The real reason Italians are so slim

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We all know that Italian food is delicious. Renowned across the world for being rich, flavoursome and filling, Italian food is the go-to for many people, whether dining out or eating at home. How is it that Italians often manage to stay so slim? Is it a new level of self-control that hasn’t been acquired by people across the water? Here are the real reasons.

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In a country filled with the most amazing pizzas, pasta and other Mediterranean dishes, obesity is a rare problem. In contrast, the UK and US have been facing something of a crisis. The diet in Italy has been revealed to reduce the risk of heart disease and promote longevity; obviously, this diet involves more than just pizza.

A change of pace

In modern times, eating has become fast and convenient. Many of us eat on the go, eat alone, and eat while working or watching television. In Italy, it is a different story. Meals are viewed casually, taken in a slow-paced manner. Dinner is a time for socialising and taking time out to relax; in fact, it is quite common for people to take a stroll before and after the meal.

The food is also not what you might assume from looking at the menu of a less-than-authentic Italian restaurant in Dublin, for example. The Italian diet is filled with vegetables, beans and fish, with red meat very rarely eaten. Fortunately, restaurants such as still use these ingredients to provide an authentic experience.

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Stop when you are full

It seems obvious, but another key to staying slim is the ability to know when you are full and to respond by not eating any more. Since meals are more relaxed, people tend to eat more slowly, so the body has more time to recognise that it is full. Add this to a leisurely yet active lifestyle – walking and cycling are commonplace – and fattening desserts often ditched in favour of fruits.

Home-cooked food is also celebrated over convenience food and takeaways. Italians use beans, olive oils and balsamic vinegar in their home cooking, adding nutrition and full flavour while keeping calories from skyrocketing. A combination of this and their active lifestyle makes for a culture where it is easy to stay slim and eat well.


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