If you’d like to lose weight without dieting, check out the French Women Don’t Get Fat diet by Mireille Guiliano. In spite of a title that many consider cutesy or gimmicky, this is an eminently sane and sensible diet.
The French diet is a healthy way to lose weight based upon the so-called “French paradox” which was discovered by Mireille Guiliano personally. This paradox is that the French – and other Mediterranean countries – eat a good deal of saturated fat, which we are taught is a huge no-no, yet have a much lower incidence of heart attacks and other problems associated with high cholesterol than we do.
When Guiliano visited America as a teen she gained 20 pounds, which she lost when she returned to France and became intrigued about why this should be so. Mireille Guiliano is the CEO of the company that makes Veuve Clicquot (luscious champagne) and she is fit and elegant. This book isn’t a traditional diet book but is instead filled with the wisdom she has learned over the years.
[It’s important to note that as the French eat more Mcburgers they begin to have weight problems, too.]
The Sane & Wise Fundamentals Of The French Diet
The French Women Don’t Get Fat diet is truly based on wisdom because it’s based on enjoyment rather than suffering and torture! With this diet we eat smaller portions of high quality food that we enjoy, all the while savoring every single bite. The fundamental ‘rules’ of French Women Don’t Get Fat are that we should only whole, high quality food, in small amounts and take the time to appreciate every single morsel. And yes, that includes champagne and chocolate!
The only No-No is large portions. However, if we eat slowly and enjoy our food we are less likely to stuff in large amounts. How many times have you seen the bottom of a bag of cookies or a tub of popcorn only to realize that you eat the entire thing on automatic pilot? Blessedly, forget calories and never, never skip a meal – unless you’re just not hungry, of course.
"You can still have your favorite foods, but try to reduce how often or how much," says Guiliano.
Doesn’t that make sense? Don’t you feel like you have just been sentenced to prison whenever you start a diet? I know that I do. All that comes to mind is deprivation and what I *can’t* have.
This Mediterranean weight loss diet insists that we enjoy each and every bite we put into our mouths. How incredibly refreshing.
We all want a healthy way to lose weight, without misery, but what ruins our effort is usually portion sizes. Eating too much is always a recipe for an expanded waistline and poorer health.
To enjoy the French Women Don’t Get Fat Diet, focus on your food:
With your taste buds – take the time to enjoy each and bit of flavor and taste because you might be surprised at what you discover. I’ve been shocked to find that I’ve eaten foods for years, foods that I thought were huge favorites – yet I didn’t enjoy them at all when I slowed down enough to actually taste.
With your eyes. SEE the colors, SEE what the food look like in relation to other foods.
Slow down! You can’t enjoy your food if you’re racing through it, stuffing it in as fast as possible. The next time you’ve in a restaurant notice how most people eat. Most of us are stuffing in one bite before we’ve even chewed the one before, much less take time to savor what we’ve just eaten.
And by eating too fast, we don’t have the time to get the “Hey, up there, mouth. This is your tummy speaking. I’m full, full, full. Stop!”
Chew your food thoroughly. Most folks don’t realize it but digestion is done mostly in the mouth. Sending down big chunks of food is a disservice to your entire body which must work much harder to utilize the chow you’re downing.
When asked for advice about how to become Enlightened, a famous Buddhist monk replied, “Eat when hungry, sleep when tired.” On the surface this seems to be extremely disappointing advice. We all know that. Don’t we? Well, if we do why do we watch TV, read, grade papers, drive, have a business meeting, or any of the other distrations that we usually pursue when eating?
One of the reasons the French, Italians and other traditional Mediterranean eaters remain thin while eating food we consider “fattening’ – like butter and cheese – is that their meals arent eaten on the run. Instead, the entire family and often neighbors, employees and friends sit down together at the table and spend an hour or two eating, drinking and visiting. It’s obvious that this is better for the digestion and assimilation of our food than working on the latest budget figures.
So, in other words … avoid distractions and follow the monk’s wise advice. Feast your eyes on the delicious food on your table, smell the good scents and take the time to notice textures, colors and everything aparent to your senses. And be grateful for the tastes in your mouth and the nourishment you are taking in.
There is no specific exercise plan but participants are asked to “move” each day. How wonderful. It’s hard to create mental and emotional resistance to such a sensible suggestion.
How To Follow The French Women Don’t Get Fat Diet
The French diet begins with two days of leek soup – and nothing else. Leeks are wonderful and I love them, but this is definitely going to be the hardest part of the French diet. The purpose of this two day semi-fast is:
To eliminate loads of dangerous toxins …
To sensitize your palate so that you will begin to appreciate and glory in your food …
Once this tough time is past, you can begin to eat like a French (wo)man. You will need to pay close attention to the foods that make YOU feel good – not the food that makes everyone else feel good.
2 servings of yogurt for calcium
lean meats, mostly poultry and fish
Mireille Guiliano also recommends keeping a food journal so that we can more clearly see what we’re doing and where the problems are. For instance, when I started keeping a journal I realized that my ‘worst’ period of the day was in the late afternoon when I got home from work, but it wasn’t yet dinner time. Once I was aware that this was a ‘danger zone’ for me I was better able to keep my uncontrolled eating in check.
Is This About Losing Weight Quickly?
NO! This isn’t a quickie diet for a special occasion. It is a long-term plan for healthy weight loss that is gradual and fairly slow. It’s meant to "reset" your body so that the damned diet problem goes away forever. The French diet advised its adherents to make changes slowly, small changes that aren’t too difficult. And all the while, drink plenty of water to hydrate your cells and flush out toxins.
Have a craving? Indulge it – with just a bite or two. Don’t think of any food as ‘forbidden’ because that’s an almost certain way to descent into Bingeland. Want pie? Have a bite or two or even three … just take your time and savor it. After a time of eating this way, you will eventually not care about eating in such vast quantities. Or so Mireille Guiliano says.
Our Verdict About The French Women Don’t Get Fat Diet: A
This would be an absolutely perfect diet plan if it weren’t for the animal products. Having said that, though, we’re dismissing that part because many people (MOST people on the planet) totally disagree with us. Otherwise, it’s a superb way to look at food and eating. In our weight obsession, we’re turned eating into a traumatic experience and food into ‘the enemy’. This way of eating totally undoes that life-destroying attitude and turns food back into one of the pleasures in life. And well it should be.
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HOGWASH ALERT: One addendum: a reviewer criticized Mireille Guiliano because she is "not a nutrition or weight loss professional" What total hogwash! Our world has an obsession with credentials that is absurd. I would rather learn from a formerly fat person any day than an ‘expert’. We can go to any library and look at all the contradictory diet plans written by the credentialed people to see how much their advice is worth. If there was "The Answer" in weight loss that worked for everyone, we’d already have it.