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Why dont french women get fat???


cowoman

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I havnt read this book by Mireille Guillliano,but have just read women for all seasons that tells us how French women relate to food ......thus not getting fat

After reading this and thinking about things I have come to the conclusion that the reason must be that they use more natural unproccessed food in their cooking than uk

It has made me look at food labels and I dont like what I see.All the preservatives and acids in simple food like bread and biscuits.This must be contributing to the UK s weight problem.They tell us that butter is bad for us ,so I use margerine but looking at the label am now not convinced.Bread should be flour ,yeast and water.Biscuits should be flour butter,maybe eggs and the flavour of ones choice....simple ingredients.

It has  inspired me now to do more simple home cooking

What do you reckon

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They smoke, thus cutting their appetite and ruining their palate - in fact on thinking about it I have realized that every thin person I know actually smokes, including my oldest friend and my mother. As my mothers spine has virtually collapsed through osteoporosis I think I'll stick with a few extra pounds.....
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Good point.

Years ago about40 years ago in fact.My mom and dad used to drive through France ,down to Spain and on to Portugal.My brother used to save up for the trip and was the only one of us kids who had money to spend.In those days there were loads of machines along the roads in the towns.So when mom and dad stopped to buy us our bread and a custard cake, my brother used to put his money in these machines which he thought contained sweets.He had a terrible time because they were laxative machines.It served him right though because he never used to offer them around

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Cowoman - it's a myth that French women don't get fat - especially in rural areas. In the cities, it might look like that.

But it is also true that "no eating between meals" has always been "de rigueur"  for all French people (except the younger generation today, who will probably be as fat as any other nation by the time they reach 40 or 50). Do you travel on trains in the UK? Notice how the moment people have boarded the train, any time of the day, what they start to do is unpack junk food and drink - and start munching. Whereas, if you ever travel on a French train, the only time you will see people eat is.....exactly at mealtimes. This "no snacking" rule is exactly what has kept many people from getting overweight, especially if they eat regular meals as well.

Plus, French women have been, since childhood, bombarded with various diets and gimmicks "pour mincir" so that weight and shape are paramount in virtually every French woman's mind. Many French women are perpetually "au régime" (on a slimming diet). Then of course there is the smoking - loads of ultra-thin French women who chain smoke and look like hell, and are also neurotic as hell. I had never seen so many middle-aged French women talking to themselves as when I first came back to France - just go to a supermarket and wander around the aisles - there will always be one or two. So they might stay slim longer (the over-45 generation anyway), but it is at a price.

I do think that "binge eating" is something that is not as prevalent in France (YET) as it is in the UK or in the US where people might eat a whole tub of ice-cream at a sitting. Just like binge-drinking is only just beginning to catch on here.

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I live in a rural area and there are very few fat women here. You do see some around but nowhere near as many as in the UK. I don't buy the smoking argument either. We had a party with some 30 women and there was one smoker. The younger women (late teens early twenties) smoke as they do in the UK. I think it is down to regular meals, little or no snacking (the comment about eating on the train was very pertinent) and also perhaps the style of the food - starter, small mains and small dessert, occasinal cheese.
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Competition and competitiveness, yes. But a lot of it is to do with competition with oneself. Many women have a poor body image, French women have pretty terrible body images, as they always feel much less than perfect, and they are taught from a very young age that only perfection will do.

Witness: how many Frenchwomen you see, at the swimming pool or the beach, who would not want to be seen walking in just their swimsuit? Many, many, feel OK only if they wear a towel as pareo, or even a pareo - anything to hide their cellulite, big belly, or big bum (the way they see it). I see many very young Frenchwomen doing that. It seems to me that there are far more British women who feel more OK with their figure, however they look, and they don't mind walking around with all their wobble - whereas for many Frenchwomen, it is a matter of life or death, and there is a lot of self-hatred going on. This is all perpetuated by Frenchmen who do call a woman who is not slim, a "boudin". That is quite an insult, and who would ever want to be called a "boudin", so one has to suffer and deny oneself food in order to escape such fate.

 

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There are a lot of porkers in France. During the summer months they come down from the north and and let it all hang out on the beaches here (Aude). The local population on the other hand is slim for the most part. Outside of the summer it is unusual to see obese people.

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[;-)]  Now I'm not being a snob BUT........................  here in Normandie the biggest, most gargantuan women AND men tend to be the poorer ones, maybe the unemployed townies who don't even use the excess working on their gardens or land.   I guess the diet and lifestyle has a lot to do with it.

I have also noticed the amount of slimming creams, pills and potions decorating the pharmacy windows that you would never see in the UK.

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Plenty of overweight women (and men) in our bit of rural, farming, Normandy - the old seaside postcard image of the enormous woman and the thin weedy husband seems to be alive and well here. And the locals munch on the trains, usually getting through a plastic bag of cakes or brioche (on sale in slot machines on the train and at the stations) in little time. The supermarkets are full of additives, e-numbers, and ready meals rather than the wide selection of fresh local produce that you are supposed to find everywhere in France. And on market days they munch plenty of sausages in half-baguettes between meals - that is when they are not in the bar. Talking of markets, have you seen the size of the women's pants on sale there?

Not really very different from England.

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There are qiute a few fat woman in this part of rural France too.  One thing I have noticed going back to the point made about walking around in a swimming costume, we have an outdoor pool here which has a number of diving boards and also a lake beach with a huge slide.  I have just realised that it's only me that uses these things (with my son), I have never seen another woman on either of them, how odd is that? 
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Fatties are on the increase here too with the current generation of 10 year old upwards showing a massive increase in weight compared to their elder brothers and sisters at the same age. There is a huge array of ready to microwave meals,instant food and junk rubbish now for sale compared to as little as just ten years ago and people do buy it because they are working and can't be bothered to cook properly when they come home at 7pm. On the other side of the coin, I have never seen so many smoking women as here in France and 95% of them are ghastly looking with pallow,spotty skins,stained fingers and brown teeth and some are like skeletons as well preferring a fag to a sandwich or a dinner. Men have not escaped and there are very few without some sort of beer belly from thirty somethings upwards now.
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 I read that book that states that French women only eat one square of dark choc when winter sets in,because she is so in tune with the seasons.I found it so pretentious but it did get me wondering if the additives in our food  was helping make the UK population get heavierI have noticed that salt is added to everything.It is well known that salt makes you thirsty so could we be getting confused in eating when we really need to drink a glass of water instead?In the book I dont think she mentioned that FRench women smoke but I know that they smoke loads of ciggies.The worst scene that I witnessed was riders geared up to go hunting and all the women smoking .It just didnt go together.....and it looked disgusting.

Ps. I am lucky in not having a weight problem.....before i get attacked.

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[quote user="cowoman"]

 I read that book that states that French women only eat one square of dark choc when winter sets in,because she is so in tune with the seasons.[/quote]

[:-))]

Cowoman, I haven't read the book and don't intend to. I think it was written with the American market in mind, is that so??

I am not sure I understand the one square of dark choc as a sign of being in tune with the seasons???? Is there an explanation of the relationship between the two??? I just don't get it.

Maybe it is because I eat at least two squares of dark chocolate a day, winter, summer, spring, and autumn. Sometimes three, on festive days I might push it to four.[blink] I cannot be so French, then.

Edit: I just remembered why French women eat dark chocolate: it's for the magnesium content![:D]

 

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There are plenty of excuses for eating chocolate, particularly among those of the feminine gender. Being in tune with the seasons seems one of the weakest - getting plenty of magnesium is a much better reason.

And does that book mention the size of the square in question?

[;-)]

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[quote user="5-element"]

Competition and competitiveness, yes. But a lot of it is to do with competition with oneself. Many women have a poor body image, French women have pretty terrible body images, as they always feel much less than perfect, and they are taught from a very young age that only perfection will do.

Witness: how many Frenchwomen you see, at the swimming pool or the beach, who would not want to be seen walking in just their swimsuit? Many, many, feel OK only if they wear a towel as pareo, or even a pareo - anything to hide their cellulite, big belly, or big bum (the way they see it). I see many very young Frenchwomen doing that. It seems to me that there are far more British women who feel more OK with their figure, however they look, and they don't mind walking around with all their wobble - whereas for many Frenchwomen, it is a matter of life or death, and there is a lot of self-hatred going on. This is all perpetuated by Frenchmen who do call a woman who is not slim, a "boudin". That is quite an insult, and who would ever want to be called a "boudin", so one has to suffer and deny oneself food in order to escape such fate.

[/quote]

So, how about ma petite boudinette then?

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My husband bought me that book for christmas and it went straight in the bin alongwith the pair of jeans he bought me which were one size too big.[:@]

French women are slim because (with very little exception), they either eat very healthily and only at mealtimes or they starve themselves.  On top of that most dont drink much alcohol.

I am a size 10 and feel fat in Paris.  They walk about in their skinny jeans and look as though they havnt got enough energy to draw a decent drag on the fag shoved in their mouths.  Oh and they all carry big bags in a posh spice sort of a way which adds to their beautiful frailness.

Sorry for the bitchiness but I hate the way they look at each other and me like shit.

I would much prefer a woman with an ample bosom and crumbs on her lap myself. [:)]

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[quote user="sweet 17"]I can assure you that there are plenty of fat French women where I live.  Come to that, plenty of  fat French men as well.  Fat as butter, really![/quote]

Ditto.  Loads of fat Frenchies.  The mythical skinny stereotype lives in magazines or on the Champs Elysées.

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