“French Women Don’t Get Fat. The Secret of Eating for Pleasure”- this is the title of the book by Mireille Guiliano, which became a bestseller in 2009. Let’s run through it and highlight the main points.
Mireille Guiliano was born in France and had been living there until the age of 19 when she went to America to study. Mireille says that she had always been a slim girl, but on arriving in the U.S. she very quickly ceased to be slim. When she came back to France after graduation, she had extra 10 kilos (about 5 lbs) of weight, and the family literally did not recognize her. The author tells us that she had been suffering a lot before she became slim again – just like the Mireille people in France used to know. She had to once again become a Frenchwoman – that is the secret.
Indeed, there is a fairly accurate statistics, which says that women in France are the least likely to suffer from excess weight and obesity. For example, Marie Claire reports that only 6% of Frenchwomen are overweight or obese, while with the Americans the figure is 50%.
It is high time to learn from French women how to eat and live.
In her book “Why French women do not get fat” Mireille Guiliano admits that achieving a healthy weight is a psychological problem rather than a matter of trivial diet. She welcomes everyone to change their habits and thoughts.
1. Eat Seasonal Foods
We know a lot about the benefits and the taste of seasonal food, but we seldom eat it. Think about the difference between your dinner in winter and in summer. Most of us will tell you that there is almost no difference. But eating seasonal food is much easier and cheaper. Seasonal fruit and vegetables are a quality and healthy option. Many of us believe that the opportunity of eating usual processed foods (frozen vegetables, frozen fish, canned fruit and juice) is convenient and it is a sign of good fortune. However, this is a very big mistake as we deprive ourselves of so many things, giving up fresh vegetables from the garden for the sake of comfort.
2. Don’t Eat Fat-Free and Sugar-Free Trash
According to the author of the book, Frenchwomen eat natural foods with a bright taste. They do not eat anything labeled as “fat-free” and “sugar-free”. They go to the market or to the store to buy a real product. But they eat everything in moderation. Frenchwomen eat much smaller portions than American or Latin American women. A large amount of processed foods in our diet is just trash that we consume. If you are hungry, it is better to eat an apple or a carrot, but not an empty product!
3. A Balanced, Varied Diet Is the Key to Weight Loss
This point is partly linked to the previous one. Seasonal food can not only keep you healthy, but it also deprives you of routine and monotony of the diet. Food monotony leads to overeating because we want to compensate for the number of boring and uninteresting foods. French women like novelties and new items not only in clothes and cosmetics. Including something new into their food and trying to cook new dishes is also considered very French.
4. Food Rituals
Think of yourself or the pictures of popular American films. American women drink coffee on their way to work, they have lunch while clarifying office problems, and dine while listening to the latest news. Frenchwomen eat differently. There is no computer, no TV, no food on the go and so on.
5. Physical Activity Should Include a Sense
Mireille Guiliano writes that pointless exercise is as bad as mindless eating. This is like empty calories that are just accumulated at the waist. Mindless going to a fitness club would not be good as well.
French women love to take advantage of their activity. For example, they do a lot of work about the house, go shopping on a bicycle, and walk to a business meeting. When movement is a part of life, it is beneficial. No pointless bikes and weightlifting! Of course, they go to the gym and train muscles, but they are not afraid of missing their training for the sake of meeting with friends, and then they will surely make a few squats at home.
6. French Journeys Help Drop Weight, Too
This type of activity is worth speaking about. Why simply ride a bike or run? You can ride and go somewhere. Bike tours or hiking are good to see something, to learn something new and visit interesting places. Just walk somewhere to dream or think about something. Movements must also bring joy and make sense. We are not machines just to run in the mornings following the same route.
7. Enjoy Life
Mireille believes that this is the main distinguishing feature of French women. They all have fun. They need to get all the positive emotions. They could have even invented flirt to communicate effortlessly and fall in love easily. Connoisseurs of food and sex, connoisseurs of life. Wine, bread and chocolate are fun for them and not just harmful products.
8. Drink Water – Yes, Again!
French women have a special attitude to water. Mineral water or plain water for drinking. They drink water throughout the day. Not only in the morning, not just before meals. And they drink a lot. The author of the book always keeps water in mind, not only when she is hot or when she decides to lose weight. While you are in a restaurant in France, there is always a bottle of drinking water without gas on the table. French food is washed down not with cola or juice, but just with plain water. And this is the way French people eat at home. This is because water is the most useful drink in the world, as we have already written. For those losing weight and for all people.
+1 Bonus Normal Weight Secret – Food Diary
Mireille Guiliano is not a doctor or a nutritionist, but she managed to convince many Americans to reconsider their habits. Following her advice, many people began to keep a food diary and found out that they were eating a lot of empty and unnecessary food. Mireille says that three weeks of observation will be enough to try to change something in your life and in your diet. Are you inspired by Mireille’s findings?