Phase I Attack

Dukan Diet Phase 1 Explained: Time & Expected Weight Loss

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 Dukan Diet 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 Dukan’s Diet 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.

106 Comments

  1. Hi,

    Today is day 5 of the Attack phase and it is the first day I’ve really felt tired. I have 30lbs to lose and am down 5lbs in these 5 days YAY! I felt I had adequate energy the first few days without any issue. Has anyone else noticed this?

    Btw I am super looking forward to eating greens again! I love wilted spinach/kale/collards etc!

  2. Hi, I am on Dukan diet and I am just finishing Attack phase ( I had 10 days on it). I had 67 kg and now I have 65kg. My Goal is 59kg.
    I followed all rules and I lost only aprox. 4 Lb.
    I understand that every body reacts in a different way but in my case as one healthy person that is Yoga teacher too- I am surprised that I didn’t lose more weight. Any suggestion???

    1. I’m facing the same thing… my 6th day in the attack and I’ve only lost 1 kilo however it was the week before my period since today my period came maybe that had something to do with it? How did it go for you?

  3. 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.

  4. hi
    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?

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Hi,

    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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

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

  10. 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

  11. 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! ;)

    1. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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 ?

    1. 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.

  14. 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.

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

  15. 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

    1. 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.

  16. 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

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

    Thank you

  18. 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

    1. 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.

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

  19. 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

  20. 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

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

    1. 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).

  22. 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?

    1. 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.

  23. This tiredness and dullness is most likely the so called induction flu. It’s a good sign. Don’t worry, it will subside soon. If you can’t stand it proceed to phase 2 PV. That said, keep in mind you will most likely gain some weight (not much though) in the initial stage of phase 2. This is normal too.

  24. Hi. today is my 6days with attack phase 1. so far i have lost 2.5kg. Another 15kg to go! but i felt really tired and dull. if with this energy i’m not sure i’m gonna make it to my 1hours cycling class. I don’t know what to do. Is there any advice?

    1. Eat what you want, but it is a good idea to include protein product as a base for every meal. You will probably notice that too much vegs in PV case bigger weight fluctuations. If I were to chose one option, I’d use half-half.

  25. I was on 7/7 but changed now on 5/5
    Main protein is chicken roasted or grilled either half no skin etc have red meat with onions herbs some times lamb in curry no oil salt
    Also some offal beef tongue chicken livers.
    Main veg when do p/v is carrot broccli beans caulfl,low fat cheese snacks diet youghurt drink no sugar etc. Love some snack suggestions can we have any.
    Thx

  26. Hello,
    I have lost 7 lbs in two weeks. I went away for the week-end and binged. I hate myself for this. I had 4 glasses of wine in two days. dessert, and pasta. I couldn’t help myself. I weighed myself and gained 3 lbs in 3 days. is this normal? I started back on the attack phase today and went back to the gym and worked out for one hour. Is this okay. does this happen to other people…what shall I do?

    1. This is pretty normal. Don’t worry too much. Do not punish yourself either. Just continue doing the diet normally, try not to depart from the rules again. As you can see, it’s just not worth it. One weekend spoiled your 1-week efforts. It just doesn’t pay, does it?

      It is better to stick to your guns for now, lose the weight, pass over it. Then you will be able to do (eat, drink) whatever you want. It’s a one time sacrifice. A few weeks (just until phase 3) is not an eternity.

      So, get over it, don’t panic, don’t overtax yourself, just stick to the plan and you will succeed eventually.

      1. I’m getting tired of it atm started diet 7 Dec 11
        Have lost 12kg. For last month on cruise now it seems I haven’t
        Lost more. I’m starting to want to binge with bad food.
        Only want to lose 3kg more any tips or what I should do

        Pls. Walk every morn, I did bust a cpl times with alchol

  27. I’m on my 3rd day of the attack phase but I haven’t weighed myself. I was on my period when I began but now it’s pretty much done. I’m afraid of weighing and not seeing results. If I dont get the results that the website says I should, do I do more attack phase days? (it said I have to do 5)
    Also, I experienced induction flu today. Is this a good sign?

    1. No, there’s no need to extend the Attack Phase. Moreover, you have experienced an induction flu which is usually a good sign (meaning that your body has switched from sugar to ketone bodies, and you’re in a state of mild ketosis). Given all the factors, it’s very unlikely that you won’t see any results now. Wait until the day 5 of the attack Phase and weigh yourself then. Feel free to post the results here.

      1. Oops, I meant 4 days not 5.
        Weighed this morning and I’m down 1.3 kg!
        So should I be weighing every 3 or so days? I noticed lots of people weigh daily. Is that a good idea?
        Also, what’s the best PP/PV routine for me if I want tonlose around 7 more kg?

        1. How often should you weigh yourself is a matter of your preference. I used to weigh myself everyday ’cause I knew there would be some fluctuation in my weight (for example that I would periodically gain weight during my PV days, but lose some more on PP days, and so on). Some people do not understand this and lose motivation at the very first sings of any weight gain. These people should measure their progress on a less regular basis :), I guess :).

          The best PP/PV routine is the one that fits your week cycle best. Start with 5/5, and then decide. I like 7/7 because you switch PP and PV on a weekly basis. But it’s harder to stick to pure proteins for 7 long days. 4/3 is also nice. But the most important thing is that the routine you choose should be easygoing and easy to perform for you. Even if it’s not the most efficient routine, it will serve you best. After all, you want to achieve your goal. It’s easier to accomplish your mission when you don’t need to toil over it.

  28. Well, It is my second day of cruise phase and i lost in total 2.5KG in 7 days… i just need a list of snacks i can had while am at the office working!!

    Thank you

  29. I went to their offical website to calculate my true weight, after I input all the info, they told me that I am in my true weight, can I still follow the diet?

    1. Sure, should you want to lose some more. But maybe what you really need is a kind of a workout or sth? To get rid of abdominal fat or gain some muscle. You can try doing the attack phase and then decide whether the diet is for you or not (i.e. is there any progress / do you feel ok etc.)

      1. I am going to try it out next week, I have a quick question: Can I drink “energy drink” when I go to workout? Here is the Nutritiom Fact:
        Calories 0
        Total fat 0g 0%
        Sodium 25mg 1%
        Total carbohydrate 6g 2%
        Sugar 0g
        Protein 0g
        Vita C 120%
        Vita E 20%
        Niacin 10%
        Vita B6 10%
        Vita B12 10%
        Pantothenic Acid 10%

        Thanks a lot!

        1. It’s strange that it says 0 calories when there’s 6g of carbs in it. Energy drinks that contain caffeine and/or taurine are diuretics, so I guess there’s always a need to drink water when you work out. You can drink ‘enegry drinks’ as well (as long as they are carb free — which is not the case here) but do not forget that the most proper mean of body hydration is still water. In other words, I don’t think this energy drink itself will help your body burn fat faster. Caffeine will on the other hand. But it is not exclusive to energy drinks. If you like energy drinks find one that contains no carbs at all.

    1. That’s great, so it’s been 1.5 kg in 3 days. Splendid. Your menu looks pretty strict, there’s not much you could change here to make it better. Maybe except the milk (I’d choose some fermented milk products like drinkable yogurt of kefir).

      Again, congrats and keep it up! The scale is not always the best short-time measure of progress.

  30. Day 1:
    Breakfast: boiled egg a glass of skimmed milk
    Lunch: veal meat ” black pepper to taste a few Coriander leaves Garlic clove soya sauce”
    Dinner: mixed sea food dip of yoghurt with one garlic clove glass of Skimmed milk mixed with 1 and 1/2 small spoon of white oat bran
    Day 2:
    Breakfast: glass of skimmed milk
    omelette of two eggs
    Lunch: grilled fish
    Dinner: 2 eggs white
    Today:
    Breakfast: glass of skimmed milk egg white

    Am having 1.5L pure water daily

    Am really so upset, my weight was 59Kg before giving birth…

    Thank you for your help

  31. Hi, today is my third day of the attack phase, i haven’t lost any weight?? am so worried!! am 73.5 Kg my target is 12Kg.. am a kind of person who sticks to rules and i would prefer to have a menu for the attack phase..

    Thank you so much

        1. Just stick to the plan, eat low-fat meat, eggs, non-fat dairy and wait for the results. Can you tell us what does your menu consist of these days?

  32. hi i an in the attack phase today is my 5th day and i have lost 12 lbs. i plan to go for 10 day in the attack phase just because i am trying to loose about 50 lbs after two pregnacies one having been with twins. did anyone get nausa on the 3 day.

    1. Everyone gets nausea on day 3. It is called induction flu and this usually means that your body is switching to the non-carb mode. Usually passes after 2 or 3 days. After it does, you can proceed to the next phase. 10 days attack phase is not necessary in your case. 5 to 7 days at most is ok.

  33. I am on day 5 of the attack phase, I lost 1lb after the first day, 2 lbs after the second so a total of 3lbs, stayed the same on the third and now have put on 1lb – is this normal – feeling low about it!

  34. Hello,
    I signed up and paid for the giudance on Dukan’s diet bout after 3 weeks I noticed I lost a lot of hair, when I emailed customer service they replied that it could be a side effect so obviously I stopped. What could be the explenation to it? I would like to try it again but am worried that it may happen again.

  35. i was speaking before aswell about receipes in dukan book.
    i made this chicken dish, it was so salty i was worried ,heres receipe
    letme know what you all think.

    Lime and salt-crusted poussin

    1, bouquet garnie
    1 1/2 lime juice
    1, onion chopped
    1 poussin
    2 egg whites
    2kg (4 1/2 lb) coarse sea salt( Alot Eh) i only used 250g
    salt and black pepper.

    following day stuff inside with seesoning. mix egg whites with salt cover bottom of tray with half then the rest cover top of chook 50mns
    then to serve break crust remove skin and eat.

    This is so salty can you help?
    there is also salted fish dont want to try again

    1. You know, this salt is just a crust, you don’t eat it :). I guess it is not the best way to prepare a chicken when you on a salt-low diet after all. Maybe it’s a better idea to just roast a chicken, without all that salt.

  36. Hi i have been on diet for 2mnths coming up to 3mnths on 7th march.
    Question. i was away and had heaps of vegetables, didnt want to throw away
    so did veg extra days. so from 5/5 im doing 7/7 is this ok?
    Also i am thinking i need to lose another 5kg if i do the attack again for 10 days
    is this ok to do.???

    thxs appreciate it

  37. I have been on the Dukan diet for 2 full days, this being my third day. I have lost a total of 4 lbs so far. When I did my true weight calculator it said to do the Attack phase for 6 days and projected weight loss was 6.6lbs. If I reach my 6.6 lbs before the 6 days, should I go onto the Cruise phase early and stick out the 6 days?

    1. You do not need to wait until 6 days pass. On the other hand, even if you won’t reach your 6.6 lbs after 6 days, just proceed to the next phase and choose your 2nd phase’s routine accordingly.

  38. Just started the attack psahe Sunday. Have lost 2 pounds in 2 days. I have been trying to figure out if Kielbasa Turkey Sausage is a “compliant” protein. Jalapenos and tomato? Raw i use the tomato to cook with my meat—Thanks!

    1. Kielbasa is usually too fatty, it’s better to avoid it. Try some lean meat instead. If you are fond of polish specialties (such as kielbasa :)) try raw-meat Tatar. You can eat jalapeños in moderation during Phase I but I would advise against tomatoes just now. On the other hand, one or two tomatoes with added to a pound of chicken breast or lean beef is not a crime :). Should you eat commercially prepared jalapeños read labels carefully to check sugar contents.

  39. I have been doing the dukan diet for 6 days now and have only lost 6oo grams, am I doing something wrong?? I am very careful with what I eat and have stayed away from oily foods etc. The only thing I can think of is that I have skipped a few meals. This is not on purpose though.

    1. the same problem!
      I am drinking enough liquids, and I am very strict.
      I’ve done the diet 7 years ago and I had good results. And after that I didn’t follow any diets. For the past year I gained some weight because of my work and change of habits (not many kilos though). That’s why I started the diet again. I know what to expect but this time it isn’t working so well.

  40. How do I do this diet if I get gout from high protein?

    Also, how do I not get depressed or edgy because of the lack of serotonin from carbs?

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