author/source: Peg Doyle, M.Ed., CHHC
In the never-ending quest to reach a desirable weight, a couple of cultures that are worth studying are French and classic Mediterranean, i.e., Greeks and Italians.
When adhering to their classical way of eating, people in both cultures generally do not have a problem with weight.
Scientists have long been puzzled as to why the French, who eat a high-fat diet, are rarely overweight and have a lower incidence of heart disease than do the low-fat crazed Americans. The answer may be pretty simple: The French, Greeks, and Italians, for the most part, eat real food, locally grown, and enjoy the experience of eating.
If you’d like to abandon dieting once and for all, look at these tips and see which of them align with your present eating style, and add the ones that presently are not a part of your eating patterns. You will feel and look better in a very short while.
- Eat small portions of really good and real food. (“real food” is food in its original form - fresh vegetables, whole grains, fruit, nuts, seeds, legumes, unprocessed meat, and fish)
- Eat a wide variety of food, mostly fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
- Don't skip meals (you won’t forget to eat meals when you stop eating snacks!)
- Enjoy your food and choose fresh, locally grown, quality ingredients when possible.
- Listen to your internal cues. When you no longer feel hungry, stop eating.
- Eat less sugar, a product found in nearly all processed foods. The French eat less than half as much we Americans do. Current research suggests that sugar, not saturated fat, may be a key dietary contributor to heart disease because of its inflammatory nature. I know from my own experience that your triglycerides are influenced by the amount of refined sugar that you eat.
- Make mealtime social whenever possible to make it more pleasurable than just going through the motions. Just be sure to remove the serving dishes from the table after everyone is served. Linger over tea, not food.
- Try having only meals, no snacks. It’s what the French do quite successfully.