Want to eat, drink and stay slim, without depriving yourself and spending hours in the gym? Here are 29 food habits to pick from the French. This post from MindBodyGreen.com has put together 29 food rules we can learn from the French to stay slim.
In France, time-tested food wisdom, health and pleasure will never be overruled by modern fads that don’t work. No wonder the percentage of people suffering obesity in France is half of the percentage in the USA, Australia or New Zealand, despite the national diet being rich in supposedly harmful foods!
The good news? You don’t need to live in France to reap the benefits of the French art de vivre, weight loss being one of the most rewarding outcomes of positive and happy eating inspired by a French attitude toward food! Real food, traditions and lifestyle are the secret formula. Simply follow these 29 rules:
1. Stop depriving yourself.
The most important rule to stay slim like the French? Never deprive yourself of something you want to eat.
2. Respect food.
It is an art.
3. Sit at a table to eat, always.
Never eat on the go. Ever.
4. Slow down.
Put your fork down between each bite. Yes, do it.
5. Eat real, local, fresh, unprocessed food.
As much as you can.
6. Balance your meals.
Indulgence is important, but you feel you’ve overdone it a little at one meal, balance it out with a lighter meal the next time you eat.
7. Never go for second best.
It’s about quality not quantity. Always.
8. Have three meals a day.
Not two, not six. Three.
9. Set and respect meal times.
You’ll be hungry for your meals and will actually enjoy each of them if you’re not snacking in between.
10. Add side salads.
Eat a green salad at every meal or at least once a day; it’s the best way to easiest way to eat more plants.
11. Prepare and cook your meals with love.
Take pride in what you prepare to feed and nourish your body.
12. Never cook food when stressed or angry.
You’ll taste the negative emotions in your food, and they won’t do your body any good.
13. Chew, chew, chew and chew again.
14. Make food your friend.
Food isn’t the enemy: there’s no guilt in eating, only pleasure, joy and beauty.
15. Make it beautiful.
Freshness, quality, seasonality, seasoning, flavor, texture, visual variety, color and presentation all contribute to your pleasure.
16. Be present.
Don’t eat like a mindless robot or just because you need to eat. Be aware of what you’re putting into your body and appreciate each bite.
17. Share and enjoy your meals.
Food is all about love, so share your meals with family and friends when you can.
18. Enjoy dessert every day.
Not too much, but it’s important toindulge your sweet tooth. Opt for the best ingredients for maximum pleasure and you’ll never feel deprived.
19. Eat carbs.
But only the good ones (whole grains, oats, beans, veggies, nuts) to prevent binge eating and boost your energy.
20. Eat fat to lose fat.
21. Snack only if you’re hungry.
Not because you’re bored, stressed or you’ve just seen an ad for a chocolate bar. If you’re hungry have a snack, but make it small and make it healthy.
22. Eat cheese every day.
Raw milk cheese is a fantastic digestive aid and is rich in calcium, protein and healing fats.
23. Love your gut.
Good bacteria from fermented food (yogurt, sourdough, pickled vegetables) are critical to your health.
24. Shop in season.
Buy produce from your local farmers’ market to add variety and freshness to your diet.
25. Worship water.
Staying hydrated is crucial to optimal health. When you drink ample water, you’ll feel great, your skin will glow and your body will digest food better.
26. Say no to sugary drinks.
Fruit juice, energy drinks and soda are toxic. During meals, drink only filtered water or a glass (or two) of good quality red wine.
27. Walk, walk, walk.
The French walk a lot, more than 10,000 steps a day. Get outside and move whenever you can.
28. Ditch anything “low fat.”
That label often translates to “full of chemicals and processed ingredients.” Opt for natural, full-fat products over chemicals every day.
29. Naturally slow the aging process.
Lots of berries, leafy greens and a few pieces of dark chocolate every day willoutperform your most expensive anti-aging cream.