Phase I: Attack Menu in Detail

December 16, 2011

in Phase I Attack

The Dukan Diet plan can be executed in many different ways depending on many factors (such as: you basal weight, your goal, your age, you medical condition, your genetic predisposition towards obesity etc.) Nevertheless, the Dukan Diet always starts with the Attack Phase that is based on a strict protein menu. The Attack Phase is to provide a strong psychological impetus and an effect of ‘metabolic surprise’ that results in a rapid and motivating weight loss.

This article is a detailed description of the Dukan Diet Phase I menu. If you seek information on the duration of the Attack Phase click here. I also recommend downloading my Attack Phase Memento Printable PDF which is a free, printable, 1-page recap of the Dukan Diet Attack Phase rules and menu.

The Attack Phase Menu in detail

Group #1: Lean (Red) Meat

What Dukan calls lean meat is: veal, beef and, for those who might still eat it, horse-meat, rabbit and game.

Beef: every bit that is fit for roasting or grilling.

Good: beefsteak, sirloin, rump cut, collop, other bits trimmed to zero fat.
Bad: T-bones, boned rib steak, boned loin-chop and other marbled bits.

Veal: the best choices are veal fillets and whatever that is fit for roasting. You can have boned chops but remember to trim the fat before cooking.

Horse-meat, rabbit and game: those kinds of meat are really lean, all parts should do as long as the meat isn’t streaky.

There are no specific restrictions on how to prepare lean meat except that you are not allowed to use any additional fat: no butter, oil, sour / sweet cream (even when the label says ‘light’).

That said, the best ways to prepare you meat are: gilling, roasting, cooking it on a spit, stewing, cooking folded in foil, pan-frying without fat (providing that you’ve got a frying pan that can do that), steaming, boiling etc.

You can cook meat for as long as you see fit. Heat processing melts the meat’s fat so the longer you cook your meat the leaner it becomes. On the other hand, overcooked meat loses most of its taste and flavor.

Some people like to eat raw meat which is pretty healthy providing that your meat comes from a reliable source (it always should!). Unless you use oil to prepare dishes like steak tartare or carppacio, they are diet safe (you can use raw eggs / yolks instead of oil).

All of the above-mentioned kinds of meat can be minced, chopped, grated etc. You can mix your meat in various combinations with other allowed foods.

A few words about steaks. Read the labels or ask you butcher (seller) to learn how much fat is in your beef. A safe fat content in meat that you  can eat during the Attack Phase is 10%. Don’t eat any meat that stands above this level. I said ‘meat’ thus this rule doesn’t apply to fish.

Group #2: Offal

There aren’t many kinds of offal that you can eat in the Attack Phase as they are pretty fatty. The list is short: veal / beef / chicken liver and veal / lamb tongue.

Liver is quite nourishing and contains a lot of protein, vitamins (A, B12) and micro-elements (such as: iron, selenium, copper, phosphorus) but in the same time, it is very high in cholesterol. People who are to control their cholesterol level are advised to ease off the liver.

Group #3: Fish

Fish is, in general, very healthy. There are absolute no restrictions here. Every fish is allowed and recommended: greasy, lean, white-fin, blue-fin, fresh, frozen, raw, cooked, conserved (in brine, not in oil), smoked and dried.

Fish: sardine, mackerel, salmon, tuna, sole, cod, perch, burbot, halibut to name just a few.

Smoked fish: salmon, trout, eel etc. They may be considered greasy but the fat content isn’t higher than in a beef steak. Even more, they contain very healthy omega-3 fats. The only concern is that smoked fish is often salty.

Canned fish can be very handy when you need a quick meal or snack. Don’t eat fish canned in oil though. Canned fish in non-oily sauce is OK, provided that you won’t eat the sauce. The best choice here is fish canned in brine.

Surimi is a commercially-prepared product made mostly from white-fleshed fish. It is diet-safe and very ‘portable’. A perfect snack. But read labels and pay attention to nutrition facts. The original surimi is a great food but there are many fakes pumped up with bean-protein, sugar and salt. A genuine surimi should contain about no less than 15% of protein and no more than 7% of carbohydrates (and none of which should be sugar).

Group #4: Seafood

Crustaceans and mollusks including: prawns, shrimps, crabs, lobsters, oysters, clams, mussels, scallops etc.

Everything that comes from the sea will do. In fact, seafood is a very healthy and nourishing food that people often forget about.

Group #5: Poultry

All kinds of poultry are acceptable in the Attack Phase except for duck and goose provided that you won’t eat skin.

Chicken is the most common kind of poultry. The younger (smaller) the chicken the leaner the meat is. The fattest bits are wings and parson’s nose. The leanest parts are, in order of meagerness: breast, thigh and then wings.

Turkey: pan-fried (without oil) fillet and roasted turkey are the best choices. Other related poultry that is diet-safe: guinea fowl, pigeon, quail and game birds like pheasant, partridge or even a wild duck (which is much leaner than a farm duck).

Group #6: Lean Cured Meat

The cured meat that falls into this category is nothing like slow food smoked pork ham. The only cured meat that you can have during the Attack Phase is the one that contains 4-5% of fat. That kind of cured meat is usually made of turkey or chicken. It’s not as tasty as the traditional ham or smoked sirloin but it excels in other areas. It’s lean, it contains a decent amount of high quality protein, it is often sliced, vacuum-packed and odorless thus easy to carry and ready-to-use. The main downside of the lean cured meat is usually high contents of salt, preservatives and various artificial additives. Nevertheless, packed lean cured meat can be a life-savior when you get hungry unexpectedly.

Group #7: Eggs

You can have eggs in any form: as an omelet, hard-boiled, soft-boiled, fried (with no oil or butter or any other fats), stuffed, raw (tip: scald the shell before eating raw eggs) , and scrambled.

Some people have eggs intolerance, some have cholesterol related issues. In both cases you should avoid egg yolks or at least limit yolk consumption to 3 or 4 per week. The egg white on the other hand is cholesterol free and should not cause any health-related problems.

Group #8: Low-fat Dairy

In my opinion, when it comes to nutritional value, this is the second most valuable food group on the list right after fish. And in terms of taste and ‘usability’ dairy is my number one. Throughout the entire Attack Phase milk products are an unrivaled source of calcium which, if consumed in sufficient amount, will ensure the weight loss success, especially if you are calcium deficient.

Calcium deficiency and weight loss

The latter case is nothing rare as all the junk food we consume nowadays leaches this valuable mineral out of the body on the regular basis. Let me quote after Angelo Tremblay and his team at Université Laval’s Faculty of Medicine:

Professor Tremblay and his team have studied the link between calcium and obesity for several years. Their first findings, published in 2003, revealed that women who consumed diets poor in calcium had more body fat, bigger waistlines, and higher bad cholesterol levels than those who consumed moderate or large amounts of calcium. A second study showed that the more people reduced their consumption of dairy products over the six-year period examined, the more weight and body fat they gained and the bigger their waistlines grew. In 2007, Angelo Tremblay and his team established a direct link between calcium and a lower cardiovascular risk profile among dieters.
Source: www.medicalnewstoday.com

There’s no low-fat (or non-fat) dairy product a can think of that isn’t Dukan Diet compliant. You can have them all: skimmed / non-fat milk, low/non-fat yogurt, Greek yogurt, kefir, buttermilk, cottage cheese, curd, quark (aka farmers cheese or white cheese) etc. There are so many different local milk products that have different local names that it is hard to list them all.

The only thing you should remember is that it is non/low-fat dairy (so, things like whole-milk, full-fat cheese or cream are prohibited).

Fermented Milk Products

In general, fermented milk products (like yogurt, pot cheese, cottage cheese etc.) are better than fresh milk and its non-fermented derivatives. They have nutritional benefits beyond those of milk. This is because the fermentation process converts the lactose (milk sugar) into lactic acid. Fermented milk products can usually be consumed by people with moderate lactose intolerance. Here’s another quote on the connection between yogurt, calcium and weight loss:

A study published in the International Journal of Obesity (11 January 2005) also found that the consumption of low-fat yogurt can promote weight loss, especially due to the calcium in the yogurt.
Source: www.nature.com

I encourage every dieter that follows the dukan diet or any other weight loss program to eat dairy regularly, especially when you are a coffee or (diet) soda lover. Here you can read more on how diet coke and coffee leach the valuable minerals out of your body and how to counterbalance the calcium deficits.

For more information on Dairy in Dukan go to Food List: Dairy

Group #9: Water

You need to drink at least 1.5 L of liquids a day. This one is obligatory and there are no exceptions to the rule. During the Attack Phase your body will need much more fluids than it normally uses (read about ketosis here).

You can partially substitute water with tea (green, herbal, black) but don’t go crazy with it (especially with the black tea)

Dr Dukan claims that coffee is as good as tea and other fluids but I think otherwise. In my opinion, substances like coffee, strong black tea and coke are no match to the hydration potential of pure water.

You can drink coffee, tea and even diet coke but regardless of what you drink (or in what quantities) you can’t deviate from drinking pure water.

All kinds of water are acceptable. Mineral, still water would be the best choice but sparkling water will do as well. If you need a detailed instruction on choosing the ‘right’ water, read my in-depth review where I ponder on the pros and cons of various kinds of drinking water.


{ 125 comments… read them below or add one }

cathy May 2, 2012 at 9:33 AM

hi i am going to start the dukan diet but unsure of yogurt. i have a yogurt i love and not sure if im allowed to have it. it contains (100g serve) 12g carbs 4g fat. is this allowed??

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Maureen April 29, 2012 at 6:39 PM

hi, i am going to start this next week. was wondering if lamb was ok? have done atkins before and it sounds similar. is it ok to use am cheese on hamburgers? ty for your help.

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Rachel utley April 24, 2012 at 8:39 PM

I mistakenly had chewing gum with no sugar but turns out it had polialcoli which is a type of carbo. I have been v strict but lost no weight after 2 days. Help

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admin April 24, 2012 at 9:15 PM

Nothing happened. Don’t worry. Just choose different chewing gum next time. Good luck!

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zeinab April 18, 2012 at 9:36 PM

hello .i want to ask if i can drink nescafe with any kind of light mate mate and a sweetner in the attack phase.

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admin April 18, 2012 at 10:23 PM

Non-fat milk is better here, but you can use light coffee mate in moderation. And make sure it is light (low fat and carbs contents appreciated)! :)

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Laura April 18, 2012 at 2:30 PM

Hi

Being a bit dense here but as a vegetarain (eat dairy products and eggs) what am I actually allowed in the Attack phase! I am getting confused, cheese? Tofu? Soya milk? Oat Bran?
Heeeeelp!

thanks, Laura

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admin April 18, 2012 at 10:22 PM

Not cheese, but so called white cheese (fromage frais, cottage cheese, quark). All dairy should be non-fat. Greek yogurts (with good protein contents) are fine.

?You should also eat eggs and all non-fat dairy you can get (the more variety the better). Tofu as well, but do not make your primary source of protein of it though. Soya milk, rice milk, almond milk are useless here. Oat bran as a source of fiber, not protein (so only the recommended doses).

I hope this will help. Feel free to ask.

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Laura April 24, 2012 at 1:21 PM

hI

THANKS, THAT WAS VERY HELPFUL BUT JUST ONE MORE QUESTION, WHERE DOES QUORN COME INTO USE?!

THANKS, (sorry, I wasn’t shouting I’d forgotten to turn off the cap lock!!!)

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gwen April 18, 2012 at 11:53 AM

Hi ,Just a small question. I started the dukan diet 4 week ago, i did the Attack phase for 3 days and lost 1stone and then started the cruise phase and have lost nothing.
Yet my thighs have come down in size and lost a bit of weight on my bust but the scales is still the same is this ok? also i am intolerent to dairy and wheat so i am using 4 desert spoons of alpo soya with my oat bran in mornings . would love to try your recipes but you use a lot of non fat fromage frais or quark and i dont know what to use instead

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admin April 18, 2012 at 11:59 AM

Hi there. The scale is not always the best indicator of the progress, so do not blindly follow what it says. Try using thick non-fat greek yogurt or cottage chesse instead, but I can’t really predict the outcome here :). If you’re from Ireland you may find non-fat quark in Polish stores.

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gwen April 18, 2012 at 12:30 PM

Both of these things have milk from cow which i can not take. Any other ideas

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admin April 18, 2012 at 10:24 PM

Goat/ship milk products?

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Maria April 18, 2012 at 9:12 AM

Can I drink soy milk.

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admin April 18, 2012 at 9:33 AM

You can, but it won’t help (soy milk in dukan diet).

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Karen April 17, 2012 at 6:47 PM

Can I use granulated garlic powder in non-fat plain yogurt to have with my salmon?

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admin April 17, 2012 at 7:34 PM

Yes, you can. Absolutely.

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cecille April 16, 2012 at 4:26 PM

not sure if my question was sent. can i include lean pork in my diet?

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admin April 16, 2012 at 4:36 PM

Yes it was. I have already answered to it. Feel free to ask anytime. Good luck!

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cecille April 16, 2012 at 4:25 PM

hi! i am going to start the diet tomorrow. i bought meat and poultry and oat bran. i have been reviewing over and over the food list and i can’t find lean pork in the list except for the cured pork. can i include lean pork in the attack phase? is it okay to cook the meat with soup?

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admin April 16, 2012 at 4:36 PM

Yes you can. The list consists only of the 100 original foods. I am working on a extended list now, and lean pork will be included. Just make sure it is lean. Minced pork is usually not lean enough, but extra lean, trimmed to 0 fat cuts are ok.

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Nataly April 3, 2012 at 12:12 AM

So, let me get this straight… NO vegetables during the attack phase? I am planning on starting Dukan soon and wanted to clarify.

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admin April 3, 2012 at 7:26 AM

No vegetables. You can use some herbs and things like pickles though (in moderation, as condiments).

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janet March 27, 2012 at 6:32 PM

Can you drink shake supplements like Slim fast on either phase?

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admin March 27, 2012 at 7:28 PM

It depends on the supplement nutrition values. No fat, carbs or sugar allowed. Besides, this diet works better when you stick to natural foods, so shakes can be only made a small addition to the diet menu. What shake do you have in mind exactly?

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Robin March 26, 2012 at 4:44 PM

Hi,

I’m about to start my attack phase, i just need a clarification, is it ok if i’m taking supplement?it’s not actually supplement, it’s more like dietary food. . Normally i will take 1 in the morning and the other 1 in the evening. below are the nutrition fact :
morning : 1 sachet
serving size : 10g per sachet
fat : 0.38g
carbohydrate : 4.76g
Fiber : 0.40g
Sugars : 1.57g
Protein : 2.63g
Energy : 32.98Kcal

Evening – 1 sachet
serving size : 10g per sachet
fat : 0.30g
carbohydrate : 4.68g
Fiber : 1.05g
Sugars : 0.52g
Protein : 2.49g
Energy : 31.38Kcal

hope to hear your feedback soon! :)

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admin March 26, 2012 at 6:34 PM

The percentage share of carbohydrates is high, but the serving size is very small, so it shouldn’t interfere much with your dieting process. If you notice no, or unsatisfactory, progress, you may want to stop taking it. Otherwise, it’s pretty much ok.

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Robin March 27, 2012 at 3:34 AM

Thank you, but i was wondering..Is it possible if i take oatmeal instead of oat bran?because they don’t sell oat bran here.

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JCC March 27, 2012 at 3:47 AM

Unfortunately no. Oat bran has some very unique properties, not found in any other bran. You shouldn’t eat oatmeal, wheat germs nor any other stuff except the oat bran on dukan diet. You can buy oat bran online, it’s pretty cheap and the choice is vast. There are some propositions here: http://thedukandiet.info/oat-bran/oat-bran-dukan-diet-2/#Where_to_buy_oat_bran

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Robin March 27, 2012 at 4:06 AM

Actually i already bought i through ebay here’s a oat bran that i bought http://www.ebay.com/itm/160765587355?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1497.l2649
is this the right oat bran we talking about? :)
anyways thanks for the link. will buy it online once i’m out of stock :D

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Robin March 27, 2012 at 4:11 AM

Actually i already bought oat bran through ebay and here’s the link for that http://www.ebay.com/itm/160765587355?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1497.l2649
just want to double confirm if I’m buying the right oat bran or not. anyways thanks for the link. will definitely buy once i’m out of stock :)

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Robin March 27, 2012 at 4:16 AM

Actually i already bought oat bran from ebay. The brand name is Quaker Oat Bran Cold Cereal 15.5oz, just to double check is this the right oat bran? Anyways thanks for the link, will definetely buy once i’m out of stock :)

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admin March 27, 2012 at 4:20 AM

It seems like it’s cereal, not pure oat bran! I’m afraid you might have made a mistake. What you need here is pure oat bran, not any other product with oat bran as a ingredient.

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Robin March 27, 2012 at 4:43 AM

Really? Here’s the link for that oat bran http://t.co/kGYbk2T is the link you provide shipping to malaysia too? Having trouble to find that. Normally they only ship to US :(

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Robin March 27, 2012 at 4:48 AM

Anyways i found this brand http://t.co/1JOSSAz any comment? :)

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admin March 27, 2012 at 4:50 AM

Yup, this one looks just fine. Go for it.

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Robin March 27, 2012 at 4:52 AM

Thank God! Finally found 1..thanks! Will update here soon :)

admin March 27, 2012 at 4:50 AM

No, this is a no-no. It’s cereal, not pure oat bran. It is packed with carbs and contain too much sugar to be of any use in dukan diet.

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suman wahi March 26, 2012 at 7:33 AM

How do I join the conversation

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admin March 26, 2012 at 7:40 AM

You just did :). What’s on your mind?

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Jaycee March 17, 2012 at 1:45 PM

Hi,
is the diet ok for diabetics? (type 2)

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admin March 17, 2012 at 1:48 PM

Hello,

Dukan diet: is low-carb, is low-fat, is low-salt, prescribes exercising. Pretty much everything that is useful in combating type 2 dibetes :).

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Garry March 15, 2012 at 11:43 AM

Most of the menus relate to main meals, what do you reccommend for breakfast in the attack stage.

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admin March 15, 2012 at 12:15 PM

Depends on your taste I guess. I used to eat lot of eggs and canned fish. My usual breakfast was sth like this:

3 soft boiled eggs (boiled for 5 minutes)
1 can (200g / 7 oz) of mackerel in tomato sauce (I didn’t actually eat the sauce, just the fish)
1 cup (big one) of non-fat kefir (or drinkable yogurt) with 1-2 tbsp of oat bran

or / and (sometimes ‘or’, sometimes ‘and’ :))

1-2 cup(s) of cottage cheese with chives and herbs
Some extra lean (less than 3% of fat) turkey/chicken cured meat

and / or

canned tuna-fish in brine with some non-fat quark, herbs, chopped parsley leaves

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Garry March 14, 2012 at 11:35 PM

can bell peppers, yellow, orange etc be ok to use in the attack stage ?

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admin March 15, 2012 at 6:50 AM

Officially no, you can have them later :). On the other hand many people use marinated peppers as a addition to meals in the Attack Phase. In my opinion, you shouldn’t eat bell peppers in the attack Phase. If you want to add some variety to your meals in the Attack Phase, check out: gherkins/pickles, sauerkraut, Belgian endive, some herbs. They are better choices.

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Nermin March 14, 2012 at 2:01 AM

I live in Australia. How can I join this program???

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admin March 14, 2012 at 6:11 AM

Just read the info here and start doing it :). There’s also a book on this diet, probably more detailed info there.

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Ryan February 28, 2012 at 12:40 AM

Bit confused about cheese what types can i have in The pv stage
the book says no. But on here it says white cheese ok any help.

These are what i was thinking, coon light, chedder slices? any other
or is there a nutrition value which is safe?
thx

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Sherry February 23, 2012 at 7:25 AM

Questions again :

Question 1: I am on the attack now for 4 days, and this is my fifth and I lost 2 kg, is that ok ?
Question 2: Why r u so helpful? :)

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admin February 23, 2012 at 12:01 PM

1. I guess it is. 2kgs in four days. It’s more than ok. Congrats!
2. :)

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Sherry February 23, 2012 at 12:20 PM

Thank You, because my weight didnt change since yesterday morning , so i was a bit concerned. i am planning a 10 day attack…

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Sherry February 23, 2012 at 7:18 AM

Good Morning,

Can we add onions to our food during the attack phase. i.e for cooking with meat and using the onion juice for seasonng the meat ???

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admin February 23, 2012 at 12:10 PM

Not recommended, too much carbs. But there are some other options, try: chives, parsley leaves, dill, and fresh herbs like: basil, coriander, marjoram, thyme or rosemary. The latter (both fresh or dried) is my favorite when it comes to cooking meat.

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ryan April 30, 2012 at 10:38 AM

Onions not recommended?? this is weird i have the dukan diet book and to quote it says” vinegar, spices,herbs,thyme,garlic,parsley,ONION,
shallots etc are not only allowed but highly recommended.

So it is confusing as i use onion alot on pure protein and pv days
what you think?.

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sherry February 21, 2012 at 4:09 PM

Thank You

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John February 22, 2012 at 11:19 PM

So if up till now I’ve usually eaten about 40g of fiber/day (from various sources, mostly nuts) eating more than 1,5 tbsp of oat bran during he attack phase won’t be considered “breaking the rules”?

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admin February 23, 2012 at 12:41 AM

No, there’s no breaking rules here. In your case, easting more than standard 1.5 tbsp of oat bran a day is recommended.

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Sherry February 21, 2012 at 11:30 AM

Thank You admin for your reply, but I just need to understand the idea, th dukan diet specifies 1.5 then 2 then 2.5 then 3. Is that for a reason , I dont understand.
Thank You

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admin February 21, 2012 at 3:59 PM

The are several reasons, for example:

1. Dukan specifies the amount so that dieters don’t need to ponder over it. Clear rules are easier to follow.
2. Dietary fiber have purgative properties. People who are not used to significant quantities of dietary fiber in their diet are diarrhea.

Neither dietary fiber nor oat bran are toxic or dangerous. That said, they work best when used in moderation. On the other hand, if you’re used to have fiber rich foods, there’s no problem with having larger quantities of oat bran daily that recommended.

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Sherry February 21, 2012 at 9:20 AM

Good Morning ADMIN :)

and today’s question is :

Can I have more than 1.5 table spoon oat bran / day ?

I am in the attack phase…. Thanks

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admin February 21, 2012 at 11:20 AM

Hello,

You can have more than 1.5 tbsp of oat bran / day, only make sure your body is already accustomed to larger amounts of dietary fiber. Otherwise too much oat bran can cause a sudden purge :). Don’t forget about substantial hydration when eating a lot of fiber rich products (like oat bran).

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Sherry February 20, 2012 at 9:45 AM

Admin you dont know how much help u r giving me !!! Thanks alot :) one more question about :

1. Smoken Salmon – allowed?
2. Baking Powder – allowed ?

and excercise ? is it a must…

Thanks again admin… U R GREAT :)

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admin February 20, 2012 at 10:41 AM

Smoked salmon — yes!
Baking powder — yes, as long as you use it baking powder :).

Excercise — it is a must. You will probably lose weight without it, but still it is a waste of effort since diet+excercise is way more effective, and will make you feel & look much fitter, healthier. You need to make your body move, stretch and work. Your working muscles will improve your figure, quicker burn unwanted body fat and help your skin and complexion adapt to a new, slender you.

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