Keep in mind, I am using diet rules I have heard about. They are not diet tips I follow for My Healthy Eating Challenge.
Supposed Diet Rule: Eat breakfast fit for a king, lunch fit for a queen, and supper fit for a pauper. In other words, eat a hearty size breakfast, a medium size lunch, and a small supper. Most diet experts tell us that the stomach does not have time to digest a large meal at the end of the day.
- Italian Way: They eat a very small breakfast, a medium size lunch, and huge supper.
- Italian Way: Pasta and bread are staples at meal time. And their breakfast consists of pastries and cookies...high in carbs.
- (My thoughts: They rarely eat processed pasta or bread though, most of it is homemade or from a bakery, so maybe that is a key?)
- Italian Way: They generally do not eat supper until 8:00 p.m. In fact, many restaurants don't even open until that hour. And then the meal lasts about 2 hours, so they eat from 8:00 p.m. until 10 p.m.
Supposed Diet Rule: Eat six small meals per day. Most diet experts tell us not to let our bodies feel hungry, and to keep blood sugars level, it is better to eat small meals throughout the day.
- Italian Way: They eat three meals a day, (breakfast at 7 or 8 a.m., lunch at 12 or 1 p.m., and supper at 8 p.m.) with maybe one small snack (at least from what I observed).
Supposed Diet Rule: Control portions and/or calories.
- Italian Way: I saw thin Italians packing away large quantities of food. The meals we were served in restaurants were large. One evening I went to dinner with the other interns. The meal was served family style and the owner got upset with us when we did not completely finish one of the courses. We were full. But she didn't care. She left the plate there for us to divvy up and eat anyway.
It boggles my mind, the difference in their way of eating. I have a friend who lives in Belgium and from what she told me, it sounds like they eat in a similar fashion. I am curious if other European countries also eat that way.
I have no clue how they can break these "rules" and still stay trim. Tomorrow I will post observations about Italian eating that do seem to follow the "rules."