At present, many diet foods are emerging to help many people lose weight and regain some well-being. Among the most famous is LeDietMed (or LeDiet), a 25-year-old diet developed by Professor Apfelbaum and Dr. Benchetrit in Bichat Hospital. Before reaching this great success (5 million members in 8 countries), this diet was designed around a simple and easy slimming program that banishes frustration to allow everyone to find a balanced diet according to their needs.
After twenty years of success, Dr. Benchetrit has launched an online service, LeDietMed.fr, allowing everyone to perform a free and personalized test on their eating habits. The goal? Democratize this slimming method, until now practiced mainly in hospitals. Zoom on this method that seduces more and more French.
What is the LeDiet diet?
Dr. David Benchetrit, Director of the Weight Clinic in Paris, worked with professor-nutritionist Apfelbaum to develop LeDietMed, a slimming method that has proven its worth in Bichat Hospital. Founded in 1986, this method would have a success rate of 25% over one year, while other schemes struggle to reach 1% success.
The creation of the LeDietMed diet is based on the following observation: the regimes have existed in France for several decades, but none of these regimes works in the long term. The same goes for slimming drugs or supplements, of which the famous Mediator is a blatant example of the failure of miracle pills.
To make this method effective, the two founders realized that it was necessary to balance the user's eating habits, not change them. Indeed, if you move away from more than 20% of your usual eating behavior, the diet will not give the expected results, or at least will lose weight that you will regain immediately.
To give conclusive results, the artificial intelligence behind LeDietMed establishes a nutritional assessment of the user and then helps him to modify or remove behaviors that will not help them lose weight, while maintaining food pleasures.
The principle of the LeDietMed diet
The LeDiet method aims to establish a personalized diet after analyzing the user's eating habits via artificial intelligence developed by the Weight Clinic and Bichat Hospital. This process is based on three distinct phases:
- The rapid phase, which lasts between 1 and 3 weeks depending on the number of kilos to be removed. For example, to get rid of 10 extra pounds, it takes a week of fast diet. To lose up to 20 kilos, it is necessary to extend the diet to two weeks. The rapid phase consists, in plain language, in adopting a low-calorie diet by providing fewer carbohydrates and less fat. It is at this primary stage that the user must monitor his diet by referring to a list of authorized foods.
- The pleasure phase is the stage where fats and carbohydrates are gradually reintroduced into the user's diet. The duration of this phase is also a function of the number of kilos to be removed.
- The stabilized phase consists in reaching the desired shape weight. It does not prohibit any food as long as the user consumes in moderate quantities.
Thus, the first phase is the one where the user quickly loses weight. But to reassure you, know that this diet prevents the yo-yo effect caused by most restrictive slimming diets, provided you accompany it with a daily sports activity. In addition, the LeDietMed diet avoids the feeling of hunger, dietary deficiencies and frustrations associated with draconian diets.
LeDietMed: how does it work?
LeDietMed is an online slimming method whose objective is to arrive at a "tailor-made" diet that adapts to the tastes, eating habits, lifestyle and state of health of each individual.
This program is based on an artificial intelligence unit developed by the team of Dr. David Benchetrit, a weight specialist and scientific director of the Weight Clinic in Paris.
The first version of the software, created in 1986, first generated personalized menus for overweight people in the nutrition department of Bichat Hospital. Indeed, in 1975, Professor Apfelbaum, head of this hospital department, noted that the slimming diets prescribed at that time were ineffective, which gave him the idea of developing for each patient a specific diet according to his needs, his state of health and his eating habits.
Subsequently, the LeDiet program was deployed on the Internet, first in France in 2000, then in the United States, England, Italy and Spain. Over time, the program is enriched thanks to innovations brought by artificial intelligence and machine learning. In 2011, LeDietMed embarked on a nutritional scanner that uses an intelligent questionnaire on eating habits, thus making it possible to accurately assess the nutritional intake of each patient. In addition to weight loss, the program also generates a diet adapted to specific pathologies or physiological situations (diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney disease, pregnancy or breastfeeding).
To obtain a personalized diet, leDietMed's management begins with the completion of a detailed online questionnaire:
- Personal information about the patient: weight, height, weight goal, age, gender.
- Number and frequency of meals and snacks during the day.
- Precise composition of each meal (nature and quantity of food and beverages).
- Wishes regarding the development of the diet (food cravings).
- Level of sedentary lifestyle.
- Sports activity (intensity and frequency).
- Health status and diseases (high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, digestive disorder, liver or kidney disease, osteoporosis).
If the patient declares to be in good health, he can pay his subscription in order to obtain the first personalized menus. Otherwise, he must contact his doctor who can connect to the site to prescribe an adapted diet. The healthcare professional obtains a prescribing code that he will give to his patient so that he can have access to his first personalized menus.
The online questionnaire is at the heart of the LeDietMed program because it provides an accurate assessment of the user. Whether it is excess or insufficient nutrients, good dietary practices, reasonable or excessive use of cooking and seasoning oils, the questionnaire makes it possible to identify any bad eating habits of the patient in order to provide him with the best advice on weight loss. It is also advisable to give this assessment to the attending physician, who will be able to prescribe vitamin supplements or mineral supplements in case of deficiencies.
What foods to eat, avoid or limit?
The LeDietMed program is a balanced diet whose objective is to provide all the essential nutrients to the body. In addition to drinking plenty of water, he recommends consuming foods belonging to the following groups on a daily basis: fruits and vegetables, dairy products, meat/fish/eggs, bread and starchy foods and fats. Sugary foods and products as well as very fatty foods are useless to the balanced diet. It is nevertheless possible to consume it in moderation when you can not do without it.
The LeDiet diet recommends:
- Low-fat dairy products: skimmed or semi-skimmed milk, yogurt and plain cottage cheese (less than 4% fat), yogurts and cottage cheeses with sweetened fruit without added sugars, low-fat cheeses.
- Meat, poultry and lean fish: steaks with 5% fat, cutlets, fillet and veal nuts, pork tenderloin and ham, chicken, guinea fowl and turkey without the skin, game, white fish (sole, flounder, colin, cod) and seafood.
- Some fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, anchovies and herring) are allowed for their maximum intake of essential fatty acids (including the famous omega-3). However, they must be cooked without additional fat. It should also be noted that meat or fish can be replaced by eggs that provide substantially the same amounts of protein.
- Bread and starchy foods, which must be consumed in the portions indicated by the personalized menus (depending on the patient's energy needs). In any case, it is necessary to favor foods rich in fiber, satiating and whose glycemic index is very low. Indeed, the consumption of breads and starchy foods can lead to a slight increase in blood sugar and less insulin secretion. This is particularly the case for rye bread, wholemeal bread or cereal bread, oatmeal, brown rice, semi-complete pasta and pulses.
- Vegetables that contain few carbohydrates: eggplant, broccoli, chard, celeriac, mushrooms, all varieties of cabbage, zucchini, endive, spinach, fennel, green bean, turnip, leek, pepper, salad, salsify, tomato… We will consume all these foods at will. On the other hand, vegetables with a high carbohydrate content (carrot, pumpkin, onion, peas, Jerusalem artichoke …) must be limited to one plate per meal.
- The consumption of fruits can be done at will. However, fruits with more carbohydrates (banana, cherry, mango, fig and reason) should be limited to 200 g. On the other hand, fruits that are less rich in carbohydrates, such as small red fruits, can be consumed in larger quantities.
- Butter and fresh cream are allowed by LeDietMed because they provide vitamins A and D, and the same goes for oils and margarines that contain vitamin E and omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids. In any case, it is advisable to vary the cooking and seasoning oils, and it is better to opt for olive, rapeseed and walnut oils. However, it is always better to limit the amount of cooking bodies, as lipids are the most energetic nutrients. The official LeDietMed website offers many recipes for light sauces, some of which have no fat.
- Drinks without added sugars: still water or sparkling waters, tea, coffee, sugar-free infusion, vegetable juices, sweetened light drinks (to be limited).
As part of the LeDietMed diet, no food is prohibited from the diet, although the priority here is to offer balanced meals. However, if the patient has a low energy requirement, he will have to limit his energy intake and thus eat particularly caloric foods less often. This is the case of fried foods, hamburgers, cream pastries or gratins rich in cheeses. Similarly, processed foods should not dominate as part of the LeDiet diet.
Foods to moderate
While it does not ban any particular food group, the LeDietMed diet may well impose restrictions on high-fat foods with high calorie intake. This is also the case for sweet products, which are not useful for balance, especially since it is not advisable to get acquainted with the sweet taste. Here are the foods whose consumption is to be moderated:
- Fatty or sweet dairy products: whole milk, yogurts and cottage cheeses with more than 4% fat, yogurts and sweet cottage cheeses, dessert creams, non-low-fat cheeses (whose fat content exceeds 15%).
- Meats, cold cuts and fatty poultry: beef dishes in sauce, ground steaks with 10% fat, sautéed lamb and mutton, all pieces of pork except fillet, duck, goose and hen, pudding, pâtés, sausages…
- Sautéed or fried potatoes, starchy gratins, pastries and biscuits…
- Nuts (almonds, walnuts, pistachios), avocado and olives, fruit juices (rich in natural sugars).
- Fatty sauces such as mayonnaise, béarnaise and hollandaise.
- Quiches and pizzas.
- Jam, chocolate, ice cream, pastries and honey (already rich in natural sugars).
Who is the LeDietMed plan for?
The question now is whether anyone can follow the LeDietMed method. According to Dr. Benchetrit, LeDietMed may be suitable:
- to all people who wish to know their dietary balance in order to know their deficiencies and excesses in nutrients;
- to all people who wish to regain a healthy weight and control their weight loss;
- people who follow a slimming diet but wish to first assess the risks and possible deficiencies.
Methods of analysis of eating behavior are established according to the profile of the user. Depending on the attending physician, each person can thus find the method that suits him.
Is the LeDietMed diet really effective?
According to Dr. Benchetrit, his quasi-revolutionary method would allow you to lose up to 10 kilos in just 3 weeks, an estimate that varies according to the profiles. We are talking here about the rapid phase, a so-called "total" phase that allows you to eliminate several kilos before stabilizing the weight.
Finally, a definitive phase intervenes to smoothly reach the patient's weight goal. After this phase, the body will have definitively integrated the dietary balance, which will avoid any risk of weight regain and yo-yo effect, associated with restrictive diets.
The cost of the LeDietMed plan
The goal of the LeDietMed program is above all to offer everyone the opportunity to lose weight regardless of their budget. In 2019, the rate of the diet starts from 20 euros per month. The time needed to reach the objective is estimated according to the initial assessment extracted from the questionnaire (age, sex, level of physical activity, energy intake, etc.). To further lighten the bill, the program also offers reductions of around 25% depending on the time of year. And when the weight goal is not reached within the period defined in the initial balance sheet, LeDietMed offers a free extension of the subscription. It should also be noted that some health insurance companies cover the cost of the subscription, when the plan is prescribed by the attending physician.
The benefits of the LeDietMed diet
Of course, LeDietMed has many advantages, including the possibility of total customization of the slimming method. Indeed, the user profile serves as a reference for the program to establish the list of authorized foods.
In addition, unlike restrictive slimming diets, LeDietMed takes into account the user's food preferences so that he can free himself from his overweight while keeping the pleasure of eating. It also benefits from personalized support offered by professional dieticians. Throughout the course, a weekly assessment is established to advise the user to improve his diet and adapt it to his eating habits.
The disadvantages of the LeDietMed diet
No slimming diet is perfect for everyone, and the LeDietMed diet has a few small flaws. For example, this method of slimming online requires self-discipline as well as great motivation on the part of the user. Indeed, all the indications of the program, to be associated with those of the attending physician, must be followed to the letter, in particular those concerning the control of calories.
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