The French Secrets to Staying Slim

Portrait of young women having fun in Paris

How do the French stay so effortlessly lean?

According to this article there are five secrets. The first two are no snacking between meals, and plenty of red meat.

Mail Online: Revealed: How French Women Stay Slim Without Even Trying (And It’s a Lot Easier Than You Think)

The other “secrets” are also mostly good advice, like eating real, home-cooked food with your family and friends, and avoid fast foods like the plague.

More

How to Lose Weight

Meal plans

Get lots of weekly low-carb meal plans, that require no snacking and include red meat, some French recipes, complete with shopping lists and everything, with our premium meal planner tool (free trial).
  • Zucchini fritters with beet saladMon
  • Fried fish with yogurt and walnut dipTue
  • Stuffed peppers with ground beef and cheeseWed
  • Oven-baked sausage with veggiesThu
  • Zoodles with creamy salmon sauceFri
  • Low-carb Nasi GorengSat
  • Pork loin roast with blue cheese sproutsSun

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4 Comments

  1. Gentiann
    Well I am a French woman who has been struggling with weight since birth. I guess I am the exception to the rule….unfortunately!
    I'm not saying that this article is not true, au contraire!
    Traditionally the 5 rules are very true: snacking is a no-no and is discouraged, specially with kids.
    Eating usually takes place at the table with family, friends or your coworker: Light breakfast, a large lunch and a lighter dinner is the norm.
    We love and are very proud of our butter, high fat cheeses, charcuterie, and meat although vegetables and fruits are also highly praised.
    Cakes and sweets are only eaten on occasion…forget about daily muffins and cookies. Croissants are not sweet but they have a high percentage of fat, which probably is a better alternative.
    We also love our bread but we don’t eat sandwiches, although this is becoming more common among the young generation. Same goes for fast food.
    And we love to cook.
    Unfortunately, the French government has adopted the American message of Low Fat High Carb….mostly because "if it's coming from Harvard, they cannot be wrong"
    And ironically, the so-call French Paradox became an embarrassing fact…..the realization that we were eating more fat than any other European country prompted the government to campaign against saturated fat.
    No wonder that obesity is going up in France now.
  2. Gisele Fuhrer
    Hello Dear readers,

    I am very surprised that you didn't add to your message that a big difference between Nord America and France is that the food is processed in a different way and this make a big difference. Also, working hours are different too, we work from 8 am to noon and 2 pm to 5 or 6 pm it depends on where your work, so most of the french people are able to go home and eat their cooked meals at home. We also have a better-balanced diet, yogurt and cheese is a daily part of our diet. and eating in the car or on the street is a big no no, I wasn't in France for a long time, however, I know that the fast food industry has become a part of France which I believe is a shame. I immigrated to Canada when I was 38 years old, had never ever had an issue with weight even though I was mother of 4, I immigrated at first to Quebec which is a province with a lot of similarities with France, after 6 years I came to Alberta and after maybe 5-6 years I noticed that I gained weight I tried every single diet out there all of them worked, however as soon as I came of them the weight came back on. I tried the high fat low carbs diet which reminds me of my cooking style in France and I lost all the extra pounds, so in one word all comes to what your body was used to

    Gisele

  3. Gentiann
    Bonjour,Gisèle,
    What do you mean, when you say: "the food is processed in a different way"?
    I was fat, growing up in France and I had only home cooked meals....there was not much processed food or fast food in the 50s and 60s. My mother was buying fresh meat and vegetables every day, but we were also heavy on starchy foods (bread, rice, pasta), desserts were yogurts and fruits, water was the only drink for the kids at the table. Never had fruit juice or soda. I was walking to school (20 minutes away), coming back home from lunch, which amounts to a total of 80 minutes walk daily.
    Despite all this good quality food, I was always starving, and I realize now that I was probably insulin resistant very early on. There is a genetic tendency to put on weight from my father side but my mother was very lean despite having several children.
  4. Fairuz
    For all of you this article is very interesting.

    https://academic.oup.com/aje/article/166/12/1374/82812/Impact-of-Ener...

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