The French Diet


French People: How Are They So Skinny?

Go to France and look at the people. Obesity is not a concern here. French people are skinny. And go to Paris and they are even skinner. But their food is so good and they eat butter, cheese, and carbs. So how is it possible and what is their secret? 

The quality of food is healthier: the majority of food is fresh. Over the years I have seen more and more pre-prepared foods, but fresh is still a way to go. They also don't like adding unnecessary ingredients, like conservatives. When I read a food label in France, I know what is in the product and I'm not guessing what else is in it. 

They eat a bigger lunch and a smaller dinner: so many nutritionists recommend this, but with our lifestyle in the US, it just doesn't work out. Many French people get more than a 30 minute lunch break, meaning that they can take the time to eat rather than skip on lunch and eat a bigger dinner like we do in the US. Nutritionists say that consuming large meals before bed is not healthy because the calories go unused. So in France, they just have smaller meals at dinner and larger ones at lunch. 

The portions are smaller: since the portions are smaller here, they are only eating what they need and are not stuffing themselves full, except on special occasions. Even for snacks, they know how to control themselves and don't give into gluttony. How they do it, I don't know, because the food is amazing! 

They are used to walking everywhere: cities are small and you usually have everything that you need right next to you. Yes things are expanding and some people need to drive, but a lot of people can still walk to where they need to go. Especially in Paris. I'm convinced people are skinny because they don't want to carry excess groceries back to their apartment. Only the necessities. But many people choose to walk if it's close enough. Only when it rains do people cave and take the metro. They get their daily exercise in. 
Every day feels like a stair master workout
Yay all the stairs leading up to Sacre Coeur

They're active: I wouldn't compare French active to American active. Each has different motivations. But what I can see is that people belong to clubs or go play sports to socialize with other people or to do something outside of work. My boss plays tennis with friends twice a week. I have family members that take classes at a gym. There's activities for everyone but it's not hyper competitive like in the US, unless we're talking about soccer. 

They indulge: you know when you go on a diet and deprive yourself from all the food that you like and then one day give into those cravings and binge like there's no tomorrow then have a hate filled food hangover? Yeah that doesn't happen here. People still indulge in what they like but only do so in moderation if they're watching what they eat. There's no binges because they give into cravings and enjoy the moment. And they do so in moderation. 

The French probably have even more secrets under their belt but I haven't figured those out yet. What I do know is that it works. I don't know how people gain weight in France if they're from the US, because I always find the opposite happening whenever I'm here. 

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