According to a recent report in Forbes magazine, a whopping 74% of Americans over the age of 15 years are overweight (BMI greater than 25) or obese (BMI greater than 30). The USA came in at an inglorious ninth position on the World’s Fattest Countries list recently, while France was at a way more respectable position of number 128.
These statistics are surprising because France is a country where croissants, cappuccinos, and the café culture thrives. There are innumerable patisseries with mouth-watering desserts that are found on every street corner, eating refined flour baguettes with meals is popular, lingering over food cooked in buttery sauces is commonplace, and drinking wine is the norm.
So, what are the secrets about the French and their eating habits that help them stay at a healthy weight without exercising to exhaustion, and despite a seemingly unhealthy diet? The answer is up next.
The French eat their meals like they have all the time in the world. Typical lunch in France lasts two hours. They don’t like wolfing down food while multi-tasking. The French have an unhurried approach to food. They savor their meals with all their senses and eat for pleasure, not just for nourishment.
They also eat at regular intervals and consider eating in front of the television uncivilized. Even though it seems the French eat a lot of carbs in the form of bread and pasta, their portions are small and their meals are light.
Nothing is forbidden, but fatty foods are enjoyed occasionally and in limited portions. A sandwich in France is likely to be a baguette with a few healthy fillings as compared to the giant overstuffed cheese-laden American ones.
Eating dessert in France is de rigueur but rather than denying themselves, they choose quality over quantity. The French know when to stop. Their pastries are mini-sized and they stop at one. The words mega, jumbo, and supersized are not part of their food vocabulary. All-you-can-eat restaurants are virtually unheard of in France, primarily because the citizens there buy healthy foods and enjoy them.
A French supermarket is likely to have an entire aisle devoted to healthy foods like vegetables and fruits, and snacks like chips, sodas, and cookies get very little shelf space.
The French enjoy a meal at a restaurant as an indulgence, but on most days, they eat real food prepared in their kitchens. Take-out is uncommon in France. They don’t order high-fat convenience meals. They allocate sufficient time in their daily routines to prepare and eat food. Their main meal is lunch. Snacking between meals is also unnecessary as traditionally their meals are well balanced.
The French don’t think about fitness all the time because they have made it a way of their lives. It’s common for people to use public transport, walk, or ride a bike to work. High levels of the stress hormone cortisol are directly linked to belly fat accumulation. The French know the importance of getting a good night’s sleep and switching off from the stresses of work to deal with their cortisol levels.
If you want to eat cheese and bread, drink wine, and still be slim like the French, slow down, savor the flavor, taste, and aroma of your food, eat everything but in small portions, and make walking your second nature. And isn’t it time we renamed French Fries to American Fries?
You do not have to go to France to learn their ways. You may start with some smart ways to enjoy your meals in a better and more responsible manner. While you may always take a cue from the way they enjoy their meals, you can also switch to a better and more fulfilling lifestyle in times to come..
If you include healthy low calories snacks in your daily diet, it will ensure that you won’t be ravenous until mealtime and this will also keep your fat-burning metabolism revved up. We are thus presenting a list of 15 low calories snacking options that would not exactly take you the French way but would at least help you satiate your hunger in those odd times.
Rest assured, they are all full of proteins, vitamins, and the required number of calories but they won’t ever cling to your body as fat. Here they are:
Are you sacrificing your daily snacks to cut-off calories from your diet? It is a myth that snacking between meals leads to weight gain, and the truth is exactly the opposite. The author of ‘The One One One Diet’, Rania Batayneh says, “Snacking is an opportunity to fuel your body between meals.”
We have thus included some smart snacking ideas for you that contain less than 100 calories but are loaded with good-for-you nutrients, and they will make you feel like your diet is about anything but deprivation.
Get your ultimate afternoon energy boost which this yummy creamy coffee mix under 100 calories. Make sure your latte is prepared with skimmed milk and does not contain any sugary flavored syrups. Hot beverages are more satiating in comparison to cold ones. Besides, lattes are made of milk which is a good source of protein and calcium.
Greek yogurt is a low-calory snack that can be easily grabbed on the go. Choose a fat-free version of Greek yogurt to stay at the 100-calories mark, and add to it 17 grams of protein and high-quality carbohydrates to stabilize your blood sugar levels.
Air-popped popcorn is the perfect low calories snacking option when the urge to head to the vending machine hits. Eating air-popped popcorn can get you a fiber boost without excess fats and other additives. You can have around 3 cups and eat one kernel at a time to make it last longer.
Can you believe it 20 pistachios have just 80 calories and they are a great source of unsaturated fat and antioxidants? Another plus point is that you will need to invest a lot of time to open up and eat which means you can’t eat too many of them too quickly.
Melons typically have between 45-60 calories per cup. You could thus go for a mix of watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew for a satisfying snack this evening. Melons will give your taste buds a flavor burst filled with nutrition while making your snack feel more substantial.
For a healthy snack, you can go for a slice of cinnamon raisin bread. At just 80 calories per slice, you can go ahead and top this with a tiny dab of light butter spread too.
8 baby carrots just have 40 calories, and you can squeeze them all in a tablespoon of your favorite dips like hummus, tzatziki, or salsa. Carrots have high levels of carotenoids and other forms of vitamin A, which can boost your eyesight plus the crunchy texture can help battle chip cravings.
Normally dried fruits have high amounts of added sugar which can be bad for your diet. If you have a moderated portion (about one-quarter of a cup), you can get around your cravings for eating sweets. You might want to know that one-fourth cup of dried cranberries contains just 93 calories.
All nuts are loaded to the top with proteins and healthy monounsaturated fats and thus make for a smart snack choice. In one of its journals, the American Heart Association has highlighted that consuming almonds in place of carbs results in reduced cholesterol and belly fat and boosts heart health. So, instead of reaching for that bag of pretzels, grab a small handful of almonds to power you through the afternoon.
Half a cup of oatmeal cooked in water contains just 83 calories. Finish with a dash of cinnamon, which helps keep blood-sugar levels stable. This high-fiber and high protein snack is sure to satisfy and hold you over until dinner.
String cheese is one of the most convenient and portable snacks to have on the go. One stick of part-skim string cheese has 80 calories and a whopping 8 grams of protein, plus a dose of calcium without the high saturated fat content of other cheese varieties.
The simplest snack is the best snack. At just 60 calories, each orange makes for a great option for a snack because it is high in vitamins and fiber, and low in natural sugar.
Eggs are a high protein snack with just 78 calories. The proteins will keep you full and may prevent overeating later.
These are the only snack option which is packed with antioxidant and nutrition punch. 1 cup of blueberries has only 83 calories that makes them a perfect diet-friendly choice. Keep them a little frozen and your crunchy, sweet treat is ready.
With just 46 calories per single cup serving, you can enjoy 2 cups of strawberries and still have calories to spare. They’re a great, juicy snack whenever in season and frozen strawberries can be just as healthy the rest of the year. *Cheers*
There is one cue you can take from the French, and it is about the way they love their foods. It is near impossible for most of them to fuss over their food and to keep figuring the calories it may have, but they do join it with healthier practices to bring their level up.
You can follow their practices and switch to the healthier snacking options as mentioned above to do better to yourself and your fitness. Log whatever you eat in our amazing Weight Loss & Fitness app – MEVO available on – Playstore and Appstore.
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