Thursday, March 12, 2009

How to eat the French way

Have you ever heard this phrase "French women don't get fat"? Ever wondered how do French eat and how can they stay slim & healthy? What about those croissant, cheese and the lattes calories counting? This topic has crossed my mind many times that I decided to do a little research on it. Many people say that French women have the best diet trick ever. It has been said that the trick is just to eat half of what's on the plate. Based on one source, "When being served meat, soup, vegetables, whatever, at someone's home, or even in a restaurant, Frenchwomen are apt to tell the person dishing it out, 'La moitie, s'il vous plait' — just give me half of that." Non! But this is too, too delicious! They have these wonderful lives, and qualities, by looking at how much everyone else is eating and just having half of it.

Mireille Guiliano, the author of the book below, has a personal reason on writing the book which is primarily dedicated for her American friends. Guiliano's own weight started to climb in her late teens. It was when she left France to study in the U.S. This book isn't just about dieting or losing weight but it's about learning to live the good life with those French tricks. She said that it's important taking time to enjoy the culinary offerings of each season. Guiliano also has recipes to be shared with us. Click here for the recipes. And you can click here to know the ultimate guide of eating for pleasure and not to get fat.

Here's another quote from this website: "The French live longer too, and have lower death rates from coronary heart disease. They don’t diet and they don’t spend hours panting round the gym." Here are the so-called “French paradox” points to be taking into account when you're still wondering how French women stays healthy and slim.
  1. Food for pleasure - savor the flavor: French people tend to taste foods individually rather than piling a number of foods on the fork at once.
  2. Small portion size: Although the French diet is rich in butter, cream, pastry and cheese, the research demonstrates they consume fewer calories, resulting in decreased number of overweight and obese people. Size does matter.
  3. Red wine: Antioxidants called flavonoids, natural chemical compounds found in red wine, promote health benefits to the heart and blood vessels.
  4. French tend to aim for food quality over quantity: French people buy fresher and of better quality of foodstuff from the open-air market.
  5. Home-cooking tradition: Regardless of their social background, French cook the real food which is prepared in their kitchen
  6. “No snacking” habit: The French tend to snack much less, instead, they try to eat more regularly. If they do snack, the French often choose fresh fruits between meals.
  7. Water vs sodas: Beverage preferences also come into play. French drink a lot of bottled water instead of sodas.
  8. Walking - naturally active life: The French aren't prone to rushing to the gym, however they are more physically active by simply walking a lot.
  9. Self-discipline: It’s true that the French deny themselves very little when it comes to food. But they also eat very little of it: a piece of dark chocolate after a meal, as opposed to a large piece (or two) of cake. They know that denial isn’t healthy, but it has to be moderated

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