Why French People Don’t Get Fat: The REAL reasons!

Why French People Don’t Get Fat: The REAL reasons!

July 16, 2019 100 By William Morgan


Salut YouTube in today’s video
I am gonna do my best to share everything I know and explain why, in the land of cheese and butter and
cream and croissants
French people are able to stay so slim
and the statistics don’t lie France does have the lowest obesity rate of
35 OECD countries only 10% of them are obese
They don’t diet you don’t often see them running around the gym five times a week
So how do they do it? It’s just not fair right?! And I’ve heard some people say “Oh, it’s the genetics!”
Guys think about it
This doesn’t make sense France is almost in the center of Europe
Imagine the millions of people that have passed through this land over the last thousands of thousands of years
Their genetics have no greater
superpowers than the Italians do or the Brits do or the Spanish do
plus this argument is null and void because the
obesity rates and the average weight of the average French person has been steadily
increasing over time with the introduction of
globalized diet and influences from other parts of the Western world
meaning that it was actually what they’re eating and very importantly how they were eating
that makes the big difference.
So let me share with you six lessons when it comes to food from the French
that allow them to stay in shape with very little additional effort
Lesson number one is that the French take their time to eat
So we’ve all heard about the famous one,
two-hour lunch breaks in France and this is NOT a myth
So even in Paris even in the corporate working world we break for one hour at lunchtime
And we sit down at the table and eat our lunch
And it takes that long because the French will break their meal down into components so a traditional
meal would be your entree, the main the cheese course and then
dessert for us in the corporate world at lunchtime
we usually just have an entrée and a main or a main and a dessert
But the principle still there of breaking your meal down into courses,
so this helps to maintain a healthy weight for two main reasons
So the first is you’re at the table you’re eating with all five senses
You know you’re not distracted still working on your computer screen or watching TV in the evening
You’re present with your food if you can imagine you start on your first course
You know you have the time you’re not rushed
You chew more slowly
And you actually savor what you’re eating rather than just quickly inhaling a sandwich for example at the desk
So you can learn when you’re doing all of these things your brain has the time to
register that you’ve actually eaten
So scientists saying that it actually takes the brain 20 minutes to figure out that you’ve eaten, and so when you eat quickly
your stomach is full, but your mind is still hungry
And this is why we just keep eating
beyond what we actually need
In France because you’ve got the time to go course-by-course
You can actually take a moment between courses when you’re shifting your plates
so you’ve finished your entree and you’re starting on your main
and it’s a very different relationship with your main because
you’ve had the time to figure out
how hungry you still are how much room you have left
and then you make a decision to continue so even though you feel like you’re having
two three even four courses sometimes
things are so spread out and the portion sizes are smaller anyway by default
that you actually end up eating
less than you would if you had one big plate of food
And you’re quickly trying to shovel everything down as fast as humanly possible
Lesson number two is that the French eat a lot of everything
but don’t eat too much of anything
What do I mean by that? Well France is not a country of deprivation
and when it comes to your diet the sauces are creamy
their duck is cooked in butter everything is the real deal
you’ll find it really hard to find low-fat, sugar-free
fat-free products like we have in New Zealand America UK for example
But why isn’t that really unhealthy? Well not really because
usually these products are more highly processed
and they’re more difficult for our bodies to digest because they’re less natural
What the French
do is they take the real full products, but they all just eat a little bit of everything
There’s a lot of variety in the diet so at lunchtime for example
It’d be completely normal that I have a full chicken breast some rice and some
vegetables and then for a dessert you might have some yogurt or a fruit or even a cake
But my point here really is that you have a full meal a lot of fruit and veg actually and a lot of
flavors on your plate you know the French woman around me
don’t cut entire food groups out of their diet like carbs for example like we do
French women eat their carbs!
I think because they eat everything in moderation
they don’t get these insane cravings
and they don’t binge on things French people eat a lot of everything
They eat in-season products
They don’t eat processed foods in general
And they avoid it genetically modified things like the plague
and you often hear French women saying things like “je fais juste attention”
which means I’m just paying a little bit of attention so they’re never on these big crash diets
They’re not doing the Atkins diet
They’re not doing like whatever the big trend diet is at the moment
What that means is that they still continue to eat a little
bit of everything
but maybe a smaller portion size and they’ll always just take a piece of fruit
or a yogurt instead of taking something
Super-sweet for example
Lesson number three from the French is that food education is as important as maths
It’s as important as spelling
It is a subject in and of itself
French people are educated
about healthy food and eating habits from the moment they can eat them not like us at
23 years old googling away like which foods have high sugar content. That’s a little bit too little too late
don’t you think? And they say that the diet you have in your early years
Impacts your relationship with food for your whole life, so let’s move
on to the French crèche or kindergarten because this is just kind of insane every day
these little French children 2, 3, 4 years old will sit down
for lunch for 1 hour at the table
And they will eat their four-course meal which has been provided by a chef with organic ingredients
The huge variety of food the menus are changing week after week.
They have strong flavors their blue cheese their shrimps
They really get the kids to eat a lot of diverse products
This is at no additional cost this is highly highly subsidized by the state
The crèches and kindergardens in France are very very cheap, and it’s all inclusive.
This is educating their future citizen about something that they’re going to need to do every single day
which is to eat in a healthy and
balanced way. You actually see these small children
and they learn to do things like serve each other first before they start eating
to drink water to eat in a slow and
healthy and civilized way. They’re using their metal knives and forks for example
No plastic cutlery up in here! Lunch is really seen as a class that lasts a full hour
I actually have an example menu in front of me and
some of the main courses are like lamb skewers on couscous
codfish and a dill sauce and for the dessert
it’s the choice between a
caramel or vanilla flan – like these kids are three or four years old!
My French boyfriend for example never had fizzy drink growing up in
his whole life. He’s eaten at McDonald’s
maximum a handful of times.
I think it sounds kind of mean to a culture like us like all these poor kids never getting these treats
but that’s just normality for them, so they don’t view it as mean or restrictive. That’s just normal.
Lesson number four is around eating at consistent hours and privileging eating at home.
So I’ve mentioned this already in one of my culture shock videos
but I was really shocked when I came here
And how strict the schedule is when it comes to eating you eat three meals a day, and if you have a snack
that’s a goûter and it’s something that you have maybe around 4 to 5 p.m.
But that’s it so thanks to this routine
you really know your body like clockwork, and so you find that the French never let themselves get too hungry
which means of course I never let themselves get too stuffed because they don’t wait till they’re absolutely
starving to eat and because as well they eat proper meals like sit down for a real, filling lunch and
a proper dinner I’m not snacking away in the afternoon, and you’re not snacking in the evenings either
You don’t get those cravings for ice cream or biscuits or anything at 9/10 p.m.
And in France they stay largely in control of when they eat in the evenings for example because they’re
really privileging eating at home.
I’ve found a lot of French people do, they think that dining at home hosting at home having friends around
in the home is just
as sexy as eating out. A recent study by the committee for health education
here in France found that eating is still very closely linked to the national heritage here of
consuming good food for pleasure in France
76 percent of meals are prepared at home and the
favorite place to eat both lunch and dinner is in the family home with 75 percent
saying that they ate at the family table
Lesson number 5 from the French is that they just know when to stop.
I think the secret here is really around the
courses and that you break the meal down so you have that moment to stop and think am I still hungry?
How much more do I want? And I’ve also noticed that when you’ve got a bowl of salad on the table for example
You always just take a little portion each, but there’s always some left and the bowl so you’ll eat
and then you’ll finish your share, and then you’ll have a moment to think hmm
Do I want more? And then if it’s yes
Then you take more so you don’t serve everything that’s on the table on the plate straight away
You don’t fill up your plate completely you just take a little bit of everything
finish that and then we’ll go for round 2 if
You feel like it, but there’s also something here, not just around auto-regulation
but around peer regulation as well because
I have friends and my boyfriend sometimes will
comment on how much I’ve taken and they’re not trying to be mean or shame me, but they’re like oh
that’s a lot and that actually seems to be culturally acceptable,
but you do sometimes hear those comments from colleagues like oh
I couldn’t eat that much. Oh you must be hungry or oh, that’s very sugary be careful
don’t eat too much of that. Although I’m trying not to take it as a shaming thing I’m kind of like
this isn’t any of your business what I’m eating, but yeah, it’s just anyway
it’s something that I’ve noticed over here
Lesson number six isn’t so much about the food
but it’s about drinking so the stereotype about France is that they’re drinking wine at lunch time at dinner time
When actually yeah, they may enjoy a glass of wine at dinner time for example
but they don’t care for hard liquor, and they’re never out to drink too much, to get drunk and
absolutely trolleyed, okay young people aside
And I do have some French girlfriends that are living in the UK, and they’re
hor-rif-ied
with the amount of drinking that gets done in the UK especially at
University a lot of them say like okay
I might drink a lot
But never to the extent where I would get drunk and fall over and vomit
I think they think it’s probably quite vulgar to end up in such a drunken mess and my point is that
alcohol has a lot of carbs in it and
drinking is very closely linked to weight gain and yeah
They just don’t have the same kind of approach to alcohol either here in France so those are kind of the main
principles that I wanted to cover with you guys today the six lessons that I’ve learnt from the French
I’m almost expecting quite a few people to comment on the fact that French people tend to be skinnier in
Paris than in the regions
And I think that is quite true to an extent there’s usually a wealthier portion of the country living in the big city
So you’ll get those young
wealthy
Parisians who have interests in yoga and fitness blogs
and health in general you’re also super active around Paris. You’re walking everywhere
you’re walk five to ten kilometers a day just going through the metro system and
yeah, Paris is kind of a stressful lifestyle and you’ve got to remember that stress
can sometimes burn calories for certain people as well. One topic
I haven’t touched on here is the smoking because I know the French smoke a lot,
and I know that smoking is an appetite suppressant
But I honestly think that such a tiny tiny piece of the puzzle
And if you think about it is every single smoker that you know slim?
not sure
And I really think it’s around the attitude around foods and mindset and the approach to
eating in France which is kind of the secret and let me know what kind of topics below that you’d like to learn about or
know more about I’m happy to do research to investigate and to give my opinion on
The French, life in France and all of that crazy stuff and until next time guys – à bientôt !