The French Don't Snack

The French do not snack! Or rarely do they eat snacks. To them, the consumption of excess calories has brought about a dilemma in many parts of the world. They eat a sufficient amount of the proper foods during their meals, thus do not gravitate towards the mouth-watering pastries that are easy to find along the streets of any typical French city or village.

It’s time to learn how to feast during every meal, eating the right portions of all food groups. If you eat this way, a mid-day hunger attack won’t hit when you begin to carelessly nibble on whatever is available. If your snacking is a mindless habit, and if you have nothing to do except eat, you need a hobby. Find something constructive to do, or go for a walk.

Truthfully, though, French people actually do enjoy a little something special once in a while. Those who wish to have a small, daily binge may wait until the children return home from school and partake in a small snack to hold them over until dinner. Some have created their own version of Afternoon Tea, turning their 4 pm snack into a special treat for the whole family.

When a French man or woman decides to give in to their craving for, let’s say chocolate, they pull out all the stops. No sugar-free, carob, “faux” brownies will suffice. It’s time to be extravagant. Choose the triple-layer cake with deep, dark, extra-thick, double chocolate frosting. One piece of this will be enough to slake your cravings and keep your sweet-tooth satisfied for weeks.

Potato chips and any kind of nuts are a no-no. This salty fodder is fine to share before an evening meal while sipping on your favorite glass of wine. Otherwise, step away from the chips.

The people of France tend to be slow eaters. Follow their lead; sit down. Take a deep breath and slow down. Whether you’re eating a snack or a full meal, this is the time to relax. Eat slowly enough to truly taste and enjoy your food. Leave your mobile phone on silent and don’t touch that TV. Mealtime is for family, friends or simply a time to unwind alone.

If the rest of the world can learn to eat like the French, we will avoid over-eating and gain a greater appreciation for the food that’s on our plate.

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