Adopt an avant-garde attitude to get bikini ready
By Stephanie Trembath, Public Relations Manager
Late nights with clear skies, smoky barbequed meat, sand stuck between toes, and bikini-bottomed girls riding bicycles down English bay. Yup, summer is here, the only thing missing is the constant heat. Regardless of the lack of tan lines and burnt flesh, there are still plenty of reminders that it is bikini season and time to jog off those flabby thighs. Rather than spend your sweet summer months like a hamster in a gym (picture: bay side with cold drink in hand) try to adopt a bit of an avant-garde attitude and ditch the traditional methods of flaunting your stuff in the sand. Indulge to battle bulge—the philosophy French femmes follow to stay slim and stylish—is the one method North American ladies have neglected in exchange for fad diets.
Known for effortless style and rich cuisine, these European dames dine on wine at almost every meal, and don’t turn down a buttered croissant. Creamy cheeses, fresh fruits, and warm lattes are staple foods served at nearly every meal, which is much more appetizing than plain chicken breast and salad. North American women who seek European style guides typically follow a strict diet of lean meats, raw veggies, and allow themselves one special day to overindulge—which causes the body to crave those sweet and salty foods it is denied. Telling your body it cannot eat something causes a reverse effect on the brain so these foods are more desirable than the healthy foods you should eat. It also creates a cycle of binging and purging—eating extremely fresh and healthy for a few days and then binging on sweets when will-power gives out, which is really hard on the body’s metabolism. Drinking alcoholic beverages is treated much the same in North America, where many women prefer to steer clear of the extra calories during the weekday, and consume alcoholic drinks high in sugar to the point of being way to drunk on the weekend.
[quote style=”boxed”]What time you consume certain amounts of foods is critical in achieving and maintaining a healthy body weight, and more importantly, keeping your metabolic rate in check.[/quote]
Rather than play the “diet game” like most North American girls, French women have settled the battle with their bod and opted for a more desirable way to nourish their bodies: eat what they please in moderation. Balance is essential—and by eating small portions of the foods you enjoy, you do not feel the need to binge on your “off day” or while out on the weekend. The main reason these lavish lasses stay so slim and styled is not in what they eat, it is at what point during the day they eat. What time you consume certain amounts of foods is critical in achieving and maintaining a healthy body weight, and more importantly, keeping your metabolic rate in check. The biggest meal of the day should be consumed between twelve and five in the afternoon, this is so your body has time to digest the food and absorb the nutrients. The largest meal consumed by North Americans is dinner, and usually around five to eight at night. However, eating closer to the time you are going to bed means your body is not burning any of the additional calories, and, you are making your body work twice as hard to digest.
Trying this fabulous French secret on for size (hopefully one I will still fit as I indulge all summer) I have spent the last month enjoying backyard barbeques, picnics in the park, and wine on the weekdays—regardless of the extra calories and the extra cloud cover! My overall mindset towards food has completely transformed as I happily dig into guacamole dip and salmon for lunch (chocolate almonds or popsicles for desert), while my coworkers pick at veggie salads and low-cal pita crisps. Our society has infused itself with a “thin is in” mentality, and enjoying certain food groups will result in immediate weight gain. Really, the sad truth is that a large portion of North Americans are classified either as obese or overweight, or with eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia. Not to say our French friends do not have the same health issues, however, the International Journal of Medicine shows North America as the leading continent for such health concerns.
The surest way to enjoy your summer—regardless of rain, since dreary weather is faithful to Vancouver the same way women are faithful to chocolate—is to indulge in your cravings, satisfy your sweet tooth, and treat dining with the fervour it deserves! Balanced meals, smaller portions, and consuming earlier on in the day will ensure mouth-watering summer barbeque does not stick to your love handles—and that itsy bitsy teeny weenie yellow polka dot bikini will look a lot sexier if you’ve got some curves to fill it!