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7 diet secrets of French people

7 diet secrets of French people “7 diet secrets of French people” is a guest blog post by Angela Privin. I also have for you this week a video to learn the verb PARTIR – to leave. Check it out!

As a digestive health coach, I study what and how people eat. And as an avid traveler and armchair anthropologist (with a masters degree in International Relations) I’m fascinated by cultural approaches to eating and it’s health consequences.

Americans, for example, have a growing problem with obesity, diabetes and digestive issues despite the predominance of diet foods. The French, on the other hand, indulge in butter-laden pastries, wine and cheese, but have a fraction of these health problems. Ever wonder why?

These seven habits may hold the answer:

1. French people take time out of their day to enjoy their meals.

American fast food restaurants have spread to France, but the French much prefer “slow food”. They sit at a café for hours enjoying a coffee. Most French people rarely scarf their lunches down at their desks or eat in their cars or on the run.

In France, meals are a time to slow down and enjoy the unhurried pleasure of eating.

Digestion works best when people are relaxed. Eating slowly also means that food is chewed better and the body doesn’t need to work harder to break down larger food particles.

2. Most French people don’t diet.

The French love eating full fat foods, which keep them feeling full and satisfied longer. Because French people enjoy small amount of rich foods, they never feel “dieter’s deprivation” which often can backfire into binge eating.

3. French people don’t snack.

Because the French eat rich, satisfying foods they can go between meals without snacking. Constant eating or “grazing” keeps the body in a constant state of digesting. Digestion is energy intensive and takes time away from the body’s natural process of detoxing. The French know how to give their digestive system a rest by fasting between meals.

4. The French don’t eat GMO foods.

Europeans have outlawed GMO foods, calling it Frankenfood. Some studies have shown that GMO foods have higher levels of allergens (gluten) and can cause leaky gut and insulin resistance. While not enough is known about GMO foods, the Europeans believe they are unhealthy. Even some American nutritionists believe GMO foods can cause weight gain.

5. French people are used to walking (and do it after dinner).

Walking after meals, especially dinner, helps increase metabolism, which boosts and supports the digestive process. Not only does it burn calories, but it boosts circulation and can ease symptoms of constipation.

6. French people eat smaller meals.

French restaurants are famous for their small portions. Serving up small portions of rich foods helps French people stay satisfied and prevents overeating. When food is delicious and served in large portions, it’s too easy to overindulge. American restaurants are notorious for “supersized” portions made from lower quality ingredients to keep costs down.

7. French people eat real food.

Because the French don’t eat as much fat-free or artificially sweetened foods, they consume less chemicals than Americans. The chemicals in “lite” foods can actually slow down metabolism by clogging the liver and thus causing weight gain.

French food is typically fresher with fewer preservatives. Eating full fat butter is healthier than eating processed margarine full of trans fats.

The good news is that you don’t have to be French to adapt the eating secrets above.

Which healthy French habit are you going to try on for size? Let us know in the comments below.

For more free digestive health tips visit Do It Yourself Health at www.diyhealthblog.com

Watch the video below to learn the verb PARTIR at 6, most important, tenses:

(Learn the pronunciation of all the tenses in Le Génie Verbale)

Now it is your turn!

Tell us in the comments below what is your favorite Parisian dish? Do you eat like a Parisian?

Merci beaucoup et à mardi prochain,


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Llyane Stanfield is a Parisian French language coach, and founder of the J’Ouellette® French Method – an organic method using techniques that are employed by the world’s finest linguists. She travels between Toronto, New York and Paris, while teaching French via Skype in more than 15 countries. She is French language coach for busy traveling professionals, and has produced an unprecedented Intensive Program and French Pronunciation Master Class, as well as other visual and teaching materials. She now spends a large portion of her time in Paris, where she also organizes an annual Immersion Retreat. Her unique methods produce a quantum leap in confidence and pronunciation, and a short session with her is the perfect start to brush up your French (whatever your level!) at the start of your Paris trip.

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6 comments to 7 diet secrets of French people

  • I’m asian and I thought my French friend is strange. So it’s actually all true? Lol. I am always hungry and loves to eat. This french friend has his own strict schedule when it comes to eating and he loves to walk A LOT for some reason.

    • Llyane

      Hey, Jose
      It is a cultural thing, no? :) We are all used to what we grew up – and talking a lot is a very latin way to express oneself. (Latin as in French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Romanian – they all like to talk a lot).
      Welcome to the family! :)

  • As an American vegetarian living in France, I think the French eat too much meat, (especially charcuterie) however, they also eat lots of yummy vegetable dishes, and salads with vinaigrette, none of that bottled salad dressing here. You have made some excellent points in this post, especially about taking time to eat, and eating real foods, that’s why they don’t have to diet.
    Laura recently posted..Fabric Butterfly Brooch in 5 Easy Steps

    • Llyane

      Thank you, Laura, for your tips!
      Meat can always be reduced ;)

  • At the moment, my favorite Parisian food is a fish dish. These are excellent tips! I love to walk after eating. And I love the idea of being fully present to savor a meal.
    Marie Overfors recently posted..The Hobbit, Publicity and YOU

    • Llyane

      Thanks for stopping by, Marie!
      The savouring in the moment definitely makes you eat less :)