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Three Lessons I Learned From The French While In Paris

I had the amazing opportunity to spend 7 glorious days in Europe with my husband celebrating our 40th wedding anniversary.

One of the things we quickly noticed, especially in Paris, was that we didn’t see anyone overweight. It really got me thinking – what was their secret to staying so slim?

How did they stay so thin and fit considering that everywhere you looked, there was a boulangerie (bakery), chocolatier (chocolate specialty shop), or patisserie (pastry shop)?

First, I think the French, and most Europeans, love their food and consider eating an experience to be enjoyed and savored - not rushed. Their restaurants and cafes offer outdoor seating, so they can sit and linger for hours. Mireille Guiliano, author of the book “French Women Don’t Get Fat” says, “We sit down and eat for pleasure, using all of our senses”.

One evening as we ate dinner, people filled the outdoor café. They greeted each other with the customary cheek to cheek kiss. They’d come to simply have drinks and connect with friends, and no one seemed in any hurry to leave.

We, Americans, on the other hand, are always rushing - often eating in front of the TV, in the car, or while working. No wonder so many people suffer from digestive issues like indigestion, gas, and bloating.

Secondly, we noticed that the portions were smaller and the meals were lighter. Yes, they usually serve fresh bread with real butter, but you couldn’t make a meal out of it. We never left feeling heavy. The food was always delicious and so full of flavor.

They don’t snack between meals like we do, either. Breakfast is quite light – typically coffee or tea, yogurt, and fruit. When they do eat pastries or croissants, they’re small.

Lastly, the French walk, and I mean a lot. It’s a way of life and a daily activity, so they don’t need to work out like we do. Most don’t own cars because they’re expensive, and parking can be a nightmare. Everywhere we went the sidewalks were filled with people coming and going.

Over the course of our stay, we talked about how adopting these 3 habits could benefit us. My husband kept track of our steps on his phone, and we easily walked 6 – 10 miles each day. Wow!!!

We’ve already started incorporating some of the things, and we look forward to reaping the benefits. It was a wonderful trip, and we were thoroughly blessed to be able to go. Life is an adventure. Take hold of it, and don’t let go!!!

Coach Maggie

Certified Health & Wellness Coach

How could adopting one of these habits change your life?

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