Parisian Diet

parisian-dietThe Parisian Diet was created by Dr. Jean-Michel Cohen, France’s leading nutrition and weight loss expert.

This program outlines a way of living that is based on healthy eating habits of the French people.

You will learn to eat with pleasure so you can lose weight without having to strictly avoid any particular food.

Parisian Diet Basics

Cohen outlines the top ten Parisian weight loss secrets, highlighting some of the healthy eating habits of the French.

1. Enjoy Your Food

French people experience pleasure when they eat and savor every morsel, which helps you feel satisfied more quickly.

2. Take Time For Meals

Parisians devote at least 20 minutes and up to two hours to each meal.

3. Proper Portion Sizes

American portion sizes are much larger than those of the typical French meal.

4. Don’t Watch TV During Meals

Eating meals at the table reduces mindless eating that can occur when your attention is focused on the television while you eat.

5. Stay Physically Active

Parisians prefer to walk or cycle instead of driving. They will also use the stairs rather than waiting for an elevator.

6. Eat Fresh Foods

The Parisian diet emphasizes fresh, locally grown, high quality ingredients. Processed food is not a common feature in French diets.

7. Drink Water

French people don’t drink soda or juice during the day and generally prefer water when they are thirsty.

8. Compensate for Indulgences

The French are known for enjoying rich meals and drinking wine on occasion. But they make up for it by eating healthy, lower calorie foods the next day.

9. Prepare Meals at Home

Cooking meals with fresh ingredients is much better for health and weight loss than eating packaged foods or getting takeout.

10. Eat More Fruit

The French enjoy fruits in a variety of ways such as fruit salads, poached, baked or stewed.

Three Phases of the Parisian Diet

  • The Café Phase is optional for quick weight loss and lasts for 8-10 days. It involves mostly liquids such as smoothies, soups and puréed foods.
  • The Bistro Phase helps you lose weight with nutritious meals high in protein and fiber. You stay on this phase for two or three weeks.
  • The Gourmet Phase is followed to until you reach your goal weight. The meals are designed to be pleasurable, while allowing you to continue to lose weight.

Recommended Foods

Yogurt, skim milk, eggs, low-fat cheese, cod, salmon, halibut, scallops, chicken, veal, beef, lamb, lean ham, Portobello mushrooms, artichokes, arugula, beets, parnips, fennel, broccoli, cabbage, whole wheat bread, soy sauce, mustard, vinegar, olive oil, herbs and spices, chocolate, tea, coffee, wine, diet soda.

Sample 1 Day Meal Plan

The following is the sample menu for the Bistro Phase.




Veal and Mozarella Melt
Carrot and Celery Salad
Fresh fruit


Cod Fillet with Julienned Vegetables

Exercise for 30 Minutes/Day

The Parisian Diet believes that regular exercise helps you lose weight, invigorates the body and increases metabolic rate. You should choose sports and activities that you enjoy and try to stay active for about 30 minutes a day.

Costs and Expenses

The Parisian Diet: How to Reach Your Right Weight and Stay There retails at $26.

Also available is an online program that includes extra features such as 24/7 nutritional support, coaching videos and smart phone access. This is offered for $29 a month with a 6-month commitment.


  • Encourages consumption of fresh, locally-grown unprocessed foods.
  • The Parisian Diet advocates enjoyment of meals and a flexible approach.
  • Educates dieters about proper portion control and awareness of eating habits.
  • Includes meal plans and recipes.
  • Author is a medical professional and nutrition expert.


  • The meal plan may not be practical for dieters who don’t have time to cook every day.
  • Unrealistic for most Americans to take two-hour lunch breaks.
  • The first two phases are restrictive and eliminate most carbohydrate foods.
  • The Parisian Diet is difficult to follow if you don’t enjoy or are intolerant to dairy products.
  • Allows consumption of diet soda, which has been associated with increasing appetite and weight gain.

We Can Learn From the Parisians

The Parisian Diet will appeal to those who enjoy a structured meal plan and have the time to prepare meals.

The benefits of this program are largely associated with learning to reduce portion sizes and avoiding between meal snacks. Weight loss will also occur due to the low amounts of carbohydrates and calories in the menu plans.

Continued success is most likely when practicing the principles of the Parisian Diet after completing the three-phase program.

 By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)
  • Pigeyre, M., Dauchet, L., Simon, C., Bongard, V., Bingham, A., Arveiler, D., … & Dallongeville, J. (2011). Effects of occupational and educational changes on obesity trends in France: the results of the MONICA-France survey 1986–2006. Preventive medicine, 52(5), 305-309. study link
  • Rozin, P., Fischler, C., Imada, S., Sarubin, A., & Wrzesniewski, A. (1999). Attitudes to food and the role of food in life in the USA, Japan, Flemish Belgium and France: Possible implications for the diet–health debate. Appetite, 33(2), 163-180. study link


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Last Reviewed: March 29, 2021