Countries across the pond eat more and weigh less

Husband and I are moving.

Probably to Italy. Maybe France.

He doesn’t know yet.

I dream of living, dining and drinking under the Tuscan sun or along the river Seine. Uncorking wine bottles for my daily fitness, eating pasta and homemade tomato sauce for lunch and dinner every day and desserting on gelato well past my bedtime. And I have no intention of gaining a single pound!

Doesn’t that sound dreamy?

I could die living life like that in America!

I am not in La La Land, and my head is not in the clouds. This dream is not a dream.

According to MensHealth, countries across the pond eat more and weigh less. European countries like Italy and France do not have the high obesity rate ruining American health. These countries do not struggle with portion size and don’t have as many problems with processed food and empty calories like America struggles.

But, why?

In order to find the truth, I have decided to leave my homeland and explore foreign cuisine. I am going undercover in Europe! Who wants to fund my trip? In the name of investigative reporting, of course. Anyone? Any takers? Please… No one, then? Oh, fine.

I guess I’ll just do as the Americans do, and Google it! (I went to college. I know Google. We’re besties.)


According to the MensHeath article, Spaniards eat slowly, taking their time with each bite. Italians avoid processed food (and I am a sinner eating pasta sauce from a jar). The French, much like the entirety of Europe, do not eat in front of a television. Meal time is a respected tradition: breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Of course, European countries are not the only nations eating real, whole food and keeping their figures trim. According to a Diets In Review editorial intern, southeast Asian fare is better than the Chinese takeout most Americans are used to.

I should know.

I snarfed down Great Wall’s Chicken and Broccoli with fried rice (not ALL of it) Monday night, and I am still feeling the after effects.

Ah, hindsight, you devious fiend!

Comparing my eating habits to those of the individuals living in European countries identifies a jarring reality. struggle with portion control. don’t get the nutrients I need from the often processed foods I eat. eat in front of the television… and I don’t even have cable to distract! (But I do own every season of Charmed.)

From now on, I am going to make a conscious effort to control my portion sizes, eat less processed foods and stay away from television when food is in my hand.

I am also going to stop fearing food.

Another little tidbit in the MensHealth article: in other countries, people respect food. I fear almost every calorie I eat and drink, but I don’t have to.

What are some of the most insightful things you have learned from foreign cuisine? Please share so that we, too, can learn for our neighbors.

4 thoughts on “Countries across the pond eat more and weigh less

  1. Customary Canary

    French girls don’t get fat. That’s actually a name of a book too, written by a French author. It’s about how to eat like a Frenchie and purge the gross from your body. Whatevs.
    Anyway, while I was in France I gained weight. The food is too good. But yes, it is about portion control. They all eat together at the table. Meal time can take hours, especially out to eat. Scarfing it isn’t an option, but neither are leftovers (at least, from my experience with the older generation).


    • skinnyshae

      I would probably turn into a COW in France. I wouldn’t stop eating cheese. Ever. I’ll have to read that book! (American translation, of course.) And then I’ll go to France with my dictionary… someday in my dreamy future :)


    • Dash

      I was going to say there is a book called French Women Don’t Get Fat!

      There’s a big difference even between UK and Europe (and we’re so close!) I think it’s the lifestyle difference too, mealtimes seem to be a bigger deal in Europe, the preparation and everyone sitting at the table instead of shovelling food in on the go (as most people seem to do here!). They seem to enjoy their food more and have meals that are gourmet standard compared to some of the junk and blah-food that is popular here.

      Also whenever I visit, I notice way more people walking instead of driving – I don’t know if it’s really true or I’m just more aware of it.


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