Wednesday, June 14, 2006

A foodie diet that works.

Diets and how to lose weight are always topics of great interest to most of us who love to eat. Currently there is much in the press about obese America & overweight Britain. South Beach, Atkins, Weight Watchers and on and on. While I pretend to no expertise and would (like all diet gurus) advise you to check with your Doctor, I will make a recommendation.

Dine Out and Lose Weight: The French Way to Healthy Eating by Michel Montignac. The book seems to be out of print now, but you can buy copies by going to: It is worth the effort.

My wife bought it for me about 15 years ago after reading an article about it in the London Times. At that time I was traveling around Europe weekly from our UK base and eating very well indeed. I was at my highest weight ever. I went on Montignac’s diet, lost 8 pounds in the first week and 30 pounds over the next couple of months. All of my friends who tried seriously had similar results. A side benefit was that my energy level increased and stayed pretty constant throughout the day as my body adjusted to the new system.We had a couple of diabetic friends who tried it and were over the moon with their now constant energy levels.

The greatest thing about this book is that its techniques are sustainable. It is more a method and style of eating than a diet. The only times in the last fifteen years when my weight has gone up have been when I was knowingly way off the diet. For example; two trips to the states and a heavy holiday season left me at 207 pounds in mid-January this year. Back onto Montignac and I’m down to 188 and have been for over a month. I’d like to lose another 5 pounds, but seem to be stuck at the moment.

So, what’s the secret? In a nutshell, no simple carbohydrates. Sounds & is a bit like Atkins, but this is far more balanced and sustainable. You have to read the book to get all of his logic about glycerin indexes and so forth, but practically you cut out: white flour, sugar and potatoes. (There are some other minor simple carb foods as well) You eat pretty much everything else. We eat lots of vegetables and salads all year round accompanied by all kinds of meat & fish. We, especially me, eat lots of cheese and we drink wine. It’s not at all hard to stay on and it’s not about quantity. We eat full sized meals. You do need to cut out or at least severely cut back on wine during the weight loss phase. No beer, of course. Once at the weight you want to be you go into the maintenance where you make choices like; do I have another glass of wine? Or do I have that sweet dessert instead?

Enough preaching! It works for us and you can still exercise all of your culinary skills, dine well and be healthy. Give it a go.

I’d love to hear from anyone else who eats this way or has tried the diet.


Anonymous said...

Hi Yank,
I followed your link from e-gullet. Have you seen Bleu d'Auvergne's thread on following this diet (with some sucess if I recall correctly)? Starting your own blog is a great idea as eG's format can be limiting at times. I look forward to reading your thoughts. What kind of dog is that cute thing anyway?

Yank said...

Hi Anon
No haven't seen Blue's thread, but will make a point of having a look soon.
I'm going to put up a new post as I've done homework on the diet & found
that there's awebsite & more books I wasn't aware of. Watch this space.
His name is Rupert and he's a standard poodle. Caniche Royal here in France.
20 months old & very smart, just as all of our poodles have been.
Thanks for the comment.

Anonymous said...

Here at Cooking In Season we love to create food. We love to use the freshest ingredients we can find, from pumpkin puree, acorn squash, roasted pumpkin seeds and mushrooms in the fall to Michigan blueberries bursting with flavor in July and August, we create our recipes around what is in harvest right now.