I live in Paris and here are partial explanations:
- tiny apartments and no tv. There is no way you can stay home in front of the tube all night. Fridges are small in most apartments.
- The streets are a big catwalk where everyone shows off all day just for fun.
- I keep being surprised that everyone systematically eats dessert at every meal too. But I rarely see anyone snacking.
- EVERYBODY smokes.
-The service in restaurants is really slow which might also explain the little food consumed in a a very long period of time.
- no one drinks lattes and the other Starbucks drinks.
- you spend your money shopping and not eating.
I moved here 7 months ago and I am still losing weight, even though I am totally fetishizing food here and have stopped "controlled exercising" completely.