When I was a student I spent 6 months in California and without paying attention I gained 22lbs! (10 kilos). When I came back, my mother was rather shocked to see me at the airport with this unexpected silhouette… PS: there were no social media at this time, neither numeric pictures so she hadn’t seen me since my departure ;)
It’s a common statement that French women generally don’t get fat. Do we have special genes? Are we very athletics?
It’s not only a common statment, it also has been verified with recent statistics (see cards below about percentage of obese people in the total population)
(illustrations from The Independant)
Then, when I came back from my US stay I didn’t follow a special diet plan. I already knew that diet program never works…
And few months later I had lost my annoying kilos… Doing what? Just eating the way I was doing before leaving.
What are French women secrets for losing weight or just staying thin in a country where gastronomy is a very strong tradition?
I will not talk about a sophisticate eating program : just a few simple habits that work!
1/ HAVE THREE REAL MEALS A DAY
One of the most common mistakes about losing 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 habits is to have a regular and complete meal, three times a day.
What is a complete meal? A starter, a main course, eventually some cheese (or yogurt) or desert (we will see that point in tip n°2). And please, banish ready meals and processed food! To be tasty and appealing, they’re always packed with too many salts, fats AND sugars (even in salty meals)…
Eat fresh products that you’ll cook by yourself: you’ll instantly see the difference! You always know what’s inside! And doing this, you will be able to reduce by half your dietary supplement budget!
2/ TAKE A FRESH 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 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 all other desserts. Most of all: unless you are able to have just one spoon, avoid ice creams !! I know they are delicious, but just too rich!
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, workmates… Having convivial meals also means that you’ve spent 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. In taking your time to eat slowly, your brain, then your stomach will receive the right informations and it will make things much easier to have a good digestion!
A traditional family meal: a good habit that haven’t disappear in France
4/ DON’T EAT BETWEEN MEALS
Snacking is the big thing to avoid. If you snack, you are probably eating too salty, too fat or too sweet.
When you snack, you don’t really control the exact quantity of what you’re eating. Besides, your whole digestion system don’t really have the time to do its job.
It starts, then you eat again and it have to start the process all again from the begining… You can’t eliminate properly and your body will stock. You eventually can have a “goûter” (in French): a tea or a coffee (without milk) and choose among bread, fruits, yogurt or a small cookie. I give you special tips to avoid snacking here.
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, too rich or just too nourishing. When you’re eating it’s even worst because you just double your calories without having the sensation to eat more… Diet sodas are OK but not very healthy. The best is drinking water : plain or sparkled, it doesn’t matter!
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 a filter or in a sparkling water/seltzer system. You also drink water when you are drinking tea during the whole day (green tea is especially a good one). Drinking water fill your stomach, avoiding to feel 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, prefer soy milk or another vegetal milk. Just check that there are no sugars inside!
7/ PREFER A GOOD GLASS OF WINE TO SEVERAL BEERS
When you have a good dinner 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 SMALLER PORTIONS
One thing that surprises all French people when they go in the United States it’s that every meal seems to be oversized! Big steaks, large plates of potatoes, giant ice-creams. We’re often amazed by the biggest sizes of everything. The fact is if you have more inside 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 smaller plates. The less you eat, the less your stomach will claim for food!
9/ IF YOU A HAD A RICH MEAL YESTERDAY, 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)
I know that sometimes 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. A 20-30 minutes walk /a day is so beneficial!
– Don’t park too close. Stop your car before you arrival destination 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 or cycling.
And one more tip: 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 unconsciously imagine yourself influence your daily acts.
Do you think that your conscious brain helps you in making rational and logical decisions?
Neuroscience specialists are certain 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 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 long and promptly lose weight
Why not trying?