The French Paradox: How rich food and wine could help you stay healthy | 60 Minutes Australia

The author says that she understands why a recent study showed that most “diets” don’t work for long term. She writes, “there is no lasting glory in rapid weight loss. That’s what diets offer: a fast (weeks, not months) round of misery for temporary results. If you believe you can shed pounds quickly by force of will and deprivation, you will in all likelihood not only regain the ones you lost, but add a few more besides.”
Part of the problem, she says, is that diets bore people after a while; dieters eventually lose interest in eating altogether, so they become more tempted to eat poorly and quickly.
If you are interested in following her plan, she suggests giving it about three months for it to really become a part of your life. And ask yourself some very important questions as to why you want to change your eating habits:

Why Am I Doing This? She says you need to do it for yourself – not for others – and embrace pleasure.
What’s going on here? You can’t start eating and living well in a physical vacuum. Why do you think you have gained weight? Age? Stress? Loneliness? Answering these questions can help you determine if you’re using food to compensate for other problems.

When it comes to drinking wine, Guiliano believes Americans numb themselves by drinking too many cocktails these days and points out cocktails have more calories than wine. She says it is best to have wine with food. She says that’s how it’s meant to be consumed.The following are a few of her tips from her book:

Keep A Food Journal: You might not eat bread, but you may drink big cappuccinos topped with a ton of sugar everyday. Also you may realize that you ALWAYS clear your plate, even if you weren’t really hungry. Guiliano says once you realize, for example, how many bagels you are consuming, it will be easy for you to cut this food out. She writes though, “but if one of them is critical to your contentment, reduce incrementally.”
Savor What You Eat: Guiliano believes that guilt about eating is what really has ruined food for American women. There’s so much guilt and sin associated with food, she writes, that of course eating becomes a burden for American women. French women, instead, eat with all five senses, she says. This allows them to actually eat less because they are actually paying attention to what they are tasting. The other key factor, she says, is that French women don’t eat until they are full. She believes that three bites of a dish are all you really need to enjoy, and she really applies that rule personally when it comes to her weakness: pastries.
Slow And Steady: The author says that if you’re looking for a quick fix, this book is not for you. This book is about a lifestyle change not a quickie lose-five-pounds diet plan. She says that a “proper recasting, resetting your body’s dials, is a three-month affair. The key is to make it a pleasant three months, not a sentence in Bastille.”
Variety: Eating the greatest possible variety of good foods is the KEY to losing weight. She writes that “such variety will go a long way toward compensating you for those things you miss — you will actually find yourself not missing them so much.” She compares eating the same old thing to a bad romantic rut. “Losing that spark — and just as likely to get you in trouble,” she writes. This is a good opportunity to try your hand at cooking, trying new flavors, foods, herbs, etc. And again, CHOOSE QUALITY OVER QUANTITY. PICK THINGS IN SEASON. “A final trick of variety: Since the pleasure of most foods is in the first few bites, eat one thing on your plate at a time, at least at the start of the meal when you can concentrate and enjoy the full flavors. The mouthful of melange (blend of foods) defeats the purpose of variety.”
Drink Water: She believes Americans don’t drink enough water. Instead of reaching for a glass of juice or a cup of coffee, drink a glass of water when you wake up. She says that French women understand that drinking water is a powerful way of controlling one’s weight -virtually without sacrifice. Water helps keeps your body hydrated, but also helps flush out the toxins that can make our bodies bloated and swollen. Water is lost passively more than people think: sleeping is a good example.
Ritual Eating: Make eating a special time. Turn off the T.V. Don’t read at the table. Instead, focus your attention on what you’re eating. The reason why people gain more weight when they eat in front of the T.V., is that they are not paying attention and are carelessly eating for the sake of eating. So eat only at the table (even if you’re single), using nice plates (no paper). And eat slowly and chew properly; practice putting down your silverware and savoring your bites.
Portion Control: Learn it slowly. Cut back gently. Eating good food is great, but do you really need to eat half a pound of salmon? No. Use a scale, and reduce ounce by ounce. You won’t notice that you’re eating less, but your body will.