# French Weight Loss # Lessons from Madame Chic

French Weight Loss Secrets Part 1- No (Mindless) Snacking

I recently received a request from a reader who wanted me to discuss French weight loss secrets. This week will be dedicated to the subject, with a post on Monday, Wednesday and Friday!

My discussions will be based on Part 1 of Lessons from Madame Chic, which focuses on diet and exercise. I have discussed these concepts before, but felt they need to be revisited, not only on the blog, but personally for myself as I am in the process of losing weight after having my third child.

Today's topic is no (mindless) snacking, or snacking is so not chic!

As a lifelong chronic snacker, I found it very shocking to live in a household that did not snack. This was the case when I moved to Paris to live with Madame Chic and her family.

They did not snack.


I know.

Now, I have no idea if all French people are like this. I'm sure the answer is, non. But as I always say when I write about my stay with Famille Chic, I am just sharing my singular experience with a particular French family, and how it changed my life. And Famille Chic did not snack.

For many of us, however, not snacking is not an option. We get hungry. The day is long. Some of us have a medical condition that requires us to eat several times throughout the day. I do have a snack each day, however, I aim to avoid mindless snacking.

What are some examples of mindless snacking? Eating out of a bag of potato chips while leaning over the kitchen sink. Having a carton of ice cream while watching television. Snacking on old Halloween candy the entire time you cook dinner (I have to admit, I did this last week!!).

In this week's video, I urge you to get intentional about what you eat. If you are going to have a snack, prepare it nicely, as you would a meal. Avoid eating out of bags or cartons. Avoid doing other things while you eat. This will allow you to be more conscious when you are eating, and you are less likely to overdo it.

There is much more discussed in this week's video. I do hope you'll check it out!


The Madame Chic Collection is now available! It makes the perfect gift for this upcoming holiday season. Above, you can see Simon & Schuster's Instagram post on the collection.

Comment of the Week
Amirah R. writes:

Hello Jennifer, thank you for your teachings. I bought your book Polish Your Poise with Madame Chic. I'm almost done reading it. As I've grown and matured in life I have had a strong desire to be more classy and lady like, I didn't even know where to begin so when I ran across your book at the book store I had to purchase it and it is so enlightening. Now this evening I found you on YT after watching a video on dining etiquette. I had to subscribe. A lady even stopped me in the hall at work and to me that I presented myself in a classy manner when I'm walking in the halls and from the way I hold my head up and smile when I'm walking. I was so encouraged...what I have read in your book is actually taking form in my day to day, little by little. Thanks a million ♡

Thank you for sharing your story with us, Amirah! The changes that come with cultivating poise can make everyday life so exciting. I'm very happy for you!

This week I would love to know... do you struggle with snacking? Are you happy with your weight? Do you have a weight loss goal? What's your story? Let us know, and your comment could be chosen as comment of the week on the blog.

*** As you might have noticed, I am rarely able to respond to each individual comment. This also includes the emails I receive through my author website. I want to reassure you that I read every comment and email, and that I truly do appreciate every one. In this season of my life, baby snuggles are taking priority over everything! Thank you in advance for your understanding.

See you on Wednesday for part two of the series!

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Emma Knight Peel said...

Years ago, I vacationed at a German-owned ranch in British Columbia, Canada, and they only served three meals a day and no snacks. There was not a vending machine or anything. I got so hungry between meals that I would steal the peanut butter packets from the breakfast table to eat later! But, it did make me look forward to mealtimes and thoroughly enjoy them! I also have worked at a French place, and noted that they did not snack. I saw one apple on someone's desk once, and she might have been an American.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jennifer, I read your books awhile ago, and this is a great reminder. I always regret mindless snacking, not just the calories, but the way I must appear while doing it. Not impressive! One thing that helps my behavior in many ways is to imagine I am being filmed. Which, as you have said, isn't incorrect, since we are always being recorded in the memories of those around us. Thinking of it this way, especially around loved ones, really helps me make good choices about how I want to be thought of, and what example I am setting for the children.
The second thing I want to say is that your hair looks fantastic lately! And I know you said you are experiencing late post-pregnancy loss, but my goodness I never would have known that. Will you give some product recommendations and tips for how you get such shiny and bouncy locks?
Thank you!

celkalee said...

Talk about a timely post! After I polished off a somewhat stale bag of corn chips and a Snickers Bar left over from Halloween i stopped cold in my tracks. If I didn't have to throw away the wrappers I probably would have gone looking for something else. I have developed a bad habit, snacking! I never did that until about a year ago. I have read all your books and plan to re-read starting tonight. Thank you dear, you look wonderful!

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Anonymous said...

I agree with Anonymous about your hair; it looks amazing lately! Please let us know what you are using, and how you are styling it lately.

As to the snacking, I no longer snack because I am quite full from having three actual meals a day. I think that the people who snack probably don't sit down to three meals a day -- they graze. If you take the time to sit down at a table (no standing in front of the sink!), with place settings, and food that you have made yourself (with a side salad and vegetables... people never seem to eat enough of these things), you will find that you are not hungry at other times.

Of course there are people who seem to confuse boredom with hunger, but that's a whole 'nother issue!

Pam said...

I'm really looking forward to this topic. I have PCOS and am really struggling with my weight.

I've never been to France, but I'm currently reading French Kids Eat Everything by Karen le Billon. She married a Frenchman and they lived in France for a time. It seems that her experience was as yours in that there is no snacking in France - and everyone is on board with it. Food and meals seems to be so ingrained in their culture and you just don't break the "Food Rules". Anyway, I can't wait to hear what you have to say this week.

Anna Wegner said...

Thanks for the video. I usually do well with not mindlessly snacking, but realized yesterday that I have been slipping into that habit more and more often. I needed this reminder. Looking forward to the rest of the series.

Toni Marie said...

After reading your books, I sat down to make note of the meals that you mention, with the intention of duplicating them in my home. And I was kind of shocked at how much preparation must have gone into her meals. I thought it was unrealistic. But then I remembered that Madame Chic says that we must'nt be lazy...and for me, I needed to let that truth sink in. Really, with a cooking schedule and a meal plan (beating laziness), I can have multi-course meals for my family. Those meals are more nutritious and there is something very satisfying about caring for myself and my loved ones in this way. Thanks for everything, Jennifer!
Toni Marie

Anonymous said...

I love an afternoon snack. One work around I have found is to set aside part of my lunch to snack on later.


Little Miss Know-it-all said...

Although it is not completely true that the French don't snack - there are plenty of sweet packaged snacks available to buy and the "goûter" snack in the afternoon is usually some bread/chocolate combination, for kids, at least, I have often noticed that many food packages have a state warning on them, encouraging people not to snack. In addition, I also noticed when there was advertising for snacks on the radio this summer, it was followed by a similar warning not to eat between meals. For the state to go this far, snacking must have become a problem at some point... You don't see people eating snacks on the street, anyway.
However, yes, since the French usually have some kind of sit-down meal at lunch and dinner and take their time over it, they don't snack so often. Many don't eat much in the way of breakfast (like the Italians), either.
Another thing that maybe needs pointing out is that the "typical" Frenchwoman is of very dainty stature, they really are tiny compared to a lot of other nationalities. Buying children's clothes in France for my normal-sized daughters always meant buying at least 2 sizes larger because the sizing is so small, ditto for my grandchildren, and women's clothing is the same.

Margery Hilburn said...

Hi Jennifer!
This is one of my favorite topics from your books. After reading "Lessons from Madame Chic." I really found myself wondering. Do the French enjoy coffee and tea between meals, or only with meals? Sometimes a cup of something can quench the urge to snack. Another thing I kept wondering about: if the French eat lunch at noon or 1:00, and then eat dinner at 7:00 or later -- they seem to eat later than Americans -- do they really go six or seven hours or more without eating?
- Margery

Stephanie Johnston said...

What a wonderful reminder of how to eat by respecting both our bodies and the ritual of mealtime. I also have a weight loss goal for the kgs I put on over winter (I'm in the Southern Hemisphere). Looking forward to he rest of the videos.

Tonya Leigh said...

As someone who lost 75 pounds and maintained have maintained it based on the French Life-style, along with deep emotional work, I so appreciate your take on eating more like the "French." Not snacking has really helped me find my equilibrium, and I enjoy my meals so much more. Thanks Jennifer!