How do French women stay slim is one of the most encountered questions I’m asked. Weight is a topic that is daunting to all women – French or not – especially for those who are sick and tired of trying fad diets and other slimming products without success. And no, French women are not naturally thin, they have to work at being in shape – a little less than us but still.
In France, the food culture is made up of highly rich foods of cream and butter, to French cheeses, wines, delicious French bread, croissants, and pain chocolate. So why it is that French women are so slim? Why aren’t they fat?
Well the key to remaining slim is not so mysterious nor is it that complicated. With a lifestyle on the French Riviera, where we indulge (occasionally) on French bread, rosé, and cheeses (did you know the French has about 1000 different cheeses?), and fancy French pastries, I should be fat I should be stacking it on, but that’s not the case.
Choosing your lifestyle
For the French it is not simply about a diet – as you know, there are many excellent diets out there – but you have to be careful as the purpose of the right diet should not be to make you lose as many pounds (or kilos) as possible in the shortest period time. Instead French women are more focused on finding a lifestyle that will allow them to get rid of the pounds, but also maintain the weight loss after the fact. So it’s not so much about a diet, but rather a lifestyle.
In general French women do not give into fad, express, or miracle diets that promises unrealistic weight loss in a short period of time. They believe if it’s too good to be true, it probably is (this is their way of thinking for most things and only related to diets).
Do like they do, in order to stay slim; do not jump into fad diets. Instead focus on a lifestyle change (the healthier the better) that gradually reduces the weight in the long run.
More tips on how the French stay slim
Stay thin without dieting
To remain slim, you don’t always have to have a diet in place. However you do need to put common sense into practice, which you’ll need a lot of will power. Sure, if we could stay slim while eating high caloric foods every day, trust me, I would know about it with the high content of butter and cream in French cuisine. However, we must make an effort and try to limit the following:
If we don’t want our bodies to be out of control, we need to limit our consumption of bread. And if we really cannot do without this delight, we opt for whole wheat breads, which are more filling.
Carbohydrates in the evening
It is well known one must eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper. So in the evening, go easy on the starches, which are rich and give a lot of energy. Because in the evening, you have less opportunity to burn calories, and it’s more likely that you will store the fat you eat.
I am not saying that you should starve yourself, but try to be reasonable when serving yourself. A pragmatic approach would be using smaller plates. It really works. And show courage and will, because there is no turning back when portions become smaller.
Takeout lunch portion at my local bakery. Can you reduce your portion to this size?
If you have to snack, try fresh fruits or other low sugar, low carb snacks. The best thing would be for you not to snack at all. Really.
Counting all calories, feeling guilty at the slightest mishap, weighing yourself 3 times a day… We all know that stress is never going to help us lose weight, quite the contrary. So to stay slim, we need to relax a little. Breathe. Repeat Affirmations. Pray.
A little sport goes a long way
Contrary to what many people think French people do not hate sports. Maybe it’s not everybody’s cup of tea, but there’s definitely a raise in gym goers on the French Riviera. When I go to my local gym it’s always packed no matter what time of the day. Exercise is not only good for your physical health, but it does wonders for your mind and soul.
You have a choice
Either you get the motivation and sign up for the gym, or go swimming, or running during your lunch break… The goal here is to do at least two and a half hours of sports per week, which will help in boosting your metabolism, staying fit and toning up. Whatever sports you choose is fine so long as you are moving.
If you’re like me and you need a more motivating activity, try zumba, aqua biking, or for the more ambitious, pole dancing.
Again, it’s not so important what sport you do, the goal is to find activities that would enable you to move a little every day: perhaps taking the stairs instead of the elevators or escalators, walk or bike for short distances, stop a few stops before your bus stop, dancing the night away… whatever rocks your boat 😉 Just keep movin’.
Would love to hear from you, how do you stay fit? How small are your portions? Are you snacking? Drop us a comment!