How do French women eat?

Brigitte Bardot - what do french women eat? - this one eats no meatUSATODAY.com - The French diet connection: "'At the end of the day, we only have one body, and we need to respect, and we need to know what we put in, our body.'"

As "French Women Don't get fat" blasts into the no 10 bestseller list we ask "What do French Women eat" Apparently they are very careful what they put in their mouths. Very choosy, but not obscessed - it's a question of Quality rather than quantity. It's about a sensuous way of eating.

A survey conducted by the French government's Committee for Health Education (CFES) found that eating is still very closely linked to a national heritage of consuming good food for pleasure. In France, 76 per cent eat meals they have prepared at home; the favourite place to eat both lunch and dinner is in the home, with 75 per cent eating at the family table. In the UK, by contrast, we like to eat our meals (a) standing up, (b) in front of Coronation Street , (c) at a desk while catching up on emails or (d) by the side of the M40.

Whereas the French typically spend two hours over lunch, the British bolt down our food in the time it would take them to spread peanut butter on a petit pain. Nutritionist Dr Francoise L'Hermite believes that the French secret is to sit down with friends or family for a meal, and to eat three times a day at regular intervals. She points out that the French don't eat in front of the television, and they eat slowly, enjoying both the food and the company. How very civilised.

'For France, a meal is a very particular moment, in which you share pleasure, the food as well as the conversation,' says L'Hermite. 'From an Anglo-Saxon point of view, food is just fuel to give energy to your muscles. If you have no pleasure in it, you are breaking all the rules of eating.'

Dr Andrew Hill, senior lecturer in behavioural sciences at Leeds University, agrees. 'I suspect that the French paradox has something to do with our differing core attitudes to food and eating. French food is real food - prepared in the kitchen, with time taken to choose, buy and prepare meals. In other words, there's space for food in the daily routine.



"I couldn't see anyone eating with pleasure," says The author of the book, French Women Don't Get Fat: The Secret of Eating for Pleasure, French-born Mireille Guiliano, 58, CEO of Clicquot Inc., a U.S. subsidiary of Champagne Veuve Clicquot. "Food is one of the best pleasures in life. We should not eat like we're robots or on autopilot. It's not like eating. It's like stuffing yourself."

"French women eat with all five senses, We chew well. We stop between bites."

In fact, the French report that only about 11% of people there are obese. That compares with about 30% of people in the USA who are 30 or more pounds over a healthy weight, according to U.S. government surveys.

Apparently the skills French women use when eating are: Consume three good meals a day, watch portions, eat lots of fruits and vegetables, use seasonings, eat a variety of seasonal foods, drink plenty of water, savor wine, walk everywhere including up and down the stairs, indulge in a treat every once in a while.

Keith Ayoob, a nutritionist at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York says "that the French do anything better than we do"

if you really want to kiss your ass goodbye, you should take a lesson from the French says The Observer Food Monthly (UK)


Anne Barone says it's all about knickers.

Bridgitte Bardot - 1st Vegetarian French Woman The Brigitte Bardot Foundation for Animals

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