What is the Montignac Diet?

One of the diets that have been popular in Europe is the Montignac diet. So, what’s it all about? This diet program was developed by Michel Montignac, a Frenchman, in the 1980s. He was actually the first person to begin work with the glycemic index. You may have heard of this before. It is the basis of another well-known diet plan that did take off in the Western world – the South Beach diet.

Montignac developed the eating plan (not diet) because of his battles with weight as a child. He wanted to help people lose weight so that they wouldn’t be susceptible to obesity-related conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.

Here are the basics of the lifestyle eating plan. We make choices about what to eat based on what we like or what we are told we like, and not on how foods will react in the body. He proposes that we change that mindset and start choosing foods based on what we know about them to promote weight loss and good health.

The first phase is the weight loss phase. Here, carbohydrates are chosen based on their position on the glycemic index. Any food below 50 is considered a low risk for spiking the blood sugar after a meal. These foods are also nutrient dense so that you are gaining more health benefits from eating them, including sustained energy so you eat less.

Choosing which fats to eat is also important here. Stick with poly and monounsaturated fats like fish oil and olive oils.

The second phase is the stabilization phase. Here is where you learn to maintain your weight loss and prevent gaining weight with further help with food choices. Montignac developed a process called “glycemic outcome” which takes into account the glycemic index number of a carbohydrate along with its pure carbohydrate content to determine how it will affect the blood sugar. Using this method, any carbohydrate can be eaten and enjoyed.


The methodology here is sound. Even those who have supported the South Beach diet agree that when we choose more stable carbohydrates, we eat less and lose weight faster. The method is more about enjoying food as a feast for the eyes as well as the tummy.

Armed with knowledge, people can make better food choices without feeling deprived. This can lower their risk or reverse their diabetes and heart disease.


One thing that Montignac mentions is not eating carbohydrates with certain fats. This is a throwback to “food combining” a process that has been shown not to have any basis.

As with other phased programs, the first phase is a restrictive phase. Your food bill will increase at first as you try to choose foods that are more in line with that they recommend that you eat.

There are no guidelines for specific exercise. Exercise is a vital part of losing weight and maintaining health. Without it, you are missing out.

If you want a change, maybe the Montignac diet is for you. It can help you lose weight and live a healthier life.