A big reason why the French are leaner than we are is that the majority of them eat their largest meal in midday, from 12:20 to 2:30 PM. The meal is eaten slowly, with friends or other distractions. The French are not crazy workaholics.
I am not saying by this that food eaten at night is more likely to be stored as fat. That myth was destroyed by a study in 1998, and should never be mentioned again. You can look at the globe and see that in the countries around the world where people eat late, i.e. the hot countries, people are the leanest.
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