American women have often admired the slim figures of European women. They have the stunning reputation of eating and drinking what they wish and still manage to stay svelte. The age-old question has always been: how do they do it? People have been fascinated with the diets and drinking habits of European women — particularly the French — and have written scores of books about this very topic (such as French Women Don’t Get Fat).
But the truth might be rather simple. European women drink in moderation and they tend to drink “the good stuff.” Their American counterparts fall into the trap of drinking sugary and calorie-laden drinks like soda, soft drinks, and processed fruit juices. European women drink caffeinated beverages, primarily drinks like tea for hydration and high-end coffees like Italian espresso or French press coffee.
Tea has always been a cultural staple in Europe but it’s also known for its health benefits. A study in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that drinking three or more cups of tea a day is healthy and might even have added benefits compared to just sticking with water.
Many European women who drink wine moderately tend to remain slim and weigh less than their teetotaling counterparts, according to a study in the Archives of Internal Medicine. The women recruited into the study were aged 39 or over and of normal weight at the time they joined.
As the study progressed over the course of 13 years, women, on average, gained weight progressively. Those who drank no alcohol gained the most weight and there was an inverse relationship between weight gain and alcohol consumption. However, Catherine Collins of the British Dietetic Association cautions that it’s important to note that drinking alcohol isn’t directly aligned with losing weight.
One of their secrets is to stay away from sugar. While many are intrigued by fruit juice, they opt for a freshly-pressed super fruit like powerberry juice instead of any typical orange juice produced in the United States, some of which are made up mostly of high fructose corn syrup.
Overall lifestyle comes into play as well. European women tend to practice good habits of walking from place to place and spending quality time resting and relaxing in spas and wellness centers. They also stick to pure, natural ingredients, and always focus on drinking in moderation, a true philosophy to live by.
Wine is practically a food group in Europe. But European women approach it rather smartly: drink more wine, eat less food. According to a study in the Archives of Internal Medicine, women who drink wine moderately tend to remain slim and weigh less than their teetotaling counterparts.
Hot Water with Lemon
Many French women believe in having a cleansing glass of hot water with lemon when they first wake up in the morning. It’s believed to jump-start the digestive system and the lemon helps clean out the colon, which is helpful to maintaining a healthy weight. Carla Bruni’s trainer has even been quoted in the press about drinking hot water with lemon and actress Liz Hurley is another European advocate.