The Attack Phase of the Dukan Diet Explained

The Attack Phase is the first of the four stages of the Dukan Diet and it is the first of the two weight loss stages. The Attack Phase is the part of the diet where the most dramatic weight loss takes place, especially in those individuals who have a great deal of weight to lose. It is also probably the part of the diet which attracts the most criticism amongst health professionals because this is the most restrictive stage of the diet. It is not restrictive in terms of the amounts that you can eat, as throughout the Dukan Diet you can eat as much as you want, but only of certain types of food. During the Attack Phase the list of permitted foods is limited to just 72 high protein foods.

You follow this part of the Diet for between two and ten days depending upon just how much weight you need to lose. For example if you needed to lose 20 pounds you would follow the Attack Phase for three days and could expect to lose between 3 and 5 pounds in this time.

As so many individuals experience a significant weight loss in the first few days the Attack Phase provides a huge morale boost and this provides a great kick start to the diet. This kick start is one of the factors which has helped the Dukan Diet to become so popular with those who are looking to lose weight.

There is no doubt that this part of the diet does not provide a balanced diet and this is why this part of the diet can only be undertaken for a maximum of ten days. The lack of fiber in the diet from fruit, vegetables and other sources does mean that many followers experience constipation and to help overcome these problems Dr Dukan expects individuals to eat 1 ½ tablespoons of Oatbran and to drink a minimum of 1 ½ liters of water each day whilst on the Attack Phase.

A small amount of moderate exercise is also recommended such as 20 minutes walking.

155 Responses to “The Attack Phase of the Dukan Diet Explained”

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  • Karen on July 30, 2014

    Hi Amber

    I’m on day 2 of the attack phase. I want to lose 15-20 pounds, so was planning to do the attack phase for just 3 days, as recommended for that level of weight loss. This is the first time I’ve followed a formal diet plan.

    The scales haven’t moved at all, but more worryingly my energy levels are very, very low. My health has always been good, so I’m not used to this and a bit concerned. Once I sit down, I don’t want to get up. I try to work but find I have difficulty concentrating. This started yesterday evening (end of day 1). Is this low energy normal? Should I be concerned? Am also wondering why the scales haven’t moved!

    Please advise!


    ~ Karen

    • Amber on August 2, 2014

      Hi Karen

      The symptoms are most likely to the the drop in carbs in your diet but if they not disappeared by now. I’d recommend stopping the diet and finding another diet program to use to lose weight. How much weight is lost depends on many things. If you’ve been cutting down prior to starting the diet this can make a difference.

      Kind regards


  • Julie on June 28, 2014

    Hi amber,
    I am on my cruise phase ,second month of the dukan diet but I’m a bit worried because my period didn’t seem to come this month. Is this a side effect or it isn’t normal?

    • Amber on June 29, 2014

      Hi Julie

      This can sometimes happen but I do recommend a visit to your doctor just to make sure all is in order.

      Best wishes


  • Jana on June 24, 2014

    Hello Amber,

    I have been reading all your responses and insight knowledge is really helpful. Today I also have a question and I really hope you can help me with this. I am in the second Phase of the Dukan diet and have lost 4 lbs. But I have been feeling really bloated, my stmoach is sticking out a lot more and I also have a feeling of discomfart in my stomach, also pains in the morning. Is this normal? Any advise yould be much apprecciated!!

    Best wishes


    • Amber on June 24, 2014

      Hi Jana

      It sounds as if you may be constipated but in view of the pain I’d recommend a visit to your doctor or pharmacist rather than try to treat it yourself.

      Best wishes


  • gigi on June 24, 2014

    I am on Dukan the second time around. I did the Dukan diet successfully over 2years ago and kept my weight for a long time. I started really slacking beginning of this year and gained quite a bit of weight. Now I am doing the Dukan diet the second time around. I was wondering why the process this time seems slower? Or maybe I am more impatient. Is there an explanation for it?

    Please help 🙁

    • Amber on June 24, 2014

      Hi Gigi

      Your eating habits and starting weight are likely to be different from when you first did the diet so it is not unusual for results to be slower the second time around.

      Best wishes


  • sara on June 18, 2014

    hi Amber,

    I am on 6th day of attack phase and have just lost 1 kg. I was suppose to do for 7 days. should i continue attack phase or move to next phase. I heard that we loose maximum weight on attack phase.


    • Amber on June 18, 2014

      Hi Sara

      The Attack phase does usually produce the fastest rate of weight loss but a lot is water and waste in transit through the digestive system. Most people get maximum benefit from 5 days of Attack and after that the rate of weight loss usually begins to diminish. If you want to stay on for 7 days that will be fine. The choice is yours.

      Best wishes


  • Rakhi on June 6, 2014

    Hi Amber,

    I did dukan diet last year and I lost 13kg in three months and then I fall pregnant and I put on 20kg of weight. Now going again on dukan diet and want to lose this 20kg. Is it ok for me to carry on with attack phase for more then 10days? I am very desperate to lies this weight ASAP!

    • Amber on June 6, 2014

      Hi Rakhi

      There are no exceptions, 10 days is the absolute maximum for the Attack phase and this should only be with the approval of your doctor. For most people the impact usually starts to reduce after 5 days and following a very low calorie diet for too long is actually counter productive as your body goes into fat preservation mode, reducing your metabolic rate in order to keep you alive until the perceived food shortage comes to an end.

      Kind regards


  • jackie on June 5, 2014

    Hello, I am new to trying the dukan diet and am on day 4. I lost 2 lbs on day 2 and 3 (-4 total) but woke up this morning up by two lbs. Not sure what is going on because I have not strayed from the diet or exercise.

    • Amber on June 5, 2014

      Hi Jackie

      Our bodies are very complex and there are so many factors that contribute to whether your weight goes up or down. If you have been following the diet correctly this will only be a temporary blip. Stay strong and stick to the diet.

      Best wishes


  • Rochelle on May 27, 2014

    Hello 🙂 I am doing the dukan diet for the first time and so far am happy with it. I am almost two full weeks into the second phase and getting into a good rythm with the PP and PV days. I have a dinner to go to and have to take a dessert any recommendations for a yummy one that is not going to undo too much of the good results 🙂

  • lena on May 25, 2014

    Hi Amber!
    I went down from 175 to 142 in three months. It wasn’t my ideal weight but I had to go onto consolidation for personal reasons. I’m starting it again to get back to my true weight. I was wondering if I can have 3% Turkish yogurt? I can’t seem to find fat free Greek yogurt and the only kind that’s available is 10% which is crazy!
    Also a huge thanks to your website. It was a huge help the first time around.

    • Amber on May 26, 2014

      Hi Lena

      You will be stepping outside of the recommendations of Dr Dukan but if you don’t eat large amounts and then stick to the lower fat foods that are recommended on the days you eat the yogurt you should be able to accommodate making this adjustment without it having an impact.

      Best wishes


  • Charlotte on May 23, 2014


    I am doing the dukan diet for the second time. The first time I did the dukan diet I lost 1st 5 lbs. I have put 6 lbs back on and want to go down the 10st. I have been on the attack phase for 5 days and followed it to a t! I got on the scales this morning and I’ve lost nothing. I feel very down about this as I been working so hard and feel it’s for nothing.
    Please could you help me!

    • Amber on May 23, 2014

      Hi Charlotte

      The second time around is more difficult as you’ve got less weight to lose and you’ve already changed your eating habits. Hang in there though and you will see the pounds drop.


  • Angie on May 20, 2014

    Last year I lost 14 kilos and a year later only gained 1- 2 kilo again. I felt fantastic. Until I had a car accident and broke my foot. For 4 months I was “on the sofa”! I gained 2 kilos at the beginning and when I started to walk again I gained 4 in a month. One month later I started Dukan diet again. In the first stage I lost 2 kilos and now (3 weeks into the second stage) I haven’t lost anything. I’m starting to loose my nerve. I know the second time around is a much slower process, but how slow is it? I do PP-PV every 2 days as I did before. Should I try 5 days? Help!

    • Amber on May 23, 2014

      Hi Angie

      You will need to hang in there as it will be more difficult as you have less weight to lose. Stick with the 2 day rhythm that worked last time and make sure that you are only eating as you should.

      Best wishes


  • julia lai on May 7, 2014

    Hi Amber, what are the substitute for 2 slices of whole wheat bread that are allowed in consolidation stage? Can I substitute with cooked rice or pasta? If so what are the quantity?


    • Amber on May 8, 2014

      Hi Julia

      I would substitute with a wholemeal/whole wheat wrap, a wholemeal/whole wheat roll or crackers/savory biscuits and try to keep the calories about the same. I wouldn’t recommend swapping for pasta or rice.

      Kind regards


  • Mamatha on February 13, 2014

    Hi Amber,

    This is my fourth day of the attack phase and I have already lost nearly 8 pounds of weight.

    Is this normal?

    • Amber on February 13, 2014

      Hi Mamatha

      You can lose quite large amounts of weight in the Attack phase, some of this is water, some of it will be due to reduced waste material in your body and the rest will be body fat. The more weight you have to lose the more likely you are to have a larger weight loss in Attack. Having said this I would not expect you to keep losing weight at this rate going forwards so if you keep losing 2 pounds a day over the next fews days I would recommend you visit your doctor to allow him to check out your unexpectedly high rate of weight loss.

      Best wishes


  • Tanya on January 14, 2014

    Hi Amber,
    sorry to ask a silly question but can’t get my head around this- aiming to start the diet and unsure if below is correct?
    If I’m doing attack (PP) 5days do I then follow it by the (PV) cruise days until ideal weight? Or do I alternate attack 5days, cruise 5days, attack 5days etc?
    Thanks for your help in advance!

    • Amber on January 14, 2014

      Hi Tanya

      The most common rhythm for the Cruise phase is to alternate one day of PV with one day of PP. You can alternative 5 days of PV with 5 days of PP if you like but many people find 5 days of PP on a recurring basis quite difficult to deal with.

      Kind regards


  • Yanet on January 9, 2014


    I did the Dukan diet a year and I did just fine for some reason I gained weight and right now I am in 4 day of the first phase and I have not drop any pound, I am fallowing the phase to the T.

    What cant it be?


    • Amber on January 9, 2014

      Hi Yanet

      What have you been eating/drinking on a typical day?

      Kind regards


  • Allison on August 24, 2013

    I’ve been on the dukan diet for a month or so successfully, I am on the cruise phase and my weight loss has been steady. I understand that weight loss can plateau or even temporarily rise when on pv days, however this last week every time I step on a scale my weight goes up even more. At te moment it’s saying I’m a stone heavier than I was last week? In a week! I excercise very regularly, stick to all the diet rules, my only change is I have started to have some 0% Greek yogurt, and I have way under the allowance I should be allowed! I’m so stressed and confused by this!

    • Amber on August 24, 2013

      Hi Allison

      It sounds to me as if you’ve started to retain water as there is no way that you could have gained 14 pounds of fat in a week whilst following a diet. This is quite a large amount and the most common causes are salt/sodium in diet or hormones but I think you should consult your doctor as soon as you can to make sure that are no underlying health conditions causing the problem.

      If your water retention is hormonal it should clear within a few days of your period starting and if it is due to salt/sodium it should clear within a couple of days of reducing the amount in your diet.

      Best wishes


  • Deez on June 25, 2013

    Hi…I started on Dukan attack phase 5 days ago and I’ve only lost 2 lbs…I read the book over and over and I just want to make sure I’m doing this right.
    I usually have my oatbran first thing in the morning with vanilla 0% Greek Yogurt. Then I would 2 boiled eggs and either smoked turkey or chicken coldcuts for lunch and dinner is the same either tuna or rotasarie chicken without the skin with yogurt. I snack on vanilla yogurt a lot … Even regular yogurt…or cottage cheese (all 0% fat) Could that be slowing down things?

    Thanks guys!!

    • Amber on June 26, 2013

      Hi Deez

      Eating too much yogurt or dairy can be a problem due to the amount of natural sugar it contains. A lot of fat free or low fat yogurts also contain added sugar and I think to help make things simpler Dr Dukan has updated the rules for yogurts so that they now have to have 2 g or less of fat and 7 g or less of carbohydrates per 100 g. Even with these rules the paid coached version recommends limiting the amount of low fat/zero fat dairy eaten should be limited to 1 kg per day. Where someone is having difficulty losing weight the coaches recommend halving this limit to 500 g per day. For calculation purposes 1 ml equals 1 g.

      Kind regards


  • Molly on April 19, 2013

    Hi Amber,

    I am trying the dukan diet for the second time. I was extremely successful the first time, but have gained it all back and more due to depression, which led to binge eating. Will the dukan diet work twice? I’m extremely determined. I have started again – have 25lbd to lose and the website says I can lose it in 2.5months. Any suggestions to really kick start my progress? Also – is a 20 minute jog during attack phase enough? Oh – and if I have sugar free whey protien powder as a snack, will that set back my weight loss, or help?

    Thank u

    • Amber on April 20, 2013

      Hi Molly

      The Dukan Diet can help you to lose weight again but you may find it takes a little longer as your metabolic rate might be slower.

      I would be very careful about setting yourself stretching targets and would recommend that you take things slowly and don’t rush to try to lose a lot of weight. Don’t put unnecessary pressure on yourself.

      The Dukan Diet can’t help stop you binge eating or cure your depression so it is important that you make sure you are seeking medical help to tackle the underlying cause of your depression.

      I would advise against using protein powders – they are not real food and Dr Dukan feels the same way. Using them as snacks would be likely to slow down your weight loss as they are quite high in calories. You need to try to establish normal eating habits.

      Best wishes


  • Lauren on April 18, 2013

    Hi Amber,

    I’ve just started the attack phase and although I’m not weighing myself as I don’t have any scales, I don’t feel like I’m losing any weight. So far I’ve eaten:

    Day 1:
    Breakfast – 2 hard boiled eggs
    Snack – Oat bran and fat free yoghurt (Yeo Valley – I know this has sugar in it though, does that matter? Sugar free yoghurt doesn’t exist does it?!)
    Lunch – Slice of steak
    Dinner – 250g chicken with 1tbsp of tomato puree and a diet coke.
    Exercise – 20 minute walk

    Day 2:
    Breakfast – Oat bran and fat free yoghurt
    Lunch – 250g lean mince meat (less than 10% fat) 1tbsp tomato puree
    Snack – A couple tbsps fat free yoghurt
    Dinner – 2 poached eggs and 2 pieces of ham
    Snack – Diet coke

    Breakfast – half a cinnamon Dukan cookie with fat free yoghurt
    Snack – other half of Dukan cookie
    Lunch – 250g of chicken with 1 tbsp of tomato puree and some mixed herbs.

    Am I doing anything wrong? Is it recommended to eat eggs/yoghurt daily? I’m drinking a ton of water and walk daily for exercise. Should I up the exercise more?

    I weigh around 10st 8lbs. The heaviest I have ever been. I’m normally around 8st11 – 9st3lbs. I’m 5’5 and when I put my fingers around my wrist they overlap.

    Please help me! I just want to get back down to 9st 🙁

    • Amber on April 18, 2013

      Hi Lauren

      Yeo Valley natural yogurt has no added sugar but it is too high in carbs to meet Dr Dukan’s new rule of less than 7% carbs – it has 8.5% carbs. Yeo Valley Vanilla has added sugar putting the carbs up to 14.3% over doubled the allowed levels. Lemon and Poppy seed is even worse having carbs levels of 16.9%. Apart from that I can’t see anything wrong with what you are eating assuming there is no medical reason to restrict the number of eggs you are eating. If anything you don’t appear to be eating quite enough.

      The best advice I can give is for you to invest in some scales so that you can check your weight on a daily basis as you don’t know whether you have lost weight or not.

      Kind regards


  • okieqt on February 8, 2012

    I’ve been on the Dukan diet for 3 days also and have not experienced the “kick start” that everyone is talking about! I have the book and have followed the diet “to a T”. The second morning I weighed the same as the first, and on the third morning I actually weighed 2 pounds higher. It is very restrictive and I really need to see some results SOON to stay motivated. Is this normal?

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