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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  • Dana on August 5, 2017

    Hello I’m on my 4th day of my attack phase and I didn’t lose any gram my period is in 2 days would that be the reason

    • Amber on August 5, 2017

      Hi Dana

      Water retention due to hormonal changes around the time of your period is very common so it would be worth giving yourself a few more days before you judge how much weight you’ve lost.

      Best wishes


  • Veronica on July 7, 2017

    Hi! I plan on starting this diet as soon as I finish reading the book. I like food with a lot of flavor. During the attack phase, can use seasoning or hot sauce on my protein? Would I be able to squeeze some lime on my tuna ?


    • Amber on July 7, 2017

      Hi Veronica

      Hot sauce is ok provided it contains no unpermitted ingredients such as oil or sugar. THe Dukan uses lemon juice in cooking – to my mind lime juice is also OK.

      Good luck


  • Danielle Haynes on May 19, 2017

    I’m on day 2 of the Attack Phase and have gained over a kilo. Is this normal? Will my weight go back down over the following days? I have been doing weight training could this also be the reason?

    • Amber on May 19, 2017

      Hi Danielle

      A kilo gain in 2 days on Attack is very unusual. Did you increase your water intake?



  • Barbara on May 8, 2017

    This is my 3rd day in the Attack Phase. Have not lost a pound, actually gained 1. This is discouraging. What should I do

    • Amber on May 8, 2017

      Hi Barbara

      It is unusual to gain weight in Attack as protein has diuretic properties promoting water loss. If you have been dieting or watching what you eat prior to starting or do not have a lot of weight to lose the amount of weight loss in Attack can be reduced. Bear with it for a couple more days and then switch to Cruise Phase and see how this goes. If you’ve lost no weight after a couple of weeks I’d switch to another diet.

      Kind regards


  • Daisy on May 5, 2017

    Hey, I have been on attack phase for 4 days . I have lost no weight and feel very dizzy and low on energy. I am due on my period very soon however. Do you think perhaps after my period I will notice the weight drop more ? I would love to see some results for all my hard work .

    • Amber on May 5, 2017

      Hi Daisy

      Your monthly hormones can cause water retention so you would need to wait for these effects to pass before judging your weight loss.

      Best wishes


  • Kristine Faraidon on December 8, 2016

    I was on attack phase 10 days and lost almost 5kg. Every day 500mg gone. But on last day didn’t lose a thing. I have moved now on cruise phase. Will I keep loosing or will be stuck on current weight? Which rhythm should I use for best results?

    • Amber on December 8, 2016

      Hi Kristine

      Weight loss usually reduces on Cruise as it is less strict but it should continue. You may not lose weight every day but as a very rough rule of thumb you should lose around 2 pounds each week. Over the longer term there is no difference between either rythm, the most important thing is to chose one you can stick with. This is why most people chose 1PP/1PV.

      Best wishes


      • Kristine Faraidon on December 10, 2016

        What kind a sausage can I eat and how much?

        • Amber on December 11, 2016

          Hi Christine

          Most sausages wouldn’t be suitable. You are looking for a 100% meat product with 5% fat content and minimal carbs.

          Best wishes


  • Bre on September 29, 2016

    Hello Amber,
    I’ve been on duncan diet attack for 3 days now. I have a good scale & weigh myself same time every morning. Day 4 in the morning and I’ve gained a lb. I feel leaner but can’t help but feel discouraged. I was on low cal diet prior to this with minimal proteins and feel very full & satisfied with Dukan eating plan, but am disappointed in results. Can you offer up some advice to stick with it? Loosing heart bc the hard work isn’t paying off.

    • Amber on October 16, 2016

      Hi Bre

      Our weight fluctuations from day to day and within the day. Water retention is usually the reason behind weight flucuations like this. Most commonly this is due to food eaten or the monthly hormone cycle.

      If you were already on a low calorie diet prior to starting the Dukan the weight loss on the Attack phase would not be the same as if you’d not been dieting.



  • Joni on September 28, 2016

    I am in the Cruise phase and am losing weight and I am very constipated. How does Dr. Dukan suggest fixing this uncomfortable and unhealthy problem?

  • Pamela on April 22, 2016

    Hi! I am on my third day of the dukan diet, eating only protein but not loosing any weight at all! This is the 4th time i am doing this diet (i did before but didnt finish it and gained more weight than ever), but now it seems like it is not working anymore! what should i do?

    • Amber on April 23, 2016

      Hi Pamela

      Are you having problems with constipation or water retention? Or possibly you might have been dieting before changing to the Dukan?

      Most people find that repeating the Dukan is less effective – this can be for several reasons such as they weigh less, or have been eating differently or they don’t follow the diet so rigidly.

      The Dukan will work but you will just need to stick with it and maximise the impact by wise food choices.

      Best wishes


  • Chrissy on February 5, 2016

    I have been experiencing a lot of nausea as I work with young children that constantly have stomach bugs but none of my go-to “sick” foods are legal like saltines or applesauce and pretzels. The only food on the diet I can stomach is the sugar-free jello and homemade soup but that’s not enough. Any suggestions for PP days especially?

    • Amber on February 6, 2016

      Hi Chrissy

      One the days you are feeling really queasy go with you go-to foods. As you are not feeling well you won’t be eating that much on those days. If you are only slightly queasy you could try capsules of powdered ginger, chewing a fresh mint leaf or peppermint tea.

      Best wishes


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