Phase I: Attack Duration and Expected Weight Loss

December 27, 2011

in Phase I Attack

According to Dukan, “to succeed” is the most important goal to achieve at the very beginning of his diet. This means the first few days on the Dukan Diet are to be backed up with a good plan that can be carried out with precision. Since the food list is already in place, we don’t need to care about the first stage’s menu. The only thing we must do before proceeding is to wisely choose the duration of the Attack Phase.

Many people assume that the longer they stick to the Attack Phase the better. It doesn’t work like that. Note, that what you lose during the first few days of the diet what you lose is mostly water, not fat. Thus, there’s no sense in overdoing the Phase I. How long will the Attack Phase take depends, in most part, on how much weight you wish to drop and how aggressively you are planning to go into the diet.

Depending on the variant you choose, you can expect different weight loss effects. Remember though, that a number of factors may hinder the weight loss.

How long should the Attack Phase Last

5 days

This is the most common case, choose it if you plan on losing 22 – 44 lbs (10 – 20 kg).

It has been proven that 5 days is the most optimal time in which a dieter can achieve the best results without causing any body metabolism disorders or making oneself bored. Dieters’ reports are showing that during the 5-day Attack Phase one can expect a weight loss of 4 to 6 lbs (1.5 to 2.5 kg). Some people lose 8 lbs or even as much as 10 lbs (3.5 — 4.5 kg) (such effects have been seen in patients that are seriously obese and/or extraordinarily active).

Other possible scenarios:

3 days

This variant is a good choice for people who plan on losing no more than 22 lbs (10 kg). 3 days is a piece of cake for most dieters and allows a swift transition to the next phase of the diet. The expected weight loss during the 3 day Attack Phase ranges from 2 to 6 lbs (1 to 2.5 kg).

1 day ‘overture’

If your overweight is less than 11 lbs (5 kg) there’s no need to torment yourself with the Attack Phase Menu for more than just one day. 1 day ‘overture’ will probably make you lighter by no more than 2 lbs (1 kg). This is a decent result though.

7 days and more (up to 10 days with your doctor’s consent and guidance)

That’s an option for badly obese patients that are seriously motivated to lose their excessive weight. Choose this variant only if you need to lose more than 44 lbs) or when your body is extremely diet-resistant and you had gone through a least a few unsuccessful weight loss treatments in the past. Also remember that proper hydration is extraordinarily crucial if you plan on staying in the Attack Phase for 7 days or longer. The expected weight loss in this option will vary but, in most cases, you can expect dropping at least 10 lbs.

What facilitates or hinders weight loss during the Attack Phase

Apart from the exact number of days that your Attack Phase will last for, there are some other factors that can facilitate or hinder the weight loss process.

Eating vs. fasting

In terms of losing weight, protein-rich food is as equally efficient as fasting. In other words, by following the Attack Phase you can expect the same weight loss as you would be able to achieve by not eating anything at all. On the other hand, the difference between the two is obvious: fasting means starving and, in consequence, forcing the body to ‘fight’ in order to preserve its adipose tissue. Attack Phase means eating and it doesn’t trigger any body’s defensive tactics. In other words: you eat as much as you want but, in the same time, you lose weight as if not eating at all.

Your basal weight

Depending on how much you weigh now and how big your overweight problem is, you can expect different weight drop on the Attack Phase. For example: if you need to lose 80 lbs (36 kg) during the whole dieting period you will very likely drop much more for the first few days than a person that is to lose only 10 lbs (4.5 kg).

Diet Resistance

There are a number of factors that may cause the the body’s resistance to diet. These are most common two:

Habitual dieting

Habitual dieting triggers the body’s ‘starvation mode’ and makes you insensitive, or even almost immune, to most dieting methods.

Age, medical condition, pregnancy

Your age or (medical) condition that often determines whether your body is undergoing certain hormonal change (adolescence, pregnancy, hormonal contraception, premenopause, hormonal therapy).

Water-retention and feminine matters

A slight to none weight loss effects has been reported in women that are in the middle of hormonal therapy and thus are prone to water retention and water-puffiness. Abstracting from any hormonal treatment, it is worth mentioning that the lack protein in one’s diet can cause water retention as well. Quoting after Wikipedia:

Protein attracts water and plays an important role in water balance. (…) The abdomen is swollen with edema or water retention caused by the lack of protein in their diet.
Source: Wikipedia – Water Retention

In women, during the few days that precede menses, the body retains more water, suppresses the toxin elimination processes and slows down the burning of fat. During this time the effectiveness of the Attack Phase can be reduced. There’s no need to worry because, despite of being concealed, the weight loss is still progressing and the effects are to become visible in a matter of days (just after the occurrence of menstrual bleeding).

Don’t panic when you can’t see any effects of the Attack Phase. Don’t lose your confidence in the diet and be assured it is just a matter of a few days when the weight loss will become apparent. Always wait until the end of the Phase I and don’t make any rush decisions to stop dieting.


{ 97 comments… read them below or add one }

Mira July 22, 2012 at 9:43 PM

Hi just wanted to say I lost 5kg. I have kept it off for a few months but want to lose another 5kg thought if I do it this way would be easier for me. My biggest problem is drinking water I have a weak bladder but I did it last time and it worked fingers crossed it works this time. Thanks Dr Dukan best diet ever.

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