10 Ways to Make the French Diet Work for You
How to fit French diet strategies into an American lifestyle
3. Pay Attention to Portions.
The key to eating a variety of foods at each meal and enjoying three squares
a day while keeping a healthy weight is monitoring portion sizes. Try not to
overeat any single item or during any one meal.
How to Americanize this suggestion: The "bigger is better"
mentality in America translates into bigger portion sizes (and the more food
that is in front of you, the more you will eat). So when you see the words
"all you can eat," "supersize," "double," or
"jumbo" -- run away! Instead, look for the words, "petite,"
"individual," "appetizer," "small," or "junior"
out or food shopping.
4. Slow Down.
Enjoy several small dishes over several courses, allowing your body to let
you know when you've had enough.
How to Americanize this suggestion: You don't win when you're the
first to finish your meal -- you lose. If you eat fast, you're more likely to
eat more than your body needs. Junk food and fast food is everywhere you turn
in America, and there's something about this kind of food that makes us eat it
fast, too. Think of your meals not as something to get through quickly, but
something to take your time with and enjoy. Try breaking your dinner into
several courses. Serve salad or soup first, then follow with a small portion of
the main dish, then perhaps a serving of fresh fruit. See how that changes how
much you eat and how much you enjoy the meal. You can also slow down by paying
attention to chewing each bite, by taking sips of a beverage between bites, and
by having great conversation or company at mealtime. And try using a fork and
knife for foods you normally eat with your hands (such as pizza, chicken
strips, or tacos).
5. Joie De Vivre.
That's French for having a joy of life. Enjoy what you eat. Take your time
with your meals, eat only while sitting down, and focus on enjoying what you
are eating. Lose any feelings of guilt about good food and good wine.
How to Americanize this suggestion: Don't be distracted during
mealtime by the television, books/newspaper, or your computer. Eating should be
a pleasurable experience. Go out of your way to make each meal or snack
enjoyable. Find what works for you: maybe playing classical music, eating
outside on your deck, lighting candles, using your best china and silver?