Eating The French Way
By eating lunch when we were not starving we were not as likely to over-eat, and by not being hungry in the evening it is easier to have just a light supper – a perfect energy match – the French way. Women who have the most important job of all – being a mother at home – have the opportunity to eat their main meal at lunchtime, even though they may have to cook the main meal of the day for their partner in the evening. Lunch for those of you who can organize this does not have to be an elaborate affair.
The goal is simply to make it filling – in simple terms that means meat, cheese and high fiber bread along with the salad you might otherwise have had. By having a large lunch you will find it easier to have smaller portions of the same meal as your partner in the evening.
After a good lunch you will find there is no need for afternoon tea or to graze before tea time. You can see that even if you were to eat the same for lunch as you did for dinner (and then eat as much for dinner as you would for lunch) but then skip afternoon tea and the pre-dinner grazing you would consume less energy in the day – which is the ultimate goal.
A light evening meal after a big lunch is also going to decrease the need for supper. For many of my clients – a big lunch means they find it easy to skip the afternoon tea, the pre-dinner grazing and the late supper! Each of these meals would typically have comprised rich carbohydrates(e.g., potato crisps, chocolate or bread) or energy-dense savory foods (e.g., cheeses, spreads on crackers) or foods rich in both fat and carbohydrates such as ice cream.
So simply by reversing the main meals of the day and avoiding the evening over-eating as the unholy trinity of deprivation, starvation and justification come to visit, our overall energy intake goes down. This appears to be one of the key elements of the French Paradox.
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