Seriously, with this tag line, how can you not want to know more?
Marie Antoinette was known for her sweet tooth and addiction to fine pastries, so how did she maintain a reported 23 inch waistline?
This new diet claims to teach you how to eat like a queen (every woman’s dream) while narrowing your waist (you beauty). Karen Wheeler wrote the book ‘The Marie Antoinette Diet: Eat Cake and Still Lose Weight’ (view the book here), a tantalizing title for anyone struggling with a sweet tooth and a few extra inches on their hips. We like to call it, the royal diet.
According to Wheeler’s research, the famous French queen lavishly dined on lobster, scallops, pate, hare, fois grois and salmon – all at one sitting! All this was piled on top of decadent snacks Marie enjoyed throughout the day; from petit fours to macaroni, crystallized fruits to wafers, the queen indulged herself again and again. This sounds to good to be true right? Wrong, it is possible, with some mental strength and some careful choices when it comes to those naughty foods, we can do it too.
Despite these extraordinary meals, Marie reportedly refused to wear the waist synching corsets that were all but mandatory during her reign. According to Caroline Weber’s Queen of Fashion: What Marie Antoinette Wore to the Revolution, Marie Antoinette had no need for the body shaping undergarments and chose comfort over conformity. The question is, with all of her indulgence how was she able to maintain her figure? Surely the queen did not have a gym in her chambers, so why can’t we munch on sweets all day long without having to sweat them all out at the gym after?
This is how.
Timing Your Meals for Best Results
The Marie Antoinette Diet,or as we like to call it, the Royal Diet, stresses the importance of meal timing. Some of the basic elements of this diet include eating sweets for breakfast in the morning and dining on soups in the afternoon.
The idea behind this meal timing is that if you curb your appetite for sweets by having one or two in the morning then you will be less likely to crave them later on in the day. Now, I don’t know about you, but I’ll probably still crave that three o’clock candy bar regardless of my morning fix.
What does seem to make sense about the Marie Antoinette diet is the concept of portion controlled servings of non-processed foods. In modern times we have begun to incorporate immense amounts of processed foods into our diets (Lean Cuisine, anyone?), which significantly add to weight gain. Add alcohol into the mix and you’re literally pouring processed sugar into your body, which will be of no help to you if you’re trying to slim down.
Although eating petit fours for breakfast seems too good to be true, Dr. Mabel Blades (an English dietitian and nutritionist) says that the concept behind this practice is scientifically sound.
While you can’t over indulge in sweets in the morning with the expectation of losing weight in the afternoon, appropriate timing and portion control is crucial to maintain stamina through a diet. You don’t have to suffer in order to adjust your eating habits, just remember to take everything in moderation.
Marie Antoinette never turned up her nose to fine pastries, and you don’t have to either. All you have to remember is that you can indulge in one or two and then stop. Don’t gorge yourself on anything.
Empty Calories Lead to Weight Gain
That said, Blades does discount the idea of eating sweets in the morning as opposed to the afternoon – a cookie is a cookie after all! Instead of getting your sweet fix in before lunch, be more conscious of what will keep you full longer.
A cupcake may have the same amount of calories as a bowl of yogurt and granola; however the granola will keep you fuller longer. Don’t think about how many calories you’re consuming as much as you think about the types of calories. After all, if you can manage to stay full longer then you will be less likely to binge on those potato chips when you get home from work.
Sugary sweets like cake and cookies will only fill you up momentarily, and the excess of sugar will cause your body to crash and crave more food not long after. You might find yourself cutting a slice of cake only to crave more within the hour, so instead, start off by eating something high in fiber and protein. A good way to start your day is with high fiber oatmeal and a source of protein like turkey. Getting in a filling meal like that will help your body stave off any cravings for cookies and candy prior to lunch time. For more information on different types of calories, read our article: Are All Calories The Same? We Expose the Calorie Myth
The moral of this story is that while Marie Antoinette is famed for her sweet tooth and overindulgence, there is a lesson to be learning from her dieting techniques. Although it does sound simply too good to be true to be able to eat cakes upon cakes and maintain that super slim waistline, what we can take from this story is that moderation is key.
Unless you’re born with a miraculous metabolism chances are you won’t be able to eat to your heart’s content without gaining any weight – especially if you’re over 30. You can eat those naughty sugary sweets but only 1 small serving, not an entire day loaded with them. All exaggerations aside, Marie Antoinette likely anticipated the value of treating herself to indulgent foods in moderation, and we can learn a lot from that type of dieting technique.