LOSE WEIGHT THE "FRENCH WAY"
From the excellent book written by Michel Montignac
"Dine Out & Lose Weight"



The principles of nutrition which I recommend in this book were originally intended for the French public whose eating habits are quite different from those of a country like the United States of America. I wrote this book for my compatriots to warn them that the more they abandon the culinary traditions of their country, the more they would suffer the secondary effects of bad diet, as is the case in the Anglo-Saxon countries.

Such is the image of gastronomic delight which French cuisine inspires in the American imagination; the mere mention of it to an American will make his or her face suddenly light up with pleasure. But this initial reaction of pleasure is quickly followed by a more cynical attitude, as the average American is also convinced that French cooking is much too rich, according to dietary beliefs in the U.S.

In Paris, I once met a young American woman of 25 with the figure of a model. I asked her if she had always looked that way. "No," she replied, "when I arrived in France I was 14 pounds overweight which I'd put on during my studies at the University."
"What did you do to lose them?"
"Nothing!" she told me. "I've been living with a traditional French family in Paris for a year and all I had to do to get rid of the extra kilos was to eat like the French."

On the other hand, I often get desperate calls from French parents whose children have spent a few months in the U.S. and who return with a worrying weight problem. It should be noted that apart from Japan, France has the lowest average weight of all Western countries.

Obesity is rare (about 4 times less than in the U.S.), and when it occurs it is fairly limited. It is also rare for a French person to know his or her cholesterol level, as the rate of cardiovascular disease is very low in France (3-4 times lower than the US according to the WHO- World Health Organization). Only Japan does slightly better. (Note from FWNC: Since the invasion of fast foods restaurants, obesity has become a problem in France as well!)

The reason for this is not genetic. The difference is quite simply dietary habits, including two main factors:
First, we must examine the nature of food itself. The French diet is more varied. The French eat more green vegetables, and therefore more fiber. They do not eat sandwiches or hamburgers and most of all they consume less sugar (77 lbs. per person per year compared to 150 lbs. in the US).

They drink wine (10 times more than in the US) which has been proven to have exceptional nutritional qualities when taken in moderation. In particular, it protects against cardiovascular disease which is definitely not the case of beer and soft drinks (cola, sodas, etc.) where the reverse is true.

The second reason is that the method of eating is different in France. French people eat 3 meals a day and do not snack between them. Lunch is a full meal over which much time is spent. A full meal consists of an appetizer, a main course and a dessert, usually cheese.

In French schools there is always a cafeteria which serves a normal meal; the ritual of the peanut butter and jelly sandwich in a lunch box does not exist. At the workplace there is a proper lunch break and the food provided is not only varied but usually fresh and cooked at the last moment.

Home cooking is also important; it only takes a few seconds to make "French" dressing, mayonnaise or tomato sauce.

Every evening the whole family gathers for dinner around the same table to share a meal including a starter, main dish and dessert. Butter, charcuterie, oil, foie gras, fresh cream, cheese and wine are all part of the French daily diet and yet the French suffer from neither obesity nor heart disease.

Many American observers, journalists in particular, are beginning to make the same remarks and address their questions to American medical experts:
Why should we continue to restrict the calorie intake of our citizens, to remove cholesterol and fat from their food and to exhaust them with physical exercise, to achieve only poor results, or, as in the case of obesity, even worse results? Would it not be wiser to first try to understand why the situation is better in France where pleasure and gastronomy dominate everyday nutrition?

I believe this book partially answers these questions.
I wrote this book originally for the French so they could be made aware of the risks they run in letting themselves be seduced by the American example of fast food and soft drinks, and the advantage of conserving traditional French nutritional habits. At the same time, it can show Americans the real reasons why they have reached a crisis point with regard to their eating habits.

If they wish to achieve long-lasting results, which is easy if the recommendations found in this book are followed, they should accept two principles:
First, they should realize that it is the disorganized way in which they eat, rather than the quantity they may eat, which is at the root of their weight problem. They should also admit that all the sauce, mayonnaise and other prepackaged foods constitute "polluted" foods, if only because of the astronomic amounts of sugar, starch and preservatives they contain. They should then agree to change their eating habits.
Nibbling and frequent prepackaged meals and sandwiches should be dropped. New habits such as respect for lunchtime and the systematic checking of food labels to identify undesirable ingredients should be developed.

Experience has proven that the principles of nutrition contained in this book are quite compatible with the American way of life. During my stays in the US, I have personally verified that all restaurants and even fast food chains and coffee shops include on their menus a possible choice of meal which corresponds to the rules of the method we propose. We have also shown that all the products and foods particularly recommended can be found in all American shops from the East Coast to the West. The adoption of these principles of nutrition is therefore completely compatible with a typical American family and professional life.
The only real effort to be made is "gastronomic".


You are willing to improve your health (and your heart) by losing weight. Not easy!
You probably know that there is absolutely NO miracle pills to achieve that goal with LONG TERM results. But if you take the time to read all 4 pages of this document, you will understand what "might" be the cause(s) of your weight and what you could do about it.

If you need to know exactly how many lbs. you need to lose to be in the "healthy - normal" range... click here and come back to this page after this BMI test.



FOOD CLASSIFICATION

Personally, I find this to be one of the most worthwhile chapters. The technical explanations of the different food categories outlined in this section are crucial to following my weight-loss method. You will discover how to make eclectic choices of the various food groups and to distribute them accordingly during each meal. I urge you to read this chapter attentively so as to fully absorb the importance of its meaning. Please remember that you should return to it as often as necessary in order to completely understand how the method works, or everything may fail.

Foods are edible substances that contain a number of organic elements such as proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, minerals and vitamins, as well as water and non-digestible matter.

PROTEINS (or PROTIDS)

Proteins are the organic cells that make up living matter: muscles, organs, the brain, the skeletal structure, etc. They are made up of simpler bodies called amino acids. Some amino acids are produced by the body, but for the most part, they are introduced into the system through different ingested foods.

Protein comes from two sources:
- Animal sources: meats, fishes, cheese, eggs and milk.
- Vegetable sources: soybean, almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts and certain leguminous plants.
Foods from plant sources, except soybean, generally contain a low amount of protein. They therefore cannot fulfill our physiological needs alone. On the other hand, a diet low in protein can lead to serious consequences: muscle deterioration, wrinkling of the skin, rupture of certain organs, etc.

It is necessary to consume about three ounces of protein per day. Protein is necessary to produce globules, secrete hormones, produce scar tissue, and maintain muscle tone. If the amount of (animal) proteins consumed is too great when physical activity is low, unburned residue will remain in the body and turn into uric acid which is usually the cause of gout and arthrosis. (note from FWNC: check your body pH to see if too much acidity is present in our system)

CARBOHYDRATES

Carbohydrates are molecules composed of carbon, oxygen and hydrogen. They can be reduced to three simple sugars: glucose, fructose and galactose.

Glycemia (too little sugar or too much sugar in the blood sysem)
(Hypo=under - Hyper=over)

Glucose is the body's principle "fuel." It is stored, in reserve, under the form of glycogen, where it is found in the muscles and in the liver.

Glycemia represents the blood's glucose level.

On an empty stomach, the glucose level is usually one gram per one liter of blood. After glucose has been absorbed by the ingestion of bread, honey, cereal, sweets, etc., the variation of the blood's glucose level can be examined.
In the first phase, the glycemia increases (more or less according to the nature of the carbohydrate).
In the second phase, after an insulin secretion from the pancreas, the glucose level decreases and the glucose penetrates into the cells.
In the third phase, the glucose level reverts back to its (normal) level.

Notes from Four Winds Nutrition Club
"Exhaustion of the pancreas and the adrenals:
Regular consumption of sugar and complex carbohydrates tend to create the yoyo effect of high blood sugar and low blood sugar, exhausting the function of both the pancreas and the adrenals. This usually leads to blood sugar diseases such as hypoglycemia and diabetes."
Béatrice Duplantier-Rhea N.D.

For a long time, carbohydrates were placed in two distinct categories:
"quick sugars" and "slow sugars."
These two classifications correspond to the assimilation rate needed by the body to absorb these sugars.
"Quick sugars" are really "simple sugars", such as sacharose and fructose. They are found in processed sugar (extracted from sugarcane or beets), honey and fruits. The name "quick sugar" was originally employed because it aptly described the carbohydrate's molecular simplicity which allows for a rapid assimilation rate by the body after ingestion.

Conversely, in the "slow sugar" category, the sugars have a more complex molecular structure which must chemically convert them into simple sugars in order for the body to absorb them. Starchy foods are a good example of slow sugars, for their digestive process is slow and progressive.

The classification of these carbohydrates as quick sugars and slow sugars is today considered outdated because it is based on an erroneous belief. Recent experiments have shown that the carbohydrate's molecular complexity does not play a role in the rapidity or speed in which glucose is freed and assimilated by the body. These studies have even shown that the glycemic peak of both quick sugars and slow sugars, (that is to say, their maximum absorption level), taken independently on an empty stomach, occurs during the same lapse of time (around half an hour after their ingestion).

Rather than spending time explaining the rapidity of carbohydrate assimilation, let us move on to a more pertinent subject: carbohydrates and the increased glycemic effect they produce in the body.
Scientists and others in the nutrition field admit that the carbohydrate classification as "quick sugars" and "slow sugars" should really be defined by the hyperglycemic potential as shown on the glycemic index.

The Glycemic Index

The glycemic potential of each carbohydrate is defined by the glycemic index which was first used in 1976. The glycemic index rises corresponding to the level of hyperglycemia. Thus, the higher the glycemic index, the higher the hyperglycemic rate will be. It should be noted that chemical processing increases the glycemic index. For example, corn flakes have a glycemic index of 85, while corn in its natural state has a glycemic index of 70; instant potatoes' glycemic index is 95, while boiled potatoes have a glycemic index of 70.

We know that fiber quantity can produce a high or low glycemic index. However, fiber quality also plays an important role in the glycemic index. For example, white bread has a glycemic index of 70 while whole wheat bread has a glycemic index of only 45. The same applies to white rice whose glycemic index is 70 while whole rice has a glycemic index of 50.

GLYCEMIC INDEX CHART
HIGH GLYCEMIC INDEX
LOW GLYCEMIC INDEX
Maltose (beer)
110
  Whole rice
50
Glucose
100
  Whole wheat bread
50
White bread
95
  Whole wheat pasta
45
Instant potatoes
95
  Fresh white beans
40
Honey/jam
90
  Oatmeal
40
Cornflakes, popcorn
85
  Whole rye bread
40
Carrots
85
  Green peas
40
Refined sugar
75
  Whole cereals
35
Corn
70
  Dairy products
35
Beets
70
  Wild rice
35
White rice
70
  Fresh fruits
35
Cookies
70
  Lentils
30
Boiled potatoes
70
  Chick peas
30
White flour pasta
65
  Dried beans
30
Bananas
60
  Dried peas
30
Raisins
60
  Dark chocolate
22
Fructose
20
  Soya
15
 
  Green vegetables
15


In order to simplify matters for our personal use, I propose that carbohydrates be placed into two categories:
"Bad carbohydrates" (carbohydrates having a high glycemic index)
"Good carbohydrates" (carbohydrates having a low glycemic index).
This classification will enable you to discover in the following pages, the reason, among others, for your being overweight.

Carbo Grabbers
Bad Carbohydrates

Bad carbohydrates have an assimilation process which provokes a glucose increase in the blood (glycemia). For instance, glycemia occurs when table sugar is ingested (in no matter what form, be it pure, cakes, candy, etc.).
This holds true for all processed foods as well: refined flour, rice, potatoes, corn and even alcohol (especially distilled alcohol).



Good Carbohydrates


Contrary to previous thought, good carbohydrates are responsible for a small increase in the blood's glucose level. For example, whole cereals, unrefined flour, whole rice and certain starchy foods, such as lentils and beans, provide good sources of good carbohydrates.
Fruits and most vegetables (leeks, turnips, lettuce, green beans, etc.) are also found in the good carbohydrate group.

Note from Four Winds Nutrition (BĂ©atrice Duplantier-Rhea N.D.)
1. We have read this book for you and found it very interesting, helpful and clear. However, one must not forget that each person is an individual with his/her own blood type, metabolic rate, state of health and age as well as one's heredity. We are here to help those who have questions.

2. There are 4 "files" on this subject (weight). We urge you to read all 4 files by clicking the link at the end of each page.

Please follow with: Lipids or Fats