lactose free milks or fruit water, lemon water either, not even water with a slice of lemon. It’s all chemical, trust me, follow it properly and weight will fall off. A couple of attempts on the Dukan attack, saw me eating ham and vanilla fat free yogurts, I wasn’t losing weight as well and it was getting me down, “how did I do it so well before?” The thing was, after examining the ingredients closer, there was fructose syrup in the “fat free” vanilla yogurt, even just a small amount can interfere, the ham also had a sugar glaze on it before it was sliced. You REALLY have to examine the ingredients list. I normally buy Brady’s meat or Denny 100% natural cold cuts.

Okay so some of you might be a little confused as to what to eat, on an average day doing attack, I eat as follows:

Breakfast:  1 cup of natural fat free yogurt and Oatbran Porridge (1.5 tablespoons of oatbran with double the amount of skimmed milk) 1 pint of water.

Mid morning: Turkey bacon slice

Lunch: 1 hard boiled egg and 3 slices of turkey with a little balsamic vinegar. A pint of water.

Mid Afternoon: A pot of natural fat free yogurt.

Dinner: A lean steak  (dry fried) a cornichon (baby gherkin) and a dry fried egg 1 litre of water to be sipped throughout the evening.

Another variation:

Breakfast: 2 egg omelette (dry fried on a good non stick pan) Pint of Water

Mid morning: Fat free natural yoghurt.

Lunch: Salmon or a tuna steak, you can make a little dill dressing by getting fat free fromage frais and adding a teaspoon of dill and garlic, leaving overnight to develop flavour). 1 pint of water.

Dinner: Turkey meat loaf with NO breadcrumbs, use oatbran to substitute.


So that’s a typical day on the Dukan, you also must walk for 20 mins at least a day and going to the gym for a strenuous workout is not recommended as this diet puts enough pressure on your body, gentle exercise. Watching the scales digits fall away over the week will be the best feeling. You may get bad breath, or breath with a solvent smell, this is due to ketones, but drink more water and it should help, the more you drink the less bad it’ll be. You can also use listerine breath strips. Your brain may be a little foggy on attack too, so if you do a job where people’s lives are at risk, perhaps take a week off to do this, lol! Sometimes doing basic math is a chore… it’s just down to the energy converted from the fat burned. After a few weeks on this diet, You’ll be amazed at your muscle strength, I cycle to work most days and Most mornings, I’d be a sweaty Betty and if there was a strong wind I was cycling against, I’d really struggle, most days, hopping off and walking alongside my bike, I wasn’t fit enough. Now I cycle uphill and against gales without a worry, my strength and fitness is really improving. I’ve also started power walking to work every second day, a 20 minute speed walk each way, totaling 40 minutes in addition to the running about in work that I do…

So you’ve spent your time on the Attack, lost a chunk of weight, how to you continue to lose weight while living pretty comfortably?

This isn’t exactly ‘Dukanian’ but how I have been losing weight after attack is by giving up carbs and sugar Monday-Friday and two cheat days. It sounds hard but after Attack, you’re so grateful for a vegetable, trust me! At the weekends I have a glass or two of something, wine or Hendricks Gin with slimline tonic, I allow myself ‘Pizza Friday’ opting for a thin base, and less fatty meat, maybe ham and veg instead of sausage/chorizo/salami/pepperoni. If you think wisely about what you eat, you’ll be fine, I allow myself a little carb and a chocolate bar to keep myself sweet, but opting for the BEST kind, my choice is Dr.Coy’s Nutritional Chocolate Bar with coconut, it’s made with raw cacao too so your insulin levels don’t go nuts. It’s amazing how much good quality chocolate tastes when it becomes a treat.. Mainstream cheap chocolate bars that invade your vision at every shop counter begin to taste like solid grease, which they are.  Your palate becomes so reconditioned.

My typical diet week is a variation of the Dukan cruise, every day up to lunch is the same as attack but for dinner I eat whole foods, lean but good whole foods, no starchy carbs. Tuesday and Thursday are pure protein like Attack.

I made a bolognese this week, Ryan had pasta but I had raw courgetti, the sauce had NO tinned tomatoes (which have 4 teaspoons of sugar in each tin) I blanched, skinned and seeded a dozen tomatoes, I couldn’t tell the difference between pasta and courgetti it was raw so had the same texture as al dente pasta. I also had a pinch of grated cheddar, just a pinch.

Another dish I cooked was a courgette-instead-of-eggplant ratatouille, just cooking a load of vegetables together with a tomato base and allowing them to simmer for a couple of hours, it’s beautiful baked on a chicken breast, just be creative and use as little crap as possible.  You’ll feel so healthy!

This diet is IDEAL for Summer, you can still barbeque and diet! Just skip the bun and the sugary sauces! The Butlers Pantry do a gorgeous beetroot ketchup, it’s so much healthier than mainstream ketchup and tastes incredible.

If you want to start this diet, I highly recommend you but the Dukan Diet Recipe Book, it’ll stop your palette getting bored and unlike me, if you love seafood, you can have a ball on this diet, there are much more options out there for you.

Do get in touch if you’re doing it, if you need any advice, please, drop a comment or send an email.



  • Amy

    Hi I’m funny with oat bran they don’t agree with me and was wondering would it be ok just forgetting about the oat bran

    Many thanks


    • Sarah Cooke-O'Neill

      Hi Amy, Dr.Dukan insists on using it in his diet, it soaks up fats that might sneak into your food and gives you the necessary fibre you need in the diet.

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