Bon Courage, Bonne Chance and Bon Appétit.
Almost a decade ago, Gallic author Mireille Guiliano penned her best-seller, French Women Don’t Get Fat, wishing us good luck and advising us to eat up, sensibly, and stop dieting.
Guiliano was an overweight teenager who slimmed down thanks to her efforts to eat normally and ban yo-yo dieting. Her simple approach of eating three meals a day, drinking plenty of water and incorporating moderate exercise into her daily routine sounds easy. But does it work long-term?
At the age of 67, Guiliano, who is visiting Australia this month to judge the Grand Dairy Awards, reports outliving many of her peers, being happy and healthy. She admits global obesity is not easily solved, but says she will persist in preaching her message about simple life changes to enact transformation on even the smallest level.
Here is her time-tested advice to anyone wanting to shed excess kilograms without resorting to drastic dieting.
“The first thing I do when I wake up in the morning is to have one or two big glasses of water. Most people don’t drink enough water. Each of us has to find what the correct amount of water is – for me, I know it’s about two litres of water a day and when I travel or exercise, much more.”
“I have my water and then I do some movement, whether it’s 20 minutes of yoga, like I did this morning, or going for a walk.” She also advocates incidental exercise such as walking to work.
Always Eat Breakfast
“Breakfast is the most important meal of the day because that sets you up for the day. I eat my magical breakfast which is really very easy to make and it’s very complete because it has yoghurt, a teaspoon of flax oil, two tablespoons of lemon juice, a teaspoon of honey and then some unsweetened cereal. I put oatmeal in it and then some walnuts. I mix all this. It takes me a few minutes.”
Sit While Eating
“I sit down very quietly and eat my breakfast with a cup of coffee, and that keeps me in great shape until one, two o’clock.”
Eat Natural food, Moderately
“Your body needs this kind of complete food. There are all these trends of not eating carbs or not eating this or that, or “lite” this or that. But if you eat good, natural food in small portions, in moderation, you shouldn’t have any problem.”
Cook your own food “Cooking helps you control what you put into your body. Most of the prepared food people eat are loaded with salt and sugar and that makes you hungrier and gets you fat. So when you eat your vegetables and [then eat] cheese or a piece of fish or a little piece of meat and then a piece of fruit, you don’t have any problems.”
Spoil Yourself, But Not Too Much
“I have a piece of chocolate or a glass of wine or some dessert, but in moderation. All my life, after getting fat and going back to my regular shape, I’ve applied that method and it’s really a wonderful way to stay healthy. And if I’m healthy the way I am now, it’s because of that.”
“To me, life is a gift and every day I try to see how lucky I am to be alive, especially at my age when I see many of my friends are gone or many are unhealthy. To have your health is the most important thing. It’s not money. It’s not your career. If you don’t have your health, there’s not much left out there because you are physically unhappy and psychologically unhappy, and you are probably making a lot of people around you unhappy. It’s a responsibility of everyone to try to lead a healthy life, and it starts with eating well.”
Yves Calmette is a French/Australian nutrition coach, award-winning health promotion expert and Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution Ambassador. His approach is based on a century of family expertise and on the French Paradox theory backed by modern research. His goal is to set you up for life to get healthy, slim and look younger while eating for pleasure just like the French do. Visit his website and get his FREE mouth-watering ‘5 Cheat Super Foods Guide’ here.