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Why French Women Don’t Get Fat

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Have you ever wondered why French women don’t get fat and seem to be able to eat what they want? Have you ever wondered why they can drink wine, eat copious amounts of cheese, savor freshly made baguettes and croissants, and frequent their neighbor’s l’heure de aperitif for some charcuterie? 

Are they doing something we don’t know about? Have they some secret that they’re keeping to themselves as they oh la la around the day charming the tourists with their fine physical forms like prancing peacocks. Have they made a pact that what happens in France stays in France? Well, those Vegas girls would love your secrets s’il vous plait. And so would the rest of us too.

So, why do French women not get fat? Let’s dive in.

On y va alors…(lets go!)

fresh bread

The French Food Culture

Food, and I mean real food, is a huge part of the French culture and eating is something they don’t do lightly. It’s a tres serious business and one that commands respect. I’ve amusingly had many conversations with the French v Les Anglais (what the French call the British – even though it translates to The English) on good food. Yes, in the UK we have incredibly good restaurants too, it’s just that people take food much more seriously in France and I admire any country that eats like it’s some kind of training for an Olympic sport. 

I moved to France in 2005 to the south in the stunning region of the Languedoc, the country’s largest wine-producing region. I had just resigned from my corporate job in Edinburgh and was taking my time soaking up a new way of living, for the very first time, in a new country.

One of the biggest pleasures that had me hooked from the get-go of my new abode was le petit dejeuner. Breakfast, when you live abroad, is always a pleasure, a grande crème and un croissant aux almand. A far cry from Special K!, toast, and a cup of ever so British Tetley tea.

My Surprising Observations Why French Women Don’t Get Fat

From my many hours’ people watching from cute outdoor cafes to just wandering around aimlessly getting my bearings, here are just a few of my observations that were both surprising and revealing and why I feel French women don’t get fat:

1. Nobody snacks in the street. This is also true in Italy and Spain.

2. People sit down to eat. This is the time they are in the moment enjoying themselves. 

3. Lunch is often 1.50 hours or more. Yes, you may say a lazy lot. 

However they eat, they take time to, and eating well means a happy tummy as you head back to the office.

4. People buy mostly fresh unprocessed food at the local markets

One of the biggest pleasures of living in France is the local markets and the food on offer. No additive, no chemicals, etc, etc, just real food. 

5. Chocolate, sweets, etc are practically unseen in shops. The only thing you’ll see anyone snack on if at all, eg on the way home or quickly is a freshly made baguette.

6. Takeaway fast food is also practically unseen. I cringe when I see fast food places because the food doesn’t look real.

7. They are not talking incessantly about bodyweight in the media, magazines, or among themselves. It’s almost an invisible subject. The French can talk about the government and strikes etc but the issue of weight or obesity is far from their lips. 

In all my time living there, I realize that French women eat for pleasure and there is no guilt whatsoever. Something that many British and American women do all the time. Will I won’t I, will I won’t I. Oh, mon Dieu.

Not for the French. 

good food is the foundation of

genuine happiness

auguste escoffier

Food Is My New Best Friend

I love food and it’s been one of the highlights of traveling solo. I’ve also been able to expand my palette but maintain my waistline. Gosh, there is so much variety. Gelato, brioche, croissants almonds, and then there’s the wine. It would bring tears to your eyes if you saw what I eat on some days. Hahaha. 

I’ve come to my conclusion that those who eat for pleasure who love food are the thinnest and those who add some kind of resistance have weight issues.

So eat, drink, and be merry my friends. Life is meant to be a buffet, try a little of everything in moderation. 

Bon appetite.

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hi, i'm kirsteen

Your new BFF & Travel Coach.

I'm an ex-Corporate girl who gave up a very successful career in the UK for a dream life traveling alone. Why solo? To do what I wanted,  where I wanted, and when I wanted. That was 15 years ago when I left with nothing more than a suitcase and an incessant desire to be happy. I've never looked back...


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