Itching to give that bland, monotonous diet food an exciting French touch? It's probably time you give it the BAD twist. That's right, BAD-a diet program that brings back the pleasure in eating, where you can treat your senses to chocolate, and even wine.
This French physician-nutritionist believes that if you take pleasure in what you're eating, you will be able to diet successfully. It's called the Bon Appétit Diet (BAD), and originator Dr. Jean-Michel Cohen (no relation to the popular Cohen Program, the popular weight loss program which Inquirer has featured) says the key to successfully losing the excess poundage and keeping them off for good is in your food preparation.
Take, for instance, a tomato. Eat it on its own, and it becomes a food you'll never look forward to eating again. But if you mix tomato with some herbs or spices or a light vinaigrette, you might enjoy it.
No miracle diet
"There is no miracle diet. There is only a well-balanced diet. A good way to lose weight is not to starve," said the Frenchman, who was in the country two weeks ago to introduce a select media group to BAD.
BAD is a calorie-based diet program focused on bringing you flavorful and nutritious Filipino meals. Yes, Filipino meals. For more than eight months a team studied, experimented, and prepared easy-to-cook recipes for cherished Filipino dishes such as tinola and pinakbet so you can enjoy the food you grew up with without any guilt.
"I am here to tell you there is no room for guilt. I want people to like my diet. I don't want to give them pain or misery," Cohen (right) said.
Cohen said BAD is based on three basic principles: you don't have to be hungry; eating must be a pleasurable experience; and you must lose weight progressively.
Good eating habits are acquired over time-not overnight, he said. Losing weight slowly and steadily will help you develop good eating habits. When good eating habits have been developed, keeping the excess weight off for life becomes less stressful.
BAD is a successful program in France. Over 300,000 people have enrolled since the year started; about 50,000 people are currently on the program. Cohen said it teaches you to make wiser food choices, develop strategies to manage calories no matter the situation, avoid slips no matter how small, learn how to develop and maintain your diet, and learn and adapt eating habits necessary for a better lifestyle and weight loss.
The unique aspect of this diet is its taking full advantage of technology to keep in touch with its clients. BAD has an online community similar to Facebook, said Cohen, where everyone can share anything-recipes, triumphs, frustrations.
Like a support group, the online community, explained Cohen, has been one of the reasons for the program's success. BAD also has a mobile app (Android and iPhone, for now) so that staying healthy is just within your reach anytime.
And it's mighty cheap, too. At 15 cents a month, people can enroll in the program, email Cohen for consultation, and get full access to videos, a database of more than 10,000 food products, hundreds of recipes, and more. Compare that to the average P120 (S$3.40) per consultation when you visit a doctor in his/her clinic.
The Philippines has yet to launch the BAD program online through BelleToday.com.ph, but rates will be equally affordable-cheaper, in fact, than the French rates. Cohen said he personally replies to every email he receives, although it does take him 48 hours to reply.
Enrolment will give you full access to recipes, a personalised diet (you'll need to answer an online Q&A), membership in the online community, daily motivational video advice, and email coaching from Cohen. It's like having your own personal weight-loss coach 24/7 at a much affordable rate.
"It's easier sometimes to talk through the Internet. You can even write questions anonymously so you can ask anything you want and not feel embarrassed," he said.
The BAD program will be customised to Filipinos. All ingredients will be locally available and accessible. A team of qualified Filipino dieticians and nutritionist are already lined up to give support.
"The most important thing to change about the Filipinos' eating habits is probably the frequent frying of food. Filipinos enjoy food as much as the French do. It's not so difficult to cook without using too much oil. It's all about learning new flavours using herbs, spices and other condiments," Cohen said.