Living Well Blog: Saratoga's Holistic Health Forum

The REAL Reason for the French Paradigm of Weight Loss

Well, we've all heard of it, we've all practiced it, and we've all used it to explain that extra glass of wine at dinner. What am I talking about? The French paradigm. It's the belief that the French stay skinny because they eat a diet high in mono-unsaturated fats and drink lots of  red wine. (By the way, it's the grapes, not the alcohol, that contains beneficial polyphenols and resveratrol). However, this pardigm may just become a Mediterranean myth, because drinking healthy phytonutrients and including olive oil in your diet is not the whole picture to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight.

In his book, Ultra Metabolism, Mark Hyman debunks the belief that the French are fit from wine and oil. He explains that the real reason behind this seeming contraindication of pleasure seeking Europeans and health are due to the fact that the French eat real food, eat less food, eat slower, and walk more. These reasons may not be as appealing to quick-fix diet seekers, but they do withstand the test of time. 

Eating less food and walking more are self-explanatory, but what about eating slower? Marc David's book, The Slow Down Diet, discusses the biochemical differences in digestion that occur as a result of eating for pleasure versus eating in a hurried, stressful state. High stress eating decreases absorption of nutrients because digestive enzyme production is suppressed under stress. Your body determines that the most crucial place for energy during a run-in with a saber tooth tiger is to your muscles, not your gut.This is modulated by an increase in cortisol output, the stress hormone. Cortisol increases insulin release to bring sugar into the muscle cells, this decreases blood sugar levels and causes you to feel more hungry, even though you just ate! 

My favorite reason for the French paradigm: the French eat local, fresh, minimally processed foods which are bought on a daily basis. The new field of nutrigenomics studies how nutrition effects your DNA expression and ability to modulate risk factors of disease. Although eating kale and high methyl-containing vegetables won't change your DNA, these beneficial compounds can interact with cell receptors and modulate cancer oncogene expression to your favor. In other words, good foods can help your body at the cellular level to prevent disease. Therefore, you literally become what you eat, be it a Twinkie or a piece of broccoli.

In health and wellness,
Dr. Sarah 

For more information and references:
The Genotype Diet. Peter D'Adamo, ND
Ultra-Metabolism. Mark Hyman, MD
The Biology of Belief. Bruce Lipton, PhD


Leave a comment

Leave a Comment

Reisa Mehlman

As a New York State Licensed Aesthetician, New York State Licensed Nail Specialist, and the Director of Living Well Healing Arts Center & Spa, Reisa combines her love of spa services and healing arts to achieve optimum skin and nail health, create greater overall wellness and bring forth our optimal, individual beauty.

"I believe that the day spa should be an instant getaway; a place that is quiet without being stuffy, relaxed, elegant and yet entirely comfy. You should feel warm and welcome, surrounded by people who care about you and what they are doing. This is the environment we strive to create at Living Well Healing Arts Center & Spa. Here, you are never just the "next" number; we allow ample time for your services, offer a flexible schedule and can be reached after hours. After all, to me, spa craft is not really a business, it's a lifestyle." Read more...

About Dr. Sarah Lobisco

Dr. LoBisco has been in holistic healthcare for over 10 years. She became interested in holistic medicine when she was able to heal two herniated discs through nutrition, yoga, supplementation, and chiropractic. She has mentored with holistic practices throughout New York, Vermont, and Connecticut. In addition to her Naturopathic and Functional Medical training, Dr. LoBisco has extensive training in a variety of healing modalities, including therapeutic essential oils, nutraceuticals, herbs, whole food supplements, nutritional medicine, and mind-body therapies. She is a graduate of the accredited, four year post-graduate program in Naturopathic Medicine at the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut. This program includes clinical rotations and a demanding scientific curriculum in integrating conventional and natural medicine. Dr. LoBisco holds her license from the state of Vermont.

Dr. LoBisco is a candidate for certification in Functional Medicine through the Institute of Functional Medicine (IFM). Dr. LoBisco is also certified in Applied Kinesiology and holds a BA in psychology from SUNY Geneseo. She has contributed as an item writer for the North American Board of Naturopathic Examiners (NABNE)and has several articles that have been published in the Naturopathic Doctor News and Review Digest (NDNR) and the Townsend Letter, both physician- based journals. Dr. LoBisco is also a hired speaker on integrative medical topics for medical professionals.

Dr. LoBisco currently incorporates her training in holistic medical practices and conventional medicine through writing, researching, private practice, and through her independent contracting work for companies regarding supplements, nutraceuticals, essential oils, and medical foods. She has a small, private wellness consultation practice through telephone and Skype. Dr. LoBisco also enjoys continuing to educate and empower her readers through her blogs and social media. Her upcoming book, BreakFree Medicine, is set to release within the next year. Please inquire here for more specific information.