The French Diet

4 min readSep 22, 2022

A different approach to eating for the American girl.

Photo by Chris Karidis on Unsplash

Probably just like you, I’ve tried a number of different diets. I quickly became addicted to all of them and then punished myself for not executing them perfectly when I slipped up.

I was 8 when I adopted my first diet. I remember thinking to myself, “Why hasn’t anyone thought of this.” I thought that keeping great ideas to myself prevented other people from “catching up” to me, so I didn’t share.

That diet was bullimia. It stayed with me for 18 years.

My second diet was weight watchers. I obsessed about my points, making sure I consumed as little as possible. My reward at the end of my week were the surplus “points”. The program congratulated me. I congratulated me. Then, I would work harder to consume less the next week.

That, inevitably turned into starvation. Which led to binging. Then purging to make up for the binging.

My third diet was Atkins. Somewhere between bacon and heavy cream I felt like something was wrong, but I grabbed an extra slice of cheese anyways and then balanced my confusion with my previous diet cycles.

These 3 diets existed before the age of 18 and layed a fragile foundation for me as an adult. Little did I know I’d be leaving my diet obsessed culture and joining a culture that embraces indulgence.

But the indulgence exists within parameters. There’s none of this “binging-scarcity-mindset” driven behavior. That’s n’importe quoi.

The French are mindful.

I read a book last year called, “French children don’t throw food.” The book is written to explain the difference in child rearing between French culture and Anglo-American culture. As a disclaimer, there’s a lot in this book that I have not observed living in France. But, there’s a lot that I have observed.

The highlight for me was the anglo angle. It became more of a “If you’re from the US or England this is why you don’t get it” book instead of a book about child rearing. It’s really a manual that explains the French resistance to our anglo-shame culture.

Here’s a hint: It’s because it’s unnecessary.