Last year I got to spend a significant amount of time in Europe, specifically in France. Besides having the time of our lives, my entire family and I couldn’t help but notice how we ALL lost weight, were never bloated or sick after a meal, & even felt more energized during our time in Europe, despite making ZERO effort to adjust our diets or lifestyles and often going for foods normally labeled as “unhealthy”. Mhmm…naturally, I had to dig into the research and there’s actually a few reasons why.
- Food regulations. Europe takes “precautionary principle” approach towards food additives that are potentially risky. They ban or add warning labels to these additives for their citizens. The U.S takes the opposite approach.. They don’t remove additives from our food supply until they are proven dangerous. Take time to read the labels. I use the Yuka app to help me out.
- Eat real food. The U.S government allows food companies to largely police themselves and decide which ingredients and chemicals are “safe” to use in their products. Tons of these are actually banned in Europe as they’re harmful to humans, including BHA or BHT, growth hormones in meat, and artificial colorings like Red No. 40 and Yellow No. 5. These act as endocrine disruptors often leading to increased hunger & weight fluctuations. Opt for real, whole foods and avoid processed.
- Walk more. Europeans are known to walk a lot, ride their bikes everywhere they go, and often take the stairs due to the lack of elevators in most buildings. Aim for 8-10k steps a day, practice parking your car far away from the entrance, invite a friend to take an afternoon stroll with you, or take the stairs of your condo next time you get home.
- Less is more. Portion control & meal sharing plays a big part in European lifestyle. Try eating smaller portions of meals and focus on adding high-quality, fresh ingredients. Think quality over quantity.
- Take your time. Europeans never rush it when it comes to food. From grocery shopping, passing through meal prep, to the length of the meal itself, europeans just do everything slower. Enjoy the process, allow your next trip to the farmers market to inspire your next meal, invite over some friends or family, eat slower & enjoy. You’ll find yourself eating less and digesting your food better.
- Shop organic. Is European food really better? The answer is yes. Most of the food in America is filled with more than what you see on the label, including pesticides, hormones and drugs that aren’t in the food in Europe. We may not have a choice as to what chemicals farmers are allowed to use, but we do have a choice in what we can buy. Organic food, in our country, is a safer choice.
***While these statements are supported by my research and personal experiences, they have not been verified by the FDA or a medical professional. These statements are not intended to cure or treat any ailments or diseases. Please consult a qualified healthcare professional before starting any at-home regimen to ensure these techniques are right for you.