Do the French Know Something We Don't?

Posted by on Wednesday, February 3, 2016

If you follow me on Instagram (@Sabrinasarabella) you would have seen that I just got back from a trip to Paris, France. My mother and I went to celebrate her birthday and had a great time enjoying the amazing Parisian food. 

Paris is my mother’s favorite city so we thought it would be a great place to celebrate her birthday this year. We walked around the city all day, ate some great food and got to see the amazing sites of the city. 

The French are known for their rich food and their impeccable style and you won’t find a French woman that is overweight. 

Europeans are very different from Americans in our eating and workout habits. When walking through the streets of Paris I rarely ever saw a gym or a woman walking around in her workout clothes and there were very few fast food restaurants that I came across.  

And although most Parisians smoke, drink lots of wine, eat french bread and cheese they seem to be slimmer than most Americans. 

So what do they know that we don’t know about not being overweight?

Quality over Quantity- The French food is rich and full of flavors and may not be the most low fat, low carb meals but they seem to enjoy the quality of the meal over the quantity of it. Portion sizes are a lot smaller. You hardly ever see any huge portions of meals since food is so rich and filling the French choose to eat less of a given food. 

Savor Each Bite. The French love to take their time when they eat and really savor the tastes of the food they are consuming. We can learn from them to slow down and take our time when eating and not just shove our food in our face when we are on the run. 

Ever eat so fast that when you are done you don’t even remember what you ate? When we are able to slow down and really savor the foods we are eating we learn to actually taste the food, and our body is able to process what we are eating and send signals that we have eaten enough and we are full. 

Moderation. The French drink wine at eat cheese and bread at almost every meal, they don’t seem to restrict these things from their diet yet they don’t overeat and binge on them. They understand the meaning of moderation and having “bad” foods off limits. 

When we learn to accept there are no foods that are off limits or bad then we don't feel like we need to binge these forbidden foods. Food is nearly just information for our bodies and when we learn how the food we eat affects us then we can realize why we eat certain foods and not eat other foods. Practicing moderation like the Parisians can help to have a better relationship with food. 

Portion sizes. Like I talked about earlier portion sizes in Paris are much smaller than you would typically find in a restaurant in the USA. In fact a local told me that they don’t really have doggy bags (a container you can take your food home in if you didn’t finish your meal) because their meals aren’t as large in portions. The French may eat more rich and fattening foods but they don’t eat large portions of it. 

It is always a great learning experience to travel to another country to see their culture and their habits around food and exercise. 

Have you traveled to another country and learned an important lesson around food and fitness? I would love hear, email me back and let me know!!

Au Revoir