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How French Women Stay Skinny (And Why Most American Women Don’t)

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Anna Madsen

Having studied at the American University of Paris, I remember always been met by the same inquiry by the American girls that arrive and are shocked to land in country where 99% of the population is skinny/normal weight. “How do French girls stay so thin?”.

Well, I guess I would have been shocked too if I came from a country where 30% of the population is obese and another 30% is overweight. Another 35% of the population is something the Americans call “normal weight obese” whatever that means.

So putting all these numbers together, it actually means that most of the population is straight out fat! (?). These fat problems costs the government $ 146 billion in a year. I’m going to stop right here because these numbers just get scarier and scarier.

According to my experience and estimations, French women are the skinniest in the world. And this despite having absolutely no gyms in Paris and eating sweets and white baguette-carbs practically every day. How do they do it? After careful examinations, note taking and interviews I believe I have the answer to the $1 million dollar question, and I will share it with the world as my contribution in the War against Terrorism. I mean obesity.

– French Women smoke. Even though this is a nasty habit, it keeps their hands busy. Instead of grabbing stuff to eat, they grab a cigarette. I wouldn’t recommend this alternative, as smoking causes the big C and wrinkles. Both sucks, I hear.

– French Women don’t find excuses to eat all the time like Americans do. They don’t need to eat in the cinema. They don’t need the constant snack between meals. They don’t need to eat because they’re sad, and they don’t need to eat because they’re happy.

– French Women wear high heels. By wearing high heels all day, you actually burn calories, as it tones your legs and butt. It also makes your thighs look skinnier. It’s a win-win so to speak. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think you get the same effect from wearing UGGS.

– French Women have great genes. Sorry that this one won’t help you.

– French Women use the stairs, as they have maximum 4 levels to climb, 6 if they’re students and live at the “service floor”. I realize that’s impossible in New York when you need to get to the 46th floor pronto and without getting sweaty in the process. Try some crunch-ups in the elevator?

– French Women want to get into that Alaïa. Or Chanel. Or Dior. And these garments don’t stretch. Guess what the American women want to get into? Their Hervé which practically stretches into eternity.

– French Women have Coco Chanel, Jane Birkin and Bridgit Bardot as role models. American women have Kim Kardashian, Oprah Winfrey and Anna Nicole Smith. These women are incredible, especially Oprah. But pardon me, they’re not thin.

– French Women start the day with an espresso, which is 0 calories, speeds up the metabolism, and injects extra energy. Americans start with pancakes, cream cheese, maple syrup, sugary corn-flakes and peanut-butter sandwiches. It doesn’t take Einstein to crack this one.

– French Women eat for pleasure, and can spend hours at the cafés babbling about Men, Money, Isabel Marant, Chanel, Raspoutine, Spirituality, Career-paths, Daddys…Okey, you get the picture. Americans just wolf down their food in 3 seconds as they zap between “Who wants to be a billionaire” and “Jersey Shore”. French Women eat for the company, the celebration and the conversation.

Americans eat for the TV or while they’re driving. Why this is important is actually that studies have shown that it’s much healthier to eat slowly and digest well, which makes you feel full faster than if you just stuff your face like as if you had a serious munchies-attack every time you have dinner or lunch.

– French Women realize that food in Paris is actually pretty expensive, compared to the U.S. In order to afford that Chanel-bag one can’t just splurge all those €s on meaningless food. A French woman would never forgive herself knowing she could have bought an amazing handbag or a pair of shoes, instead of those burgers and french fries. Call it fashion-victim or sick, but I’m right there with them. I rather wear my money than eat it.

Anna Madsen

For more from Anna check out her blog 

Anna Madsen

Anna Madsen

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