Weight loss advice from Jean-Michel Cohen

February 18, 2024 / Interviews

Jean-Michel Cohen is one of the best-known nutritionists among the general public. Accustomed to providing his advice on TV sets, he published a new book, Not everyone has the chance to have an aminutritionist, co-written with Valérie Expert, on January 18 by First editions. On this occasion, he gives some tips to Entrevue readers.

Interview: What are the conditions for starting a diet?

Jean-Michel Cohen: The first condition obviously is to be ready in your head and to know that a diet requires a little time, a little patience, a little perseverance, and endurance. The second thing to do is to prepare your home to find everything you need for a controlled diet. A diet should certainly not be experienced as a deprivation. The best diet is the one that prohibits nothing, but harmonizes everything.

Is there a miracle diet ?

This is the great fantasy that has worked for centuries, imagining that there are miracle solutions. There are not any. There is no imbalance between energy consumption and energy expenditure. It's up to you to choose, either you increase your physical activity or you control your diet. The thing to know is that control does not necessarily mean restriction.

Are there any diets to avoid?

Yes, of course, not every diet that involves excluding a food group works. Finally, not all solutions that recommend taking medication are effective either. There are many diet sellers who make people believe in the magic of food. Our diet depends on our environment to which we too belong. This is why the best diet is one that includes most food groups, but chooses the quantities and combinations.

Why are we always looking à to lose weight ? Is it a fashion phenomenon ?

Losing weight is generally associated with well-being and the quality of the figure. There weren't always times when people were asked to lose weight. But medical and aesthetic constraints have always been in favor of a silhouette without excess weight. Above all, there are periods when we are more or less thin, more or less muscular. It is often clothing fashion that determines the silhouette.

Is it easier to lose weight when you is a man or a woman ?

Yes, it is easier for a man than for a woman to lose weight, because a man's muscle mass is physiologically greater than that of a woman. However, it is the muscle that consumes energy, so with the same diet, a man will lose weight faster than a woman. This is also why plans for men are generally more generous than for women.

Give us the diet you recommend le plus.

I try to start diets in general with formulas between 1400 and 1600 calories per day. But what you need to know is that the diet must evolve according to changes in weight. I can very well start with a 1600 calorie diet to reach 1400 or even 1200 calories. There are even situations where I trigger what I call the flash diet: for a period of 48 hours per week, I deliver a truly restrictive diet of around 900 calories. The important thing in a diet is support. This is the reason why I created the Savoir Maigrir site, because it is easier to have support than to follow a diet alone.