French women don't diet, but they have a healthy way of eating overall, food education is important for children and eating is in fact a lifestyle. In this video, I give you my (personal) perspective on food in the French culture.
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It's 12 fruits/veggies a day, 3 spoons of everything, 1h lunch break... and not as many croissants as you'd think 😅. Is that what you thought about the French way of eating?
PS: no eye make-up at all in this video (because I know the question will come 😉).
Great video! Only one comment about the stress and calories though, the research has actually shown that stress actually is linked with weight gain- because of the tendency to stress-eat, but also because stress slows down metabolic responses.
Thank you Guida Ornelas. The media has created a negative image of American's that is not entirely accurate and in my opinion, unfair. I am a Native Californian. I grew up when microwaves were not in the house and our diets were based off the pyramid scheme. We eat organically and non GMO and despite what some will say the price points are not that different than the non organic or GMO products you just have to be willing to shop around and or just cut certain items from your diet. As a general rule if we do not buy processed food, if we do, if there are ingredients and preservatives we can not explain or understand we don't buy it. I know its different here in California than in some Midwest parts of the country, but it comes down to supply and demand. If the consumer demands a better product ie, organic non GMO then the stores will supply it.Eating healthier can be an easy way of life if one is willing to be reasonable about what they are eating. I can buy a bag of dried beans and cook it with either water or broth some garlic and onions and have a meal that has little to no sodium, no cholesterol, no fat, is high in fiber for under five dollars and it can last for a several days. It is doable and there are Murcans who cook and eat like this on a daily basis. Its not just diet but its also being active, from what I understand people in Europe walk more than we do here in the US and I think that is a huge factor to consider as well in being thin. Eat healthy natural foods (in moderation) often, eat balanced meals and get active, even if its just walking to the store to buy your food. I live in LA and like the song says "no one walks in LA" but in San Francisco, everyone is walking.
Great video, than you, it's always the best hearing from a born and bread French person. It would be great of you could share with us what a typical week menu looks like. Because for example, 12 fruits/day, it's not such a problem, but when if you do not snack? And what would be a typical French breakfast? I heard that croissants are a treat, maybe on a weekend (also with all the patisseries), is that true? And I also read that French people generally do not eat much for breakfast, if anything at all, how about that? That's why I am interested to know what a real weekly menu for a French person looks like.
Thank you. V.
apparently half of fat people are that way because of childhood abuse, often but not always sexual, it's a way of making yourself unattractive and so 'safe' from it ever happening again - there's so much child abuse in britain it's always, constantly in the news, so i think that may be why we are so fat on average, there's a wide range of body types here but there are huge numbers of fat people, small numbers of extremely skinny people and almost nobody 'normal' like when i was growing up. Also we are an extremely elderly nation, nearly three quarters of people where i live are over fifty and half are 65+, so they're old and ill which often means fat because they can barely walk, i think half the people i know have fake knees or hips and often all four :(
i'm not being funny, but your cakes are horrid, so you don't get tempted. In Wales (west UK, don't confuse with england) home-made cake sold by grannies to supplement pensions is everywhere, the cakes are so good, bara brith mainly, welsh cakes, teacakes, butter buns and chelsea bins - you don't have any nice cakes, just tarts and patisserie. You do have croissants, which are rubbish here, but otherwise, you don't get tempted, which is cheating! And with cakes, commercial is vile, only home-made or bakery-made is nice (bakeries for chelsea buns, scones, pikelets, welsh cakes, butter buns and the odd belgian bun but never ever for actual cakes). Your coffee is horrible too, German is so much better, Dutch is terrible but they have great cheese, Italian's the best!
Justine, you have put the cat among the pigeons with this video. But it is interesting. My experience is that the French are amazing at whipping up meals from seemingly nothing - some cold cuts of meat from the day before, a bit of ratatouille and some fresh vegetables and mustard and vinaigrette. I always marvelled out how simple French friends made it seem. And my first magret de canard - in a pizza parlour no less - delicious. And I have had kidneys cooked fresh at a supermarket café! Unreal. The French do know about food, no question. But I do wonder though how many chemicals are used on the fresh produce one buys in France...
Okay so I'm in France (Nantes) and they eat AT LEAST 2 DESSERTS a day. One after lunch and one after dinner. And of course, LOTS OF SALTED BUTTER. And jam and chocolate in the mornings. I think the reason is that they do sports, almost all of them and yeah they don't eat lots of processed foods. (lots of fruity yogurt and desserts like that though) They run a lot. And they don't snack between meals. They eat a lot in the meals (lots of meat as well, all kinds of meat and fish) but just 3 times and that's it.
+Justine Leconte officiel It was hard for me as a Turkish girl to get used to because cheese is a breakfast thing for us and you never eat cheese in the breakfast :D They were always like "cheese for breakfast? really?"
But I love the fact that each meal is an event and takes long. I eat super slow and like to chat, I eat A LOT more in France than I do in Turkey (I was underweight in Turkey now I'm super healthy.) I love French diet so much <3
We French, we are generally in better health than the other nation (scientific fact) Why?
Because we drink a glass of wine per meal. Our traditional food is excellent and natural. And above all, we do a lot more love than others.
I have a microwave but I only use it to heat up food that I prepared at home and then froze. Having a chronic illness it's not always possible for me to cook everyday, or even longer during a flare up, so I often make large batches of soups or stews or sauce and freeze them for when I'm not doing well. It makes my life much easier and it's a better option than frozen foods I can buy at the grocery store. I also make my own bread by hand, partly because I find the process of making it relaxing and partly because it tastes far better than store bought. There's something very relaxing and rewarding about making all your food from scratch even if it doesn't always turn out. It also gives me a reason to look up recipes and try new things with ingredients that I don't normally use.
Ooh wow, I didn't know about so many veggies. In Belgium most people teat healthy in the evening. But quite often breakfast and lunch are bread with charcuterie. I eat more French then. With the stress ... I don't agree on that one. Stress makes you actually fat. The hormone cortisol is known to give belly fat. Maybe because people in Paris are still in a healthy stress zone. In Belgium, it's three meals with two snacks.
She right about that stress thing. I feel in college, everyone gained their what is called freshman 15lbs, but I lost weight. I was doing long days of classes and taking several jobs and back and forth. When I was supposed to eat, i was so stressed i couldn’t eat. eating slowed me down. i really didn’t eat properly until i got home. i think in school on a typical day:
Breakfast-a cup or soy milk (yup), an apple and granola bar
lunch-chicken caesar salad/wrap or chipotle bowl many times nothing at all
dinner-i don’t think i bothered.
And this is a 8am to 9pm college school day.
Finally entering the work place. Had more money and a better schedule to eat and my weight steadily ballooned in the last 8yrs. so now i am trying to reverse that.
In the states we have too much of the in between meals to save you from pigging out in the next. So counter productive. I’ve been changing my eating habits because i have an office jobs and i know i don’t burn a lot of calories. Lately i’ve been sticking to:
breakfast-Small plain pastry. I love croissants. with coffee or tea.
-maybe an hour after my breakfast i have tea that is unsweetened and caffeine free. It’s really like my flavored water.
lunch-i happen to eat a bit late. But I love my salads. tofu if i got. but no cheese or meat. i like plant protein more. And a tiny bowl like a few spoon fulls of some grain/pasta thing enough to fit in palm of my hand.
-the i’ll have more water or herbal tea.
dinner-i stopped. I’ll have two cups of wellness tea. ginger, mint or chamomile. And munch on some very light snack. nothing sweet or greasy. i say i have been sleeping waaaay better and waking up refreshed.
i hate feeling full or stuffed. especially if i have a physical activity to so or even sleep. it make me feel like i’ll throw up.
Vegetables in most American supermarkets are like pseudo-vegetables. They look like vegetables, but have zero flavor, poor texture, and are just plain gross. Most people I know don’t even know what high quality vegetables taste like. It’s probably why they all claim to hate them. I wonder what the differences in agricultural practices are between countries are? And those countries from where our food is imported who may lack environmental regulation. High yield over quality is our approach.
Thank you very much for sharing your insightful thoughts and opinions on these topics - I do appreciate them. Over here in Australia, we are not as "refined" as the French when it comes to food, drink and lifestyle, though we are a great sporting nation, and sports plays a HUGE part in Australia. People here in Australia tend to go the same road as the Untied States - eating takeout food, buying low quality products and items AND drinking ALOT......all the time. Australia has a big drinking culture, but food is not really considered a lifestyle, as many people are either on diets trying to lose weight or are working very long hours at work and therefore don't have the time to cook fresh healthy meals and instead eat out or buy fast food instead or they simply can not afford to buy healthy fresh fruit and vegetables as the cost of living in Australia is generally very VERY high - especially when living in a capital city. I do appreciate the French way of living as it just seems more chic and healthy that way - I grew up with Greek parents, and my mother always cooked Greek meals with fresh fruit and vegetables and olive oil - we hardly ever EVER ate any processed food. In fact, my parents were completely against it. Again, thank you for sharing! :-)
You mentioned eating breakfast as one of your meals - what do you typically eat for breakfast? I’m also curious about your 4:00 meal - is that teatime? Do you have a snack or food at this time? Thanks for all the great tips!! 😊
Hi, Justine! I can understand when you talk about not having time for sports, i started a new job and i run all the time and thanks to that , i have melted so much fat!! Also eat more fruit and veggies and have kicked sweets from my diet too!
For being from a french family that i never knew the culture is stupid and sorry but looking like a stick isnt atteactive either being a healthy is and taking care of yourself is i dont seem to care to know
it's hard to find tasty veg and fruits here in the US. My father was french and was an excellent cook. we lived overseas in different countries and only in france 2 years. i really miss food in france and Japan too(lived there several years). the food is horrible here and sometimes i want to return to france but my degree is american yet i am super unhappy here. I just would be completely lost there as far as vocation. Now i understand why so many ppl like living in Berlin. It must have lots of expats. Organic food is also very pricey and not always yummy. i was not fully aware of all this when i was studying here bc i was so focused single-mindedly with school. it's kind of a midlife crisis for me as i am reminiscing a lot on all the fun yearly holidays we had in France...
I'm sorry, but I have been in France for 5 years, I lived in different regions, I have many French friends and nothing from what you say is true, if I'm in the store and I watch baskets with other people's purchases, 60% of things are ready-to-defrost products or unhealthy food, I do not eat meat and I have a big problem finding vegetarian products unless in a bio shop where I have to pay a lot more, in other countries e.g. Germany, Poland, vegetarian products are available much easier even in chain stores like Lidl. I'ts not the case in France. Maybe it was like that before but today the wallet is decisive. The usage of butter, high-fat cream not even mentioning about typical french breakfast: baguettes, butter and jam plus coffee or just coffee. That's why i think that french nutrition habits are not much better than in any other western country
I disagree, sort of. The traditional French diet seems - to me - to be more balanced. In a typical day if you truly eat "the French way," you'll likely consume a very balanced set of meals with the proper ratio of vegetables, proteins and carbs. Your fats are not saturated, so they're the "good" kind. I'm married into a traditional French family and they eat very well, very balanced meals. More importantly, in France people sit down to eat - they aren't scarfing down food at their desk like us Americans. They make time for their meals and that, in itself, helps to add to the nutrition of your meal.
Where have you lived in France? I may be moving there in a couple years and always want to know more from people who have moved there. And me being an average weight American makes me so afraid I'll be seen as huge there
Omg thanks my both grandmother are half french and both enforced that diet code. Including 3 bites and water.. it's the American influence for me. Ultimately last 3yrs have been an aha moment of they knew better. This is so lovely and kind of you thank you!!!😍🤗
Portion control is another factor. The dishes in France are so much smaller and the quantities are not huge. In the USA plates are gigantic and piled high with more food than necessary. People are trained to eat like pigs in the USA...and they rush through each meal without allowing time to register that they are already full!
Lovely video. I live in US and it's a struggle to eat healthy. I want to raise my children with good food education and eating habits and I know that will be the greatest challenge unless I don't send them to public schools.
Never drink coffee. Caffeine destroys the vitamins from food and it's bad for thyroid function and hormonal balance later in life..especially in women. Lots of nutritionists insist to avoid coffee, or at least get the decaffeinated version.
I just had a Epiphany. I gave up carbs and sugar over a year ago and now never been healthier in my life. I find it very hard to process bread now...I can see the effects on my body almost immediately, about an hour. I bet it's the sugar in it. I never thought of that. If I eat sugar....within 30 minutes I notice. I need to do a bit of research. I don't do many cheat days...food in the states is CRAP. Designed to make us sick.
I was born in Poland, partly raised there and partly in Britain and I have also finished a food science degree and oh my gosh! I agree with everything you have said it is so true - in Poland I use to eat fruit and veg and soups for lunch automatically without even thinking it was healthy it was just one of those things you did - the same with shopping buying everything fresh and NOT stocking up on things or not owning a microwave.
As I watch your videos, initially knowing very little about the French, I realize I do my makeup/hair/food like France already!
But my fashion sense is NOTHING like french style. I think I'd still get pegged as American, even with my other similarities, because clothes get the first impression. ;)
I think another suggestion which you didn’t mention is portion control. I am in my late sixties and am now apple shaped and hate it. I was always very slim until I hit the mid-fifties and now I just don’t seem to be able to lose the weight I don’t want. I consider that I eat healthily but guess I have a problem keeping my food portion size down as when I start eating I guess I get a bit greedy. Milky coffees may be something I need to cut down on too. As someone who eats three meals a day I was interested to hear you mention four. I’d be interested to know what sort of food you eat at 4pm? Thank you for an interesting video.
When my Father was in Alsace in the Fifties, the Americans on the post would inhale their lunch and run back to work, while as Justine stated the French would take time to relax and enjoy their food. The French would chastise the Americans telling them that " You Americans are going to kill yourselves eating that way. I have been for years convinced that half of the American problem with health and diet is not what they are eating, but the manner in which they eat it.
Agreed to all you have said about nutrition. As for the eye makeup, I am the opposite. I can't keep lipstick very well unless it is the no smudge type. So I do the reverse: eye makeup no rouge. No lipstick. I have to learn to do eyebrows.
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