Tuesday, 1 January 2013

THE METHOD OF WEIGHT LOSS


THE METHOD OF WEIGHT LOSS


So here we are at the heart of the matter. You may have found the previous chapters rather long, given that you are dying to discover what you actually have to do and itching to get down to applying the rules. After all, they are what will enable you to attain your goal of losing weight and never putting it on again, and all this while continuing to lead your normal social, professional and family life.

But I must stress, especially to any of you who felt inclined to skip some of the preceding chapters, that they are absolutely essential if you are to apply the principles of the method logically and successfully. It is, indeed, vital to understand how certain mechanisms work and also to rid your head forever of a few popular misconceptions on weight loss, such as the calorie theory.

As I have already explained, the method has two phases:

  1. the actual weight loss phase
  1.  the stable weight phase, when you cruise along steadily, maintaining your new ideal weight.

PHASES I WEIGHT LOSS


First and foremost, with a new undertaking and an ambitious one at that it is important to set yourself a clear goal.
So you should decide how many pounds you want to lose. Of course, each individual's body has its own rate of response, determined by a number of factors: gender, age, nutritional and dietary history, and heredity. This is why it is difficult to say how many pounds a week you will be able to lose. Some people may shed two pounds, others a bit less. And some people experience a dramatic weight loss at first, followed by more gradual loss. So do not worry if it takes you longer than someone else you know.

Perhaps you already have a more or less clear idea of how much you would like to lose. Many people would be happy to get rid of, say, half a stone to a stone, when really they could do with shedding twice that much. Personally, I would encourage you to aim high. After all, you are no doubt a perfectionist in your work. Why not be a perfectionist about your figure too?

FOODS TO MONITOR CLOSELY


I know from experience that, psychologically, it is not a good idea to begin on a negative note. So I always used to try and start by emphasising to people what they were allowed to eat, and then telling them what they were not. But this really is unnecessarily tedious, since the list of what you can eat is so long that it could go on forever. The list of what is forbidden is, by contrast, so short but so important that it is worth concentrating on that first.

SUGAR


Sugar is the hands-down, outright winner in the bad carbohydrates stakes. It should always carry the skull and crossbones symbol, like other lethal substances. For it is indeed a product that can be positively dangerous when consumed in large quantities as it unfortunately is by most people in our society, and especially by children.

Elsewhere I have devoted a whole chapter to sugar, so that you can be convinced once and for all of its evil role in our diet and of its nefarious consequences, not only in terms of excess weight, but also and most importantly because it is implicated in chronic fatigue, diabetes, gastritis, ulcers, dental caries and heart disease.

You may think it is impossible to do without sugar. Well, it is not. The proof is that for tens of thousands of years human beings did not have such a thing, and they were none the worse for that. Just the opposite, in fact.

Less than 200 years ago, sugar was still a luxury hardly ever available to most of the population. Today it does as much harm as alcohol and drugs put together.

But, you ask, if you cut out sugar completely, how do you maintain the essential minimum of glucose in your bloodstream?

A good question!

The answer is that the body does not need to get sugar from outside (this is just what upsets the blood glucose level). It can produce its own sugar in the form of glucose when it needs it, and this is far and away what it prefers to do. Glucose is, of course, the body's only fuel.

The body determines how much glucose it needs as it goes along, and as it does so, body fat is simply converted into the glucose needed. So no more sugar! You can take one of two courses; either do without (with my full approval) or replace it with an artificial sweetener).

BREAD


Bread could have taken a whole chapter to itself, there are so many things that could be said about it. Good things, if we are talking about ”good bread”, so rare a commodity these days, but especially bad things when it comes to the unsatisfactory product being sold by most bakeries.

Ordinary bread, being made with refined flour, is totally devoid of anything of use to the normal human metabolism. Nutritionally, its only contribution is energy in the form of starch. From the digestive point of view, it means nothing but trouble, given that all the elements that would ensure it was well digested have been removed in the course of refining the flour. Moreover, the whiter the bread is, the ”worse” it is, since its whiteness is the result of the flour being very heavily refined. Wholemeal bread[1], and especially 100% stone ground wholemeal bread, are much more acceptable, being made in the old-fashioned way with unrefined flours containing fibre. They release notably less glucose than white bread and are therefore less ”fattening”. But good though they are, even these types of bread will temporarily be ruled out, at least with main meals. You should, however, eat them normally at breakfast. We will look at this in detail a little later on. If you are worried about giving up bread, let me reassure you right away. If, in common with 95 % of the population, you consume ordinary white bread, you have nothing to lose but your excess pounds by giving it up. On the contrary, you have everything to gain from such a wise decision, refined flour being so bad for your health. On the other hand, if you normally eat only stone ground or other wholemeal bread, made with unrefined flour (which shows you already have some good eating habits), you may lose the advantages of the fibre in giving it up.

But rest assured, not only can you go on eating it for breakfast, but we shall also be recommending that you consume fibre-containing vegetables, which are of as much, if not more, benefit for good intestinal function.

STARCHY FOODS


By starchy foods I mean floury foods containing starch. Most such foods are bad carbohydrates and some need to be completely excluded from your diet. The number one starchy food is the potato. You nay be interested to know that when the potato was brought back from the New World by explorers in 540, the French firmly rejected it, considering this root vegetable fit only for pigs. They thought it so unpleasant they refused to eat it, unlike some “northern” European peoples, such as the Germans, the Scandinavians and the Irish, who took to it readily. It has to be said that some of these people had relatively little choice, often having not much else to eat.

For two centuries the French continued to pour corn on the ”pig root". It was not until 1789, when Larmentier published his Treatise on the cultivation and uses of the potato, that people in France finally came round to eating it. The famine that was raging at the time was an additional incentive. It was later discovered that the potato is rich in vitamins and minerals, though it loses most of these when it is cooked and, especially, when it is peeled.

Recent tests have shown that the potato releases a very large quantity of glucose into the system. Traditional nutritionists generally classed the potato as a ”slow sugar”, but this is mistaken. Compared to the glycaemic index of 100 of pure glucose, the boiled potato has been shown to have a glycaemic index of 70, which makes it a bad carbohydrate. Moreover, it has also been demonstrated that the method of cooking potato changes the structure of its molecule, which can make matters worse: mashed potato has an index of 90, while baking potatoes in the oven causes their index to shoot up to 95! So you can look upon the steaming potato on your neighbour's plate with the utmost contempt! And remember, chips are potatoes too. (I can feel your resolution beginning to weaken!)
Chips are a carbohydrate-lipid food, rather like buttered bread. They simply cannot be eaten without the risk of putting on weight, since the oil used in the frying can be laid down as body fat.
So think of steak and chips as an absolute heresy! Do not let the thought of this worst of all possible dietary combinations even cross your mind! The lipid from the meat and the bad carbohydrate from the chips constitute a mixture that goes against nature.
I know the cost of foregoing this favourite meal, but it is the price to be paid for reaching your goal. When you hit your target weight, you will have no regrets about the sacrifice. What is more, chips are frequently fried in fats which are very high in saturated fatty acids, consumption of which constitutes a significant risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

However, once or twice a year I eat chips: not because I give in when confronted with a plateful, but because I make a conscious decision to eat them (when you are no longer trying to lose weight, you can afford to make this kind of decision). But I do not eat just any chips. If you are going to indulge in a dietary discrepancy, you may as well savour it to the full and choose the best to be had. And for maximum damage limitation, accompany your chips with a green salad. Not only is it delicious, but the fibre in the salad tends to trap the starch, turning the combination into a carbohydrate which releases a more limited quantity of glucose.

When you order meat in a restaurant, get into the habit of asking what is served with it. There is always an alternative to potatoes. You can ask for French beans, tomato, spinach, aubergines, celery, cauliflower, courgettes. And if, unfortunately, there are only bad carbohydrates to choose from, then order a side-salad.

At home, when it comes to deciding what to serve with meat, adopt the same principle. Dried beans
Some of you will no doubt be expecting me to condemn beans out of hand, given what I have just said about potato. Well, you will be wrong! In the first edition of this book, it is true, I spared neither the bean nor that noblest of dishes in which it features, the cassoulet. I now make amends for my hastiness. I have since discovered, to my surprise and great satisfaction, the virtues of the haricot bean. From now on, it must be classed as a good carbohydrate by virtue of its very low glycaemic index[2].

In addition, it is high in vegetable fibre (particularly soluble fibres) and in minerals.
So it is possible to eat beans in Phase I in the course of a protein-lipid meal.


Rice


Wholegrain rice, as it is traditionally consumed in Asia, is an entire food in itself, containing all the nutritional elements essential to life.

The white rice generally eaten these days, however, is heavily refined, to the extent that it retains hardly any nutrients, except starch, the one thing we could well do without.

Ordinary refined rice must therefore be excluded since, just like refined flour, it constitutes a bad carbohydrate with high release of glucose[3]. Wholegrain rice, on the other hand, or even better Canadian wild rice, can be eaten, as long as it is not mixed with lipids, such as butter or cheese. Served with tomatoes (reduced by cooking) and onions, it can make a complete dish to be enjoyed by the whole family. It is a great pity it is so difficult to find wholegrain. rice in restaurants, but this may be due to its slightly unappealing grey-brown colour.


Corn (Maize)


Maize has been cultivated for centuries, but has only been eaten by human beings for a few decades. Forty years ago, not a tin of sweetcom was to be found in Europe, where maize was grown exclusively as an animal feed.

In the United States, too, it was used to fatten cattle until the drought of 1929 decimated herds and ruined farmers in the Midwest. Faced with the real famine that ensued, the hungry population no longer had beef available, so decided to eat the cattle feed, or what was left of it.
And that is how America took to eating ”corn”, a habit that was exported to Europe in the 40s with the post-war American occupation.

So we should not now be surprised to discover that maize has a high glycaemic index, given that for centuries it was used to fatten up cattle. But it is interesting to note that processing maize pushes up its glycaemic index still further, giving products like popcorn and cornflakes very high glycaemic potential indeed. So they are extremely fattening. In addition, processed maize contains a substance that destroys niacin; this is a vitamin necessary for growth, and lack of it can also cause metabolic imbalances and abnormal fatigue.


Pasta


Non-wholewheat pasta is by definition a bad carbohydrate, being made from refined flour, to which are added lipids such as butter, eggs, cheese and oil. And despite anything the advertising slogans may say to the contrary, the ”richer ”the pasta, the more it constitutes a carbohydrate-lipid and goes against our eating rules.

I admit it is a bitter blow to have to give up pasta, because there is nothing more delicious when it is fresh and well made.

However, if you have the misfortune to be served fresh non-whole-wheat pasta (pasta not freshly made is not even worth considering), summon up your determination and refuse to eat it while you are in Phase I, the weight-loss phase. When you are cruising along in Phase II, have some if you think it is worth the sacrifice.

As for whole-wheat pasta, and especially stone ground whole-wheat pasta, made from unrefined flour, this can be included in dishes in Phase I in the course of a carbohydrate meal.
Accompanied by a tomato coulis or a basil sauce, it can constitute a meal in itself.
Indeed, whole-wheat pasta is classed as a good carbohydrate, having a glycaemic index of only 45.

Other bad carbohydrates


I have deliberately discussed in greatest detail the bad carbohydrates you are most likely to be eating on a regular basis, and which you will have to give up, at least temporarily. Other bad carbohydrates tend to be foods which contain a good deal of carbohydrate but very little protein, and which have only poor quality fibre. The combination of these factors confers on such foods a high glycaemic index. It is worth mentioning carrots and beetroot in this category. Also to be included are all the carbohydrate-lipid items, such as biscuits, croissants and pastries, which should be ruled out in Phase I.

Dark chocolate, if it is the bitter kind with a high cocoa content, has a low glycaemic index. However, it should be eaten only very exceptionally during Phase I, as it too constitutes a carbohydrate-lipid. There is one more rather special kind of carbohydrate we now need to look at: fruit.

FRUIT


Fruit is a sacred subject. I know if I was tactless enough to advise you to exclude it from your diet, a good many of you would shut the book forthwith, scandalised at the mere suggestion.

For fruit has a symbolic value in our culture. It stands for life, health, prosperity. It is, first and foremost, a source of vitamins at least, that is what we believe. Well, first let me set your mind at rest; we are not going to exclude fruit. But it is a question of learning to eat it in a different way, if we are to enjoy all its benefits without also suffering its drawbacks, such as a bloated abdomen.

Fruit contains carbohydrates (glucose, sucrose and especially fructose), but it also has fibre, which lowers its glycaemic index and reduces the amount of sugar absorbed by the body.

Apples and pears are particularly rich in pectin (a soluble fibre), which limits the rise in blood glucose.

Energy provided by fruit can be used rapidly by muscles and is therefore less likely to be stored and to lead to the accumulation of body fat. This point is not relevant just to the weight-loss question that we are concerned with. It is based on the chemistry of digestion. When fruit is eaten with other items, it interferes with the digestion of those items, while itself losing most of the properties (vitamins and so on) for which it has been consumed. This is why eating fruit at the end of a meal is the biggest mistake you can make.

I know that you are probably viewing this notion with considerable scepticism, so I will explain it a little here and now, even though these points really belong in another part of the book.

For starch to be digested, it is essential that an enzyme called ptyalin is present. This is secreted in the saliva. Most fruits have the effect of destroying ptyalin, with the result that any starch consumed along with fruit cannot be digested. The food bolus remains ”in limbo”in the stomach, where the warmth and humidity will cause it to ferment. Bloating, flatulence and indigestion can often be attributed directly to this phenomenon. Maybe this explanation sheds a little light on these familiar symptoms.
Let us now consider what happens when fruit is consumed with protein-lipids, such as meat or cheese. Fruit requires rapid passage into the intestine, where it is normally digested, but in this instance its journey is interrupted for a while in the stomach. For meat remains for some time in the stomach, where the essential enzymes account for the most important stage of its digestion The fruit is therefore also trapped in the stomach where once again the effect of the warmth and humidity causes fermentation, even producing alcohol, and the whole digestive process is upset. At the same time not only does the fruit loses all its vitamins, but (problems never come singly) the protein metabolism is also upset, and the abnormal decomposition of the proteins results in abdominal bloating.
So fruit must always be eaten on its own! That rule should be taught in schools. If it were, children would have fewer stomach upsets. It has to be said of course, that at their age the body has the capacity to compensate for errors; but for an adult, and especially for an older person, fruit at the end of a meal is nothing short of poisonous.
So then when can we eat fruit?

At any time, on an empty stomach. In the morning for example, before breakfast. But you will then need to wait about 20 minutes before starting your breakfast You can then eat a carbohydrate-protein breakfast (wholemeal bread, cereals, skimmed milk)
It is preferable not to eat lipids after fruit The small amount of insulin triggered by the fruit could lead the body to store the fats in the ham, eggs, bacon or cheese you might eat for a protein-lipid breakfast. You could also eat fruit last thing at bight before bedtime. It would need to be at least two to three ours after your evening meal. For those who suffer from insomnia (which ought in Any case to be partly cured by following the Method suggested in this book), it is not a good idea to consume oranges just before bed, as vitamin C can act as a stimulant.

Fruit can also be eaten in the late afternoon, provided it is well after the mid-day meal (about three hours) and at least an hour before any evening meal. You can even eat a meal consisting entirely of fruit, as long as you really do eat nothing else. As lemon has virtually no sugar, lemon juice (unsweetened) can be drunk at any time or used freely in seasoning (with fish or in salad dressings, for example).

Melon as a starter should also be avoided, though, as it prompts just enough secretion of insulin to trap the lipids contained in the main course.
I should like to make one last observation on the subject of fruit. Whenever possible, leave its skin on. The skin contains most of the fibre that is valuable for intestinal function, and in some cases most of the vitamins too.
Eating fruit skin and all reduces its glycaemic potential, too, so you will lose more weight (or put on less) if you follow this rule. Among the foods to be monitored closely, there remains to be considered the question of drinks and, chief amongst them, alcohol.

ALCOHOL


Alcohol is fattening! That is what you believe, because that is what you have been told. You may even have been made to feel guilty by people who have implied that all your unwanted pounds could be put down to alcohol, with no need to look further. Let us try and make an objective assessment.

It is true that alcohol is fattening. But much less fattening than sugar, white bread, potatoes or rice. That is why, very soon after you have shed your unwanted pounds, you will be able to reintroduce wine into your diet in reasonable quantity (up to about half a litre of wine a day, about three glasses, for a man, though women should reduce this by a third). The energy provided by alcohol is used by the body as a first resource for immediate needs, and while the body is using this fuel it will not be burning up stored body fat. This means that the alcohol is preventing you losing weight. However, this happens in particular when it is imbibed on an empty stomach. When the stomach is already full, particularly if it is full of protein-lipids (such as meat, fish or cheese), the alcohol is metabolised much less rapidly because it is mixed with these other foods, and so produces little stored fat. What must be categorically given up is the aperitif. If you really feel you have to keep your guests company, have something non-alcoholic like tomato juice or mineral water.

The only noble aperitif, to my mind, is a glass of good champagne or good white wine (I say ”white” advisedly). But, I implore you, do not let people adulterate your wine, as often happens to disguise its mediocre quality, with blackcurrant liqueur or those other weird syrups which people come up with just for the sake of something new.

So, if you really must, accept a glass of champagne but, above all, do not drink it on an empty stomach. Help yourself to a few ”nibles”first. Beware, though! They must be non-carbohydrate ”nibbles”. You will soon learn to recognise them. Crisps and cocktail biscuits of all sorts are out. Olives, cheese, cocktail sausages or fish are acceptable.
In Phase I, though, you should try to exclude aperitifs completely. Phase I is the time for being really strict in applying the basic rules of the Method, as this is the way you will lose weight.

AFTER DINNER DRINKS


Cross these off your list too. Cognac, armagnac and many liqueurs are delicious, and may be an excellent thing for the French balance of payments, but they will do nothing to improve your waistline.

Maybe you think that such drinks (known as ”digestifs” in France) will help you digest your meal. Well, rest assured; once you have mastered the eating habits advocated in this book, you will have no indigestion to worry about, even after the most copious of meals.

BEER


I am not going to be much kinder about beer. In my view, it is a drink to be consumed in the strictest moderation.

Just as you may know skinny people who incessantly stuff themselves with bad carbohydrates with no ill effect, you have probably also met heavy beer drinkers with stomachs as flat as a pancake. (The wife of one of my best friends falls into this category.)

You do not need to have visited Germany to know about the usual side-effects of beer drinking, though : bloating, weight gain, bad breath and indigestion, all of which occur despite the presence of diastases (small enzymes whose function is to aid digestion). Let us just say that without diastases the consequences of beer drinking would be catastrophic.

Beer contains everything that is bad for you : alcohol (albeit in moderate quantities), gas and, above all, a large amount (4g per litre) of a carbohydrate called maltose, whose glycaemic index is 110, higher even than that of glucose. Furthermore, the combination of alcohol and sugar tends to lead to hypoglycaemia, and therefore tiredness and under-performance (see chapter on hypoglycaemia). So it is a drink with high energy potential, which means a high potential for creating stored fat.

You should give up beer, especially between meals. If you really cannot resist it, consider beer in the same way you consider chips. Indulge yourself once or twice a year, by having a pint or two of the best beer your local can provide, but make sure you choose a quality brew.
In Phase I, I would advise you to drink no beer at all. In Phase II, though, just as you can reintroduce wine in moderation, so you can, from time to time, enjoy a small quantity (33 centilitres at most) of beer with a meal.

WINE


I have left wine until last, it being the only alcoholic drink I am not entirely against.I shall make no distinction between red and white wine, except to say that red wine generally contains more tannin. Tannin possesses particular therapeutic properties; in particular, the procyanidin it contains helps prevent atherosclerosis, with the polyphenols also present in it having a protective effect on the artery walls.


It is only a short step from this statement to the assertions of many scientists, including Professor Masquelier, that wines rich in tannin contribute to some extent to the prevention of cardiovascular disease[4]. A highly reputable medical survey, carried out in Britain in 1979 and bringing together evidence from eighteen countries, concluded that the death rate from heart attacks was lowest in populations which habitually drank wine (three to five times lower in France and Italy than in Northern European countries).


So, following our Method, wine can form a part of a normal diet, as long as reasonable limits are observed (about half a litre a day for a man, but only two thirds of this for a woman), and as long as it is consumed as late in the meal as possible, once the stomach is full of food.
In Phase I it is as well to stay away from wine if possible. In Phase II it can be drunk on a daily basis without affecting your weight. However, wine consumption will need to be juggled carefully with other carbohydrate intake. I am thinking in particular of chocolate and desserts in general. But that will be the subject of a paragraph further on.

While you are in Phase I, the stage where you need to be very strict with yourself, it may prove difficult to enjoy a family occasion or a meal with friends without touching a single drop of wine. If you suddenly announce you are not drinking, others may feel awkward about it.

My tip is to allow your glass to be filled and to pick it up as often as you would if you were drinking normally. But just wet your lips with the wine rather than actually drinking any.
I used this trick over several weeks and I assure you that no-one ever noticed I was not drinking.
In the same way, no-one has ever noticed that I am not eating a crumb of bread. To keep up the pretence, I always take my piece of bread and break it, but it stays beside me uneaten. Vinegar contains only a negligible amount of alcohol, so it can be used to season crudites and salads, unless, of course, you prefer lemon. Really strong coffee, Italian espresso with a caffeine content that would waken the dead, is out. Drink decaffeinated or weak arabica coffee, which contains much less caffeine. Decaffeinated coffee can be found everywhere these days and it is usually good. At home, too, you can make a very good decaffeinated brew. Even serious coffee drinkers cannot tell the difference.


If you are a heavy drinker of very strong coffee, it is probably because you feel the need for a stimulant to wake you up.

If you regularly ”run out of steam” round about eleven o'clock or in mid-aftemoon, this is because you are hypoglycaemic (see the chapter on this subject).


Caffeine is not permitted here because, although it is not a carbohydrate, it has the effect of stimulating the pancreas into producing insulin. If you have just finished a meal with no bad carbohydrates, and all surplus energy is being accounted for, it would be silly to undo the good work by drinking a cup of strong coffee and prompting the pancreas into secreting insulin that will set the fat accumulation process going. If you are a coffee drinker, you should have no difficulty in going over to the decaffeinated variety when you start applying the Method. You will soon find yourself not even feeling the need for coffee.

It is important to stress, in any case, that coffee drinkers (whether they drink coffee with or without caffeine) are laying themselves open to a further risk: that of a raised blood cholesterol level (see chapter on high blood cholesterol).

Beware of tea, too, as it can have as much caffeine as a cup of coffee and, in addition, contains tannins which can inhibit the absorption of iron!

Cheese


From now on you must get used to eating cheese without bread or biscuits. It is not at all impossible and you will soon discover it actually tastes much better this way. And you will enjoy it all the more before long, when you are allowed to drink some wine with it.

In Phase I, more or less any kind of cheese is permitted. Exceptions need to be made for cantal and for goat cheeses, which contain a little carbohydrate, so it is better to avoid them in the early stages.

There is no reason why you should not finish a meal of this kind with a yoghurt or some fromage frais, but do not eat more than 100 to 125g, because both do contain some carbohydrate. Anyone who is overweight and still very sensitive to carbohydrate may find that, although their glycaemic index is very low, fromage frais or yoghurt can trigger an undesirable secretion of insulin at the end of the meal, and that could result in body fat being formed from the contents of the main course.

Desserts


Some desserts can be made with artificial sweeteners, if they do not require lengthy cooking. Egg custards or similar desserts are possibilities.

Drinks


We have already noted that in Phase I all alcoholic drinks, including wine, should be avoided Drink water or tea, or herbal teas if you prefer. But avoid sparkling waters, as these can cause bloating and upset your digestion.

In any case, I suggest you drink very little water with your meals, as you risk diluting the gastric juices thereby upsetting your digestive system. At least if you must drink, do not start doing so until half-way through the meal. Do not drink as soon as you sit down to eat; this is a deplorable habit people have fallen into, which accounts for a good many of the metabolic problems they run into in digesting their food. Drink between meals, instead (at least a litre of water a day). And see that you do!

A reminder that, if you have to eat a large meal while you are in Phase I, you must abstain from the alcoholic aperitif. Try a tomato juice or a Perrier instead If you really cannot get out of accepting something alcoholic (if, for example, your host has made a kir for everyone), then do so, but do not drink it. Moisten your lips with it from time to time, to be seen to be taking part in the general conviviality of the occasion but do not swallow any. Sooner or later you can find a convenient moment to”abandon”your glass somewhere without anyone noticing. If you find it difficult to get rid of, you can always use a little ingenuity Put it down within reach of someone who is knocking the stuff back; people like this can generally be relied on to pick up someone else's glass by mistake, especially if it is full. As a rule, there is at least one of these individuals at every gathering. If all else fails, there is always the flower-pot, the champagne bucket, the open window in summer or the basin in the cloakroom.

Advice if you have to attend a social function when you are in Phase 1 : Accept the glass of champagne that is handed to you, and hold on to it for a while. Put it to your lips from time to time if you can bear to do that without drinking any. Then discreetly put it down somewhere.

Party food, though, can constitute a real headache. But it need not be an insoluble problem.

There is no question of eating sandwiches, however dainty they are. But what is in the sandwiches is good stuff: slices of salmon, sliced sausage, egg, asparagus, and so on. If you have the nerve and skill to separate the topping of an open sandwich from its base, good for you! Where there's a will, there's a way. But failing this, there is always party fare which comes within our rules.

Cherchez Ie fromage! There is always cheese around, in one form or another, in slices or, more usually, in little cubes.

Failing this, try to track down the cocktail sausages! But exercise restraint; think of the cholesterol !
If you think you are one of those people who just cannot resist a table laden with food, if you think you will inevitably succumb to temptation because when the hunger pangs strike your will-power will evaporate, then try this : before you go to the party, nibble something that is within the rules, to ”line your stomach”.

In the mid-nineteenth century a forbear of mine (my great-great-grandfather), who had six children, was invited with his family to lunch with the managing director of the company he worked for. I am told that my great-great-grandmother took good care to see that the children were fed a hearty soup before they went. With their stomachs thus lined, these delightful children showed a good deal less unseemly enthusiasm than they might have done, when dishes of a magnificence they were quite unused to were set before them. And my great-great-grandparents acquired the instant reputation for having extremely well brought-up offspring.

So if you are afraid of giving in to temptation, eat a hard-boiled egg or a piece of cheese before you set off for your party. And you can get into the habit of always having with you some of those little individual cheeses like ”Babybel” or ”Laughing cow”'.

These items can also be dipped into whenever you feel peckish, though dried fruit or high-fibre bread is even better. However, except for children, who should eat something at teatime, hunger should not strike between meals, as long as your meals are well thought out and are high in fibre. In any case, do not confuse having tea and having a nibble between meals! And be careful about consuming lipids when you have had a carbohydrate meal. Do not, for example, eat a piece of gruyere at 9 o'clock in the morning if you only breakfasted at 8 o'clock.

What if you are invited to friends ? This can be a trickier situation, and you will have less room for manoeuvre.

Well, let us look at various possibilities. Maybe these are friends that you know well ? They may even be relatives. In that case, you will be relaxed enough with them to ”put your cards on the table”. Ask them in advance what is on the menu. You need not be afraid, even, to make a suggestion or two.

But let us suppose that you do not know your hosts very well. In this case you will have to play it by ear. If the occasion is a very special one, it will be a meal in line with the occasion, and I should be surprised if rice, pasta or potatoes figured as a major part of the menu.

If there is foie gras, go ahead and eat it, even though it is not to be recommended as food to be eaten freely in Phase I. But just once in a while it will do no harm. But please do not eat the toast served with it. There is no reason why you should; even politeness does not demand it.
If you are served a magnificent cheese souffle, you can eat it along with everyone else, even though it will contain flour. But knowing that it puts you ”in the red”, exercise restraint. Do not make a bad situation worse by accepting a third helping.
If the starter is a pate en croute, you can eat the pate, which is generally protein-lipid, and leave the crust discreetly on the side of your plate. Given that you are not among close friends, no-one is likely to be rude enough to remark that you ar e ”leaving the best part”! And even if the hostess is wondering why you did not like her pastry, she is unlikely to ask you outright.

When it comes to the main course, I should think you would have no difficulty, as the accompaniments are usually optional. You can take a symbolic helping of rice or pasta, but no-one can make you eat it.
If all this leaves you still starving, you can make up for it with the salad, if there is one, and, particularly, wi th the cheese. If you help yourself generously to the cheese, your hostess will be pleased and will find it easier to forgive you for leaving the crust from your pate. An attractive cheese-board needs to have a good range of varieties, and guests rarely try many of them because they have no room after all the bread they have eaten. So it is up to you to do justice to the cheese-board!

The dessert is likely to be the most critical point of the meal, as it is always hard to say “no, thank you”. So insist on a very small portion and, like others who have eaten too much already, you can leave a substantial part of it on your plate.

Wait as long as possible into the meal before you start to drink. Give priority to drinking some red wine with the cheese. Should the whole situation turn out to be worse than you expected, and, despite being still in Phase I, all your ingenuity could not protect you from the assaults of the bad carbohydrates, then your only recourse is to be more vigilant than ever thereafter in pursuit of your new way of eating.

You must realise that in Phase I you are still very sensitive to glucose. The object of this phase is to raise your tolerance level; as long as it has not reached a satisfactory level, your sensitivity to glucose remains high.

Obviously, if after denying your body bad carbohydrate for a while, you quite suddenly feed it a huge quantity, your metabolism will have a field day. And in a single evening you will bump up your fat reserves by more than the amount you have taken up to a fortnight to lose.
The further you are into Phase I (which should last at least two or three months), the less catastrophic the effect will be.

On the other hand, if you ”go overboard”two or three weeks after starting Phase I, you run the risk of returning virtually to square one. This can be pretty discouraging. If this happens, you will just have to tell yourself that although you may have lost a battle, you still have a good chance of winning the war.

EVENING MEAL


This will be either protein-lipid with fibre or protein-carbohydrate with fibre.

Evening meal number 1

A protein-lipid and fibre evening meal will be just like a protein-lipid and fibre lunch. The only difference is that more often than not you will be eating at home. And at home, the choices are always more limited. But if you have been able to persuade your spouse and family to adopt your new eating habits too, you will have no difficulty. The ideal way to begin the TO

SUMMARISE THE MAIN PRINCIPLES OF PHASE I:


v  Never mix bad carbohydrates (white bread, Hour, starchy foods) with lipids (meat, fats, oils) in the course of a meal.
v  Avoid all carbohydrate-lipids (chocolate, avocado, liver, nuts, chips, pastries).
v  Eliminate sugar completely from your diet. Eat only unrefined flours.
v  Eat only wholemeal bread, 100% stone ground or with bran, made from unrefined flours (and then only for breakfast).
v  Forget about potatoes, especially chips.
v  Forget about white rice.
v  Eat only (and in moderation) wholegrain or wild rice.
v  Never eat pasta made with refined flours. Eat wholewheat pasta.
v  Introduce pulses into your diet, especially as a main supper dish.
v  Temporarily give up all forms of alcohol, whether aperitif, wine, beer or digestif. This is essential in Phase I. Wine can be reintroduced later in reasonable amounts.
v  Avoid strong coffee. Get into the habit of drinking decaffeinated.
v  Never skip a meal. Spread your food intake over three meals, preferably always taken at the same times.
v  Restrict consumption of ”bad” lipids, in favour of ”good” lipids, with a view to warding off cardiovascular disease (see Chapter II).
v  Try to drink very little at meals to avoid diluting the gastric juices. Never drink immediately before you eat.
v  Take your time to eat. Chew food well and try to relax over meals.
v  Make your own fruit juices. Avoid commercially available fruit juices and soft drinks, which contain sugar.
v  Wait for three hours after a carbohydrate meal (breakfast, for example) before consuming lipids. Wait for three to four hours after a lipid meal before consuming carbohydrates.
v  Eat plenty of dietary fibre: salads, pulses, green vegetables, fruit (see list in Chapter II).

Warning: The list above is only a summary of some of the principles discussed in the text. In no circumstances should it be taken as a condensed version of the method. Applying the method in a random way, without a full understanding of the preceding and following chapters, could result in nutritional imbalance and could be dangerous if the rules on consumption of lipids are not observed.

Note: As we have made the first part of this ourney, we have become acquainted with two kinds of carbohydrate, the ”good” sort which can be consumed without fear of putting on weight, and the ”bad” sort, which must be systematically tracked down and eliminated. The difference between them lies not only in the proportion of carbohydrate in a particular bod but, more importantly, the way in which it releases glucose during the digestive process. The more refined a flour, the more it has to be considered a ”bad” carbohydrate. The nearer bread comes to being 100% stone ground wholemeal, made from unprocessed cereal high in dietary fibre, the more it qualifies as a ”good” carbohydrate (see Chapter II).

Examples of PHASE I menus Midday meals:


Tomato salad  
Rabbit with parsley
French beans
Cheese
To drink : water or weak or herbal tea

Radishes with butter
Turkey escalope
Braised chicory
Cheese To drink : water or weak or herbal tea

Cucumber salad
Fillet of cod in tomato sauce
Spinach Yogurt
To drink : water or weak or herbal tea

Mackerel in white wine
Grilled beefburger
Broccoli Yogurt
To drink : water or weak or herbal tea

Mushroom salad
Roast chicken
Courgette gratin
Cheese
To drink : water or weak or herbal tea

Hearts of palm Pork chop
Pureed celery
Yogurt
To drink : water or weak or herbal tea
Leeks in vinaigrette
drilled kidneys Salsifi Cheese
To drink : water or weak or herbal tea

Celeriac with oil and mustard dressing
Leg of lamb
Courgette gratin
Yogurt
To drink : water or weak or herbal tea
 Sardines in oil Frankfurters
Cabbage Ceese
To drink : water or weak or herbal tea
Asparagus
Black puddingCauliflower puree
Yogurt
To drink : water or weak or herbal tea

Endive salad with bacon pieces
Grilled chicken Peas
Cheese
To drink : water or weak or herbal tea

Meat consomme
Pot-au-feu Turnips, leeks, cabbage
Yogurt To drink : water or weak or herbal tea

Smoked salmon
Duck breast
Mushrooms with parsley
Green salad, cheese
To drink : water or weak or herbal tea

Tuna in oil Steak tartare
Green salad
YogurtTo drink : water or weak or herbal tea

Red cabbage
Skate with capers
Pureed French beans
Cheese
To drink : water or weak or herbal tea
Smoked ham
Grilled salmon
Spinach
Yogurt
To drink : water or weak or herbal tea

Mozzarella cheese
Veal escalope
Brussels sprouts
Cheese
To drink : water or weak or herbal tea

Eggs mimosaEntrecote
Aubergines
Yogurt
To drink : water or weak or herbal tea

Note : If you have a high cholesterol level, most cheeses must be ruled out; you can eat a green salad instead or choose a low-fat cheese.

Note : Avoid cheese alternately mid-day and evening, alternating with yoghurt.
Evening meals protein-lipid with fibre

Home-made vegetable soup
fried eggs
Ratatouille
full-fat yogurt
To drink: water or herbal tea
Fish soup
Unsmoked ham
Green salad
Cheese
To drink : water or herbal tea

Artichokes with vinaigrette
Scrambled egg with tomatoes
Green salad
To drink : water or herbal tea

Vegetable soup
Stuffed tomatoes
Green salad
full-fat yoghurt
To drink : water or herbal tea

Onion soup
Tuna flan
Green salad
Strained fromage frais
To drink : water or herbal tea

Vegetable soup

Cold chicken breasts in mayonnaise
Green salad
Cheese
To drink : water or herbal tea

Mozzarella, tomato and basil salad auberginechicory salad
To drink : water or herbal tea

Mushroom salad
Stuffed aubergines
Green salad
Strained fromage frais
To drink : water or herbal tea

Poached fillet of white fish
SpinachCheese
To drink : water or herbal tea
Evening meals protein-carbohydrate with fibre

Vegetable soup (home-made)
Wholegrain or wild rice in tomato
1 ”very low fat” yoghurt
Vegetable soup (home-made)
Whole-wheat pasta in tomato Strained ”very low fat” fromage frais
Lentils (“very low fat” fromage frais cheese sauce)Salad with lemon juice
1 ”very low fat” yoghurtBaked tomatoes with parsley Dried beans (“very low fat” fromage frais cheese sauce)1 ”very low fat” yoghurt
Vegetable curry (avoiding recipes with fats, ”very low fat” yoghurt can be used)
Wholegrain rice
Cucumber in fat-free cream dressing
Aubergines stuffed with mushroom puree and ”very low fat” fromage frais1”very low fat” yogurt

Note: It is crucial not to consume any fat in the course of these carbohydrate meals.


[1] 1OOg of wholemeal bread contains 90mg of magnesium, whereas lOOg of ordinary bread contains only 25mg[2] See Chapter II[3] 2. Release of glucose relative to an index of 100 : Refined rice : index 70 Wholegrain rice : index 50[4] See Dr. Maury's book, La m6decine par Ie vin, published by Artulen

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