How to eat like the French
By Brittany Anas
When you opened up this article were you secretly hoping we’d nudge you to get a serving of French fries or, shall we say, pommes frites? Sorry to let you down.
We’re curious about the “French Paradox.” (I.e. the French smoke, drink wine, eat croissants but still less than 10 percent of Frenchies are overweight compared to about half of Americans). French women are famously svelte. While we may not envy their hygiene habits, we do want in on their dietary styles.
So, what are they doing so right over in France?
• Teaching their kids not to impulsively eat: We found this New York Times article “How my daughters learned to eat like the French” fascinating. The writer revealed that pre-school children must sit with their hands on their knees while lunch-time snacks are served. If they eat prior to getting permission, their treat is taken away.
• Eat smaller portions: Research from the University of Pennsylvania compared portion sizes at restaurants in Paris and Philadelphia. The dining spots were comparable — including pizza spots, bistros and Chinese restaurants. The findings: French portions were more petite than those in America by an average of 25 percent. Our recipe portions and food packages are also larger than those in French cookbooks and markets.
If you’re eating out, consider splitting a plate with somebody at your table. Or, only eat half of what’s on your plate and box up the rest to take home for lunch the next day.
Tip: Serve your dinner on smaller plates. This set from Pfaltzgraff includes salad plates that can help you control your portion size. (Click here for coupons and cash-back offers at Overstock.com from ShopAtHome.com)
• Eat slower: The French take time with their meals. Yes, we live in a culture where the check is sometimes dropped with our lunch plates to accommodate our busy schedules. But, eating slower helps you recognize when you’re full and prevents you from overeating. Easy tricks to try: Always eat at your kitchen table. Enjoy your dinner. Light some candles instead of playing the television.
• Avoid buffets: The all-you-can-eat mentality is dangerous and you won’t find those kind of spots in France. Avoid them. Here’s why: The part of your brain that wants to get a good deal will beat out the part of your conscience that favors portion control.
Good news if you’re a wine drinker. Read the Online Shopping Report’s article about the health benefits of red wine.
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