17 July 2013
For several years, the diet conscious have been intrigued by the "French Paradox": How is it that the French can indulge in cheeses, pastries, and all those rich sauces and yet stay so thin? Yes indeed, the French are gastronomy lovers! They love their food… buying it, preparing it, and most of all, eating it, particularly with friends and family… with the perfect accompaniment of wine of course. And, in spite of all of this eating and drinking, the French still manage to be slim and to look great. Is this all too good to be true?
Well, perhaps it is. You see, we often forget that the French practice moderation. It may seem like they eat fat laden foods endlessly, but they only have a little bit at a time. Portion sizes are small. Whereas many of us may consider chips, cakes, and chocolate a treat, or worse as a means to indulge or as a source of comfort, the French rarely do so. They eat for the right reason; they eat to satiate hunger. And, because the food is delicious, it is also satisfying. In turn, they rarely overeat; they are not gluttons.
Furthermore, the French are also keen sportsmen. While gyms are less ubiquitous in France than in the UK, the French still manage to incorporate a lot of exercise into their daily lives, whether it be playing a game of tennis, going for a bike ride, joining a football match, or just walking from place to place. To exercise, casually or competitively, is to be healthy. It is the best way to achieve the body that you want and to feel good in it, not to mention to enjoy the icing on the cake, ie the endorphin highs that exercise yields. Best of all, you can eat what you want…in moderation…and not feel guilty about it.
So, yes, you can have your cake and eat it too…but just one slice… and don’t forget to throw in some fitness for good measure too!