Ah, the French Paradox! Most French people are within a normal weight and they don't struggle with obesity, AND they eat buttery croissants, chocolates, have milk and cream in their espresso, and delectable dishes like coq au vin.
Why is this so?
They EAT LESS overall. Their portion sizes are smaller, you know--circa 1950s America. They indulge every now and again in social situations--not every day, like we tend to do here in the states.
TheyMOVE more. They WALK everywhere. They walk to the store if it's a quarter of a mile away...we drive everywhere--even if it's just next door!
They EAT REAL FOOD! They enjoy real fresh butter--not margarine, fresh milk--not nonfat milk, fresh bread--not processed baked goods, etc. They don't stock their homes with the exorbitant amount of processed foods like we do here in America.
And finally, THEY DON'T OBSESS ABOUT HEALTH like we do. Our country has been obsessed about health for decades, and it has made us worse off, with obesity numbers skyrocketing! They don't obsess about "low fat," "low carbs," "high protein," "good fats/bad fats," "good carbs/bad carbs," "exercising at the gym," "whole grains," the list goes on and on!
Now, I don't ascribe to the French diet because I don't eat gluten and I maintain a vegan diet, but we can all learn from the French!
Move more, eat less, indulge on occasion if you want (or not!), and don't obsess about health...just simply EAT REAL FOOD!
They are more social eaters, too. The more we isolate, the more we deny our natural inclination to interact, then, the greater the opportunity to abuse food...Way too much focus on what we're eating rather than who we're eating with and what we can learn.
People say they're "emotional" eaters; they are not. They're "lonely" eaters.
I agree...we've become like robots eating in isolation, in cars, at home on the couch with the chip bag or ice cream carton..."mindless eating" with no off switch.
That's why I give the advice...IF you are going splurge on dessert, do it when you're out with friends/relatives/significant other!!! Don't binge on junk food alone...kind of like the alcoholic who drinks alone in the morning hours...
I agree that when people say they're emotional eaters, they're actually lonely and craving social interaction...I was an emotional eater at one point or another...PLUS to add to that, they may be addicted to processed foods at this point...so it's one part emotional eating and one part addictive eating!
The first thing Americans visiting a city like Paris, Rome, Madrid or Istanbul want to know is the transit system...
Sadly, they seldom take notice of the massive width of the sidewalks, the network of alleys that allow only foot traffic or the countless stairs that lead, everywhere. The best way to appreciate the incredible beauty of these cities is on two feet...not a tour bus. This is a big reason why the French are so trim. They live in cities designed to encourage walking.
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