Dukan Diet FAQs

Allowed Foods & Beverages

Effects of the Diet

  • I've had bad breath since the beginning of diet

    If you are suffering from bad breath, don’t fret! This is actually a sign that you are losing weight and shedding pounds quickly. The Dukan Diet is a high-protein diet, which can cause an accumulation of ketones in your blood. Ketones help you feel full but they can also cause bad breath. Eating oat bran can help eliminate your bad breath issues. Also, drink plenty of water to eliminate more ketones through urine than through your breath. Chewing sugar free gum is another useful tool in the fight against bad breath.

  • Since I have been on the Dukan Diet, I have had a hard time falling asleep. Do you have any advice for me?

    There is not an immediate link between the Dukan Diet and insomnia but from time to time, we do hear about trouble sleeping associated with a change in diet. The most common cause is consumption of tea, coffee, or other caffeinated beverages. Now that you are consuming less carbohydrates, your body becomes more responsive to caffeine. We would suggest that you cut down on your caffeine intake. You can get the decaffeinated versions instead if you are craving the taste. We also advise against drinking caffeinated beverages in the evening or late in the day. Please note that unless indicated otherwise, tea contains just as much caffeine as coffee, especially green tea.
  • I am experiencing muscle cramps during the diet, what can I do to ease this discomfort?

    Muscle cramps may be a sign of lack of potassium in your system. You can add a bit more Celtic Sea Salt in your diet to alleviate this or focus a bit more on consuming Dukan Diet allowed foods that are high in potassium.
  • I'm constipated, what can I do to help this?

    Constipation is likely to happen during the Attack Phase of the diet as a result of the the reduction in the amount of waste due to the low fiber content of proteins. If this initial constipation is uncomfortable, add 1 tablespoonful of Wheat Bran flakes to your daily intake of Oat Bran. I also suggest that you drink the Slimming Tea. The Slimming Tea helps flush out toxins and waste (especially if constipated) from the body and can aid in weight loss. You can find the Slimming Tea on our shop online (www.shopdukandiet.com). The Slimming Tea will also soften your stools, improving intestinal contractions and digestion. If you are experiencing severe constipation, please see your pharmacist or physician for advice.

  • I have diarrhea since I started the diet. What are the causes?

    Diarrhea is a possible side-effect of Dukan Diet but is typically not due to the diet itself but rather to the foods you are now consuming that you may not have eaten as much of before dieting. You may have eaten something in particular that is causing this. Look at your eating habits - are you perhaps now consuming more milk products than you have before? Could you be lactose intolerant? Or it could be a combination of foods that is causing it. Artificial sweeteners have been known to cause diarrhea as well as some sugar-free gum. Please consider your menu and what did you eat differently now that may be causing your diarrhea.
  • I am experiencing bad breath and dry mouth, what can I do?

    Bad breath and dry mouth occur with any weight loss diet, but they will be more evident with the pure protein Attack Phase of the diet.  They are a sign that you are losing weight, and as such you should welcome them as proof of success.  You can ease these symptoms by drinking at least 6 glasses of water a day and chewing gum.

Exercise

Dietary Restrictions

  • I am vegetarian. Can I follow the Dukan Diet?

    Vegetarians can adhere to the Dukan Diet easily. During protein-only phases you can eat eggs and fish as well as soy-based products, such as tofu. You can also substitute dairy products with soy-based milk, yogurts and other products, as long as they are fat free and have a very low sugar content. Vegetarians are also allowed to eat two tablespoons of lentils per day during protein-only days.

  • I cannot eat certain foods for various reasons. Can I follow the Dukan Diet easily?

    Dukan Diet provides a list of 100 allowed foods, from which you can tailor your own regimen that is acceptable within the constraints of your particular diet. You will just have to keep in mind that the Dukan Diet is a low-fat low-carb diet, so all products must be low in sugar and carbohydrate content.
  • I am currently a Pescetarian. Would I see the same results eating only fish and no beef, chicken, etc.?

    Absolutely! You will be able to follow this diet as long as you can eat fish, shellfish, eggs and non-fat dairy products and you will see the same results as those who are eating meat as well.
  • I am vegan. Can I follow the Dukan Diet?

    It is possible for vegans to adhere to the Dukan Diet. You can use soy products, such as tofu, as a source of protein. You can also substitute dairy products with soy-based milk, yogurts and other products, provided they are fat free and have a very low sugar content. You are also allowed to eat two tablespoons of lentils per day during the protein-only days.

Oat Bran

  • What brand or type of Oat Bran is recommended for the Dukan Diet?

    You can purchase the Dukan Diet Organic Oat Bran specifically recommended by Dr. Dukan on our website www.shopdukandiet.com. You can also find different brands at your local grocery store or supermarket. We recommend that you look for an organic oat bran that is high in fiber. The only ingredient should be 100% oat bran.

  • What is the difference between the Oat Bran offered on your website as opposed to what I can buy in my local grocery store?

    Dukan Diet Oat Bran has been milled and sifted to give the bran the right texture that maximizes the bran’s health benefits. The milling process ensures that the bran is not too fine, so that it does not lose its effectiveness, and not too coarse, so the useful surface viscosity is not lost. The specialized sifting process ensures that the bran is sufficiently pure and does not contain too much flour. This also means that the fast carbohydrate content is minimized.

  • How can I consume oat bran while on the Dukan Diet?

    You can eat oat bran as hot or cold cereal, mixed with fat free yogurt, or make bread or pancakes with it. Just ensure that you eat no more than your allowed amount per day.
  • Can I take an Oat Bran capsule instead of actual Oat Bran?

    We don't recommend Oat Bran capsules, as this is not a food substance. Natural Oat Bran which is the cornerstone of The Dukan Diet absorbs water and forms a gel that fills up your stomach.  In the intestines this gel traps everything around it - nutrients and calories - and takes these away with it as digestion occurs, it also makes digestion easier. The capsules might provide the neccessary fiber but will not provide the same benefits as all natural Oat Bran.

  • What are the advantages of eating oat bran?

    Oat bran is an essential part of the Dukan Diet because it makes following the program easier. Oat bran expands up to 30 times its original volume when it comes into contact with water or other liquids in your stomach. This slows down digestion while helping you feel full. Another advantage is that oat bran is sweet and it can be incorporated into your diet in many different ways. It absorbs calories from other foods during digestion which are then eliminated through bowel movements. Although you won’t reduce your calorie intake enormously this way, if you eat oat bran regularly, the cumulative effect can be significant over time. Oat bran aids in healthy digestion, which can help counter constipation or irregular bowel movements, a common side effect of any weight-loss plan. It is inexpensive, and helps to prevent diabetes by slowing down the speed at which sugar is absorbed into the bloodstream.  Oat bran also plays an important role in cholesterol reduction and the prevention of colon cancer. No other food offers the same health benefits. For more on oat bran click here.

Stagnation

  • When I started eating vegetables again, my weight loss slowed down. Is this normal?

    Yes, it is normal. Eating a strictly protein diet, with no vegetables, is the most effective way to lose weight. What’s more, this diet promotes the loss of water weight as proteins eliminate water from the body. When you weigh yourself, the scale reflects the loss of both fat and water weight. This initial weight loss is very significant and helps to jump-start the diet, keeping you motivated. Vegetables contain water and mineral salts that, once you reintroduce them into your diet, cause you to retain more water. You are still losing weight, just not at quite the same rate, but because you might have put back on the water weight that you had previously lost, your current weight loss might not be as noticeable. Your progress might not be visible on the scale at this point, but as soon as you start eating only proteins again, you will see the pounds coming off. Don't get discouraged if you weigh yourself and the scale hasn’t budged. Your body has to adapt anytime you make a change in your eating habits, which can cause you to hit a weight-loss plateau.

  • Sometimes I skip meals and yet I’m not losing weight. Why is this?

    Skipping meals can actually cause you to gain weight. If you skip lunch for example, there’s a strong chance that you will be very hungry by dinnertime and are much more likely to grab whatever is the most convenient, like fast food. You will end up eating more than you would have if you had eaten lunch, and you are much more likely to cheat by eating carbs, bread, or a fatty food. When you do finally eat, having been deprived of food for too long, your body will more readily absorb the calories you consume. By not skipping meals, your body extracts a moderate amount of calories from the food you eat. Imagine that your body extracts 70% - 75% of the nutrition from the food you eat when you eat every meal. When you skip a meal, your body will extract 95% of the nutrition from the food you eat. Try to eat a snack like yogurt instead of skipping a meal.

  • How can I fight weight loss stagnation in the Attack Phase?

    While it is rare that people stagnate in the Attack Phase, it sometimes happens. Most often it has to do with lack of exercise and what you consume.  We recommend that you walk at least 20 minutes per day and that you drink a lot of water to help with digestion. Also, watch the quantity of foods you are consuming.  If you are trying to heavily compensate for the lack of carbohydrates with meat - especially with fattier ones - you could see your weight loss slow down or stop. Try leaner cuts or fish instead.

  • How can I fight weight loss stagnation in Cruise Phase?

    Consuming a lot of dairy products (in lieu of meat for instance) will slow your metabolism down as they naturally have carbohydrates. Check the nutrition facts on the labels and make sure you are consuming those dairy products that are low in carbs as well as fat free. Also, vegetables have a lot of water that your body has a tendency to retain to compensate for meat-only days. Drink more water to prevent this from happening. Finally, look at the quantity of food you are consuming as this may also be the case of stagnation.
  • I have been on the Attack Phase for 6 days and have only lost 2 lbs. My male partner has lost three times as much. Am I doing something wrong?

    Weight loss is very individual.  You may not lose at the same rate as your male partner, as men generally lose weight faster than women. Some people start slowly and lose a lot of weight in the end, others lose a lot up front and end up losing less in the end.

Supplements

Coaching

Medical Issues

Athletes

  • I'm an athlete and need to lose a few pounds.

    Protein helps build muscle and prevents you from losing it. You can compensate for the needed extra energy by eating more nonfat dairy, carrots, beets or oat bran as these have naturally occurring sugars. You should also take care to drink enough water and replenish your electrolytes by eating potassium rich foods that are allowed in the diet. Your weight loss may be slower because of the particular modifications that have been made.

Cheating

  • I have cheated while on Cruise Phase of the diet, what can I do to get back on track?

    In order to get back on track with the diet you simply add one more day of eating nothing but pure protein. If you've cheated more than one day you simply compensate with 2 more days of pure protein and exercises.
  • I cheated. What should I do now?

    The Dukan Diet is a very forgiving diet. If you find that you cheated a little, you should continue the next day with whatever is on your plan (be it proteins or vegetables and proteins). Do understand that your weight loss may slow down for a short period of time as a result. If you have been cheating badly and often consider joining our coaching program for personalized support.

Following the Diet

  • What is the best way to prepare for the Dukan Diet?

    In most cases The Dukan Diet will be a long-term commitment and we suggest that you read The Dukan Diet book to fully understand the extent to which you are committing yourself.  Often times people start the diet without considering upcoming holidays, events and the occasional office party and then do not stay true to the diet.  Prior to starting the diet you can begin to try some of the recipes that are in the book, especially the pancakes, which are such an integral part of the daily food consumption.  You should also learn to read the Nutrition Fact labels on products and get "re-acquainted" with your local supermarket.  Try vegetables or types of meats that you have never tried before and start gradually cutting down on your daily amount of carbohydrates and sugars - eat less bread or pastries, eliminate processed foods altogether and substitute candy with fruit or vegetables.  We also urge you to consult your doctor prior to beginning any diet.

  • What is the best time of day to weigh myself?

    You are at your lightest in the morning, after going to the bathroom. It doesn't really matter when you weigh yourself, as long as you do it at the same time every day.

Website

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Women's Issues

  • Menstruation

    Menstruation can cause water retention, which is normal. Drink more water and wait until your period is over. Afterward, the weight loss will return. You can also consult your physician about taking vegetable-based diuretics to counter water retention during this time.
  • Menopause

    If you are currently in menopause, the hormonal imbalance you are experiencing will alter your rate of weight loss. Consult with your physician on what you can take to help smooth out this effect.
  • How does taking hormones (such as birth-control pills) affect the Dukan Diet?

    Taking hormones (estrogen, for instance) always has a direct effect on weight loss.
  • I am breast feeding. Can I start the Dukan Diet now?

    Doctors recommend that you do not go on a diet until you stop breastfeeding. A mother who wants to eat healthier can, for instance, replace some carbohydrates (such as bread, pastries, or sweets)with fruits. If you still insist on starting the diet, we recommend that you address this with your physician.

The Dukan Diet Book

  • How is the US edition of The Dukan Diet different from the UK/French version?

    The diet itself is unchanged. However, there are new additions specific to American and Canadian readers. We have adapted the list of 100 foods (67 pure protein, 32 vegetables, and sugar free gelatin) to reflect American and Canadian tastes and food availability. For example, in France, guinea hen and partridge are commonly eaten but are not readily available in the American market, so they have been eliminated. Instead, Cornish hen was added as they are more widely available in North America. Bison is an excellent source of lean protein available in North America, so it is included in the list of 100 foods as well. Pork is not permitted in the French edition. However, certain cuts of American pork, like tenderloin, are so lean that they are included in the US edition. We have also added more information for vegetarians who wish to follow the diet including recommendations about plant protein products available in the US and Canada that meet the standards of the diet. There are also slightly difference exercise guidelines because of a difference in architecture and city layouts between Europe and US/Canada.
  • Do you have a representative in Mexico? I would like to start the Dukan Diet.

    Unfortunately we do not have a website or a book made especially for Mexico. You can get the book in the US (Amazon, Borders and Apple IBook) and then follow the diet with our Dukan Coaching. However, if you require the program to be in Spanish, you can use our website created for Spain (www.dietadukan.es).

Smoking

  • Can I also quit smoking while starting the Dukan Diet? What would be the effect on the Diet?

    Whenever you do decide to quit smoking, that has to be your very first priority. If you have to make a choice between quitting smoking and starting the Dukan Diet, you should first focus on quitting smoking for at least 10 days. On the 11th day, you can begin the diet without feeling too frustrated or deprived. The Dukan Diet provides you with an important ally that can be of great help to you: all allowed foods can be eaten in unlimited quantity. Be sure to eat a varied diet and try to be creative in the kitchen. You should also incorporate, whenever possible, spices and seasonings to give flavor to your food.  You can also rely on diet sodas and tea to curb cravings, which can help with nicotine withdrawal.  Use double the normal amount of oat bran, incorporating pancakes, crepes, and blinis into your diet.  Also, consult your physician and as his or her advise. There are currently a couple different nicotine cessation aids available, which can help curb your cravings and will not interfere with your diet.

Web Site

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    To have your password reset please click on the  "Forgot Your Password" link.  You will then need to enter the email address you used to calculate your True Weight.  You will receive an email giving you instructions on how to reset your password. Alternatively, speak with a team member live or call us toll free at 1 855 385 2648.

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    The site is completely secure and independent and has a thorough confidentiality policy which you can read here: http://www.dukandiet.com/privacy We do not sell or share ANY of our user/client/member information with anyone outside of our company.

  • I signed up for the online coaching, but I have not received any daily emails.

    If you paid for online coaching and received an email confirmation, the next step is to answer your 80 questions and you will receive an email with your instructions to start the next day.  You then need to respond by filling out your daily report every morning and you will receive instructions.  If you have answered your 80 questions and did not receive your instruction the next day, please contact Customer Support. If you have not paid for coaching but have calculated your True Weight, you may log in to view your weight loss program curve and join coaching.

  • What is a True Weight?

    True Weight is the weight that you can realistically attain and maintain for the rest of your life.
  • I can't join. I fill out all the info and then press calculate and it doesn't work.

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