The season of decadence is quickly approaching. Here are a few tips for looking slim during (and after) the most lavish of holiday meals while still embracing les plasirs de la vie (life’s pleasures).
Develop a Discerning Palate: Forgo “cheap” calories for a few deliciously lavish ones that thrill your taste buds. The more selective and refined your palate, the fewer your choices (and temptations). I won’t touch chocolate unless it’s dark and artisanal (or in the form of a silky smooth mousse au chocolat). As a result, I don’t indulge often, but when I do, it’s absolutely divine.
Take Pleasure in Moderation. Just say non merci to seconds. Take pleasure in every bite, then move your thoughts to something else, like enjoying the great company. And be sure to leave room for a few bites of dessert. A meal is, of course, first and foremost about le plaisir (pleasure).
Wine and Dine: In France, wine is used more as an accent to a meal than an all-evening before, during and after dinner drink. Also, a verre de vin (glass of wine) in France is generally smaller (the classic glass is 125ml as opposed to our supersized 175ml and even 250ml glasses), and filled only partially. So enjoy your wine, but sip it slowly from a small glass of wine that’s only partially filled. You’ll drink less without feeling deprived. As for the before dinner drink on special occasions, dazzle your taste buds with some bubbly!
Take A Seat: Resist the temptation to stand while dappling in hors d’oeuvres and chatting with party guests. When you dine seated (preferably at a table), you’re generally more aware of what and how much you’re eating. You’re also more likely to savor each bite.
Go for an Après-Meal Walk. When you feel tempted to slip into a food-induced stupor after a large meal, slip out of your heels and into on your flats, grab your Chéri, ami (friend) and go for une promenade (walk). Not only will it awaken your digestion and burn calories, but a walk helps to clear your head and has a meditative effect that rebalances your energy (to put you in the right mindset for Black Friday shopping!)
Say “Oui” to Chic Shapewear. Sometimes a French woman’s best kept secret to looking svelte lies en-dessous (beneath). Yes, a little shapewear can go a long way to smoothing and slimming your silhouette. In the spirit of staying chic, look for shapewear with a hint of lace… so you’ll feel stylish in your underpinnings, regardless of what you put on.