Dukan Diet Questions Answered
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If you have any questions you would like to see answered, send them to the address below, with the subject line "FAQ question".

joanna at mydukandiet dot com

FAQ Answers

How much cheese are you allowed on the Dukan diet in the Consolidation phase?

You are allowed 40grams of cheese a day. It's best to have the whole portion in one meal though.

Can I use tamari soy sauce in the Dukan Diet?

Yes, you can although it can be very salty, so use sparingly.

Are Chia seeds allowed on the Dukan diet?

Yes, they can be consumed instead of the allowed 1 teaspoon of flax seeds.

Can I use broad bran instead of oat bran on the Dukan diet?

Dr. Dukan calls specifically for oat bran. Wheat bran can be used additionally to relieve constipation if needed, but broad bran is never mentioned as a viable option.

Can I use Hoisin Sauce in the Dukan Diet?

Hoisin sauce has a high sugar content, hence it is not allowed on the Dukan diet.

If appropriate you could use small amounts of soy sauce for asian style dishes.

Can I use oil on the Dukan diet?

No. Neither olive oil or any other cooking oil are allowed to be used freely. They are pure fats and a big part of the Dukan diet is lowering your fat intake.

In the Attack phase only 2-3 drops on a pan before frying are allowed, and these should be wiped off with a paper towel. Alternatively 1-2 sprays of a 1cal oil spray can be used in a similar manner.

From Cruise (and this is a late addition to the diet from an official chat with Dr. Dukan) you can use 1 tsp of oil (olive or rapeseed), but no more than that.

How to eat out on the Dukan diet?

In short avoid sauces and dishes you have litle control over. The simpler the dish the easier it will be to judge whether it's diet friendly or not.Fish and chicken dishes are often available.

Avoid empty calories and sugars - make sure you pick water or diet sodas to drink.

For some more ideas, you can read a longer article here.

Where to find more oat bran recipes?

Check out the cooking section of the site with a big selection of recipes including oat bran ones.

You may also want to take a look at my book - "The Oat Bran Guide" where you can find some handy tips and recipes, information about oat bran in general and all that with the Dukan diet in mind.

Can you eat houmous on the dukan diet?

Houmous is made using oil so that already makes it too fat for the Dukan diet. And chickpeas that are part of it are a high carb food. So in short, the answer is no.

Can I have protein shakes?

Dr. Dukan does not approve of protein shakes. A big part of the diet is learning to eat proper, healthy food and you should be getting all the protein you need from the allowed foods.

With that said it is OK to use these on rare occasions or in an emergency. As they are a better option than succumbing to junk food.

You should then take care to make sure there is no sugar added and that the fat contents are within the allowed range.

Can you use Agave nectar as a sweetener?

Agave nectar is not allowed. Although it is low GI the Dukan diet is more focused on avoiding sugar in any form (this includes fruit).

How to grind oat bran into flour?

You can use a coffee grinder to make it into a flour-like substance. You could also use mortar and pestle or an electric mixer like the Thermomix.

However do bare in mind that this does affect some of the properties of oat bran, so preferably don't make the oat bran flour too fine and try to use it only from time to time.

How to deal with sugar cravings while on the diet?

There are several ways to deal with sugar or sweet cravings. You can try any of the following suggestions to help you overcome sugar cravings:

1. Chew sugar free gum.

2. Eat a few goji berries.

3. Eat a sugar free jello.

4. Have a Low Carb (and Low fat) Creamy Hot Chocolate (but not too often!) or other sweet treat such as an oat bran muffin.

5. On a PV day eat a few tomatoes or carrots or on a PP day eat a hard boiled egg.

6. Eat regularly every 3 to 5 hours as this helps keep your blood sugar levels stable.

Can you eat olives on the Dukan diet?

Olives are unfortunately considered too fat to be eaten during the diet. Neither on pure protein or protein & vegetable days.

How much water should I drink daily?

Ideal water intake per day is about 2l. But on hot days or if you exercise more you might want to drink a bit more to make sure you stay hydrated.

How to deal with constipation on the Dukan diet?

Constipation can be an issue on the diet, especially in the Attack phase at the beginning.

To help you on pure protein days make sure you eat you rdaily dose of oat bran, preferably in the morning.

For some people dehydration can be a part of the problem - so also make sure you drink enough water (or other allowed fluids).

If you do have special needs fibre supplements are also an option.

Can I eat gammon on Dukan?

No, you can't eat this sort of ham during the first two weight loss phases.

The meat should less than 5% fat and pork is not recommended as it rarely meets this rule.

Are herbal teas allowed in all phases of the Dukan diet?

You can drink all types of tea throughout all four phases of the Dukan Diet, as long as they don't have any added sugar or fructose. Green teas are alright, but you might want to check the label of anything too fancy.

You can use sweeteners and skimmed milk with your tea if you like to.

How many starchy meals are allowed in the consolidation phase?

There are two answers to this question.

1. 2 servings per week

This is the rule given in the latest "The Dukan Diet Life Plan" book (2011 edition), as well as older edition of the original Dukan Diet book.

2. 1 serving per week in first half on Consolidation followed by 2 servings per week in the second half of Consolidation.

This is the advice given in the "The Dukan Diet" english edition from 2010.

Which one is correct? Well there is no explanation given for the change, but if you worry about maintainging your weight or giving in to the cravings you might want to go for the "safer" option (2).

Are chicken nuggets allowed on Dukan?

If you are talking about any store bought variety then the answer is no. Regular breadcrumbs are not allowed, and the packaged ones are often high in fat.

However you could do your own home made nuggets. Just cut chicken breasts into chunks and cover with oat bran, like in this recipe:

Chicken Fingers

Is honey allowed in the Dukan diet?

Honey is not allowed during the diet because it's made of sugar. You could try using sweeteners instead.

Is sugar free jello allowed in the Attack phase?

Yes sugar free jello is allowed. Just make sure to check the label - it shouldn't contain sugar or fructose (fruit juice). And obviously be fat free too :)

How many times should you snack on the dukan diet?

You can eat as much as you want as long as it is food from the allowed foods list. This includes snacking between meals if you feel hungry.

There isn't a set amount of snacks you should or shouldn't have. The point is to have the main meals, and outside of that let your own body (hunger) guide you.

How long does it take for your body to go into ketosis on the Dukan diet?

The exact time depends on the individual, but provided you keep the carbohydrate levels low you should be in ketosis within a day - we often enter ketosis during the night if there no late night snacking.

Depending on the amounts and type of veggies you eat you could sometimes come out of ketosis on PV days.

What spices can I eat on Dukan diet?

You can have the basic herbs & spices like basil, ground cinnamon, chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, minced onion, dill weed, vanilla extract, oregano, rosemary, thyme and ground ginger.

Basically most natural, sugar free spices will be OK. You can always check the allowed ingredients list.

Am I allowed to use kechup while on Dukan?

Only sugar free ketchup is allowed as a condiment.

You can use a little bit to help flavor foods. But best avoid in the Attack phase.

What sweeteners can I use on the dukan diet?

You can use: Aspartame, Stevia, Splenda (sucralose) or saccharin (Sweet'NLow).

Can I eat minced beef on the Dukan diet?

Yes! And to quote from The Dukan Diet Life Plan book:

"Minced beef is allowed, but make sure that the content does not exceed 10%, as 15% fat is too rich for the Attack period."

This means that not only can you have mince from the Attack phase but it can even be slightly more than the usual 5% fat - up to 10% fat.

Can I drink coconut water on the Dukan diet?

Coconut water is not allowed. You will have to wait until Consolidation, where you can have it during a "Celebration Meal" or later in Stabilization at your discretion.

How much sweetener is allowed on the Dukan diet?

You shouldn't take more than 8 doses of sweetener per day.

How long should I stay in the attack phase?

It usually lasts 5-10 days depending on your current weight and progress.

You can refer to the official "true weight calculator" for a more accurate estimate that's specifically tailor made for you. You can have it calculated for free by going to the official site of Dr Dukan: http://www.dukandiet.com or http://dukandiet.co.uk.

How much bread are you allowed on the consolidation phase?

You can enjoy two slices of wholemeal bread per day. And that's on top of your daily oat bran!

How much cornflour can I use on the Dukan diet?

Cornflour is a tolerted food, and as such can be used from the Cruise phase (not in Attack).

You can have 1 tablespoon of corn flour a day.

Are anchovies allowed in the Dukan diet?

Yes, you can have anchovies from the cruise phase, but only if they are oil free. Make sure you read the label and check there are no diet unfriendly ingredients if using canned varieties.

Should I weigh myself every day during the diet?

You can weigh yourself on a daily basis while in the first phase of the diet. Some people find it helpful for others it can be distracting. Remember to focus on the diet program itself and be careful not to become obsessed with the scale.

For more details check out the "How Often To Weigh Yourself" article.

What are the most common side effects of Dukan diet?

The most common side effects of the diet are: constipation and fatigue. These effects vary from person to person and not everyone will experience these side effects. Both are often due dehydration however if they persist you might want to consult a specialist.

Am I allowed to use sesame seeds during the diet?

Sesame seeds are forbidden until the consolidation phase. If you want to add some taste to your meals, you can add herbs, spices or linseeds (1 tsp. per day).

Are you allowed olive oil for frying?

You need to dry fry following when the Dukan diet. You can either use oil spray (1cal per spray - use 2-3 sprays) or put a few drops of oil in the frying pan and then wipe them over the surface of the pan using a paper towel.

Are you allowed fruit juice during the attack on the Dukan diet?

Sorry, no fruit juice is allowed. You can enjoy some diet fruit flavoured drinks as long as they are both sugar and fructose free.

Can organic stock cubes be added to cooking?

Yes, organic stock cubes (just as non organic) can be used provided they are low in salt.

Is any alcohol (like sherry) allowed in the Dukan diet for cooking?

Yes you can use alcohol for cooking - it's a great way to add flavour to low fat sauces.

Because most of it evaporates during the cooking you can have up to 3 table spoons from the Cruise phase onwards when cooking with the lid off.

Full details on alcohol and the Dukan diet can be found here:
http://www.dukandiet.co.uk/en/767

Are curry pastes allowed in the Dukan diet?

Curry pastes are OK as long as they do not have sugar in them. Look for the spicy rather than sweet variations. Especially in Consolidation when the rules relax a bit you can make more use of these.

Though if you're not sure it might be better to just use curry spice rather than a paste.

Can I eat almonds on the dukan diet?

No, almonds are over 50% fat. Just like other nuts they are not allowed on the diet.

Can I take vitamins when on the Dukan diet?

Yes, there is no reason not to take a daily multivitamin, or other supplement, especially if you need those.

Can I eat onions everyday during cruise phase?

You can eat onions on the Dukan diet from day one. They are great in the attack to add a little spice and flavour to your meals. Later on in the diet onions are a good source of many vitamins and minerals and you can have them every day.

Can you have salt on the Dukan diet?

The simple answer to the question is yes, you can use salt on the Dukan diet. However salt certainly isn't an ingredient that you should use without restriction. Dr Dukan advocates following a diet low in salt because salt causes your body to retain water and it stimulates your appetite by increasing digestive secretions and gastric acidity. Using salt as a condiment at the table is considered "always superfluous" by the doctor, but he does allow salt to be used when cooking.

How are eggs prepared for the Dukan diet?

There are several ways to enjoy eggs while on the Dukan diet. You can try the following ways to serve an egg: scrambled, fried, boiled, poached, baked eggs, omelette, egg paste, fried boiled eggs. You can also explore various recipes and try to develop your own way of preparing eggs. Just remember to avoid using butter or oil.

Is canned salmon allowed on the Dukan diet?

Yes, all white and oily fish, fresh or canned (unless in oil) are allowed. You can moisten the fish with a little lemon or soy sauce to add some flavour to your salmon.

Can I take several doses of oat bran per day?

Yes, you can split your daily allowance, as long as the total is within the rules.

Although do bare in mind that taking it all in one go (especially as the daily limit isn't huge) can be more effective.

Can I use wheat gluten in my cooking on the Dukan diet?

Yes! As per the official chat on 23 July 2010, you can use wheat gluten as a tolerated item just like cornflour. Same daily limits apply.

Is popcorn allowed on the Dukan diet?

No kind of popcorn is allowed on the diet, as corn from which popcorn is made is not allowed.

Most popcorn comes with extra salt, often accompanied by butter or sugar when coated with toffee or chocolate. Even the so called healthy versions will have too many carbs and salt.

What to do when weight loss slows down?

It depends on the phase

Attack: if you're not losing any more weight after a few days, even if you were meant to stay in this phase for longer, just move on to Cruise. It's your body giving you signals.

Cruise:

If you happen on a plateau give it a day or two - it often just goes away on it's own.

Make sure you are both eating and drinking plenty, maybe you tried to restrict either too much?

Have you introduced a new food (it could be allowed, but maybe your body isn't tolerating it well) recently?

Make sure you eat plenty of protein even on veggie days!

Try changing the rhythm for a little while if you have been doing 1/1, try 3/3 - this helped several people.

maybe you are having too many tolerated products. Remember, they are called tolerated for a reason. :)

How are oat bran spoons measured?

Sometimes you might wonder hwo to measure oat bran - should the tablespoons be heaped or level?

Here's the precise answer - the tablespoon should be 15g in weight.

May I drink pamplemousse?

No, unfortunately no fruit are allowed, in any form, until the Consolidation phase.

Is corn/polenta allowed on the Dukan diet?

Corn is not allowed on the dukan diet.

Polenta can be introduced just like wholewheat pasta or couscous in the Consolidation phase as part of the allowed "starchy meal".

Are udon noodles ever allowed on the dukan diet?

Yes, you can have these in the third phase (Consolidation) as part of your starch meal and the celebration meal.

However if you like noodles you should know that you can have Shirataki noodles in all phases.

Is almond milk allowed on the dukan diet?

Yes, almond milk is acceptable as long as its unsweetened and has less than 3gms of fat.

How many eggs can I eat?

The eggs are on the unlimited foods list however if you have cholesterol issues you might need to limit the number of yolks and be sure to consult with your doctor.

The whites on the other hand should be fine in any quantities, as they are just protein.

Can I have psyllium husk?

Gnerally no, they are not a replacement for oat bran on the Dukan diet.

However in one of the official chats it was mentioned that you can use small quantities if constipation is a problem and you've tried things like wheat bran and other suggestions.

Can I replace oat bran with rice bran?

Unfortunately the Dukan diet requires oat bran specifically.

Although rice bran has a lot of health benefits it does not have the same properties as oat bran.

Can I eat linseed / flaxseed?

Yes, Dr Dukan allows up to 1 teaspoon of linseed per day.

Is ham allowed on the Dukan diet?

Yes, you can eat ham while on the diet, however there are a few things to keep in mind.

Firstly make sure the ham is as lean as possible - remember the 5% fat rule.

Check for sugar contents, there are plenty "fancy" hams that are enhanced by some additional ingredient (not necessarily bad in general, but not diet friendly). Make sure the sugar is as low as possible.

It often is a good idea to cut off the rim.

You might also try other types of ham, like those made from turkey or chicken!

Can I eat fruit on the Dukan diet?

No. Fruit is off the menu until the Consolidation phase.

Fruit is high in sugar and it's better to focus on vegetables initially before you add fruit to your diet again.

There is one exception - goji berries, which are allowed in small quantities.

Can I eat bought roast chicken?

Yes, as long as you peel of the skin you can have roasted and grilled chicken bought in town.

Make sure it's not smothered in sugary sauces though! Try to keep it as plain (or only herbs like lemon & thyme) as possible.

What is the replacement for oat bran?

Unfortunately there is no replacement for oat bran.

If you are gluten intolerant there is gluten-free oat bran, but you might have a hard time finding it as it is not very common.

Can I use a substitute for liquid paraffin?

Unfortunately there isn't a substitute for preparing Dukan friendly dressings that call for it.

However you can use balsamic vinegar or use yoghurt/quark with fresh herbs & spices for some home made dressings.

Can I have soya/fish/maggi sauce in the attack phase?

No you can't have any of these sauces on the attack phase, but they are considered a tolerated product on the dukan diet. You can have 1 tea spoon a day from the cruise phase onwards.

Can I eat crab sticks on the dukan diet?

Yes, absolutely. You can have crab sticks. However it is advised you limit them to about 8 per day.

Can I eat sashimi?

Yes you can absolutely have sashimi on the Dukan diet! It is a high source of proteins if you like sea food.

Are Goji Berries allowed on the Dukan diet?

I was suprised too when I first found this out, but YES, they are allowed!

Following advice from dukandiet.co.uk:

Attack phase: 1 tbsp per day
Cruise phase PP: 1tbps per day
Cruise phase PV: 2 tbsp per day
Consolidation phase: can be increased to 3 tbsp per day

After that the suggested amount is about 30 Goji berries per day, preferably in the morning, for a period of 3 months.

What can you snack on during the attack and cruise phases?

There are many things you can nibble through out the day:

Attack/Protein days:

- ham
- grilled chicken breast (you can have it cold)
- grilled turkey breast
- low fat cottage cheese
- low fat yoghurt
- oat bran cookies/muffins/etc.
- hard boiled eggs
- salmon (or any other allowed fish)

Additional snacks on veggie days:

- carrots (not too much though they are quite high in natural sugar)
- celery sticks (you could prepare some diet friendly dips to go with it)
- bell peppers - when chopped into small pieces they are fresh and crunchy
- cucumbers (go great with yoghurt too)

This is by no means an exhaustive list - just a few ideas to get you started!

Can I eat quinoa on the Dukan diet?

Unfortunatelly quinoa is not allowed until the Consolidation phase.

It is in a similar category to couscous, which is also OK from the Consolidation phase, but not in Attack and Cruise.

Is Quorn allowed on the Dukan diet?

Yes Quorn is allowed. In fact one of the official chat transcripts says it's allowed in all phases!

Can I eat kangaroo on the Dukan diet?

Yes, kangaroo meat is OK. It's low in fat and high in protein!

If I reach my goal weight early do I have to continue on the Cruise phase until the calculated date?

No. The Cruise phase is meant to last until you reach your goal weight.

If you used the true weight calculator it only gives an estimated date. You could reach your goal earlier or later than that date and neither should worry you.

So once you reach your goal weight you can start the Consolidation phase immediately.

Will you send me recipes by email?

No, all my recipes (and any interesting ones I get from other dieters) are available on the site, and I physically wouldn't have the time to send out individual emails!

If you want to be updated without having to check the website every day you can:

1. Subscribe to the FREE newsletter: http://eepurl.com/j5cB

2. Follow me on twitter: http://twitter.com/DukanChef

3. Follow me on facebook: www.facebook.com/mydukandiet

4. Subscribe to the recipe RSS feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/MyDukanDietRecipeFeed

How can I use oat bran?

You can have it in any form: cooked, baked, boiled, fried or even raw with yoghurt :)

My favourite are muffins and cookies, though the most popular seem to be oat bran pancakes.

What does "low fat" mean on the Dukan Diet?

There are plenty of low fat products on the market however not all of them will be appropriate for the Dukan Diet.

The general rule is to check that the cheese or meat or other product is less than 5% fat. It can also come as less than 5g / 100g of the product.

Unfortunately the food producers these days like to exploit the trend for low fat or light products, and very often will lower fat contents, but compensate by adding sugar! This is especially common in "light" yoghurt varieties.

This means once the 5% fat rule is satisfied you still need to check that there is no added sugar and that the carbohydrate count is low too.

Can you have rhubarb on the Dukan diet?

Yes, you can eat rhubarb on the vegetable days from the cruise phase onwards.

Is yeast allowed on the Dukan diet?

Yes you can have both fresh and dried yeast.

Where can I get quark from?

The answer differs for various countries:

UK:

Definitely at Sainsbury's, possibly at other supermarkets and specialty stores.

US:

This site has some good answers about where to get quark or what to substitue quark with.

Australia

Here's a page about quark in Australia.

The above links can give you some ideas, but bare in mind that not all substites presented there are Dukan diet friendly!

You can also try and make your own quark.

Is corn flour permitted on the Protein only days?

Yes, however it is a tolerated product, so should be avoided in the Attack phase. At the same time Protein days on Cruise are fine (just not unlimited).

Can you have fat-free cocoa on the dukan diet?

Yes you can have fat-free cocoa on the dukan diet.

In fact it is often used to make "chocolate" flavoured deserts while following this weight loss program.

However it is only a tolerated product, so you can have it only after the Attack phase, and not in excessive quantities.

Is unflavoured gelatin allowed on the Dukan diet?

Yes you can use gelatin in your Dukan diet recipes.

Are you allowed to have soy milk on the Dukan Diet?

Yes, you can have soy milk on the Dukan diet, however it is only a tolerated product.

This means you can have it from the Cruise phase onwards and no more than 15cl per day.

Is there any alcohol that is permitted on the Dukan diet?

All alcohol is empty calories so unfortunately alcohol will have to wait until the third phase (Consolidation) when you can include it in your celebration meals.

Can you eat nuts on the Dukan Diet?

No, I'm afraid nuts are not allowed as they are high in fat (and some in carbs too). Also as a snack they are very easy to nibble through large quantities without noticing, so better leave them out till consolidation and afterwards. :)

Is vinegar allowed on the Dukan diet?

Yes! :) You can use vinegar and balsamic vinegar in all phases as dressing and to add taste to any of your dishes.

Are you allowed oil on the Dukan Diet?

You are not allowed oil on the Dukan diet. However, especially if you don't have a non-stick pan, when frying you can use 2-3 drops or a 1-2 sprays if you have a spray can for dispensing oil (amazing for controlling the amount you use!).

Bare in mind that the 2-3 drops are not for the food but for the pan, and should be wiped off/spread with a paper towel to leave as little of it as possible.

This applies to all the recipes that mention using oil on this site.

Are you allowed tinned tomatoes on the Dukan Diet?

Yes, you can have tinned tomatoes in the phases that allow vegetables. Only thing you need to check is that the particular variety does not contain any added sugar.

How long will it take me to lose 10kg? (or 5kg or 20kg, etc.)

You need to use the true weight calculator (it's free) on the official website - dukandiet.co.uk It will ask you a few relevant questions and then you will be given an example schedule of how your weight loss should progress if you follow the diet.

Are you allowed bacon on the Dukan Diet?

The short answer is no.

However there is a lean, low fat bacon you can sometimes get and that is allowed as it is under 5% fat. Unfortunately you might have problems finding it.

A possible solution is to substitute bacon with lean ham (again under 5% fat).

Lastly there is always turkey bacon, which meets the above conditions for lean bacon.

What is the suggested salt/sodium intake?

Try not to use additional salt in excess, and check the labels of ready made food, more details here: http://bit.ly/bwkkR6

How to make my meals less bland?

If you want to add some taste to your meals, you can add herbs, spices or lin seeds (1 tsp per day).

Is tofu allowed on the Dukan Diet?

Yes, tofu is unlimited on both PP and PV days.

What amount of vegetables is recommended during the PV (protain+vegetables) days?

There is no explicit limitation as to how much vegetables you can have, as long as they are the allowed ones. The only point is not to make it a vegetable only day, so you should have protein foods with your vegetables.

What can you drink on the Dukan Diet?

The Dukan Diet requires you to drink 1.5 litres day and you can achieve this with a variety of drinks.

- water: still, sparkling, tap
- tea: any without sugar; milk and sweetener are allowed
- coffee: any without sugar; milk and sweetener are allowed
- skimmed milk
- diet sodas: any without sugar, e.g.: diet coke, coke zero, etc.

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