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Theresa Albert


Eat Like the French and Love Your Life

Posted: 01/15/2013 11:54 am

It's common knowledge that French women don't get fat, but what about French men? And what are they doing that allows them to stay slender while drinking twice as much wine as North Americans and eating way more fatty foods. More importantly...can you get away with it too?

The stats


Obese Adults: 14.3 per cent
Litres of Alcohol/person/yr: 7.8
Litres of beer/person/yr: 70
Juice consumed L/yr: 52.6
Soft Drinks L/yr: 119
Wine consumption L./yr: 10


Obese Adults: 9.4 per cent
Litres of Alcohol/person/yr: 14.8
Litres of beer/person/yr: 41
Juice consumed L/yr: 23.5
Soft Drinks L/yr: 37.2
Wine consumption L/year: 47

Source: http://www.nationmaster.com/compare/Canada/France/Food

There were no stats on consumption of potato chips, corn chips, red meat portion sizes or "snacks" but you can already see the trend developing. They get away with it because they avoid the empty calories and blood sugar-spiking evils of beer, juice and soft drinks and instead are still committed to real food, pleasurable meals and taking the time to eat.

Here is your swap sheet to enjoy the pleasures of the French as a North American man:

  • Give up the beer. Switch to a maximum of two glasses of wine (preferably red) each day
  • Don't snack. Have breakfast, lunch and dinner and a piece of cheese with fruit at night
  • Learn to love your coffee black or switch to tea. Drink up to three cups per day but get rid of the useless calories from cream and sugar.
  • Toss out all liquid calories from juice or pop. Drink water, milk (two cups/day) or wine.
  • Eat only grass-fed beef or lamb and only in portions the size of your palm and only twice per week
  • Eat lots of fish, grilled or baked
  • Have sex for exercise (there are very few gyms in France, my unscientific theory is that this is why)
  • Laugh, talk, think, learn. All of these pleasures will reduce the stress that creates belly fat

Not one of these swaps is a hardship, you don't see "eat kale" or "take vitamins" or "pump iron" on this list. There is a simple joie de vivre that comes with the French lifestyle that feeds everything else. It goes something like this: be moderate, except in your love of life.

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  • Philippines

    "NO FRILLS school lunch in the Philippines" <a href="http://imgur.com/CwcCu"><img src="http://i.imgur.com/CwcCul.jpg" alt="" title="Hosted by imgur.com" /></a>

  • Finland

    "It's rice with a chicken sauce that has some salami mixed in. A bit of a weird combination but worked fine. Dessert is chocolate mousse." <a href="http://imgur.com/5xsIP"><img src="http://i.imgur.com/5xsIPl.jpg" title="Hosted by imgur.com" alt="" /></a>

  • South Korea

    "You always get rice. Always. Sometimes they'll mix it up and add some grains or curry to it. Top right corner are Sesame leaves with a sweet honey sauce. You're suppose to use the leaves as a wrap and pack it with rice. This particular soup was a pumpkin potato soup. The food in the middle is a Korean pancake. It's made from a batter of eggs and green onions. Sometimes they'll add peppers and octopus. Above the pancake is Kimchi. Again, it's like rice. You're always gonna have it. It's a traditional Korean dish made with fermented cabbage. Chili paste is used to make it. It's almost like wine. The more it ages, the better it tastes. Top right is a sweet and sour salad that's mostly made with cucumbers and carrots. A lot of chili's are used to make Korean food so it's all relatively spicy. 'Good for the soul!'" <a href="http://imgur.com/USjuA"><img src="http://i.imgur.com/USjuAl.jpg" alt="" title="Hosted by imgur.com" /></a>

  • U.S.A.

    "I see your Finnish, and Swedish school lunch, and I raise you our USA school lunch...." <a href="http://imgur.com/YLkxw"><img src="http://i.imgur.com/YLkxwl.jpg" alt="" title="Hosted by imgur.com" /></a>

  • India

    "I see your Finnish school lunch & South Korean school lunch and raise you South Indian School lunch" <a href="http://imgur.com/LEZPp"><img src="http://i.imgur.com/LEZPpl.jpg" alt="" title="Hosted by imgur.com" /></a>

  • U.S.A.

    "I see all of your school lunches, and raise you my American school lunch..." <a href="http://imgur.com/5AGar"><img src="http://i.imgur.com/5AGarl.png" alt="" title="Hosted by imgur.com" /></a>

  • U.S.A.

    "I see your Finnish and Swedish school lunches and fold...with my American lunch." <a href="http://imgur.com/usWvG"><img src="http://i.imgur.com/usWvGl.jpg" alt="" title="Hosted by imgur.com" /></a>

  • U.S.A.

    "This is an american high school lunch!" <a href="http://imgur.com/6wTIz"><img src="http://i.imgur.com/6wTIzl.jpg" alt="" title="Hosted by imgur.com" /></a>

  • Denmark

    "On this plate of danish cuisine is roasted duck, potatoes and red/white cabbage." <a href="http://imgur.com/SjDCh"><img src="http://i.imgur.com/SjDChl.jpg" alt="" title="Hosted by imgur.com" /></a>

  • England

    "Time for an English school lunch." <a href="http://imgur.com/37KWk"><img src="http://i.imgur.com/37KWkl.jpg" title="Hosted by imgur.com" alt="" /></a>

  • U.S.A

    "I see your South Korean school lunch and raise you my American school lunch." <a href="http://imgur.com/e4o9t"><img src="http://i.imgur.com/e4o9tl.jpg" title="Hosted by imgur.com" alt="" /></a>

  • U.S.A.

    "A typical school lunch at La Joya High School (parts of it were raw!!)... chicken??" <a href="http://imgur.com/W0cEJ"><img src="http://i.imgur.com/W0cEJl.jpg" title="Hosted by imgur.com" alt="" /></a>

  • China

    "School lunch in China." <a href="http://imgur.com/p24dD"><img src="http://i.imgur.com/p24dDl.jpg" title="Hosted by imgur.com" alt="" /></a>

  • U.S.A.

    "I see all of your international lunches and raise you a Georgian school lunch. 'Merica" <a href="http://imgur.com/ynDv5"><img src="http://i.imgur.com/ynDv5l.jpg" title="Hosted by imgur.com" alt="" /></a>

  • U.S.A.

    "I See Your Swedish School Lunch, But Here's My 'Healthy' American Lunch." <a href="http://imgur.com/qqgq6"><img src="http://i.imgur.com/qqgq6l.jpg" title="Hosted by imgur.com" alt="" /></a>

  • Japan

    "I see your Finnish, Swedish, and American school lunch, and I raise you a Japanese Kyushoku (school lunch)...." <a href="http://imgur.com/UskXj"><img src="http://i.imgur.com/UskXjl.png" title="Hosted by imgur.com" alt="" /></a>

  • Japan

    "I see your Finnish, Swedish, and US lunches, and raise you the (free) school lunch in Japan." <a href="http://imgur.com/bxTzz"><img src="http://i.imgur.com/bxTzz.jpg" alt="" title="Hosted by imgur.com" /></a>

  • Japan

    "Top left: Yaki-onigiri (grilled rice ball). Top right: Gobou salad (burdock root with broccoli, corn, mayo, and tuna) Bottom left: Cheese Bottom right: Curry udon" <a href="http://imgur.com/eGi6b"><img src="http://i.imgur.com/eGi6bl.jpg" title="Hosted by imgur.com" alt="" /></a>

  • U.S.A.

    "Excuse me, Chicago school lunch comin through..." <a href="http://imgur.com/ZyCH1"><img src="http://i.imgur.com/ZyCH1l.jpg" title="Hosted by imgur.com" alt="" /></a>

  • U.S.A.

    "I see your amazing school lunch and hate you because this is American school lunch." <a href="http://imgur.com/MMt4y"><img src="http://i.imgur.com/MMt4yl.jpg?1" title="Hosted by imgur.com" alt="" /></a>

  • Sweden

    "This is why I eat my school lunch" <a href="http://imgur.com/GllUO"><img src="http://i.imgur.com/GllUOl.jpg" title="Hosted by imgur.com" alt="" /></a>

  • Finland

    "This is one of the many school lunches I ate while living in Finland for a year. Fresh salad, smoked salmon, broccoli and potatoes" <a href="http://imgur.com/Be3xi"><img src="http://i.imgur.com/Be3xil.jpg" title="Hosted by imgur.com" alt="" /></a>

  • USA School Lunch

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/ryan8227"><img style="float:left;padding-right:6px !important;" src="http://graph.facebook.com/100002818538118/picture?type=square" /></a><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/ryan8227">ryan8227</a>:<br />

  • Latin School of Chicago school lunch

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/Trisha_Flassing"><img style="float:left;padding-right:6px !important;" src="http://graph.facebook.com/741909382/picture?type=square" /></a><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/Trisha_Flassing">Trisha Flassing</a>:<br />Acorn squash stuffed with sausage, warm farro salad and sage cream sauce.


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