Monday, November 30, 2009

The End of Overeating

Did you overeat during Thanksgiving? Who didn't?
Do we stuff the turkey as a dress rehearsal for what's going to occur 'a table ?
I was planning to post this tomorrow, but when I saw
French Word of the Day
trop = too much
Nous allons beaucoup trop manger pendant les fetes. We are going to eat way too much during the holidays.
I thought this is a sign...
Last summer I lost 15 pounds because of this book.
No special diets, no daily scale inspections, no deprivation - it was effortless. Just changing the way I think about food and changing some acquired habits. That's it. Dr. David Kessler, when he was head of the FDA vanquished the tobacco industry. Now he'd like to set the food industry straight. Certainly he wants to us know how we're being manipulated to experience food as entertainment.
This is a good time for me to brush up the subject before I fall off the holiday wagon. And to share it with you.
I get emails from you:
"You must weigh 500 pounds"
"I always wonder how you stay slender with your sweet tooth!"

wrote Julie.
"Looking at PB makes me fat!"
etc. etc.
First of all it's impossible to hold a camera still and carry around a bunch of pastry bags.

And I'm too busy running down streets after Parisien pups...
Or stalking Parisien shoppers to eat everything I see or shoot.
Dr. Kessler does address the so-called "French Paradox" (page 175), He says in fact, it's a result of smaller portions and traditional social structures (no snacking between meals, structured meals), not because of infusions of red wine and dark chocolate.
Sorry folks :(

Look what the French provide for us? HMPH
While they eat beautifully designed salades like these...hmmm
This was often my lunch in Paris, from Chez Jean, 9, rue La Fayette (5 euros)
Kessler says it's the constant stimulus around us, the cues - sight, smell, location, time of day, that capture us. We need to cool those cues. To develope rules for ourselves that work. To make a "critical perceptual shift" so this picture doesn't leave us salivating...
And we can make do with this.
Please watch this video and tell me what you think.


The Sabbatical Chef said...

I lived in France for 6 months and worked for a chef. I gained not an ounce, in fact, I lost a bit of weight. I will definitely look for this book!
Merci et bonne journée!

Parisbreakfasts said...

I did not gain an ounce either this past October in Paris.
It was a FIRST for me.
merci Dr. Kessler!

Laurie said...

Thanks for today's post and for the video about the book. I'm not overweight, but I do have a sweet tooth, and love food. The layers of fat and sugar appeal to me! I'm running to the library today to get the book so I'll be better prepared for the onslaught that is to come.


M said...

Carol, just wondering: Did you ever read that book "French Women Don't Get Fat"? It made quite a splash on both sides of the pond a few years back, but I can't remember if it had ever been established that there were any true explanations offered to back up the title's claim. Anyway, your post just reminded me of that book.
(Oh, and that close-up of the candy-colored macarons is one of your best ever!)
See you,

Parisbreakfasts said...

Sure I've read it Michael but I'm not a big fan of leek soup...ahem :)

Laurie said...

Pre-holiday armor!



Jill said...

I do believe in colour of food being attracted to you, best salad l found is to set it out like the ray's of the sun and each ray use another food and colour, its great to look at and eat and if you have small amounts of food left it uses them up,

Cynthia said...

Great post today...thanks for the tip about the book ,,,I need it considering German food is soooo darn tasty!!!

Patti in Vermont said...

I read nearly everyday thanks to your email to me and I really enjoy your blog having been to Paris twice in three years. Anyway, I just finished cleaning out my refrigerator from all the "holiday" food and am planning on filling it with fruits, veggies, etc. then I read this and believe it is a sign for me as well. I just lost 35 pounds and then gained 4 back so this book is very interesting to me. Thanks for all your blogs!- Patti in Vermont

c.fluffy said...

lol, you could even pump up on the camera and lenses to start working those arm muscles while at it... shall take your suggestion and appoint myself camera woman at our festivities...

Marina Mott said...

Great tip! I'll look for this book just now!

Frosty Lime said...

I really like the bold splash of red & the way you've drawn the figures on graph paper! Thia was an interesting blog entry, as well.

Unknown said...

Thanks for the summary of that book, I must check it out now! I read "French women for all Seasons," by the author of "Why French women don't get fat," and it had similar points.

Giulia said...

Indeed, it is an excellent book. I always lose weight in Europe...even if just a bit. Friends report, however, that snacking is on the increase all over Europe, even in France. They are quite aware of what's gone on over here & are putting in place programs to stop it. I was shocked to see a story last week on the obesity epidemic in Greece--I couldn't believe it. When I first went, I don't remember seeing anyone heavy (not that I was looking, mind you, but the film footage was alarming). The govt. is addressing the problem now & desperately. Italy, too, is experiencing higher rates, but not as much as the States. Thanks for spreading the word about Dr. Kessler.



PS: I think looking at sites like PB is a nice substitute for eating such things too often. A feast for the eyes instead:)


Valérie-jeanne said...

I've seen this book at the bookstore and walked right by it, so many diet books. Now that I know what it's about, I'll definitely bring it home to read. It all comes back to the quality of food doesn't it? So many times I find I eat things looking for that feeling, avoiding that decadent bite that I tell myself I can't have. It makes sense to eat that quality bite of chocolate, cheese or a macaron and revel in it, be truly satisfied, non? The French have such a high regard for food, each and every ingredient in a meal. Looking at the food, our "American" food, in this video makes me queasy. Who would eat some of that stuff! Your photos here of the prepared salads and your lunch, now that's beautiful food! I feel slimmer and healthier just looking at them. Thanks for the post. I'm ready to face the holidays and enjoy!

Unknown said...

This book has just been added to my wish list! Thanks for the tip. Last year I read "Intuitive Eating" which really helped me. Hope you had a lovely holiday!

TerrieC said...

I just listened to the video from Dr. Kessler too. What I find interesting is the different persections of food here vs. France. I think it was in the NYTimes that I read about a survey related to food.....word of the words was cake. Response here - guilt, response in France - party. I'll have to read his book and find out what he has to say. I get the impression from his video that he sees sugar and fat as villians?

Mlle Paradis said...

Love the new look of the blog! Actually I DID as a young person completely change my approach to eating when I lived in France by myself. I learned to eat slowly and savor my food, I learned about smaller portions (because I was poor!), I just enjoyed food more because of it's quality and so didn't require quantity. And of course walking! Because it is such a joy to walk in France - so many beautiful things and people to see along the way. And ever since I've tried to replicate that life wherever I am. As challenging as that can be sometimes!

Chris said...

I need this book. Im working on trying to get rid of the last 15 lbs

Martha said...

I've just found your blog and love it! (I am adding it as a Linderhof friend) --

I saw this book but passed it up -- now it will be on my next Amazon order!

We Americans need to get our head around what we eat and how much we eat of it! (If we don't get a restaurant portion for 2 or perhaps 3 people, we feel cheated - that the restaurant was "stingy" -- such small portions!)

My husband and I often share and still have too much!

Nikon said...

I think that I would gain a lot of weight in Paris.
The food looks so good, the heck with the book :)

Jessica said...

Great post! It reminds me when I was behind a Spanish man in line at Starbucks in Chicago. He asked for a "medium" and the barista said "grande" in response. He laughed and said "In America, a grande is a medium?!" How true.

My Year Without said...

This book is one of the greatest I've read since I not only gave up sugar, but got VERY interested in the food industry.

Very interesting blog--look forward to reading more!

K and S said...

interesting book, will see if I can find it on amazon here.

Kristine said...

Thank you for the wonderful provocative post. I work with a Professor whose discipline is in foods & nutrition and especially how people respond to eating fats and obesity. Much of what the author said is in the research. My colleague frequently points out how the solution to obesity is our behavior, which is frequently the one thing people don't want to change.

I am interested to find out if the author addresses abusing food for comfort purposes in his book.

sue said...

Cute figures, Carol! Love 'em. As for eating--well, you adjust--eat a lot at one sitting, you scale back at the next, until it all evens out. That's my philosophy--and for the most part, eat healthy, and then you can have a treat here and there. Simple, oui?

Lisa Johnson said...

Great post and I enjoyed the video too. We Americans do overeat, but I think that one of the problems is that we are eating out too much and buying already prepared meals. If people cooked more meals from scratch, even baking desserts from scratch, it would have a big impact on the amount of fat, calories, and sodium that people are ingesting.

La Petite Gallery said...

My Mother was French.
The French DINE, they do not WOOOFF it down like I do.
I have always wondered why
the French woman are so
They just must eat small amount's
Tell us more tips about Weight.
Enjoyed this ..


Di Overton said...

I don't know how you Americans manage to have 2 huge feasts so close together :)

Clare said...

Love the title of this post, considering the French are revving up for Christmas and the New Year with huge platters of fruits de mer, foie gras, smoked salmon, etc, etc. Some of the publicity annoucing Les Fêtes and the menus available are enough to put a stone on just be looking at them!

Alisa said...

Excited to read this book

Kristine said...

I mentioned the book to my aforementioned colleague. Turns out the author interviewed him for the book. Now I definitely need to check it out.

jeanette, mistress of longears said...

On the topic of what is actually "food", Michael Pollan's book "In Defense of Food" is great reading and makes great sense. His other book, "Omnivore's Dillemma" is horrifying and hard to read but very persuasive.
I also loved "How to think like a thin person" which walks you through all kinds of coping mechanisms.

The Spicers said...

I enjoyed this book. He makes a lot of good points about how the food industry really conditions people to eat all the wrong stuff. I always lose a bit of weight when I'm in Paris too, despite indulging in croissants for breakfast. I credit the smaller portion sizes and lots of walking; it's the perfect walking city, I think.

Di Overton said...

The French also talk as they eat unlike us Brits who just go to the trough and dig in :)