Thonon diet: principles, menus, benefits, risks

The Thonon diet was designed by the medical teams of the University Hospital Center (CHU) of Thonon-les-Bains to help certain overweight patients lose extra kilos. Her or his promise? Lose up to ten pounds in just fourteen days. As long as you follow it to the letter and are accompanied by a professional. How to proceed ? Is that really reasonable? Perspectives of Florence Foucaut, dietitian-nutritionist, member of the French Association of Dietitian Nutritionists (AFDN).

What is the Thonon diet?

The Thonon diet is a high-protein, low-calorie, salt-free diet. Very restrictive, therefore includes a high protein intake and completely eliminates lipids, carbohydrates and salt (which promotes water retention). However, he proposes to consume the authorized foods at will, without no quantity restrictions. It is mainly based on the consumption of animal protein and takes place in two phases: a two-week attack phase and a stabilization phase that varies according to the weight lost.

How many calories per day?

Counting the exact number of calories ingested and expended is never mandatory in the context of weight loss, but it is essential in the context of low-calorie weight loss diets, because calorie intake must be less than daily expenditure.

  • Phase 1 of the Thonon diet: the attack

The first phase of the Thonon diet is very restrictive: the daily intake you shouldn’t spend 600 calories during the first fourteen days. Only with this condition, the method promises a weight loss of about 10 kg in two weeks.

  • Phase 2 of the Thonon diet: stabilization

After two weeks of intense dieting, Phase 2 involves reconnecting to a less restrictive diet, while ensuring your weight stabilizes. Daily caloric intake remains limited: from Maximum of 1,200 to 1,500 calories per day.

How long does this diet last?

The Thonon diet offers three meals a day (morning noon and afternoon). As stated above, the first phase lasts 14 days and the stabilization phase depends on the final weight loss. Count one week of recovery per kilo lost during the first phase. For example, if you managed to lose 7 kg during the first 14 days of the diet, you will have to respect the stabilization phase for 7 weeks (a little less than two months).

What foods are allowed?

The Thonon diet, being very restrictive, allows little dietary diversity. You can choose to:

  • lean meats,
  • White fish,
  • seafood,
  • lean Ham,
  • since eggs,
  • green vegetables,
  • sugar free fruit,
  • of lemon
  • herbs and aromatics,
  • 0% yogurt and dairy,
  • coffee and tea sugarfree,
  • etc.

What foods are prohibited?

Several foods are prohibited on the Thonon diet because they are too fatty, too sweet, or too salty:

  • refined cereals,
  • most starchy foods
  • The sugar,
  • industrial and prepared meals,
  • cookies, cakes, pastries,
  • refreshments,
  • ME’alcohol,
  • etc.

What menus in the attack phase?

To better respect the Thonon diet, repeat these menus twice in a row for 14 days

  • Breakfast: Coffee or tea without sugar
  • Lunch: 2 boiled eggs and spinach as desired fat free
  • Dinner: 1 large steak or 3 small minced steaks and green salad and celery with lemon or olive oil
  • Breakfast: coffee or tea without sugar and a little milk
  • Lunch: grilled steak & green salad and tomatoes without oil & fruit at will
  • Dinner: ham cooked at will
  • Breakfast : coffee or unsweetened tea and a cereal muffin
  • Lunch: 2 boiled eggs & green salad and tomatoes without oil
  • Dinner: ham cooked at will & green salad without oil
  • Breakfast: coffee or tea without sugar and a cereal roll
  • Lunch: a boiled egg and carrots lemon without oil and a slice of Gruyère cheese
  • Dinner: a whole natural yogurt and fruits at will
  • Breakfast: coffee or tea without sugar and grated carrots with lemon juice
  • Lunch: fish cooked in court-broth & 2 Tomatoes oil free
  • Dinner: grilled steak and green salad with lemon or olive oil
  • Breakfast: coffee or tea without sugar and a cereal roll
  • Lunch: grilled chicken at will
  • Dinner: 2 boiled eggs and carrots raw or cooked without fat
  • Breakfast: coffee or tea without sugar; a cereal bun
  • Lunch: a large grilled steak and unlimited fruit
  • Dinner: 2 boiled eggs and carrots raw or cooked without fat

What to eat during the stabilization phase?

This second phase allows you to gradually rehabilitate certain foods. Get inspired by these recommendations to develop your menus:

  • A cup of tea or coffee or an infusion without sugar
  • Skimmed yogurt or 100 grams of cottage cheese or a glass of skimmed milk
  • A slice of wholemeal bread or, alternatively, white bread, with 10 grams of margarine
  • Fresh fruit or a glass of fruit juice
  • 100 grams of lean white cheese or a small fresh fruit
  • A cup of tea or an infusion without sugar
  • 100 to 200 grams of raw vegetables of your choice, with a vinaigrette made from a teaspoon of vegetable oil for essential fatty acids
  • 100 to 150 grams of fish or lean meat (alternate with two eggs, twice a week) for protein
  • 100 to 200 grams of green vegetables of your choice for vitamins and dietary fiber
  • 100 grams of lean cottage cheese without sugar
  • A fresh fruit washed and unpeeled.

afternoon snack

  • 0% fat yogurt
  • A hot or cold drink without sugar
  • A bowl of homemade vegetable soup for vitamins and dietary fiber
  • A small potato for carbohydrates
  • 100 to 150 grams of fish or meat cooked without fat
  • 100 to 200 grams of green vegetables with 10 grams of margarine for essential fatty acids
  • A slice of wholemeal bread preferably (or white)
  • A small fruit washed but not peeled.

Crash diet: does the Thonon diet work?

“Yes, this diet works to lose weightsays the nutritionist. And to continue: It is mathematical: by consuming the minimum of calories, we force our body to draw on its reserves to function. That is, since we do not consume enough fuel to normally feed our body (negative energy balance), the latter has no choice but to dip into fat stores. Therefore, it will work thanks to its reserves and will attack only the fat mass. Muscle mass is saved with a high protein intake.

However, for the Thonon diet to be effective, you must scrupulously follow the dietary recommendations, without modifying the content or the order of the imposed meals. “You also have to resist frustrations and cravings, which requires a lot of motivation and determination,” warns Florence Foucaut.

How not to regain lost weight?

Unfortunately, a little weight gain seems inevitable. going from 600 calories per day to 1,200 calories per day. To limit this phenomenon and prevent weight regain, it would be necessary to maintain a very low energy intake in the long term, which is obviously dangerous for health.

Thonon diet: what are the disadvantages and risks?

The negative points of the Thonon diet:

  • Very low in calories, this diet generates sudden weight loss which is not always well supported.
  • It can generate significant side effects like a significant fatigueconstipation, nausea, absence of menstruation in women, etc.
  • In terms of logistics and energy, it is makes it difficult to maintain an active social life.
  • Let’s be honest, it’s also monotonous and quite difficult to follow. It actually promotes frustrations and can trigger risk behaviors (eating behavior disorders), in vulnerable people, such as orthorexia oranorexy.
  • In addition, in the long term, the Thonon diet could be counterproductive, warns Florence Foucaut: it alters the metabolism and, in the long run, promotes weight gain. When we stop meeting our usual daily needs, our body goes into “survival” mode and begins to store all you can to stock up. This gives rise to the famous “yoyo” effect.

Can the Thonon diet cause deficiencies?

“Two weeks of attack followed by a few weeks of consolidation is usually not enough to create shortages, the body has enough reserves. On the other hand, once the diet is finished, some people may find it difficult to reconnect with a balanced and diversified diet. In this case, we can fear the installation of deficiencies in micronutrients, trace elements, etc.”, estimates the expert.

Are the Thonon diet and sport compatible?

The Thonon diet does not strictly include physical activity in its program. Be that as it may, “given the low energy input, it seems hard to consider staying physically active periodically without medical supervision. Our body needs a minimum of calories to cover our daily needs. Demand even more when you play sports”, recalls the dietician-nutritionist.

Who is this type of plan for?

The Thonon diet can be considered, under supervision, in case a person wants to lose weight fast. It has proven its effectiveness in the short term, but convinces few health and nutrition professionals in the long term. Before committing, therefore, it is better to be in good physical and mental health to make sure his body and morals hold up.

As a reminder, this type of diet is not recommended for pregnant women, who have very specific needs or people who suffer from serious pathologies (unless otherwise indicated by a doctor)! He is also prohibited for the elderlyas they can promote malnutrition, muscle wasting and loss of Bone density. Finally, there is not recommended for children and adolescentsgiven the energy needs associated with its growth.

Weight loss: what is the most effective diet?

Whatever your situation, and unless otherwise indicated by a doctor, it is not recommended to consider this type of food program independently. If you want to lose weight, consult a nutrition specialist and bet on an adequate and balanced diet combined with regular physical activity.

Also work on your lifestyle: rethink your daily movements, limit sources of stress, adopt good sleep hygiene, stop smoking, etc. If your pounds persist, possibly consider a hormone balanceand do not hesitate to be accompanied by a professional.

For or against the Thonon diet? The dietician’s opinion

Florence Foucaut: “The Thonon diet does not correspond to official recommendations. Its energy intake is too low. It can help lose weight, but not in a sustainable way and not in a healthy and balanced way. Its composition generates long-term health risks In the long term, like the inability to exercise regularly in the attack and stabilization phase, it inevitably leads to weight gain and risks fueling many eating disorders. I do not recommend this type of diet to the general public. To feel better in your body, it is better to analyze your eating behavior and rebalance rather than deprive yourself.

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