Dukan Diet Tip: Dealing with a Lapse on the Dukan Diet

I came across this motivational quote, “The elevator to success is out of order. You’ll have to use the stairs…one step at a time.” by Joe Girard a motivational speaker and life coach and although it probably wasn’t said with weight loss in mind it certainly applies.

It doesn’t matter whether you are on the Dukan Diet or using another diet plan to lose weight, the most important part about dealing with any lapse is damage limitation.  Do everything you can to stop one piece of chocolate cake or glass of wine turning into two and don’t allow any lapse to become an excuse to come off your diet for the rest of the day or even the rest of the week.

You don’t want to be held up on the way to your target weight any longer than you need.  You have to try to prevent yourself from going back more than one or two steps.  You certainly don’t want it to become flights of stairs or in the worse case scenario ending up back at the bottom of the stairs having to start all over again.

I think the best way to deal with any lapse is not to make a big deal of it and not to knock yourself out over it.  You are not a bad person because you’ve just eaten a donut and you certainly don’t have to punish yourself by skipping a meal or following your diet very harshly.  A lot of people following the Dukan Diet think they need to do another Attack Phase or add in some extra PP days where they only eat pure protein to make up for their slip.

This is probably one of the worst thing they could do as it could slow down their metabolism.  Restricting your food intake sends your body into a flat spin and it takes every step it can to keep you alive through the famine it now believes you are living through.  It desperately tries to hang onto your fat reserves and if possible lay down even more so it will be sending messages to try to get you eat that will be even more difficult to resist and it could even end up with you falling off your diet altogether.

The best way to deal with any lapse is to draw a line under it and then continue with your diet as if nothing had happened.  The most you should do if you are following the Dukan Diet is to cut out your two daily tolerated items for a couple of days and try to fit in an extra 20 minutes or so of walking.

Remember, in just the same way that everyone has periods of stagnation when trying to lose weight, everyone has temptations they succumb to.  The ones who reach their target weights are the ones who were able to put these lapses behind them and chalk it down to experience.

As I started with a motivational quote I thought I’d also end with another by Robert J Collier.

“Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.”



75 Responses to “Dukan Diet Tip: Dealing with a Lapse on the Dukan Diet”

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  • Kiriai on February 22, 2017

    I am about to start the attack phase and do 7 days after that I have about 7 weeks of cruise phase then I go on holiday for 2 weeks. Can I have a 2 week break? Then go back to cruise or do I go back to attack?

    • Amber on February 22, 2017

      Hi Kiriai

      You shouldn’t do two full Attack phases so close together so I’d go back to Cruise starting with a PP day.

      Kind regards


  • Raya on January 18, 2017

    Hey, I’m currently on the third day of the Attack phase and down 2.2kg already. I usually get bored easily, and temptation gets the better of me. From previous diets, I have learnt that planning a cheat meal works better for me, as it keeps me going (energizes me) and prevents me from lapsing accidentally (which is usually way worse). Do you think I should plan a cheat meal to prevent me from getting bored and giving up? if so, how often should they be? should they be goal driven (every xkg have a cheat meal?) What are y0ur recommendations regarding this matter..

    • Amber on January 19, 2017

      Hi Raya

      You may find that the variety in the Dukan 2 diet suits you better.

      Best wishes


  • Jampel on October 5, 2016

    I have tried the Dylan diet a year ago and lost 15 kilos reaching my goal weight. But after i delivered baby my weight is back to 75 kg. Can dukan diet be done again.

    • Amber on October 16, 2016

      Hi Jampel

      The Dukan Diet can be repeated but because the circumstance will not be the same you may find that you don’t get such a big impact from the Attack Phase.

      If you are breast feeding wait until you’ve stopped before starting to diet.



  • Bianca on February 11, 2016

    HI Amber,
    Thanks so much for writing this site. It’s so helpful and help me go through difficult time on my Dukan diet phases.. I’ve been doing Dukan since November and lost 10 kgs.. Since januari I only lost 1 kg and quite frustrated. Come to worse, in the last 2 weeks I’ve been cheating with small carb/fatty/oily snack and carb on weekends. Can you suggest me what to do, please… I supposed to go on consolidation phase now. But I’m not on my ideal weight yet (my target is to loose another 10 kgs). Usually I go for 1:1 cruise phase. What should I do.. I’m actually considering using new Dukan diet (carb n sweet allowed on weekends).. What do you think? Thank you….

    • Amber on February 13, 2016

      Hi Bianca

      Congratulations on your success so far. Switching to Dukan 2 will definitely help with the weekends and provide some additional variety to your diet. If you want to increase the rate of weight loss you could always add in a week of Cruise here and there.

      Stick with it.

      Best wishes


      • Mohsen on September 24, 2016

        Hello ! Am on the cruise phase, 15th day, and I cheated with junk food .. What should I do

        • Amber on October 16, 2016

          Hi Mohsen

          Carry on with the diet as if nothing had happened.



  • anju on February 2, 2016

    I only have about 8lbs to lose. I completed the attack phase and lost 2kgs. But I have fallen off the wagon and have eaten carbs galore. How should I continue?

    • Amber on February 6, 2016

      Hi Anju

      Start the Dukan again from the Cruise Phase and try to avoid those carbs!

      Kind regards


  • Deborah on January 22, 2016

    I am still on the cruise phase and I’m hoping that by the time I go on holiday in April, that I will be doing the consolidation phase. It will be particularly hard to maintain consolidation as we will be in a different country and eating out a lot. Can I return to the consolidation phase on my return, or will I need to go back to cruise phase?

    • Amber on February 6, 2016

      Hi Deborah

      Depending on how much weight is gained you may need to insert a couple of weeks of Cruise before continuing wit Consolidation.

      Have a lovely holiday.


  • Mohamad on December 4, 2015

    Can I eat a small quantity of rice ?

    • Amber on December 14, 2015

      Hi Mohamad

      Sorry no.

      Kind regards


  • Natalie on October 27, 2015

    I’m on day 3 of attack phase and i cheated with pizza what should I do should I start it from the beginning

    • Amber on November 5, 2015

      Hi Natalie

      Just carry on without restarting, trying not to lapse again.

      Kind regards


  • Dawn on December 9, 2014

    Thank you for your insight always on this diet. I am afraid I have really falling off the wagon. I did really good over the summer and lost about 20 lbs. I completely stopped the Dukan Diet in November and have gained most of my weight plus. I have plans to restart in January after the holidays. My question is do I start the attack phase and do it for a whole 7 days? And what can I do to stop so much weight gain before I can fully commit to doing Dukan ‘by the book’?
    Thank you

    • Amber on December 11, 2014

      Hi Dawn

      Try to follow the Consolidation version of the Dukan as closely as you can until you are ready to start the diet in the New Year.


  • ria on November 26, 2014


    first of all thank you for creating this amazingly helpful site!

    i am currently in my cruise phase and started off with a 10 days Attack phase for some encouraging results as its very difficult for me to loose weight fast.
    however i wanted to ask that if i kind of break/ pause my diet for one week, then after that week do i need to start the diet all over again from the Attack phase or i can resume it from where i left

    THNX 🙂

    • Amber on November 26, 2014

      Hi Ria

      Start from where you left but with a PP day to start with.


  • Jessica on November 24, 2014


    I have been on the Dukan for 7 days but only to land up cheating with chocolate bar and grilled cheese. Probably the worst of the worst. Do I need to start over?

    • Amber on November 26, 2014

      Hi Jessica

      Everyone falls off the wagon – don’t fret – just carry on as if nothing had happened.


  • Mike on November 21, 2014

    Dear Amber, thanks for all your help.

    I have a question about attack phase if you are so kind to answer!
    I am on the 10day attack phase. (1) On 7th day I had a pork chop.. trimmed nearly all the fat off but some “escaped”.
    (2) Yesterday- 8th day – i had a Robinson’s squash lemonade (No added sugar).
    I think these are both lapses. Should i start over or just continue to day ten? or even go to 12 (i can do it easily) just to make up for screw ups? Thank you!

    • Amber on December 11, 2014

      Hi Mike

      You should just continue as planned – the Attack phase so never be more than 10 days and this is only with doctor’s advice.


  • Brittany on August 5, 2014


    I’ve been on the attack phase for one week, but today I fell off and had three tacos. I don’t know what happened! Should I start all over with the attack phase or just continue with it. Initially, I planned on being on the attack phase for 10 days. Should I finish out the 10 days and continue to the cruise phase or did I really mess myself up and just start back at day 1?

    Thank you so much

    • Amber on August 5, 2014

      Hi Brittany

      You just continue as if nothing had happened. If you are finding the Attack Phase too difficult switching to the Cruise phase may be a good idea. It is better to stick to Cruise than lapse on Attack. For most people 5 days of Attack produces the optimum impact after this the effect usually reduces.

      Best wishes


  • Evan on July 10, 2014

    Hi Amber, thank you so much for your website and generosity! I first started the dukan about 2 weeks ago with 2 days attack and now just going about the 1:1 cruise phase. I’ve had about 3 celebratory meals whereby I simply switched to P with a bit of V and continued exercising the following day. My weight has fluctuated slightly but thankfully heading southwards. The slowing rate does not bother me. The issue – A cold hit me like a train yesterday and I’d like to ask if it would be wise to go a few days with PV and some carbs (chicken soup with parsnips, squash, carrot, kale, garlic, ginger, onions, and some *toasted bread*) before returning to 1:1. I’d like to consume as much V asI can as I suspect a lack of vitamins might have been a factor for my reduced immunity. It’s also because protein hasnt been able to fully satisfy me satisfy me recently and Im craving vegetables on PP days! However the former is my priorty at this moment. How would you advice the ill?

    • Amber on July 10, 2014

      Hi Evan

      If you are feeling under the weather I think your idea to ease off and have a few days of PV to be a sound one. Following a restrictive diet when you are not feeling at your best is not only more difficult it is not likely to be providing your body with all that it needs to recover.

      Hope you are soon on the mend.

      Best wishes


  • Sue on April 15, 2014

    Hi Amber, my question is probably not much different than the rest- and I get the advice to just move on BUT……

    I should have waited to start the diet, I was excited and completely forgot that today is Passover. My ear friend worked her tail off to prepare a Seder and even made items to accomodate my food sensitivities. I did try to mitigate the damage by skipping all the fruit, taking only three sips of wine and sticking to water, I skipped the matzah and charoset (apples and nuts), and for dessert I had one bite size candy from my purse and spit the note of brownie I took Ito the trash(I forgot for a second when my son shoved it I my face).
    I ate brisket (which I later learned had some brown sugar in the marinade), a couple green beans, a decent portion of potatoe kugel, and a lovely matzah ball soup which I totally ate (including the ball). So it wasn’t as bad as it would have been pre Dukan but I’m certainly not carb free. My worst slip up till now has been an extra tsp of gogi berries :(.
    I have a 20lb goal and had so far lost 4 lbs in the first two days? This was day three and the final of attack. Do I really just start cruise tomorrow like it never happened or do you think I should start cruising with a PP day to sort of set myself straight? I was thinking I might take my boys (I have a 3 and 5 yr old boy who are both very motor driven so I get a good amount of chasing in every day) to an amusement park tomorrow which would certainly address the need for additional walking. Thank you so much for being a friend to lean on for so many people muddling our way thru this experience.

    • Amber on April 15, 2014

      Hi Sue

      Treat today as your first day of Cruise as a PV day and then tomorrow is a PP day which is exactly what you wanted!

      Best wishes


  • Molly on February 9, 2014

    Hi Amber,
    I have lost 16lbs on the dukan diet so far and after a couple of weeks i always find myself binge eating and then i get back on track and then it happens all over again. I was doing so good and then this weekend came and I ate every dessert in site..and now I just feel I messed up all my success and that i wont ever get to my target weight. I am in the cruise phase but feel like im plateauing all the time. Do you have any advice or help on how to get back on track and stay on track? I need to have lost all my weight by may but Im just having so much trouble sticking to it 🙁

    • Amber on February 10, 2014

      Hi Molly

      The Dukan Diet can help you lose weight but it isn’t a treatment for binge eating. Here is a useful link for yourself or anyone else reading this comment that gives some general information on this eating disorder and some general self help tips. If these self help tips don’t work I’d recommend seeking professional help to help you control your condition. http://www.helpguide.org/mental/binge_eating_disorder.htm

      Kind regards


  • Malak on July 8, 2013

    Hello Amber,
    I have been following the Dukan diet for two months and lost 8 kiloes. I was so happy with this result,but unfortunately I increased the amount of sugar substitute in the food and got sick .the doctor advised me to forget all about this diet and drink orange juice and eat fruit and not to have sugar substitute .my question is can i have one week rest and then continue with this diet.

    • Amber on July 8, 2013

      Hi Malak

      If your doctor told you not to follow the Dukan Diet I would recommend that you follow his advice.

      Kind regards


  • Kim on March 15, 2013

    Hi Anber!

    What happened is that I cheated on a PV day and the next PP day too :/
    Should I just continue with the 1/1 or add another PP day like the US Dukan says? Thanks!

    • Amber on March 15, 2013

      Hi Kim

      I always advise to carry on as if nothing had happened. The Dukan coaches are in the position to offer more detailed advice as they know more about the people they are coaching and the food they have been eating and how many days PP/PV they have done and so on.

      Try to work out why you cheated and then see if you can work out a strategy to prevent it happening again.

      Kind regards


  • Sam on September 4, 2012

    I am new here and just wanted to say THANK YOU! What a god send this site is 🙂

    A question; I have 13 pounds to lose and started what I thought was the Dukan diet until I got the book and realised I’d made a couple of mistakes.

    I had been eating pork products and the 5% fat Greek yogurt. Also those Irish diet fruit yogurts.

    Now I see no pork, 0% fat yogurts (maximum 2%) and no fruit yogurts until cruise stage.

    I have lost about 2 pounds in 5 days but am heavier now as my period is due (& I haven’t been to the loo for about 5 days!!).

    Should I start from scratch with an attack phase for a few days? Or settle into the Cruise stage until I lose the full 13 pounds?

    Thank you :))))

  • Louise Mooney on August 30, 2012

    How did you know we needed to read this? i am so happy with my progress, 27 pounds since April 1st but these last few weeks have been filled with house guests and so i am not as diligent…i have seen a pound up and pound down suddenly, luckily nothing too drastic but was wondering if there was something i should do. This post is perfect , many thanks, i suspect i will return to re read 🙂

    • Amber on August 30, 2012

      Hi Louise

      It is great to hear from you again and although you may not have lost any weight over the last few weeks you’ve proved to yourself that you can have house guests without piling on the pounds.

      The truth is that everyone has lapses so at some point, so hopefully the post will help lots of people, because it is how you handle the lapses that determines how successful you will be.

      Take care

      Best wishes


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