For years, the question has been asked how French women stay thin. While you may chalk this up to the unhealthy habit of smoking, there are actually healthy reasons that contribute to how French women stay thin... so let's find out what they are!How French Women Stay Thin: 7 Secrets To Try
- They Don't Deprive Themselves. The French are known to enjoy rich foods and wine... which means they don't deprive themselves of foods they love, which is great! I am a big proponent of the 80/20 rule - eat healthy 80% of the time, and treat yourself 20% of the time. This allows you to indulge in a delicious dessert or glass of wine because you have already given your body a healthy, nutrient-rich meal. And because the French commit to smaller portions, they are able to enjoy the foods they want.
- They Savor Their Meals. France is not the place for drive-thrus, and while take-out is becoming more popular, the history of this country is to sit down and enjoy a meal with all of your senses. Sometimes called mindful eating, it means you are focusing on what is in front of you, and how it tastes, smells, feels, looks... This can result in eating less because you are attuned to when you begin to feel full, but it's even more than that - it is really appreciating where your food came from and what it is doing for your body. When you start to look at your food in this way, instead of say, shoving a bag of chips into your mouth with no real thought, you will find a better relationship with food in your future.
- They Don't Snack! At least not in the traditional sense that other countries do. Go to a grocery store in France, and check out the snack aisle - it's tiny compared to grocery stores here! That is because snacking isn't a thing there - it's more about sitting and eating meals. Now that said, for sure French women get hungry between meals, like any of us. And when they do, they tend to opt for yogurt (again, check out the yogurt aisle in a French grocery store - the choices are seemingly endless!). Yogurt is a great between-meal food - it is high in calcium, it offers up protein and carbs to keep your energy levels up, and fat to keep your hunger pangs away. I have yogurt as part of my snacking options in my DeniseAustin.com eating plan - and I eat yogurt often myself!
- They Eat Fresh Foods. There is a reason you find bakeries, butchers and neighborhood fresh food markets all around France - the French buy their foods daily or every few days. By eating fresh, whole foods, you are more likely to be putting nutrients and vitamins into your diet without adding a lot of preservatives and artificial ingredients. This has the added bonus of less food waste at the end of the week, as you are buying what you know you will eat.
- They Drink Lots of Water. You are less likely to see a French person walking around with a giant soda than a giant bottle of water... This in and of itself is a great way to lose weight (plus water plumsp your skin, keeps your system running smoothly and gets you feeling energized!). Soda - including diet soda - isn't healthy, and while you can indulge in one every now and then, I suggest you do like the French and focus on water as your main source of fluids.
- They Also Drink Lots of Wine. In addition to being thinner, the French are also known to have relatively lower levels of heart disease than Americans - despite drinking wine and eating rich foods. One reason for this could be the resveratrol found in the red wine they drink with meals. Along with blueberries and cranberries, the skin and seeds of red grapes contain resveratrol, which has been studied over and over for its incredible anti-aging and longevity properties. French women are naturally boosting their energy levels when they drink red wine! Since I prefer to have wine in moderation, I take a resveratrol supplement to help get this compound into my body (it not only boosts my energy, but it's good for brain and heart health, too).
- They Walk. A LOT!! Way more than a typical American does... This helps to burn off calories and fat, keep muscles toned, and keeps your mind engaged, too. I love walking and we should all be doing more of it! I know it's not so easy if you don't live in a big city and must walk to get groceries or to work, so I suggest making it a point to get up 10 minutes earlier in the morning and go for a walk or do an indoor walking workout; at lunch go for another quick walk (indoors or out); and after dinner do the same. If you can aim for at least 30 minutes of walking every day, you WILL see and feel a difference!