Why French Women Don’t Get Fat!

I have been reading the very interesting book by Mireille Guiliano, “Why French Women don’t get fat”….. and it has totally resonated with me!

I get it, and I think we should all be doing more of what French women do.

In fact, the slimmest and healthiest people I know do what I have been reading in this book!

They don’t believe in diets. In fact, they really believe in INDULGENCE. They believe in eating with gusto. Eating whatever they wish – just smaller portions! NO deprivation. They don’t think about what they have eaten. In fact, guilty eating does not exist. They also believe in a starter, main and YES dessert too…

You may be thinking – what rubbish. Perhaps they are genetically blessed?

Some of them, yes perhaps!  But I also think it’s the culture of these woman that is keeping them thin. They see food as pleasurable, not as the enemy – like so many women of the Western world. They don’t jump on the scales everyday either.

And yes, while they indulge in pastries more than some of us – they also love their healthy food. They know to have fruit, their greens and healthy lean proteins – that’s just apart of their lifestyle! So is “indulging”.

If they indulge – they do not berate themselves. If they over indulge – they simply eat clean for the rest of the day – or the next day too perhaps. Unlike many woman these days, who will do the opposite – binge as a result of indulgence or guilt.

French women eat slowly and mindfully – because that’s polite, and that’s the culture.

As a nutritionist, I believe we can eat whatever we want – just in small portions. But in reality, so many of us can’t seem to do…

It’s my belief that it’s not so much about what kind of foods we are eating – it’s more about how we eat them, and the emotional relationship we have with food and ourselves that has a far bigger impact on our weight. Perhaps I am different to most nutritionists in this way.

When I indulge – say eating a pastry and a coffee, and feel GOOD about this – my body can cope. My digestion can handle it. My body can break it down.

But when I feel guilty – it seems my body also doesn’t like it.

I struggle to digest, I struggle to enjoy.

Here are some of the reasons why French women don’t get fat – perhaps some points for us to take on board and consider!

  • French women typically think about good things to eat. Whereas other women typically worry about bad things to eat 11169003_10153226676925699_1873257949_n
  • French women eat much smaller portions
  • French women don’t believe in fads or diets – they think its ridiculous. They don’t believe in ‘sugar free’ or ‘fat free
  • They drink alcohol – in moderation
  • They eat bread and carbs in moderation, and in an enjoyable way. They are not SCARED of foods!
  • French women eat lots of vegetables
  • French women love chocolate – especially the dark kind. But they also know how to have 3 pieces – not the entire block. They know when it’s enough.11185833_10153226681250699_115723645_n
  • French women are active – but don’t over exercise either
  • French women believe in pleasurable eating
  • French women do over indulge at times – but they then compensate in other ways – by eating less the next day for example
  • French women don’t snack all day long – they eat 3 satiating meals 11173535_10153226666175699_1169276948_n
  • They don’t say no to desserts – they enjoy them with gusto
  • French women love to cook real whole foods and buy their foods from local markets – they believe in local and organic produce
  • French women love to sit in a cafe and do nothing but enjoy the moment11185834_10153226625880699_1304036691_n
  • French women void anything that demands too much effort – they keep things simple
  • French women never let themselves feel hungry – but they also never let themselves feel stuffed
  • French women plan their meals in advance
  • French women don’t watch TV while they eat or stand up (to the, this is simply rude).  They connect to their food – they respect mealtimes 
  • French women drink water all day
  • French women don’t weigh themselves – they keep track of their weight through how their clothes feel on them
  • French women believe in rest

….french women don’t get fat!

I always find it so interesting to read about different people and different cultures, and how they perceive and approach food. There is so much we can learn from one and other!


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  • Great points made here – sounds like a good read 🙂 x

  • Melissa

    Love this article, I know I for one constantly struggle with the guilt of eating what I really want vs what I feel like I should

  • Sophie

    Actually, I think it comes down to the lack of junk foods available in schools. All children eat a three course cooked meal provided by the school; they do not sell junk food (chocolate bars, coke etc.) in schools; and kids don’t hang out at McDonalds after school like they do here in Australia. Yes, kids in France still eat junk food, but it is not integrated into their education as it is here in Australia.

  • Pingback: We Can't Stop Idolizing French Women — So I Tried Actually Living Like One()



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