French women are renowned for spending large portions of their salaries on health and beauty just so they can look like they were born beautiful.

I have been in France many times and French women never cease to amaze me. Their seemingly effortless beauty has always fascinated me. They look naturally slim, yet only they know, and I know, how much effort they actually put into looking that good.

Every time I’ve set foot on a French beach I’ve been shocked by the amazing bodies of the local women. I’ve never seen so many washboard abs in the one place. Many of them sported by women well in their thirties; yummy mummies surrounded by bundles of kids.

If you, like me, are curious about how they stay slim with so many tempting patisseries full of delicious croissants around… here’s my French woman’s rules to a killer body. Easy as 1,2,3,4…

1.Always Have Breakfast: Not just at weekends, not just when you have time, and not just a coffee on the rush. Have a proper breakfast. Throughout the years I have seen French women confidently eat a breakfast consisting of fruit, coffee and croissant, or a piece of buttered baguette. Whereas I don’t think this is the most nutritious meal you can have first thing in the morning, this does not make French women fat, and they know it.

2.Snack On Crudites: Crudités are small pieces of raw vegetables. Carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, celery… you name it, they snack on it. In the office, at home, on the beach… highly nutritious, high in water and low in fat and calories, crudités are low in sugar too. This is why they are so effective at keeping you full for longer.

3.Be Picky About Your Food: French women understand food. They take pride in their health and appearance, and are very picky about the foods they eat. If you’ve ever seen French women shopping at their local vegetable market, then you’ll know what I am talking about. They will only buy top quality fresh produce. Their baskets are colourful displays of seasonal fruit and vegetables, fresh fish and meat.

You may be thinking, what about the cheese and the bread? Yes, they do eat small amounts of cheese and bread, but here’s what they do next…

4.Work Out: I don’t know one French woman who doesn’t work out. Whether it is at the gym, running, rollerblading, hiking, swimming… they are always active and on the go. They don’t make excuses, they don’t moan about it… they make it part of their daily routine and just do it, because it’s good for them and it makes them look damn good.

I’ve lived and worked with French women both in France and in Ireland, and I am telling you, they don’t do all of this just to get in shape before they go on holidays, they do this all year round. As a result, in the summer, it shows big time!

In my opinion they have a fantastic attitude towards food, exercise and towards their bodies too. A certain pride that can be misinterpreted, but that for me translates into pure charisma.

Now, I am not saying this is the only way you can start to make changes in the way you approach food and exercise. But if it works for them, it can certainly work for you!