The Da Vinci diet or “slimming code” is a method that does not date from yesterday. It was developed by Stephen Lanzalotta, a baker from Portland, in the Northwest of the United States. In 2004, the latter told CBS News that he had the idea to develop this diet because he had lost half of his customers to the craze for low-carb products .
To create the “Da Vinci Diet”, in other words the “Da Vinci diet”, the baker was inspired by the book Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown so that consumers eat bread again . “He is neither a nutritionist nor an academic – he trained in biology and biochemistry. But Lanzalotta claims that people have been eating bread for too long for that to be suddenly the reason everyone is putting on weight , ” perhaps. read in the CBS News publication .
After developing this method, Stephen Lanzalotta wrote a book on The Da Vinci Diet. The latter was published in 2006 and is titled The Slimming Code – The Method and Today’s Recipes Inspired by Renaissance Principles . It contains recipes as well as advice to follow to the letter to achieve the Da Vinci diet and achieve an “ideal” nutritional and physical balance .
What does the Da Vinci diet or “slimming code” consist of?
The principle of the Da Vinci diet is to adopt a healthy and balanced diet to lose weight . To achieve this, this method is based on the “golden ratio”, also known under the name of “divine proportion”, so that the one who carries out this diet can eat any type of food in suitable quantities. This number, which corresponds to 1.618, is the value of a proportion. It is irrational like “pi”.
It has long fascinated philosophers, mathematicians but also artists. This value, whose symbol is “phi” (from the sculptor Phydias), is used in architecture but also in painting. The Italian painter Leonardo da Vinci used the “golden ratio” to find the ideal proportions of his portraits, in particular his work The Vitruvian Man .
Within the framework of the Da Vinci diet, this figure makes it possible to calculate and define the so-called “ideal” proportion of proteins , carbohydrates and fats for healthy and balanced eating. Stephen Lanzalotta used the “golden ratio” to prepare his slimming recipes .
Da Vinci diet or “slimming code”: in practice, how does it work?
There is no need to count calories as part of the “slimming code” diet. But great importance is attached to the balance of food intake . The quantified intakes are those of three nutrients: proteins , lipids and carbohydrates . According to the American baker, the perfect proportions for each food are 52% carbohydrate, 20% protein and 28% fat.
“The Da Vinci diet consists of the foods consumed by the philosophers and artists of Antiquity, namely fish, cheese, vegetables, meat, nuts, wine and bread”, we can read in the CBS News article . A study published in November 2018, in the Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association , specified that “fresh, high fiber and vegetarian foods constitute the bulk of the Da Vinci diet. (…) ‘foods rich in water are recommended’.
According to dietician and nutritionist Elsa Orivel, the Da Vinci diet can be difficult to stick to in the long term because it is quite restrictive. “It’s easier to count calories or refer to a list of permitted and prohibited foods than to check the percentages for each food,” she explains.
The nutritionist indicates that this can be possible but only if one follows to the letter the recipes of the book of Stephen Lanzalotta or if one uses an application which displays the nutritional composition of each food in order to obtain the said distribution.
As part of this diet, the proportion of carbohydrates is higher than that offered in usual diets. It may therefore be easier to follow for people who are unable to completely remove sugar from their diet, but it is not “wise” especially when wanting to lose weight , according to the dietician. .
“The notion of total calories is forgotten here. On the other hand, that of distribution is important. But we also need to know if this diet is suitable for any lifestyle or a sporting activity, for example. Without its information, this method is limited to the distribution of macronutrients “, specifies the dietician.
Da Vinci diet or “slimming code”: is it dangerous for health?
Elsa Orivel considers that the “slimming code” diet is not a dangerous method because it is close to a balanced diet . The Da Vinci diet respects French recommendations in terms of nutrition . And for good reason, the National Food Safety Agency (ANSES) considers that “the optimal range of fat intake is set at 35-40% of energy intake” , that of proteins is estimated at 10 -20% and that in carbohydrates is fixed at 40-55%.
But, according to the dietician , this diet does not follow the recommendations usually given in the context of current diets because the proportion of carbohydrates is high. In his book, Stephen Lanzalotta insists that his diet does not recommend banishing sugars . “You can indulge in sweets without worrying about compromising your results. Yes, you can go against the dietary advice of decades past. Eat bread! Eat butter!” , can we read in an excerpt from his book published by the media ABC News .
“As part of the Da Vinci diet, we reduce fat and increase sugars. This is the reverse of low-sugar diets, which generally have a higher lipid content,” says the nutritionist.