The Montignac diet is based on the assumption that the main causes of overweight are those carbohydrates that rapidly raise blood sugar levels. This diet can be recommended to everyone, because it contains all the necessary nutrients and from time to time you can afford small pleasures. Montignac diet principles are simple, we do not count calories, eat so much that we do not feel hunger, properly combine carbohydrates, proteins and fats, choosing products with a low glycemic index (IG).
Michel Montignac, the author of this method, lost almost 15 kg on his diet within 3 months. At that time, he worked in the scientific department of one of the American pharmaceutical concerns and collected materials about the risk of developing diabetes. He knew that obese people had elevated insulin levels. This hormone produced by the pancreas transmits to the cells part of the glucose (sugar) present in the blood. It is used there as a source of energy necessary for life and burnt. The rest of the insulin goes to the energy store, i.e. the adipose tissue. If the blood is constantly excess of sugar, the pancreas works at high speed, because it has to produce more and more insulin. And more insulin is more sugar that goes into fat cells and more … kilos.
Those nutrients that give sugar during the digestion process are carbohydrates. The main source of them are vegetable foods, vegetables, fruits, cereals. But also milk, because it contains sugars – lactose and galactose, and honey, which consists primarily of glucose and fructose. Montignac came to the research, which shows that some carbohydrates cause a slight increase in blood sugar levels, while others very high. The former do not force the pancreas to overproduce insulin, and thus do not fatten. The latter, causing high sugar fluctuations, promote obesity and diabetes (the level of glucose after fasting is growing rapidly, but it also drops quickly, and this makes us feel hungry and reach for another portion of food). For example, if you eat 400 g of lentils, your body will produce sugar with a potential of 80 kcal. 300 g of potatoes is a sugar giving 4 times as much energy (320 kcal!).
Hundreds of food products were tested to assess the ability of glucose to be released in the human body. As a measure, the so-called Glycemic index (IG), which determines how the blood glucose level will increase after consuming 50 g of a given product. The lower the IG, the less glucose from the given food goes to the blood. Montignac divided products into 3 groups with low, medium and high GI. The most beneficial ones in the slimming process are those with a small IG.
Check it: Sugar – yes or no?
Products prohibited in the Montignac diet
In the Montignac diet, products with a glycemic index (GI) above 50 are banned, e.g. potatoes (except young ones), white flour, corn, white rice, white bread, sugar, sweets, cakes, sweetened jams, honey, bananas, grapes, dried fruits, fries, beer.
Attention! The glycemic index of the product may vary depending on the preparation method, e.g. raw carrots have IG 16, cooked – 47.
Products recommended in the Montignac diet
Products rich in carbohydrates, whose glycemic index does not exceed
- VEGETABLES eggplant, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, red beets (raw), onion, courgette, chicory, endive, green beans, cauliflower, cabbage, carrot (raw), cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, leeks, turnips, radishes, lettuce, celery, skrzera , sorrel, asparagus, spinach.
- FRESH FRUITS gooseberry, avocado, peaches, figs, grapefruit, pomegranate, pears, apples, blueberries, raspberries, maracuja, apricots (also dried), mulberry, nectarines, oranges, red currants, plums, strawberries, cherries.
Lozenges chickpeas, beans (all species), peas, green peas (fresh or frozen), lentils.
- SEEDS AND CEREALS amaranth, barley, almonds, linseed, sesame, poppy seed, sunflower seeds, peanut, hazelnut, cashew, pistachio, Italian, rice (only brown and wild), soy (also tofu and milk).
- OTHER natural yoghurt, chocolate (bitter over 70% cocoa), bamboo shoots, D muszon mustard, agave syrup, mushrooms.
Our food is not only carbohydrates, but they are the basis of the diet. Proteins and fats are also important. There are a lot of them in the Montignac diet. 1/3 of the daily intake should be protein products, i.e. lean meat and lean dairy products (the one from cow’s milk needs to be kept to a minimum, because it contains a lot of sugars). Also leguminous plants are valuable in this respect. Protein is a building block for tissues and a source of energy. It provides a feeling of fullness and helps in slimming. Fat is also necessary, but only the one containing valuable for health omega-3 and omega-6 acids. Eat, therefore, dishes with the addition of olive oil or sunflower oil, but avoid butter and cream. And eat oily fish. It has been proven that they lower cholesterol and protect the cardiovascular system.
Montignac diet an important principle of combining ingredients
Montignac noticed that the digestive processes run more efficiently when the carbohydrates, proteins and fats are properly balanced in the meal. Low-IG carbohydrates are best eaten in the company of proteins. Radishes with lean curd, barley flakes with skimmed milk, green beans with turkey, lettuce with fish, peppers with home-made pate are perfect combinations. However, it is not advisable to combine fruits with proteins and fats, because they will ferment in the stomach. The exception are strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries and currants. Montignac advises that fruits should be eaten on an empty stomach, preferably with a peel (sugars from fruits eaten on an empty stomach are used best, because at night they supplement the supply of glycogen needed for muscle and brain work). Products that provide a lot of fat can be safely administered with protein and good carbohydrates, i.e. those with IG below 35. We eat a large portion of salmon with lettuce or cucumber, eggs with cured meat, spinach, but without bread, duck breast with cabbage, but never with pasta or potatoes.
Montignac diet – principles
- In the Montignac diet, only products with a glycemic index below 50 are allowed.
- The first phase, or throwing away unnecessary kilograms. It should last no less than 2-3 months. An additional goal of phase I is to stabilize the pancreas to respond to insulin production adequately to the needs – you avoid stimulating it, which is why this phase is more restrictive.
- Do not combine high IG products with fats in one meal.
- You can choose between two types of protein-fat and carbohydrate-protein meals. The first may include skimmed milk and semi-skimmed milk, yogurt, fish, sausages, meat and carbohydrate products with an IG of 35 or less. The second type is composed of skim milk, yoghurt and carbohydrates with IG up to 50.
- You do not leave any meal, you eat a rich breakfast, a normal lunch and a delicate dinner (at regular times), from time to time an afternoon snack. You do not poddadziesz.
- You take care to eat 1.5 g of protein every day for every kilogram of body weight. If you weigh 70 kg, you should eat 105 g of protein, i.e. 10 grams of lean curd, 15 grams of cod, egg and 15 grams of buckwheat.
- Breaks between meals can not be shorter than 3 hours, after a dish containing fat you can eat after 4 hours. Eat dinner at least 3-4 hours before bedtime.
- After the raw fruit you reach only half an hour before a meal or 3 hours after it (but not in the evening).
- You only buy durum wheat pasta (look for this name on dumplings). You prepare them so that they are al dente, i.e. cooked half-hard. Traditional and long-cooked pastas have a high glycemic index.
- Bread (wholemeal!) You only eat for breakfast.
- You avoid strong coffee, which increases the secretion of insulin – one of the hunger hormones.
- You drink large amounts of still mineral water between meals (about 2 l per day).
- A glass of dry wine with a meal is acceptable from alcohol. Never before!
- The second phase, that is, maintaining the weight obtained. It is indefinite – its recommendations are worth taking to heart for life.
- You eat carbohydrates with an IG of not more than 50. Occasionally you can afford to combine them with fats.
- Once in a while, you can eat something with a high glycemic index, but you need to supplement the meal with a product with a very low GI, for example, for boiled potatoes add tomatoes or lettuce. For larger departures (eg a family party with cake or an evening with a pizza) it is worth returning for a day or two to phase I.
You can read also: Mediterranean diet