The reason I gained ten pounds during my month-long stay in Paris was because I ate French food without following these rules. The American sized portions I was served by my French family (who was forewarned of our famous western appetites) were consumed in a matter of minutes, since I am used to wolfing my food down for sustenance and not for experience. Meanwhile, it was rude to leave the table while everyone else was eating, and I was offered second helpings as a way to pass the time. Sometimes third helpings. The traditional cheese and bread served after the meal didn’t help either, not to mention dessert. And even the insane amount of walking I did in that month did not keep my weight level. I shudder to think what I would have looked like if I had kept my previous sedentary lifestyle in addition to all that raclette.