Remember a few years ago when that study came out that a glass of red wine every day was healthy? Remember when everyone thought they had suddenly solved the riddle about why French people eat so well and are so fit? That was bogus. Even if a glass of red wine every day is good for you, the answer isn’t that simple. But it isn’t a mystery, either.
Let’s face it; the French appreciate food, especially food that doesn’t seem so healthy. While it seems like this appreciation would make the French fatter, I think it really makes them thinner. Consider an American meal. We heat something up (or just go to the closest fast food joint), shovel it onto our plates, and then shovel it into our mouths before we know whether we’re full yet.
The French take their time preparing their food and they take their time eating it. They savor every bite. Guess what happens when you savor every bite. You realize that you’re full before you’ve stuffed yourself. The French eat smaller, more enjoyed portions. Similarly the Japanese diet also embraces the same issue.
The French also eat more of their food earlier in the day. One study showed that the French consumed as much as 60% of the calories for the day in two meals within the first six hours of the day. They snack less and eat smaller dinners than Americans do. They don’t go to bed with a belly full of food every night after pigging out in front of the TV for a few hours. They’ve already burned off most of the calories they consumed for the day.
Maybe the French have it right. Maybe it’s not about what you eat; maybe it’s about how you eat it. The French break every rule of American dieting. Rich cream sauces, red meat, lots of carbs, chocolate, and wine are everyday staples in a French diet. They’re obsessed with good food, not with the perfectly calibrated diet that could drive anyone crazy. They eat what they like in moderation. Maybe having a healthy relationship with food is actually the secret to losing weight and being healthier. Or maybe I am just trying to find excuse to gobble up this cake :)
Labels: diet tips