By Jessica Sepel@JSHealth

They don’t believe in diets. In fact, they really believe in INDULGENCE. They believe in eating with gusto. Eating whatever they wish – just smaller portions! NO deprivation. They don’t think about what they have eaten. In fact, guilty eating does not exist. They also believe in a starter, main and YES dessert too…

You may be thinking – what rubbish. Perhaps they are genetically blessed?

Some of them, yes perhaps!  But I also think it’s the culture of these woman that is keeping them thin. They see food as pleasurable, not as the enemy – like so many women of the Western world. They don’t jump on the scales everyday either.

And yes, while they indulge in pastries more than some of us – they also love their healthy food. They know to have fruit, their greens and healthy lean proteins – that’s just apart of their lifestyle! So is “indulging”.

If they indulge – they do not berate themselves. If they over indulge – they simply eat clean for the rest of the day – or the next day too perhaps. Unlike many woman these days, who will do the opposite – binge as a result of indulgence or guilt.

French women eat slowly and mindfully – because that’s polite, and that’s the culture.

As a nutritionist, I believe we can eat whatever we want – just in small portions. But in reality, so many of us can’t seem to do…

It’s my belief that it’s not so much about what kind of foods we are eating – it’s more about how we eat them, and the emotional relationship we have with food and ourselves that has a far bigger impact on our weight. Perhaps I am different to most nutritionists in this way.

When I indulge – say eating a pastry and a coffee, and feel GOOD about this – my body can cope. My digestion can handle it. My body can break it down.

But when I feel guilty – it seems my body also doesn’t like it.

I struggle to digest, I struggle to enjoy.

Here are some of the reasons why French women don’t get fat – perhaps some points for us to take on board and consider!

  • French women typically think about good things to eat. Whereas other women typically worry about bad things to eat
  • French women eat much smaller portions
  • French women don’t believe in fads or diets – they think its ridiculous. They don’t believe in ‘sugar free’ or ‘fat free
  • They drink alcohol – in moderation
  • They eat bread and carbs in moderation, and in an enjoyable way. They are not SCARED of foods!
  • French women eat lots of vegetables
  • French women love chocolate – especially the dark kind. But they also know how to have 3 pieces – not the entire block. They know when it’s enough.
  • French women are active – but don’t over exercise either
  • French women believe in pleasurable eating
  • French women do over indulge at times – but they then compensate in other ways – by eating less the next day for example
  • French women don’t snack all day long – they eat 3 satiating meals
  • They don’t say no to desserts – they enjoy them with gusto
  • French women love to cook real whole foods and buy their foods from local markets – they believe in local and organic produce
  • French women love to sit in a cafe and do nothing but enjoy the moment
  • French women void anything that demands too much effort – they keep things simple
  • French women never let themselves feel hungry – but they also never let themselves feel stuffed
  • French women plan their meals in advance
  • French women don’t watch TV while they eat or stand up (to the, this is simply rude).  They connect to their food – they respect mealtimes
  • French women drink water all day
  • French women don’t weigh themselves – they keep track of their weight through how their clothes feel on them
  • French women believe in rest