Mireille Guiliano's best seller French Women Don't Get Fat hit a raw (and plump) American nerve. Lucky French women! What's their secret?
Some insist that speaking French correctly is so hard that it burns extra calories. Others believe in the magic of red wine. And, of course, French women smoke, but it would be irresponsible to mention that, so better not.
Guiliano herself published a French Women's Manifesto which claims that French women eat three meals a day (basically true), that they care about looks, both their own and their food's (true) and that they don't diet (absolutely false). She also maintains that French women "are individuals and don't follow mass movement". (The guys in Mad Men couldn't have put it better.) .
But what if you are not a French woman? What then?
With eatfests Thanksgiving, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and New Years bearing down on us like a drunken 18 wheeler, evasive action is needed, now! Here's my modest contribution...
FIVE WEIGHTLOSS STRATEGIES BY VERITABLE EXPERTS
1. The first, of course, is to become a French woman, not from the north, (where sadly they're as fat as Americans) but from Paris, where nervous ladies with the racy look of greyhounds, rush about on cruelly elegant high heels -- from kids to husband to work to garage (to get the car fixed) to grocery store, to psychiatrist to herbalist to lover to garage (to pick up the car) to kids and husband and dishes and laundry and sleeping pills and -- merde!, time to get up again! (Diet may not be the sole explanation for their svelte looks.)
2 . Change just one thing! Peter Bregman, blogging on Harvard Business Review's site, reveals that all diets have one thing in common: reduction of calorie intake. His solution: go simple. Figure out which single action will have the most impact and do that, just that. In his case, he cut out sugar. And lost 18 pounds. (see To Change Effectively, Change just one Thing)
3. Get really sick. Flu, malaria, dysentery--options are many! For that pale, Kate Moss look, nothing beats disease.
4. Give your food to your spouse. Or, lacking that, your dog. As they say, one woman's loss is another man's gain!
5. Eat only vegetables for dinner. No-one actually likes vegetables, though even the president of the United States cannot admit this (except for broccoli)
Zucchini, cabbage, cauliflower, beets, green beans, carrots--I've cooked them all with love and my family still acts like it's doing me a favor to choke them down. Don't fight it! use it! From now on, dinner is Herbevore Delight.
For more, see Laurel Zuckerman's Paris Weblog
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