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What Do Real French Women Eat In A Day

What Do Real French Women Eat In A Day

what french women eat in a day

I’m French, here is what French women eat in a day. In this post, you’ll learn exactly what do French women eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Plus, the ten rules to follow to eat like a French woman wherever you live. In addition, to help you define your meal plan, I’ve created the French grocery shopping list. These are basically all the items that I’m used to shopping at the supermarket in France, and you can shop at Whole Foods Market on Amazon. This can give you a better idea of what French women usually shop at the supermarket.

But first, here are 10 ways to eat like a French woman wherever you live. For more, you can check out my previous article on the 8 diet tips to eat like the French and lose weight.

  1. Exclude all processed foods which contain ingredients such as salt, sugar, and fat to make their flavor more appealing. If you’re not sure how to spot unhealthy high processed foods, always read the nutrition label. 
  2. Religiously visit your local farmers’ markets at least once a week to buy fresh fruits, vegetables, meat, and/or fish.
  3. Cook every single meal (or as much as you can) and try to avoid takeaway food.
  4. Avoid snacking between meals.
  5. Avoid all soft drinks (even diet ones), processed fruit juices, and limit your alcohol consumption to a maximum of two glasses of wine per week.
  6. If you’re craving sugar just bake cookies or a chocolate cake. That way, you can control the amount of fat and sugar you add to your preparation as well as the quality of ingredients by choosing dark chocolate with at least 70% cacao.
  7. Avoid processed bread (like this one which contains added sugar). Instead, go to your local bakery or bake your own bread (with just wheat, olive oil, water, and baker’s yeast).
  8. Avoid all diet foods such as fat-free cheese, fat-free yogurt, sugar-free ice cream, or sugar-free chocolates. Instead, prefer whole plain food as you’ll feel more satiated and you’ll eat less.
  9. Keep in mind that health is a matter of balance. If French women have a sugary snack during the day, it’s automatic for them to eat something lighter for the next meal.
  10. From time to time have little pleasures. Mines are croissants and pains au chocolat that I’m buying at my local bakery every Sunday morning. Or my guilty pleasure is the French madeleines that I buy at the supermarket 😉

I’m French, Here Is What French Women Actually Eat In A Day


Eating breakfast is a staple for French women, we never leave the house without having something to eat and drink. In France, we don’t eat salty in the morning, except maybe during the weekend. French people usually prefer sweet and sugary foods to start their day.

First, always start your day with a glass of water (not too cold and not too warm) with fresh lemon juice. Not only it promotes hydration, but lemon juice is a good source of Vitamin C, it supports weight loss, improves skin quality, aids digestion, freshens breath and it helps prevent kidney stones. It’s probably the best way to start your day!

Then have a cup of coffee or tea, as you prefer. French women usually prefer to have coffee in the morning, but personally, I like to alternate every other day between tea and coffee. If you’re more a coffee person, French women use a French press or a Moka pot that brews a premium cup of coffee in just 5 minutes by simply adding ground coffee and hot water. My favorite French press is the Bodum Chambord and I have also this Bialetti Express Moka pot. There are both very easy to use and super easy to clean as well. French women always drink their coffee black without milk and without sugar. If you’re more a tea person, French women love the French tea brand Mariage Frères. My favorite one is the Mariage Freres Marco Polo (one of the best sellers of the brand).

For breakfast, French women do not eat croissants and pains au chocolat every day. Those pastries are mainly eaten for special occasions and on the weekends as they are considered by the French as fatty and sugary meals. Instead, the french breakfast is made of fresh bread with (salty) butter, jam, yogurt, and fresh seasonal fruits (ideally from your local farmer’s market).

If you’re more a salty person you can eat instead some turkey slices, organic eggs, or even cheese with whole wheat bread. The French never eat processed bread which is usually full of added sugar and preservatives. Instead, they prefer to go to their local bakery to buy artisanal bread, or to bake their own bread.

If you want to lose weight, avoid all processed foods for breakfast such as cakes, cookies, and breakfast cereals. Those foods are just full of sugar and refined carbs. Starting the day with a high-sugar breakfast cereal will spike your blood sugar and insulin levels. A few hours later, your blood sugar may crash, and your body will crave another high-carb meal or snack — potentially creating a vicious cycle of overeating. Remember that excess consumption of sugar may also increase your risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.


Did you know that the average lunch of the French is around an hour to an hour and a half? French people usually stop what they are doing and takes time to eat with their family, friends, or colleagues. And even during weekdays at the office! Lunch is a real tradition in France and for the French, it’s unimaginable to just have a sandwich for lunch in front of their computers.

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french woman eating and drinking

In France, lunch is usually a three-course meal with reasonable portions: a starter, a main, and a dessert. The starter is usually a salad of crudités (raw vegetables) with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and some herbs. Main is often made of cooked vegetables with a portion of fish or meat. Dessert is usually fresh fruit or plain yogurt. Finally, the French love to finish their lunch with an espresso (without milk and sugar).


For the French, dinner is the lighter meal of the day. During wintertime, homemade soup can be the starter or the main. And the French usually eat it with a generous piece of bread and some cheese. I usually make a big batch of soup on the weekend that makes it through the week. My favorite soup is a vegetable soup made of leeks, garlic, onions, potatoes, shallots, carrots with some lardons, olive oils, and herbs de Provence. During summertime, the French usually have a fresh salad or some cooked vegetables. Dessert is usually fresh fruit, yogurt, or a piece of cheese with bread. The French usually finish their dinner with a piece of dark chocolate (minimum 70% of cocoa) with a French tisane.

What do you think about the way French women eat? Are you going to adopt the French diet? Please add your comment below.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning when you click the links and make a purchase, we receive a commission.

View Comments (16)
  • Yes, I was lucky enough to visit and spend time in your fab country last year, just before all this madness and Covid 19 struck us all.
    Here in Auckland NZ you have to travel to find good quality farmers markets, but it’s so worth the effort for good food.
    I love how you eat to please the palate and don’t eat for boredom as we tend to here.
    Thrilled I found you and look forward to each new post

    • Thank you so much Dee for your comment <3 Yes, I really think that good food worths the effort 🙂 I'll keep on writing everything French!

  • Love this! It really is true, when you focus on whole unprocessed foods you feel so much better. My question is do you ever feel hungry after just eating bread in the morning? Thanks for writing, I love your blog 🙂

    • Hello Julia,
      Thank you for your comment <3
      It depends on the quality of the bread.
      I mean if I eat whole wheat bread I never feel hungry just after. However, if I eat industrial white bread (which usually contains a lot of preservatives, and added sugars), yes I can feel hungry just after 🙂
      Hope that helps! xoxo

  • I do believe Americans eat all wrong. I’m an American with bad habits
    (could be worse, I must say) but the French way, and probably much of Europe’s, really resonates with me. Not eating between meals is probably the hardest, especially around 430 or 5 pm before dinner is ready. But it’s inspiring to read blog posts like this!

    • Thank you very much Natalynne <3 It's the best compliment ever! I would love to write a book about all things French, maybe one day 😉

  • I teach my children to study the ingredients list. The best advice I found on this issue: if it contains anything your grandmother would not recognize as food put it back. Also, if the list is too long I don’t even bother reading it.

    No diet proucts, no low fat (which inevitably means high sugar!)

    What I am missing on your list are fermented foods. The French eat a lot of raw milk cheeses containing healthy bacteria that promote a good gut microbiom. However I understand that you can’t get raw milk products in the US.
    So eating good (quality over quantity) sauerkraut, kimtchi, plain yogurt that hasn’t been heated, kefir.
    Read up on gut health and overall well-being- including depression.

  • When u mention the yoghurt, how much ? And what kind? Is it just normal full fat like Jalna plain yoghurt? And what are the general meal times? Thanks also do u have a recipe section? Thanks

    • Bonjour Emma! Thank you very much for your questions 🙂 Yes, just normal full-fat plain yogurt. When it comes to quantity one portion equals 4/5 tablespoons of yogurt and I’ll suggest one portion a day. The general meal times in France are the following: breakfast until 10 am, lunch between 12 pm and 14 pm, dinner from 6 pm until 8 pm. I don’t have a recipe section yet but I’ll create one soon! I hope that helps 🙂 xo

  • The French way of not eating between meals is probably the most important part of maintaining a slim figure. In America, we live on “snacks.” Years ago, “snacks” were almost unknown as a term. We ate three meals a day, and if you got hungry before a meal, you might get an apple. Food was for mealtime. Kids were allowed dessert but as part of dinner sometimes. After dinner, the food thing was over. We didn’t think about going back in the kitchen for more food. The kitchen was also a separate room from the rest of the house, and the light was kept off unless you went for a glass of water. Homes now have the kitchen in open floor plans not very separated from the living area. The refrigerator is always in sight, along with food items on the counter. I believe this was by design, to keep us eating long after dinner was over. Dinner plates also got bigger, as did saucers, drinking glasses, and the size of mugs. Returning to how we used to eat (mostly at home and cooking from scratch) has got to be a valuable way to get and stay healthy. Thank you for the article.

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