Originally, the Montignac plan could be considered as part of the separate plans. However, as scientific discoveries have been made, the Montignac diet has evolved to suggest a judicious combination of carbohydrates with lipids and proteins, rather than a dissociated diet. In fact, all food groups are present at every meal.
What is the Montignac diet?
The Montignac diet was developed by the businessman of the same name. This plan is often referred to as the “managers’ plan”. With this diet – which is not strictly speaking a diet but rather a method – there is no deprivation: you simply learn how to choose your food.
It was one of the first diets to look at the concept of a glycemic index (GI) for weight loss.
- The glycemic index indicates that a food raises blood sugar levels, which causes the body to secrete insulin, a hormone that stores sugars and fats.
- The higher the GI of a food, the more it has an impact on weight gain and vice versa.
The Montignac diet is therefore based on :
- The concept of glycemic index (in other words, the quality of carbohydrates). Michel Montignac realized that poor quality carbohydrates stimulate insulin secretion in an abnormal way, which favours the storage of fats. 3 classes of carbohydrates can be distinguished:
- The “bad carbohydrates”, i.e. those with a high glycemic index: potatoes, white bread, chips, croissants, corn, classic breakfast cereals, etc. They should be excluded.
- Good carbohydrates, such as wholemeal bread, pasta, basmati rice, wholegrain cereals… They can be eaten with a minimum of fat.
- Very good carbohydrates: legumes, fruits, vegetables, oilseeds, etc. They can be combined with fats.
- The choice of good quality lipids: mono and polyunsaturated fats (including the famous omega 3) are preferred not only for their health benefits, but also because they are difficult to store.
- Preferring natural products, rich in fibre, minerals and vitamins.
The 2 phases of the Montignac diet
The slimming phase
Duration: the time of the weight loss.
This phase is intense. The aim is to almost completely eliminate carbohydrates from the diet (except those from fruit and vegetables, oilseeds, dairy products) and never to combine these carbohydrates with lipids (fats). This leads to ketosis.
The stabilization and prevention phase
Duration: for life.
The choice of carbohydrates is a little freer than during the slimming phase, even if it is always made according to the GI. Small deviations are allowed, and carbohydrates and fats can be combined again.
The keys to losing weight with Montignac Diet
- You have to agree to change your diet permanently.
- Practicing a sport is important because it also helps to maintain blood sugar levels and therefore enhances the effectiveness of the diet.
Benefits of the Montignac Diet
The Montignac Plan has some interesting advantages:
- The body is not forced to lose weight: it loses weight at its own pace, as balance is restored as blood sugar levels are brought under control.
- It is easy to follow and allows small treats.
- It is effective for everyone, including active people and intense working life (no feeling of hunger).
- It allows you to learn healthy eating habits (eating vegetables, legumes, fruit, not snacking, doing sports, avoiding sugary drinks…).
Disadvantages of the Montignac Diet
The Montignac Diet has a few drawbacks to be aware of:
- It generally does not allow a rapid weight loss: 1 kg per week on average (but the weight loss is long-lasting).
- It can be complicated to follow because you need to know the glycemic intake of foods.
- Initially, the presence of fibre can cause digestive discomfort in sensitive individuals.
- Fructose is recommended when it is now known that it should be avoided. It overburdens the liver by making triglycerides.
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