The French diet fascinates many people for the simple reason that it really works. Just 11% of French people are obese, while 33% of Americans are considered obese. Many people could benefit from adopting some of the diet tricks used in France. While most of these tips are obvious and simple, others will probably astonish you.
1. Quality trumps quantity
When it comes to healthy eating, many of us believe we can’t afford to buy whole food. I do agree eating healthy a bit expensive, but it has a host of benefits. French people believe quality trumps quantity. Higher quality food allows you to enjoy it more. You don’t need to eat as much when you have the best steak. In addition, higher quality menus are less likely to contain chemicals and added sugar.
2. Eat only real food
Processed foods tend to be higher in fat and sugar and they are simply not as good for you as real, unprocessed items. French people prefer real butter over margarine, fresh chicken instead of processed nuggets and fresh food over canned. Real foods are really worth your money.
3. Sit down to eat
The act of sitting at a table with friends and family makes a meal a social event. Many Americans eat in front of the television or while rushing somewhere. Distracted eating often results in overeating. So make sure you can eat in silence and without any distraction.
4. Limit your portions
Portion sizes in many restaurants and homes are extraordinarily large. Most people do not need to eat as much as they do and each extra bite adds more calories. Using a smaller plate or sharing an entrée with someone else will help you reduce the amount of calories you take in.
5. Skip the snacks
Snacking is usually unnecessary and can lead to the consumption of extra calories. Take the time to make a filling, healthy meal a few times a day and eliminate the snacks. If you are eating well during breakfast, lunch and dinner, you will find that you do not need to eat between meals at all.
6. Eat slowly
French meals involve several leisurely courses that allow everyone to visit while they enjoy their food. Eating slowly allows the sensation of fullness to kick in before you overeat. When you scarf food down too fast, your body doesn’t have a chance to send the full message to your brain until it’s too late.
7. Drink wine the right way
French wine is renowned worldwide and enjoyed greatly in France. However, wine is taken with meals and in small amounts to prevent overindulgence. Sipping a little wine during the meal limits calorie intake and the effect is softened by the food. Just be sure to drink it in moderation.
8. Vary your foods
A French diet has a wide variety of foods. The range of options allows for maximum nutrition and helps prevent overeating. People who eat several colors of fruits and vegetables every day will be fitter and healthier. Try to include at least three or four different vegetables in each meal, as well as meats, whole grains and cheeses.
9. Eat fresh
Newly harvested vegetables are preferable to canned or even frozen ones. Fresh produce offers plenty of nutrients and is usually low in calories. Not only are fresh vegetables good for you, they usually taste much better, too. Besides, you can enjoy your fresh vegetables with hummus dip or use them in fresh smoothies.
10. Drink more water
I never forget about this tip when it comes to dieting. As it turned out, French women realize the importance of water too. Your stomach can trick you into thinking that you’re hungry when you are really just thirsty. Most people are semi-dehydrated, so adding a little more water to your diet is a good way to stay healthy. Water can also make you feel fuller overall and reduce the urge to snack.
French people stay svelte for a very good reason. They eat well and know the value of portion control. Rather than stuff themselves, they prefer to savor the richest foods and are satisfied with small amounts. Many people could save their waistlines and reduce other health issues by switching to a French diet and including a little more exercise in their daily routine.