EDITOR'S NOTE: Please welcome our newest nutrition expert - Molly Bea Ferioli! Molly is a Master Nutrition Therapist, Restaurateur, and a mother of two. She is the author at the food blog MollyBea.com where you can find honest recipes for healthy living. We hope you'll enjoy her nutrition blogs here on Diet.com!
The French eat cream, meat, butter, and drink wine, yet they still remain healthier and thinner than Americans. How do they enjoy this lifestyle? Being married to a French-man has helped me understand that there is more to eating healthy than simply the type of food we put into our bodies. It's HOW we eat as well that affects our metabolism and overall wellness.
Here are some insights into how a Typical French person approaches food.
1. When you eat a meal, you must sit, you must smell your food, you must be conscious when eating. Not watching TV, not looking at emails, not texting. Once you become focused on the task at hand (your meal), you will eat less and you will feel more satisfied. A typical French person spends nearly 2 hours a day at the table eating and drinking, nearly double what we as Americans spend. The slower and more relaxed you eat, the better you will digest and assimilate your nutrients.
2. Reserve eating for 3 meals a day. Do not snack in between meals. The French have one time of day for snacking (4pm) which is normally reserved for children. Because they have eaten a solid meal already, they feel more satisfied and less of the urge to snack. And they certainly don't want to ruin their appetite for the next meal!
3. Eat meals in courses. A starter can include soup, or a vegetable like cold asparagus with olive oil. Then move on to your main entree, be it fish with a light sauce, or meat, and finish with a salad, fruit, or yogurt. Knowing that you have a next course coming will prevent you from overeating. It also helps with food digestion and the anticipation of courses is more enjoyable.
4. The French typically eat their main protein dish at lunch, then dinner is more carbohydrate based such as pasta, soup with baguette, or a rice-based dish. Having protein in the middle of the day helps stabilize your blood sugar, which means less fat storage and more energy.
5. The French have strict traditions regarding food. "A Tâble" (at the table) is sacred. Even small children learn that they must remain at the table with the family to eat, talk, listen and just "be" at the table. This tradition will serve them throughout their lives, as they will learn the importance of how food can bring people together, and how traditions can live on through meals.
Connect with Molly on her Facebook page: Facebook.com/HonestMollyBea