Stages of the Montignac Diet

Unlike other diets, the goal of the Montignac diet is to maintain a healthy weight after significant weight loss. In other words, it can help avoid the rebound effect.
Stages of the Montignac Diet

Last update: 13 March, 2020

The Montignac diet is one of many options out there for weight loss. It became popular in the 90s, and people are still talking about it. The interesting thing about the Montignac diet is that it doesn’t require you to count calories, or heavily restrict them.

The diet differentiates foods based on their glycemic index. Foods with a high glycemic index aren’t completely prohibited, and you can eat lots of protein. This diet is divided into stages, and that’s what we’ll be talking about today.

Before starting this or any weight loss plan, talk to your doctor or a nutritionist. Also, remember that the information in this article is in no way a substitute for expert medical advice.

The phases of the Montignac diet

Michel Montignac developed a way of organizing food based on what you hope to get out of your diet. This is a fairly advanced approach because it promotes the idea that there’s a way to eat for every need, body, age, or purpose.

In fact, you can find books about all the different ways that people should be eating. For example, there’s a diet for heart attack prevention, and another for women who have just had babies. 

However, in this particular diet, there are two types of stages. The first stage is designed to help you lose weight, and the second is designed to help you maintain a healthy weight. This makes this plan unique because most diets focus only on weight loss.

Phase 1: a focus on weight loss

If you want this plan to work for you, it’s important to know the rules and guiding principles of each phase of the Montignac diet. For example, even from the beginning, you’re allowed to eat until you’re full.

The main issue is the quality and type of food that you’re eating. For example, breakfast should be low in fat and rich in healthy carbohydrates. When we say “healthy” carbs, we’re talking about natural sources of carbohydrates.

A person buttering a piece of toast at breakfast.

For lunch, the important thing is to include a protein, a source of healthy fats, and a carbohydrate. Though carbohydrates have been demonized a lot in recent years, they’re actually quite good for your health.

Dinner should be quite low in fat. Otherwise, the guidelines are similar to those for a healthy lunch. Another goal during this first stage of the diet is to avoid snacking between meals.

In addition to those general guidelines for meals, the Montignac diet offers other tips:

  • Avoid sugary drinks. These tend to be responsible for your body storing fat. Instead, whole fruits should be your primary source of glucose.
  • Limit your saturated fatsEat cold cuts, pork, and other sources of unhealthy fat very sparingly. Fish, olive oil, and other sources of healthy fat, on the other hand, are encouraged.
  • Healthy carbs. Opt for carbs with a glycemic index of 35 or less. You can eat bread, dried fruit, some fruit, and vegetables. Whole grains are also a good option.

Stage 2 of the Montignac diet: maintaining a healthy weight

When you’ve reached a healthy weight, you can start stage two of the diet. Some people are already at a healthy weight, so they skip stage one entirely and start at stage two. Here, the principles are similar but there are fewer restrictions.

A person measuring their waist.

In the morning, stick to healthy carbs. You can also add some healthy fats. Lunch is the best time for heavier foods, and dinner is the same as in stage one. During stage two, you can incorporate snacks as well, so you eat about six times a day.

This diet is focused on balance. The point isn’t to cut calories, or deprive you of anything, but to adequately nourish you while maintaining a healthy weight. Here are some additional tips:

  • Include a splurge meal every now and then. Once you’ve reached a healthy weight, give in to your guilty pleasures sometimes. As long as it doesn’t happen too often, you won’t be taking a big risk with your weight.
  • Fruit and starches don’t go together. This is an important rule to help you avoid eating too much sugar. For example, you shouldn’t eat banana and rice in the same meal on a regular basis.

To conclude, it’s worth noting that the creator of this diet was a pharmacist and businessman. He created the diet because he was struggling with being overweight and wanted to find a solution. We should also mention that this diet is loosely based on the ancient eating habits of people from the Mediterranean.

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