French people have a fantastic attitude regarding food. Fortunately, French food is loved everywhere so we can all grab a French snack at places like Pret a Manager no matter how busy we get. Aside from knowing where to acquire French meals and ingredients, discover our neighbours healthy and fantastic attitude towards food. How do they eat rich yet stay slim?
Anyone with keen eyes who has visited France or observed the French can see that structured eating habits are taught at a young age in the country. Many French people have a healthy and balanced relationship with the food they put in their mouth, an attitude that helps them stay fit. The British can learn plenty about being a thin eater.
Quality over Quantity
One way to do so is to understand that getting satisfaction from food is all about quality, rather than quantity. Having a discerning palate is sought after in France.
Children are encouraged to cultivate this type of taste and there exists an emphasis on consuming different kinds of food – be it beef, fruits, vegetables, fish, poultry, cheese and bread, without eating too much of any one kind of food. Groups like dairy, beef, carbohydrates or fat are never called “bad food.” A little bit of everything is the goal.
Petite isn’t considered just a size for clothes. In France people eat food served in what would be considered very small in many other Western countries. This is especially true for decadent items like cheese and desserts. Rich foods should be seen as treats that are only consumed after meals, and consumed in small servings. The French would prefer to eat a tiny ration of sumptuous mousse cake over a massive portion of fat-free dessert that doesn’t entice the palate.
Wine and Meals
Yes, part of French dining is consuming Bordeaux and Beaujolais as if they are staples in the diet but the French typically drink along with their meals. Taking in a drink or two of wine before dinner is not a regular habit.
Wine is considered as an add-on to the meal, an accent to make the dining experience more enjoyable, rather than a commodity to quench the thirst. Take note, too, that wine glasses in France are usually filled only partially and these are sipped with relish, slowly and cleverly.
Other Healthy French Dining Habits
If you want to stay slim and dine wisely like a true Parisian, make sure to consume fresh and high-quality food, saying no to anything served with artificial ingredients. Do eat only when you’re seated, not while you’re watching the telly or staring at your computer.
Also, eat with small bites, chewing your food slowly while enjoying each mouthful. It helps to have a sensuous approach to food, taking your time and allowing your tongue to savour each bite.
Furthermore, choose meals that are high in protein so you feel fuller and crave snacks less. When eating salad, skip the commercial salad dressings and serve your greens with olive oil and vinegar. It will also help tremendously if you stick with calorie-free drinks – that means no sodas or fruit juices – except for a bit of wine with your dinner.
The next time you enjoy a French meal at Pret a Manager or your favourite bistro, keep these tips in mind. You’ll not only enjoy your food more, you’ll enjoy a fitter body. Bon appétit!