A new book out this week in France touts "le forking" as the new way to lose weight.

"/> A new book out this week in France touts "le forking" as the new way to lose weight.

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New French diet: ‘Fork yourself thin’

A new book out this week in France touts "le forking" as the new way to lose weight.

New French diet:      'Fork yourself thin'
Helga Weber

In his book “Lose weight with the forking method” (Maigrir avec la méthode Forking), nutritionist Dr Jean-Michel Borys recommends only letting food past your lips that you can eat with a fork.

The theory is that forking will cut out lots of the most fatty foods that require a knife or a spoon, such as meat with rich sauces and ice cream. 

Eating with fingers is also forbidden if you’re forking, so cheeseburgers, crisps, pre-dinner snacks and bread are also out. 

The other supposed benefit of forking is that the method generally slows down eating, allowing people to feel full up more quickly and reduce the overall amount they consume. 

The approach was initially developed by French entrepreneur Ivan Gavriloff, who introduced it to Dr Borys.

“I was sceptical,” Dr Borys told Le Parisien newspaper. “But this gentleman was very nice, I listened and he convinced me.”

The doctor recommends that forking is practiced in the evenings, which he believes is the time food is mostly likely to be transformed into fat rather than energy. For other meals during the day, all cutlery is allowed.

The author said followers of the diet shouldn’t be too hard on themselves.

“If you’re invited to a dinner, you should accept,” he said. “It’s difficult to eat foie gras with a fork so if you’re at a party, just go ahead like your friends. Stress makes us fatter.”

Dr Borys has tried the approach on 500 patients attempting to lose weight. On average, he claims they lose 1.5 kilograms a month.

Two types of forking are detailed in the book, strict forking and soft forking. The strict method allows only vegetables, cereals such as rice and pasta and fish. Soft forking also permits white meat chopped into cubes, raw beef, shell fish and eggs.

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France brings in free contraception for all women aged 18-25

Free birth control for all women under 25 will be available in France from Saturday, expanding a scheme targeting under-18s to ensure young women don't stop taking contraception because they cannot afford it.

France brings in free contraception for all women aged 18-25
A doctor holds an interuterine contraceptive device (IUD) before inserting it in a patient. Photo: Adek Berry/AFP

The scheme, which could benefit three million women, covers the pill, IUDs, contraceptive patches and other methods composed of steroid hormones. Contraception for minors was already free in France.

Several European countries, including Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands and Norway, make contraception free for teens. Britain makes several forms of contraception free to all.

France announced the extension to women under 25 in September, saying surveys showed a decline in the use of contraception mainly for financial reasons.

The move is part of a series of measures taken by President Emmanuel Macron’s government to boost women’s rights and alleviate youth poverty. The free provision is supported by women’s groups including the association En Avant Tous.

“Between 18 and 25-years-old, women are very vulnerable because they lose a lot of rights compared to when they were minors and are very precarious economically,” spokeswoman Louise Delavier told AFP.

Leslie Fonquerne, an expert in gender issues, said there was more to be done.

“This measure in no way resolves the imbalance in the contraceptive burden between women and men,” the sociologist said.

In some developed countries, the free contraception won by women after decades of campaigning is coming under attack again from the religious right.

In the United States, former president Barack Obama’s signature health reform, known as Obamacare, gave most people with health insurance free access to birth control.

But his successor Donald Trump scrapped the measure, allowing employers to opt out of providing contraception coverage on religious grounds — a decision upheld by the Supreme Court in 2020.

Poland’s conservative government has also heavily restricted access to emergency contraception as part of its war on birth control.