Part 3 of 4:
Apparently we are more likely to stick to our New Year's resolutions if we make firm plans on how to succeed. So we asked ourselves "how would the French do it?", to see if this could help us!
We've already looked at how the French lose weight and exercise and how they eat more healthily and take up a new hobby. In this third chapter, we look at how the French spend time with friends and family and how they drink less alcohol...
#5. Spend more time with family and friends
The French are very family orientated, taking the time to sit down for meals and coming together at weekends and holidays. It is very common for children to spend school holidays with grandparents. Sunday shop opening is still relatively contained, with many French feeling that Sunday should be spent en famille.
For the majority of French people, inviting guests to their home is preferred to socialising in restaurants.
Two thirds of French entertain at home at least once a month, most likely with their children (83%), friends and family (75% and 74%) and work colleagues and neighbours (31% and 26%). Most of these social occasions involve food of some kind, with at least 1 hour spent preparing. Home cooked food is favoured over pre-prepared meals. But when should guests expect to arrive? For a lunch, between 12.30pm and 1pm; for a reception, between 6pm and 6.30pm; for an apéritif (drinks), between 7pm and 7.30pm and for dinner, between 7.30pm and 8pm.
On average there will be 8 people at the gathering...
#6. Drink less alcohol
Whilst wine remains the most popular drink overall in France, the younger drinker is more likely to prefer beer and spirits, drink less frequently but with increased quantity. One in five 15 - 75 year olds admit to having been drunk in the last year with men three times more likely than women to have drunk to excess. The French habit of only drinking with meals is gradually changing to social drinking amongst the younger population.
However, the amount of alcohol consumed by the French has halved in the last 50 years. Reduced wine consumption is the main reason for this trend: the French are increasingly opting to drink better quality wine but less of it. The general advice given is that (no more than) a glass of wine a day for women and one or two for men can have multiple health benefits. We'll drink to that!
Tomorrow we will be posting the final chapter in this short series on how to keep to New Year's resolutions the French way!