Health Coach

10 Reasons Why Parisian Women Are So Skinny

Have you ever wondered how French women keep such a slender physique? They drink wine every day; and are constantly eating cheese and baguettes… How do they manage not to get fat? I’ve been living in Paris for almost 3 years now, and I actually found the answer to the perfect ‘Parisienne’ body.

1. The Metro

Using the metro in Paris is like a workout. When switching from line to line you have to walk for miles underground. The metro also involves waling up and down stairs…a lot of them!  Going to work in the morning by metro means you’ve already done a little morning workout.

2. ‘Non’ to Fast Food

You will find McDonalds, KFC and Quick Burger here and there, but you will never see a Parisienne in these shops. These dining establishments are really only there for the tourist…French women are not fans. I have had McDonalds once in all of my time in Paris. While I was living in Berlin I had McDonalds… every now and then. Environment changes everything but in the end, it’s all about habits.

3. Fresh Food

The French love fresh food! There are food markets all over Paris with fresh fruits and vegetables.. The Marché d’Aligre in the 12. Arrondissment is very famous and open every day except Mondays. Also, the French never use commercial salad dressings; they always use olive oil and vinegar.


4. Walking / marching everywhere

Parisian women walk everywhere, if they don’t take the metro.  Who wouldn’t want to walk in Paris?  It’s such a beautiful place to see!  During a hectic week they are marching fast through the city, from one appointment to the other. Walking at a fast pace burns a lot of calories.

5. Less milk is more

I noticed that the French don’t drink their coffee with milk, they prefer espresso. Cutting of the everyday milk is much better for the body and for diets.

The caffeine is also higher concentrated in espressos which speeds up your metabolism, thus helping to burn more calories.


6. ‘Yogurt Nature’ for dessert

Yes, you see these little macarons, sweet petits fours and eclairs everywhere. But don’t think this is what they eat every day for dessert. For special occassions, yes, but in everyday life they eat nature yoghurt with brown sugar after dinner.


7. Real fish/meat vs. supermarket fish/meat

If we have a family dinner or are invited at a friend’s place, we always eat the best products from the butcher. It’s fresh meat without any toxic ingredients that is actually good for your body.  Ditching the commercial supermarket helps you ditch the extra preservatives.  You also find ‘Poissonieries’ on every corner. Fresh seafood is loved by the French.


8. Quality vs. Quantity

The French diet is actually very high in fat, but the difference is that they eat the good fats, which are important for a healthy body and mind.  The parisians eat in bits, don’t munch like crazy and don’t snack between the meals (only for apero). Everything is moderation, which helps French women keep their slim physique. Petite isn’t just a dress size either; serving sizes are appropriately small, especially rich desserts, charcuterie and cheese.


9. Wine at any time 

But in small glasses. The French don’t drink wine like the Italians do for example. Wine is served in small glasses and sipped slowly. It’s all about enjoying little sips, relaxing and living in the moment.


10. ‘Savoir Vivre’

After all, the last reason is the most important one: Savoir Vivre. French people love to enjoy what they eat and drink and they take their time for that. They are also very social, sitting in bistros, bars or on the terrace, talking and chatting, sipping wine and snacking olives and almonds. French women eat for the company, the conversation and the celebration.


If you want to read more about that topic and other experiences you can check out these books:

1.“Parisian Diet” by Dr. Jean-Michel Cohen.

Cohen said the Parisian Diet is not so much a diet but a guide to developing a new attitude towards food.

2. “French Women don’t get fat” by Mireille Guiliao


by Shari


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