Eating like the French… simplified

Sharing the research around the relationship between the French way of eating and a slim and healthy body is a big part of my work…and my passion.

The most painful and stressful habit most American women suffer from is an obsession with food. They think about food daily, agonize over “bad” foods and the fact that they shouldn’t eat them, stress over what they’ll make for diner, lust over their partner’s plates, and process complex math to count their calories.
This is total madness, slavery, and a life doomed for misery.

Not to mention that it usually backfires as a weight loss plan, and that many divorces probably were the results of the lovely wife turning into a total witch from chronic starvation and food obsession.
Are the French wives nicer you ask? No, there are not. They are demanding, sarcastic, and opinionated. But they put their energy and time towards looking good, cooking a mean and savory meal, and taking their brood on 20-mile bike rides. As a bonus, their libido does not suffer with age…nor does their waist size.
So clearly, putting a little French into your lifestyle can really pay off!
When working with clients on a long-term basis, we really dive into the depth of what that means in their daily lives and they get to implement over the course of several months, but for the sake of speed and simplicity, I have compiled 7 easy tips for you to try out.
This could transform your relationship with food (and your partner!) for the better…

  1.  Eat only at meal times, and only at the table. French women do NOT snack. They also do not eat in cars. They do not eat standing up, while watching TV, browsing the internet, checking email, or on their phones. Sit down and eat properly. Constant snacking is the ban of a healthy and lean body, despite all the conflicting information on eating multiple small meals. As a recovering snacking addict, I am a big believer of the French model of three square meals plus a “gouter” between lunch and dinner. My clients and I have seen a significant improvement in blood sugar balance once we ditched the constant eating. And unless your full attention is on your meal, the necessary body chemistry and satiety signals necessary for proper digestion and avoid over-eating.
  2. Eat real food and don’t drink your calories. Real food is what your great-grandmother would recognize as food. French women don’t sweeten things with fake sweeteners. They use real fats. They eat vegetables. They eat full fat dairy products. Real food means shopping more frequently, finding local food providers like farmer’s markets, farmers, butchers, fishmongers. It may mean (yikes!) spending more money on food. Why do we shy away from spending more money on quality food but don’t mind dropping $5 for a fancy coffee? French families eat out far less frequently than Americans do. Perhaps we should reallocate some of the eating out and Starbucks budget on real food?
  3. Get cooking! Once you clean up your body and taste buds of junk and highly processed food, you can really start tasting and appreciating fresh ingredients, which in turn sparks an interest in cooking. French households usually have two working parents, yet they manage to make home-cooked  meals every night. Success in cooking with a busy life is all about the right plan and the right strategies. The French don’t eat out as much as Americans do, favoring instead high quality ingredients.
  4. Eat mindfully and slowly. This one is probably the hardest for me. I am always the first one done with my meal when I visit my family and friends in France. However, this is the tip that can give you the most results IF you commit to work on it. Eating slowly and mindfully means better digestion, absorption, regularity, and less weight gain. This is probably the biggest gift you can give your body and yourself. You deserve it…after all, eating is not a sin, it’s a pleasure!
  5. Eat lighter at night. In France, lunchtime is the main event and generous in size, where as dinner is usually light (soups, salads, omelets, or a simple pasta dish). This makes for much better sleep, and the body can focus on repairing and regenerating instead of digesting. And as far as weight loss is concerned, just know that sumo wrestlers put on their pounds by consuming most of their calories before bed. Your body is a chemistry lab, and the strongest digestive efficiency happens around noon and is the weakest at night. Night time snacking will sabotage all efforts to lose weight.

Now you can easily benefit from putting a little French into your busy lifestyle, no trips to Paris required!

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