Mardi Gras, diets and fasting

Mardi Gras or carnival can be traced back to pre-Christian times. However, since the beginning of Christianity (Christianisme), it is traditionally the last celebration before the 40 days of Lent (carême), which requires believers (croyants)  to fast (jeûner) or limit their consumption (consommation) of certain foods.

More recently, fasting has become a popular dietary trend (tendence diététique) or lifestyle (mode de vie). Arguably the most popular form of fasting is intermittent fasting (jeûne intermittent). Followers of the regime limit their “eating window” to a number of hours per day. For example; 16 hours fasting, 8 hours eating. Supporters of this eating regime claim that they are able to lose weight and feel great by following this eating method.

Whatever your opinion (quelle que soit votre opinion) about diets and fasting, it is clear that food and diets are big business and are always an interesting topic of conversation. Here are some expressions to help you talk about diets and fasting:

To put on / lose weight – (prendre/ perdre du poids)

To be starving – Literal sense; to starve to death due to lack of food/ or an exaggerated statement when you haven’t eaten for a long time. (Mourir de faim)

I could eat a horse – You are so hungry you would even eat a horse (like the French ) (J’ai un faim de loup)

To be on a diet/go on a diet –  “I can’t eat chocolate, I’m on a diet” / “I must go on a diet, I’m fat!” (faire un régime)

Naughty but nice/ guilty pleasure – An expression often used in the context of food, to mean that something is bad, but it tastes good: ”Chocolate is naughty, but nice” (péché mignon) .

Eat like a pig – Eat too much or impolitely.

I’m stuffed – when you have eaten too much.

To have a sweet tooth – to like sweet food (avoir la dent sucré)

5-a-day – The recommended portion of fruit and vegetables per day.

Eat between meals – (grignoter entre les repas)

Watch what you eat – Be careful about the amounts or type of food that you eat.

Calorie controlled diet – (régime hypocalorique contrôlé)

I hope that you find this vocabulary useful and that you enjoy the pancakes during  Mardi Gras, but make sure you follow a healthy, balanced diet (une alimentation saine et équilibrée) …..most of the time!