There's so much helpful stuff. She points out that Americans don't really enjoy/savor their food, often eating on the run and out of habit. We are so overwhelmed by sweets and addictive processed foods that we have stopped tasting half the stuff we eat. She offers a fundamentally different attitude about food. She speaks of all the produce in France, vegetable soups, fresh, homemade foods, and the general French fondness of excellent quality food.
Go over your diet, by keeping a food diary and find patterns where you overeat. (I already knew damn well what I was overeating - chips and crackers). Eliminate or greatly reduce problem foods, but not to where you feel deprived. Have a small piece of high quality chocolate rather than a whole bar of Hershey's for example. She has dessert recipes like poached pears and crustless apple tarts. Eat nutritious food, chosen carefully, prepared well. Eat slowly at the table, with no distractions and savor your food, enjoy every bite. Look for variety, pick up fun and interesting things at the grocery store. She suggests two servings of plain yogurt a day for snacks and I've developed a genuine love for plain Greek yogurt now. Drink more water. Americans don't drink enough, which leads to overeating because we get too much of our water from food. Walk whenever possible, take stairs, look for small ways to add activity in your life. She speaks of compensation where you enjoy a hearty dinner out with friends, and then eat more lightly the next couple days.
She says Americans are too focused on difficult calorie counting and that you would never find a French woman in a gym unless she was an athlete by hobby. You can lose weight on a deprivation diet but it will always come back because the diet is not sustainable. Instead, you shift your entire attitude towards food. Following her advice I feel like I am actually eating more food. I'm not, but when you shop carefully and cook well, it feels like you're suddenly surrounded by all this great stuff to eat. Since I'm cooking more, it's all 100% gluten-free, which gives me more energy to keep up the cooking! Losing weight has been very natural and effortless. I'm now 5 lbs lighter than before Thanksgiving when I decided I wanted to shed the 10 lbs I gained from thyroid problems that wasn't going away.
My friend went to France for vacation and he said the restaurant meals were different than they are here. You would order your meat or main dish. But then they would bring around a trolley of vegetables. They would keep serving you until you told them to stop. He said he ate tons of vegetables there!
I also had a friend in high school who was from France. She had a box of very expensive chocolates. She allowed herself to eat one per day. No more. I realize for a lot of us this is next to impossible. For me there are just some things I can not ever buy. Swedish Fish is one such. I kept some around in case I had a hypo (low blood sugar), but I discovered that once they were opened, I could not stop myself.