01 May 2009

French Friday

Bonjour to you beautiful French people!  I apologize for the lapse in French Friday last week.  My excuse?  I've been embracing my inner French girl.  French women revel in the changing of the seasons and alas, the weather has been too nice to sit inside.  After weeks and weeks of cold, dreary weather, the sun has finally peeked through the gray, the weather has warmed, and blossoms have erupted all over, signaling the beginning of spring.  I just could not let this passage go unnoticed.  The boys and I have been going to the park daily, we have planted our tomatoes, cleaned up our strawberry plants, and planted our herbs.  Ah, spring!

Today, I will be reviewing Steps 6 and 7 from The French Don't Diet Plan by Dr. Will Clower.  At the rate I am going with this book it will take me through mid-May, but sometimes, it is nice to slow the pace down every once in a while.  A few of you have also e-mailed me with suggestions for future French Fridays, merci beaucoup!  If you have a book you think would lend itself well to French Fridays, please let me know.

Now, back to the French Don't Diet Plan.  

Step 6:  Don't Eat and Drink at the Same Time

When you think of the beverage that French people eat with their meal, the majority of us will think of a nice glass of wine.  Do we think of the French as a country of sloppy drunk people?  Of course not, the French think of wine as food, appreciate it as an accompaniment to their meals, and sip and savor their wine.  A serving of wine would be about 4-6 oz.  When we think of the accompaniment to an American meal, what do we think of?  A 20 oz. bottle of soda?  A 16 oz. glass of water?  Dr. Clower uses these drink portions as another way to point out American over-consumption.  Even in something as calorically innocuous as water, Dr. Clower says that we train our bodies to over-consume when we drink this much.  He suggests eating meals for a few weeks without anything to drink.  Then re-introducing beverages back into the meal in small portions to sip with meals, not gulp, as a way to enjoy your meal more.  (and I'm sure he would tell you to throw the soda in the garbage as it is chock full of faux ingredients)

I would agree with Dr. Clower up to a point, but water consumption is one way to trick your stomach into feeling it is full.  When you are cutting back on portion sizes, this is an important part in the arsenal of not being hungry.  Again, everything in moderation and everything gradual.  Cut back on your drink portions gradually.  Start by sipping your drink, not gulping.  Naturally, your portions may cut themselves down on their own!

Step 7:  Eat All You Want (You'll Just Want Less)

In this step, Dr. Clower discusses what he calles the "ender", a small, calorically dense nibble of food that signals to your brain that the meal is finished.  French enders consist of cheese, a square of dark chocolate, coffee or tea.  The ender is what helps the French avoid snacking between meals by creating a mental bookend to the meal.  Dr. Clower also discusses strategies for getting over the hurdle of between meal hunger.  Have you noticed how hunger is a progressive feeling.  Between meals, it starts out small, may get raving for a moment, but then after a few minutes disappears?  Your body is telling you that it is starting to get hungry, but it is not starving.  In order to make it to your next meal, be sure to eat three meals a day and on time.  Then, to survive your hunger blips, Dr. Clower suggests either waiting out your hunger blip, drinking a small glass of water (slowly!), or perhaps having a small snack if you can't take it anymore, but it is merely a small snack, something to help you make it to your next meal, it is not a meal unto itself.

Homework for this week:

1.  Sip and savor your beverages with your meals.  Do not gulp.  Drink in small portions.
2.  Eat regularly and healthily to control between meal hunger.
3.  If you are struggling with between meal hunger, try some of Dr. Clower's strategies for making it through between meal hunger blips.

Next Friday, I will be discussing Steps 8-10 from the French Don't Diet Plan.  Until then lovely French people, enjoy the beautiful spring weather!


25 comments:

Kinton said...

What an incredibly comprehensive list and very interesting points made.

How is life in France going, btw?

girlichef said...

I am definitely enjoying it, as well! I love these "tips" and your reviews...thanks for posting them :)

Cathy said...

Glad you are out enjoying the weather! You have to make hay while the sunshines ;)

5 Star Foodie said...

Hey, glad you had a fun time gardening and enjoying spring! I find that if I drink a glass of water before dinner then I won't eat as much - water fills me up.

Jenn said...

Good tips to know. I tend to gulp down my drink when I eat. I'll have to take it easy from now on.

Chef E said...

You had me spitting water out at the 'sloppy drunk people' with a chuckle, but you are right! One of my students yesterday had a bottle of soda, so I took it as an opportunity to show them the chain of ingredients, and the impact of sugar along with empty calories!

Our weather has been so mixed, now it is raining...I walked last night though...

Helene said...

I like those post. I like to end meals with cheese and dark chocolate also.

Sunny said...

i like the idea of an "ender". I try to eat a little bit of fruit after my meals for something sweet and he's right, it's a good sign to my body that I'm done eating!

burpandslurp said...

Hmm...reading this just made me think of this recent hype of Hungry Girl, whom I think is the antithesis of this diet plan. What do you think of hungry Girl?

Cathy said...

Morning Joie! Great post - You truly are an inspiration to living the French way. I left you an award on my blog.

Lori Lynn said...

Good tips Amanda. Will keep them in mind.
I'm going to Paris later in the month. YAY.
LL

Calm In The Kitchen said...

I love your reviews.

I am so happy that spring is here too. Our last week of April brought us MANY a shower, so hopefully there will be plenty of May flowers!

NuKiwi said...

Hmmm...I can try these 3 things...let you know how it goes. :o)

Heather said...

step six is very interesting... i would never have thought of it!

Tangled Noodle said...

I'm glad you pointed out that water with a meal might help make you feel more full without the added calories. I think the point here really is to choose the right beverage to accompany your meal, not remove it altogether.

As for last week, I can't think of a better way to spend a Friday than in the sunny outdoors with your adorable boys!

Angie said...

Hi, I'm new here - I just discovered your blog today. I really like the design you have at the top of your blog.

free online recipes said...

nice posting and very informative site...

Sophie said...

Bonjour à toi aussi!

Thanks again for those wonderful tips!
I had a book similar to that one.
The tip from 5starfoodie helps me too!
Au revoir!

Berni at Yo-yonomore said...

It's all about the snack. I'm trying to get in touch with snack hunger as opposed to meal hunger, it's interesting to notice the difference. These are great tips, thanks!

gaga said...

Great tips. Easier said than done, but still great tips!

Claudia said...

I appreciate the tips - as I am struggliong to take of the weight I put on in the last four years - and in your fifties - well - not as easy as it used to be. Plus, I mostly work at home now. (Kiss of death)

Netts Nook said...

Joie I just love reading this every week. Keep it up.

A World in a PAN said...

Are you in France? Drop by!

Maris said...

These are great tips - I wish our society as a whole could adopt this kind of mindset.I think it ties into economics - we're constantly trying to get more, more, more for our money and that results in more food, overeating.

Nurit said...

I like the idea of an ender as a mental bookend to the meal.

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