The French eat three full meals a day. They are hearty meals that are not rushed or hurried. Multitasking is not appreciated during meal times. Breakfast is never skipped. Lunch is the heaviest meal of the day. They ensure that they don’t skip meals.
The French are not keen on snacking in between meals. And this could stem from the fact that they eat full, healthy meals. It’s a cycle. You eat well at mealtimes and then you don’t feel the urge to graze during coffee breaks. Similarly, you resist the temptation to wolf down those muffins with your coffee, you will feel hungry enough at mealtimes to have a nutritious meal.
Despite having full, hearty meals that involve rich, fatty foods, the French tend to stay slim because of their portion control. Servings of meat should be no bigger than your palm or say a deck of cards (since some men can have ridiculously large palms!). Eat until you have fed your hunger but not till you are satiated. You should come out of a meal feeling full but not grasping your side because you can’t walk from all the food that you have consumed.
Eating is an art and you should experience food with all your senses. You must savour your meals, not gorge on whatever food you can lay your hands on. So avoid having meals while you are walking or working at your desk. Take time out to eat and concentrate only on your food. Take smaller bites, chew well, and don’t be distracted by the idiot box, laptop or your smartphone. Thoroughly chewing your food aids digestion.
Apart from the three meals, the French sip on water and/or coffee endlessly; and while we don’t recommend heavy doses of caffeine, the water bit is spot on. Grazing in between meal times is frowned upon. Very rarely will sodas make an appearance at dining tables. It’s always water and this is a habit we definitely suggest you cultivate.
The French, as we all know, love their wine and a glass of red wine after lunch and dinner is mandatory. Take note, however, that’s just one glass of wine. Singular. And a small glass not a fishbowl sized one!
Our body needs a certain amount of fat and you shouldn’t deprive yourself of good fats while eliminating bad fats from your diet. French meals are fatty but the fats come from dairy and vegetable sources. Dairy fats like whole milk, whole milk, yogurt and cheese are healthy. They take in very little animal fat, make you feel full sooner and you eat less.
- Switch to two glasses of red wine a day instead of chugging down beer.
- Don’t snack in between meals. Have a fruit or a piece of cheese instead.
- Sip water instead of aerated drinks and artificially sweetened packaged juices.
- Steak and other meats should be limited to twice a week and your diet should include lots of grilled and baked fish preparations.
Written By : Bushra S Khan