Dukan’s diet: opinions of professionals

Despite the fact that the Ducan diet is one of the most popular and profitable (millions of people around the world follow this protein diet for weight loss, and the size of the business selling books and branded foods is estimated at € 100 million annually(one)), most professional nutritionists are extremely negative about the nutritional rules described by Ducan.

A French organization of doctors openly accused the author of the famous diet of “making a business out of medicine.”(2), not caring at all about the impact of his advice on the health of losing weight, and the British Dietetic Association for several years in a row called the Ducan diet the most dangerous diet for people, strongly recommending avoiding it(3)

Is this diet really effective?

The reason for the popularity of the Ducan diet is simple – his nutritional program does not at all require careful monitoring of nutrients, scrupulous calorie counting, or outright refusal to eat. In order to lose weight and get rid of excess weight, you just need to follow the main provisions and stages of the diet, as well as eat according to the list of food products proposed by Dukan.

The main focus of this diet is an emphasis on low-fat protein foods, limiting simple carbohydrates and sugars as much as possible, and consuming a lot of fiber on a regular basis. In fact, the Ducan diet is a typical example of a carbohydrate-free diet (which is also the keto diet), but with a simultaneous restriction of fat.

Stages of the Ducan diet in simple words

By itself, the Ducan diet is divided into four successive stages – attack, alternation, consolidation and stabilization. The attack is the shortest stage, lasting 2-6 days (only protein foods with an almost complete restriction of fat are allowed in food). During this time, you can lose 2-4 kg of weight, since a large amount of fluid leaves the body.

The second stage of the diet consists in alternating protein and protein-vegetable days. First, only protein products are allowed, then – in equal proportions, proteins and vegetables (a source of fiber and vitamins). It is allowed to alternate days in the regime of a day every other day, two after two, and so on. The duration of this phase of the Ducan diet is until the desired weight is reached.

Final result: consolidation and stabilization

Reviews of those who have lost weight suggest that consolidation is considered the simplest stage of the Ducan diet. The duration of this stage is calculated based on the figure of 10 days for each lost kilogram. At this stage, a serving of fruit per day, a serving of bread and cheese, and fatty meats are added to the diet once a week. Plus, any products from the alternation stage are acceptable.

Stabilization is the final phase of the Ducan Diet, lasting the rest of your life. The key principle of nutrition at this stage is to consume 1-3 tablespoons of oat bran daily and one protein day per week (only protein foods are allowed). It is also important that at all stages of the diet, Ducan recommends intensive walking for 30-60 minutes a day and refusal of the elevator.

Pros and cons: reviews of losing weight according to Dukan

The main advantage of the Ducan diet is traditionally considered to be the absence of hunger. In fact, you can eat at any time and in any quantity. Reviews often say that the diet consists of simple and understandable foods – in fact, you can eat in restaurants without any problems, ordering grilled chicken or beef steak, as well as fish, seafood and vegetables.

Among the fundamental disadvantages, reviews of those losing weight note the almost complete absence of fruit at most stages of the diet, constant thirst and the characteristic smell of acetone from the mouth on protein days (a direct result of ketosis processes). Among other things, some people who are losing weight on the Ducan diet begin to experience difficulties with digestion.

Scientific evidence: the mistakes of the Ducan diet

Scientists remind that Ducan’s book contains statements that are contrary to reality. The most criticized is the rejection of fats – Ducan does not mention that a healthy person needs at least 40-50 g of fat per day. Avoiding fat entails problems with fat-soluble vitamins (primarily vitamin D), absorption of calcium and a number of other minerals.

Based on the fact that the composition of human milk is in a ratio of 5: 3: 2 (in terms of calories of carbohydrates, fats and proteins), Ducan concludes that this ratio is the “golden ratio”, and it is the most harmonious and correct for an adult’s nutrition. person. Unfortunately, this opinion has no scientific evidence.(four)

Anti-scientific diet recommendations

In addition, the Ducan diet prohibits spinach (as containing sugar), although in reality spinach contains only 3.6 grams of sugar for a huge 100 g serving of salad – however, at the same time, the diet classifies skim milk as an unlimited consumption product (forgetting that in a glass of any milk contains about 10-13 g of sugar).

Among other things, real scientific studies show that the Ducan diet does not change eating habits – more than 80% of 5000 researchers who lost weight using this diet returned to their original weight within several years.(one)… The reason people do lose weight is not the Ducan diet, but the keto phase that this diet recommends.

Dukan’s diet: a real review of those who have lost weight

Pavel, reader of FitSeven. Age – 35 years, height – 172 cm, weight before the Ducan diet – 87 kg, weight after the diet – 68 kg. The result of losing weight is minus 19 kilograms in 4 months of the diet.

“Diets with restriction of calories and food were given to me very hard – I like to eat too much. I was looking for other options that did not impose strict control on food. As a result, I decided to lose weight on the Ducan diet. The result of the first days was good. I ate my favorite meat, poultry, fish in huge quantities and lost weight! I did not go in for sports, but began to walk for 30 minutes a day and refused the elevator.

He reached his minimum weight of 68 kg after 4 months. I lost 19 kg, my skin condition and general well-being improved. However, at the end of the diet, I decided to switch to calorie counting, since I did not want to restrict carbohydrates in my diet all my life. Despite the fact that when counting calories, the feeling of hunger is more noticeable, but it is more convenient for me to eat just healthy food – I am rather tired of protein food. “


The Ducan Diet is the least favorite diet among nutritionists. Shock weight loss caused by a sharp rejection of fats and carbohydrates is not long-term – in 80% of cases, the weight lost during the diet returns. Scientific studies show that Ducan’s diet can significantly harm health and normal metabolism in the long term.

Scientific sources:

  1. Dukan diet inventor faces censure, source
  2. French diet guru Pierre Dukan faces ethics hearing, source
  3. British Dietetic Association (BDA): Worst Diets to Avoid, source
  4. Dukan Diet Review, source

Date of the last update of the material – March 1, 2019

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