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 }

jayne May 31, 2012 at 12:30 AM

I am really thinking of starting the dukon diet. I have about 80lbs to lose how long should i do the attack phase for? and where can i get the food lists from?


ryan May 29, 2012 at 2:55 PM

not sure whats happening is this site still going?
on nearly 6mnths at a stagnation period for 3 mnyhs help pls
dont want all the hard work going to waist


ryan May 8, 2012 at 12:32 PM

is this still active?


Natasha April 22, 2012 at 2:22 PM

Hi I am back I had a few hard days do I was of the diet .i will be starting again 2morrow I need to ask a question in my religion we have a month were we fast all day starting before the sunrise and opening our fast after sunset where we can then eat and drink .do u think it is k for me to do the diet In those days


Sophie April 22, 2012 at 1:28 AM


Tomorrow will be my 5th day of the ducan diet. I admit I missed one day of exercise, apart from that ive either done a 20 minute walk or on the treadmill for 20 minutes..but I havent really lost any weight at all and dont look any different.

I havent eaten anything not allowed either apart from once I had some grilled beef sausages.

Any suggestion/reasons why this may be?

Many thanks


admin April 22, 2012 at 11:32 PM

This can be caused by many reasons… Don’t worry, just carry on, the weight loss will come soon.


gina April 20, 2012 at 5:31 AM

The fat free hot dogs are hebrew nationa( beef).Is this ok???


admin April 20, 2012 at 7:56 PM

If that’s so, then it is ok.


ryan April 20, 2012 at 1:41 AM

Going crazy now whats going on?

i have been on dukan now coming up to 5mnths. i have had 3 slips
with alchol and choclate. I have noticed since febuary my weight has been
going from 64kg to 62.3kg up and down. according to the diet
i should be loosing at least 1kg per month right? if this is the case i should be at ideal by now 60kg but im not and feel really fat and hard to get it off tummy chest area. Ive been so good with resisting junk food etc etc. please help.


Lelee April 19, 2012 at 5:56 PM

Is “WHEY” protien acceptable if it has low to no carbs and sugar in it?
What about white string cheese 100 natural w
1oz, 80:kcal, fat:6g,chol:15mg,sod:200mg, carb:0, prot:0


admin April 19, 2012 at 8:49 PM

Whey is acceptable but not very helpful (not high in protein + sugar contents). The same goes to white string cheese.


Lelee April 19, 2012 at 10:44 PM

It has no sugar in it!?? And 6 grams of protien per 1 oz, that’s like chicken isn’t it?


Natasha April 19, 2012 at 8:43 AM

With it being my time of the month I can’t stay focused on the diet I amm
Am finding it really hard to stay to plan I want to eat carbohydrate on this diet say if u stay of a day or two still eat healthy will it harm me then go back on the diet when your mind and body is ready


admin April 19, 2012 at 8:53 PM

Go for it, if you can get back on the track afterwards. Don’t lose yourself though.


gina April 19, 2012 at 4:36 AM

Can you have fat free hot dogs during the attack phase and also deli turkey low sodium???


admin April 19, 2012 at 8:57 PM

Usually Not the best choice. Any variety of these hot dog that you have in mind?


Lelee April 19, 2012 at 4:07 AM

Can you stay on the attach phase for longer ( until you reach 20lbs) say 15-29 days?


admin April 19, 2012 at 8:59 PM

No, don’t do that. You cannot lose so much weight in such a short time. Yo-yo effect guaranteed.


Lelee April 18, 2012 at 1:54 AM

I am currently thinking of doing the Dukan diet, I want to loose about 30-50lbs depending how I look at each stage of weight. I run nightly about 3 miles(30min). How much weight can I expect to loose in 10 days? Can I stay on the attack phase for 12-15days to get down 20lbs? Or can you go back to the attack phase after a few days weeks on second phase?
Can you take flaxseed flakes on attack phase?

Thanks! ;)


admin April 18, 2012 at 8:23 AM

You can expect to loose 10-15 lbs in the first week. Do not do the attack phase for more than 7 days without consulting your doctor. Do not stay on the attack phase for more than 5-7 days. Cruise phase PP days are basically the attack phase, so why would you want to go back to anything here? The Dukan Diet is based on cycles of protein phase/vegetables+protein phase. Flaxseed flakes usually contain too much fat. Stick to oat bran.


Natasha April 17, 2012 at 2:53 PM

Hi I have just finished my attack diet of 6 days then I went on to phase 2 I wasp it for 1 day and got invited to a buffet so I went eat everything and broke my dukan diet then on Monday I didn’t start again had another day of the dukan but today is my first day back on attack my question is should I start on attack stay on phase 2


JCC April 17, 2012 at 7:32 PM

stay on phase 2


Natasha April 17, 2012 at 1:44 PM

Hi I had just finished my attack phase and when on to phase 2 did one day and then broke it had a buffet meal and then on Monday stayed of the diet to I have now gone back to attack and will be doing it for 7 days what should we do if we have a bad day . Am I doing right by going back to attack phase ?


admin April 17, 2012 at 2:13 PM

No, there’s no need to go back to the attack phase. Just continue as planned. Remember that every time you break the rules it will take much longer to achieve your goal. That’s it. You lose 2 lbs in, let’s say, a week, then binge, gain 4 lbs. This means you will have to stay 2 weeks longer on the diet. It is worth it? You decide.


gina April 16, 2012 at 2:56 PM

My question is can you have protein drinks chocolate flavored pure protein is the brand.I need some variety for breakfast time especially.waiting for the answers.


admin April 16, 2012 at 4:34 PM

It depends on the nutritional values of such drink. Generally, it is not recommended. The diet works better if you stick to natural foods.


Lelee April 19, 2012 at 4:14 AM

Would whey protien that had very low to no carbs or sugar in it?


Tamika April 15, 2012 at 2:11 PM

hi, are sugar free lollies aloud?


admin April 15, 2012 at 6:27 PM

Accepted if you must have them, not recommended really.


salesy6 April 14, 2012 at 11:49 AM

I have just finish day 4 of the attack phase and am wondering whether to move on to the cruise phase after day 5 or to keep going to day 7, I have found in past due to doing low carbohydrate diets a few years ago that my body can be quite diet resistant, can you give any advice??? At this stage I have lost about 1.5kg


admin April 14, 2012 at 1:34 PM

If you need to lose a lot, you can extend the attack phase up to 7 days, I guess. Otherwise, and especially in case you had the ‘induction flu’, no need to do that.


lamia April 12, 2012 at 2:31 PM

is 0.1 fat flavored strawberry yogurt allowd?? The net weight 150g
The typical vales per 100G:
energy 87kcal, protein 2.8g, carbohydrate 18.5g??

Thank you


admin April 12, 2012 at 6:52 PM

18.5g of carbs per 100g means 18.5% of carbs. That’s far too much! 6% is the highest acceptable value here.


lamia April 12, 2012 at 2:20 PM

is 0.1 fat flavored strawberry yogurt allowd?? The net weight 150g, energy 87kcal, protein 2.8g, carbohydrate 18.5g??

Thank you


Natasha April 11, 2012 at 11:57 PM

Hi I know it is recommended to have fat free yogurt but I could not buy fat free today sold out so instead I bought low fat yogurt which says one fifth of the pot has 1.5g of fat and sugar 7.2g I ok to have this yogurt for now


admin April 12, 2012 at 8:07 AM

If you don’t eat too much of this yogurt it’s ok.


lamia April 8, 2012 at 2:23 PM

hi, is pure cow milk allowed in phase ll??


admin April 8, 2012 at 2:26 PM

Yes, non-fat milk is allowed in all phases. But it is not the most efficient protein food out there (due to mediocre protein to sugar ratio). Better choices are fermented milk products (like yogurt, kefir etc.). Myself, I limited the use of fresh milk while on dukan diet. I only put it in my coffee.


Ann April 9, 2012 at 9:48 PM

Can I eat shiritaki noodles (noodles made konjac flour that are purely soluble fiber and have barely any calories) while on the Dukan plan?


admin April 11, 2012 at 7:44 PM
Natasha April 8, 2012 at 12:09 PM

Hi if u do not suffer from any illness can u eat as many eggs with the yolk in the attack phase or should the yolk be limited to one a day and have egg white


JCC April 8, 2012 at 1:25 PM

You can eat as many eggs as you want. Eating yolk with white is also healthier. Here’s some more tips on vitamins and eggs in dukan diet:


Robin April 4, 2012 at 5:34 PM

Hi,I just found out that 1 of mall here sell oat bran, however i just wanna know either it’s good for this diet or not.
per 100g per serve
Energy 1570kJ/374kcal 393kJ/94kcal
Protein 15.0g 3.8g
carbohydrate 46.6g 11.7g
sugar 1.8g 0.5g
total fat 10.6g 2.7g
Saturated fatty acids 2.2g 0.6g
Monounsaturated fatty acids 4.2g 1.1g
Polyunsaturated fatty acids 4.2g 1.1g
Trans fatty acids 0.0g 0.0g
cholesterol 0.0g 0.0g
dietary fibre 16.5g 4.1g
Soluble fibre 6.9g 1.7g
Insoluble fibre 9.6g 2.4g
sodium 5.3mg 1.3mg
magnesium 220mg 55mg
Iron 9.2mg 2.3mg
Zinc 3.6mg 0.9mg


JCC April 4, 2012 at 7:51 PM

It’s very good.


lamia April 4, 2012 at 2:22 PM

Hi, what counts more when i work out, the distance or the working out time ” 30min/1hour” or the calories i burn!!


JCC April 4, 2012 at 7:57 PM

It depends on so many factors… But it seems that short bursts of intense activity (cardio) are more effective and easier to perform (since you spend less time on it).


Florence April 2, 2012 at 3:26 PM

Is drinking Red Bull “diet” permissable? I have consumed it when I felt I had no energy. What other food suppliment would you suggest for a booster?


admin April 2, 2012 at 3:41 PM

As long as the drink doesn’t contain any carbs (sugar in particular) you can drink it. So, diet red-bull and other energy drinks are allowed as well as diet coke, sugar-free coffee, green tea (no sugar). Energy drinks and diet coke are safe as far as the weight loss process is concerned, but they are not very healthy otherwise (as you probably know). Coffee and various kinds of tea are allowed as long as you accept the effects of the caffeine on your body. Green, red and white tea are recommended, diet safe, and very healthy. Also, It is said that pu-erh tea (red tea) has some additional fat-burning properties.


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