How to lose weight : 10 French Women’s Tips

It’s a common statement that French women generally don’t get fat.

It’s also a truth, which can be verify with recents statistics see below (from french statistic institute INSEE, 2010).

Kiraz illustration

So, in few words what are French women secrets to lose weight or just stay thin in a country where gastronomy and good meals are a very strong tradition ? I will  not talking about a special diet or eating program, just a few habits that work !

 

1/ HAVE THREE REAL MEALS A DAY

One of the most common mistake about loosing weight and staying in shape is to skip a meal. If you do so, you will snack during the day or eat twice more at the next meal. All wrong! One of the best habit is to have regular and complete meal, three times a day. What is a complete meal ?  A starter, a main course, eventually some cheese (or yoghurt) or desert (we will see that point).

2/ TAKE A GOOD FRUIT FOR DESSERT

If you had a complete meal, you might not need a dessert. Pay attention at your stomach, he will tell what you’re really need… If you can’t avoid finishing your meal without a sweet taste, prefer a healthy food as a good fruit. They can be fresh in a salad,  cooked in the oven (pears or apples are just delicious that way), mixed with a yogurt… Even if they contain sugars, fruits are always lighter than other desserts. Most of all : unless you are able to have just one spoon, avoid ice creams !! I know they are good, but just too rich ! (and you’re not growing up anymore).

3/ HAVE CONVIVIAL MEALS

For most of French people, eating isn’t a duty but a pleasure and it is even more valuable when you share it with people you like : friends, family, date… Have a convivial meals also means that you took time and energy to prepare it. In fact the more time you spent to prepare and share good things, the more time you will take to eat and appreciate them ! (for me cooking have also the power to restrain my appetite !).  So the important thing about convivial meals is to eat slowly (chew at last 10-15  times before swallow) and to appreciate each bite of food. All that makes things much easier to have a good digestion !

4/ NEVER EAT BETWEEN MEALS

Snacking is the big thing to avoid. If you snack, you’ll probably eat too salty, too fat or too sweet. When you snack, you don’t really control the exact quantity of what your’re eating. Besides, your whole digestion system don’t really have the time to do its job that it had to started all again. You can’t eliminate properly and your body will stock. You eventually can have a « gouter » (in french) : a tea or a coffea (without milk) and choose among bread, fruits, yogurt or a small cookie. I’ll give you special tips to avoid snacking in a new post.

5/ NO SWEET SODAS, FRUIT JUICES OR MILK

Between meals, drinking sweet sodas, fruit juices or a glass of milk is just the same than eating between meals (the only difference is the liquid form of your meal…). Too sweet, to rich or just too nourishing. When you’re eating it’s neither a good thing to do because you’ll just double your calories without having the sensation to eat more… Diet sodas are OK but not very healthy. The best is water !

6/ DRINK A LOT OF WATER AND AVOID MILK UNLESS YOU’RE STILL GROWING UP !

In your diet plan, water is the best drink to have during the day. If you’re not sure about your tape water buy mineral water or invest in a water pitcher with filter or in a sparkling water/seltzer system. You also drink water when you drink tea during the whole day (green tea is specially advisable). Drinking water fill your stomach, avoiding to fell hungry. Besides it’s perfect to eliminate toxins.  Also, when you drink tea or coffee, avoid milk if you can. Milk is often too rich and contains animal proteins which are difficult to digest. If you can’t do without it, you might prefer soy milk.

7/ PREFER A GOOD GLASS OF WINE TO SEVERAL BEERS

When you have a good diner or just want to spend good times with friends  prefer a good glass of wine to several beers. Wine drinkers are less prone to heart disease, diabetes than non- wine drinkers. Besides wine is less calorific than beer. So cheers ! (santé !).

8/ EAT SMALL PORTIONS

One thing which surprises all French people when they go in United States it’s that every meal seem to be oversized ! Big steaks, large plates of potatoes, enormous ice-creams. We are all amazed with the biggest sizes of everthing. The fact is if you have more in your plate, you’ll eat more… I know it’s not always easy but you should always try to serve smaller portions. Or you can use smaler plates. The less you eat, the less your stomach will claim for food !

9/ IF YOU A HAD A RICH MEAL YESTEDAY, LIGHT IT TODAY

If you had  a chocolate croissant for breakfast, have a vegetable-based lunch or pass on the bread basket at dinner…It’s all about balance.

10/ WALK MOST OF THE TIME (or drive a bicycle)

Obesity and overweight in United States (purple) compare to France (pink)

I know United States is a big country and you need to drive because you’re far from your office/kids school/supermarket… Even so, you can try one of these tips to walk more :

– Don’t park too close. Stop your car before you arrival point at 300 feet and walk.

– At lunch break, have a little walk.

– If the weather is sunny and the road not too dangerous, drive a bicycle.

Think about your different daily rides, I am sure you can find several occasions to walk !


And one more : REPROGRAM YOUR BRAIN!

If you think : I am fat, I was programmed to be that way, there is nothing I can do about it…

The way that you uncousciously imagine yourself influence your daily acts.
Do you think that your conscious brain helps you in making rational and logical decisions?
Neuroscience specialists are certains today that it’s not the case!
Our unconscious brain is the most powerful!
If you imagine that you are thin, if you act as a slim person you just won’t act the same way that if you think that you are fat. This hard to believe but it’s a true!
To become permanently thin and lean, you need to know how to think, act, and respond like a thin person does, explains Jim Katsoulis, a Master Hypnotist and certified Yoga Instructor. It is easy to know what to do, but you get results when you know how to do it.
That’s why he creates the “Program Yourself Thin Course”
A really different way to learn:
– Where Your Self Image Came From?
– How To Align Your Core Beliefs?
– How to Perceive In New Ways?
– To Feel Like A « Thin Person »?
Let speak to you Unconscious Brain the part of you that carries out automatic functions, such as breathing, but also stores all your habits.

Those are tips you can easily follow all life on and lose weight. When I came back in France from California, where I stayed for a year, I personally lose weight: 22lbs (10 kilos) without following a special diet plan.

Why not triying ?

 

 

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2 Comments

  1. A French friend I met in the US gave me a very simple soup recipe she would have for dinner – basically boil some vegetables in water then purée it. Do you do that as well? It really is a great way to fill up on almost no calories, and it’s time I reincorporate that trick into my day! :)

    • Yes, it’s a very famous soup receipe here in France. Delicious, easy to do and you can vary with all kind of vegetables. Just avoid adding cream, milk or butter ;-)

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