When you think of a French girl you don’t usually imagine an overweight woman running to her car, with a giant cup of Starbucks, eating sandwiches on the go. You imagine an elegantly dressed thin woman sitting on a patio and indulging in a small cup of latte and slowly devouring a pastry. This right there is the difference between american and French mentality and one of the reasons why French women stay thin while American don’t.
The French diet, or more accurately, the French lifestyle consists of eating smaller portions, less often, plus really enjoying them. That doesn’t mean you can eat half the amount of French fries that you used to consume, rather you have to eat smaller portions of good quality foods that have positive effects on your body. By sticking to this diet, you should be able to shed weight and feel great about yourself in the process.
For starters, we need to look at the difference between the French government and that of the United States, for example. In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration monitors the foods that are put on grocery store shelves, but they don’t limit the number of unhealthy items available to the public. On the contrary, the French government is strict about marketing unhealthy food and the sales of these types of food items.
We don’t think you should immediately venture out and buy a house in France, but you can adjust your eating habits to follow what is done by French women and also do a little more exercise to achieve the ultimate goal of feeling great about who you are.
Smaller Portions Doesn’t Mean More Meals
In the U.S., when smaller portions are eaten, the idea is that you can eat more of these smaller meals throughout the day. While this is a healthier version of eating compared to the alternatives, it isn’t what the French Diet is all about.
With the French Diet, your smaller portions of food consist of high-quality food items that are meant to help increase your metabolism, make you feel great and filled. When you visit France and live their culture, shop at their markets and eat their foods, you will notice the portions, whether they are at a fancy restaurant or at a local supermarket ,are considerably smaller than those you would get back home. By following their portion control guidelines, you will see a drastic difference in how you feel about your health.
Love What You Eat or Joie De Vivre
In the U.S., food is eaten constantly not because it is an enjoyable act or because a person is hungry, it is done just to do it. In France, the idea of eating is something that isn’t about eating a donut at your desk just because you’re bored. It is all about enjoying the food you are eating, enjoying the conversation, enjoying your coffee, stopping the time and experiencing life to the fullest. French really take the time of their day to indulge. It seems the purpose of living for the French is to enjoy life and to truly celebrate each day and each meal. This spirit of celebration is called Joie de Vivre.
Don’t Eat and Run
It’s something that is far too common in the U.S. You get home from work and make dinner for your family. Instead of sitting at the table together and talking about your day, you scatter around the house, eat on a couch while watching TV, or in some cases, eat and run. This act often leads to eating food quickly, which has a negative effect on the sensation of being full. If you eat too fast, your body won’t be able to adjust and react.
In France, it isn’t only at dinner, but for breakfast and lunch too that they get together to calmly enjoy their meals. Even when it comes to eating at McDonald’s, French people take their time. According to Psychological Science, when Americans eat at the popular fast food chain, they eat in 14 minutes. In France, that number is considerably higher as these meals last 22 minutes.
Let’s look at this scenario. You know you are going to have a fire drill at your office well in advance. On this day, do you wear your stiletto heels or flats? Unless you enjoy torture, you are going to choose the comfortable shoes. This is the same for French women, but the difference between them and American women is the fact that they would rather walk somewhere than drive or take public transportation. In some American cities, it is nearly impossible to walk to work or to the grocery store, but even in those areas where it is possible, it doesn’t happen enough. If you walk anywhere from 60 to 90 minutes each day, your body will be in better shape to maintain its weight.
Take the Stairs
A lot of the ideal properties in the heart of France are older buildings that don’t have any elevators. Even in those buildings that do have elevators, French women are less inclined to take them. Unless you live on the top level of a 30 floor structure, you shouldn’t have any problem walking up the stairs, especially when you know that for every flight of stairs you walk will burn nine calories.
Overall, the French Diet isn’t only about watching what you eat, walking a little more and eating less times each day, it’s about realizing how changing your lifestyle just a bit can lead to a better and fitter looking you. By following these steps you can become a little bit more French and begin to improve your life one step at a time.
If the topic of French and their eating habits really intrigues you, you can explore it further and look into a great book that is actually titled: French Women Don’t Get Fat by Mireille Guiliano.