Any diet book that has a sub-chapter titled, “I Want Wine, Chocolate and Bread,” is a book worth reading. The Parisian Diet, How to Reach Your Right Weight and Stay There written by Dr. Jean-Michel Cohen, who is like the Dr. Oz of France, is an easy to read, straight forward meal plan that I think most people would find viable.
Weight loss is a complex issue and he delves into the cultural, scientific and psychological reasons behind the growing trend of obesity. His belief is that you have to understand the causes of your weight gain before you can modify your behaviors through diet.
The toughest part for me to read was actually in the preface where he wrote, “I fell in love with American culture…So today, I am perplexed to see a country that has always exuded such strength and vitality now allowing the world to view its typical citizen as obese and its national cuisine as junk food.” Ouch!
Tough love aside, his plan allows for the occasional indulgences, such as wine, chocolate, cheese and pasta, provided you do the recovery plan afterwards. He notes a major cultural difference between France and the United States, which is that French people eat three meals per day and spend up to two hours savoring each bite versus Americans who snack in a rather chaotic fashion throughout the day, eat at their desk and miss out on the social and pleasurable factor of food. He suggests eliminating snacking and taking time to enjoy your food.
The diet has three phases: Cafe Phase (most restrictive phase, should only be done for about 10 days,) Bistro Phase (follow for two to three weeks,) and the Gourmet phase (follow for three months.) During this time period he states you can lose up to 30 pounds.
He also gives you a way to calculate your “right weight,” recipes, strategies for overcoming common stumbling blocks (“I’m hungry,” “I’m tired,” “I messed up the diet,”) and suggestions for what to order when you are dining out.
I’m currently training for my next bodybuilding competition so I’m on a very strict diet, but when my show is over and I’m in the off season I actually want to say bonjour to The Parisian Diet. I miss chocolate, wine and bread!
P.S. – I was not compensated for this post, just given a copy of the book to review. The opinions expressed here are entirely my own.
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