Secrets to the Italian food philosophy

Okay, as you well know I just got back from Italy and can't stop thinking about how fit everyone was there!!! It really was quite startling walking around and seeing everyone, both guys and girls looking no larger than a size 3 eating pastries, gelato, cheese, and pizza!! The first couple days I kept thinking how could this be possible as ladies thin enough to be runway models walked by eating a pastry for breakfast!! This is just not fair! Yes, alot of this has to do with genes but I also observed that the foods they eat that appear to be quite fattening are in fact alot lighter than what we eat here in the states. For instance, when ordering pasta (minus the incredibly fattening gnocchi I ordered) most are made with tomato sauces or with an olive oil, egg and garlic sauce and their portions are much smaller than what we eat here, with a pasta portion of 1-2 cups instead of 3-4 cups here. Also, when ordering gelato they typically give you a small scoop with a cute miniature spoon, forcing you to eat slowly and enjoy the deliciousness. The pizzas are thin crust and typically have mozarella cheese, tomotoes and basil which is a low fat type of pizza.

What I found is that the food tasted fresh and delicious and although I felt like I was constantly indulging, I never got that uncomfortable, "Im so full I can't move" feeling but rather a feeling of being completely satisfied. I was actually quite suprised when I came back home and found I had lost weight! I have never before lost weight on a vacation. Granted we did quite a bit of walking but I truly feel it's the way that we eat while in Italy. They don't fuss over low fat processed foods but rather enjoy their meals with a focus on freshness and quality foods. They take time to enjoy their foods, putting pride into the appearance and ingredients used and the meal time is intended to be enjoyed over a couple hours giving you enough time to sit down, enjoy the foods and spend time catching up with loved ones. This I believe is the secret to how Italians stay so happy, healthy and thin!

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