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French Women Don't Get Fat
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French Women Don't Get Fat

3.44 of 5 stars 3.44  ·  rating details  ·  9,949 ratings  ·  1,290 reviews
Stylish, convincing, wise, funny, and just in time: the ultimate non-diet book, which could radically change the way you think and live – now with more recipes.French women don’t get fat, even though they enjoy bread and pastry, wine, and regular three-course meals. Unlocking the simple secrets of this “French paradox” – how they enjoy food while staying slim and healthy – ...more
ebook, 272 pages
Published December 28th 2004 by Vintage (first published January 1st 2004)
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Ganesh
So, two winters ago when I started to put on a little weight, I didn't sweat it at first. I figured "hey, it's normal to put on a few pounds when it's cold out." But when one morning I had difficulty zipping up my pants, I decided to get serious and apply the ideas from this book.

Confession: in the past, whenever I gained weight, I would call up my closest friend and moan "Omigawd! I'm so faaaat!" Inspired by this book, I decided not to go into hysterics. Instead, I decided to remain calm, love
...more
Aj
Read in a moment of desperation at my parents' over Xmas vacation. (Picked up from the book exchange in the basement of their NYC building.)

The basic message is that French women don't get fat because they move more than American women, eat good food but in moderation, and enjoy life. I disliked the generalization that American women don't to cook at home, cook what's in season, use good quality ingredients, and to eat in moderation and to try to move more. I disliked her assumption that anyone
...more
Kristl
May 02, 2007 Kristl rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: women who want to view food differently
Shelves: food
While I don't believe that French women don't ever get fat, I have to say I was enticed by the tiny woman toting her tiny dog and her wine and baguettes on the cover. Yeah, I admit it. I'm all about the marketing.

I reread this diet book that's a self-proclaimed "not diet book" after the New Year, just to check back in with some concepts that had been blurred by post-wedding gluttony and holiday stretchy pants.

Based on her own experiences, Mireille Guiliano offers a very French answer to a very A
...more
Sparrow
Old posts are in spoiler tags below, so you don't have to see them every time I write something new. But, don't worry, I'm not spoilering the outcome of the book. YOU'LL NEVER GUESS WHAT HAPPENS! Okay, if you want to know: (view spoiler).

(view spoiler)
...more
Oceana2602
Mar 30, 2009 Oceana2602 rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who know nothing about food and try to lose weight with wonder diets
This is the kind of book your mother gives you for christmas along with the question if it's the new fashion to wear those jeans so tight.
And why, yes, my mother gaves this to me (which is why I read the german version, here. Thanks so much, mom.

Still, I have to give it to Mrs Guiliano (who is not my mother, but the author of the book), she knows about food. And eating. And when and what not to eat.


Her "secret" is that you can eat whatever you want, as long as you never eat too much of anything.
...more
Juliet
ok... a chocolate croissant for breakfast?! That is a certainty that I would put a kilo or two on before 9:30am! But I've read so much hype for/against this book so can't wait to read it!

Mar 8 - started this last night and am already halfway through. Que horror!! Ze woman gained 10 kilos in zee visit in zee States! *raise eyebrows* It's not the end of the world honey. Have another glass of bubbly.

Mar 10 - as I continued reading the book, the more annoyed I become. It sounded more and more like
...more
Venessa
Really the secret: eating sensibly. And this is not a diet book, more a lifestyle guide. Sensible things and sensible portions; I’d cut out the meat, being a vegetarian, but most of the recipes were absolutely delectable sounding, especially the pastries. Start with a three week inventory of everything you eat: Guiliano insists that you’ll notice your offenders and be ready for a change before the time is up. Follow that with a weekend of nothing but magical leek soup, which will drain the water ...more
A.
All the advice she gives is spot-on (drink more water, eat smaller portions, eat more fruit) but Giuliano was so damn smug that I spent most of this book wanting to smack her, not wanting to listen to her advice. Alas.
Sarah
I LOVED this book and the author's point of view on eating. Here it is in a nutshell:
-It's all about a balance between indulgence and self control.
-Don't buy "diet foods" like skim milk and fake butter. They aren't satisfying so you just end up eating more. Certainly avoid chemically-altered "nonfoods."
-Don't give up the things you love; do give up the things that you can live without. Never eat something just because it's there. If you put it in your mouth it should be for one of two reasons:
...more
Zelda
Well, that was a pleasant surprise. I avoided this book when it was so immensely popular the way I try to avoid all NYT Best Sellers. How it ended up in my library bag 7 years later is a mystery for the ages.

I have a love/hate relationship with France in which I hate that I love it and I love to hate it. I try to keep my past Francophile leanings on the down low. Sure, I took 4 years of French in college, won the university's French poetry competition (for a dirty limerick I scratched out in 15
...more
Valerie Sherman
It's easy to feel defensive about the author's assault on the American lifestyle, and I think it's hard for some people to get over that aspect of the book. But, like it or not, the author is right about a lot of things:

* France (and the rest of the Mediterranean) does not have a weight problem. America does.

* Americans do not move enough, do not personally prepare their own food enough, and do not cook seasonally.

* Americans are more concerned with getting cheap and convenient food than they ar
...more
Molly
I am not fat.

I haven't ever struggled with my weight, but that doesn't mean that I should eat whatever the hell I want and not expect to gain a few pounds here and there... I have always been fascinated by the way other cultures (non-Americans) have an ability to remain trim, while consuming wine, pastries, etc- and this book explains it! It is about enjoying your food, taking time to prepare it yourself, choosing seasonal fruits and veggies- and purposely indulging in foods you know are a vice
...more
K
Well, first off, this was not a great choice for audio. Guiliano's narrative (if that's the word) frequently degenerated into menus and recipes. Although I like cookbooks as much as the next gal, and probably more than many, it did get tedious to listen to the reader intone one recipe after another (especially as I was hoping the audiobook would engage me in something more interesting as I did my own cooking).

Having said that, I appreciated Guiliano's approach (although Guiliano claims it's rea
...more
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
I was not as impressed by this book as I should have been, given all the hype and popularity. Still worth reading, though, for the French perspective and a few good tips. I like her philosophy of self and life and food.

American women would do well to learn from her about temperate indulgence.

"One thing French women know is that the pleasure of most foods is in the first few bites; we rarely have seconds. The things we enjoy we don't enjoy as a matter of routine. Consider all the things you cons
...more
Sally Siawidjaja
Jan 12, 2009 Sally Siawidjaja rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: American with lots of spare time and money
Recommended to Sally by: None
Shelves: non-fiksi
I always got sucked in buying self improvement book hype from money management to diet books. Although most books haven't provide anything new that I haven't known myself, but once in a while I still like to remind myself, perhaps to give me a bit of motivation.

This book has some great points. It reminds the reader to have a healthy lifestyle, to eat home cooked meal with fresh ingredients, to eat in small portions, to eat more fresh fruits, drink more water and do more exercise. It also introd
...more
korey
I really enjoyed this book. I love the way this woman thinks and describes life from a French woman's perspective about food and life. This isn't a diet book. In fact, she's opposed to all the diets out there, especially the big ones that say no to all carbs. Something a French person would not even consider for a second. Okay, I admit, I'm probably a bit biased because the author is CEO of Veuve Cliquot in NYC. She loves champagne bien sur, and considers wine as a food. This book talks of pract ...more
Jen
So, my curiosity was peaked about this book, French Women Don't Get Fat, a long time ago when I actually still watched The Today Show and I saw Katie Couric interview the author. I thought, That's a good point. French women really do eat bread and cheese and chocolate and drink lots of wine, but they are almost all thin and well-dressed and adorable. I finally scored a copy on BookMooch and then it languished in my to-read pile for months before I was finally in the mood to pick it up and read i ...more
Erin
I found this book absolutely charming. It's not a diet book, in the traditional sense, but really a missive about how French women see life differently than American women, and eating is a huge part of that life. They eat with pleasure, which we all admit is something we rarely do (and I say that being unable to put down the second jelly-filled dunkin donut at my conference yesterday...*sigh*) and they eat logically. I try to take care of myself, eat right, exercise, but I suffer from bouts of t ...more
Biz
This book is a mostly common sense based "guide" by someone with no background in nutrition. Many ideas are great- starting the day with a glass of water instead of sugary juices, for example, make a lot of sense and are great for one's skin. Walking more and taking the stairs? Also good. Some of the recipes are SUPER delicious (ie Ratatouille). Not sure if advising an entire weekend of nothing but "magical" leek soup is sound advice- there's not much magical about boiling leeks, even if tastes ...more
Maggie
This is part of a larger program to feel better and live healthier.

Other than Guiliano's fascination with leeks, a lot of what she's saying we've heard before. Eat smaller portions. Eat fresh and seasonal. Sit down and savor your food. If you splurge, compensate. However, Guiliano relates all of this with continual references to Champagne (always capitalized), a scattering of bon mots, and a rather lovely sense of enthusiasm for good food and good living. The moral - stop being a lazy fatass and
...more
Cathy Douglas
I've decided to be nice about this book because I thought it was good-hearted and funny, and therefore will not take any stars away from it, even though the author succumbs to one of my pet peeves: assuming everyone speaks French. I don't. Instead of blasting the book, I will exact revenge by committing what has to be the biggest peeve of every right-thinking French person: Le Butcherie de Francoise.

I picked this up because I liked the title. After all, one has to guess there never will be a boo
...more
Catbird
I found this book through a Google search for "leek soup" (don't ask!) and have been thoroughly delighted in my find! Written by an American/French ex-pat, it delves into the wide gap between American and French perspectives on food and weight (among other things.) Dotted with stories from her childhood in France and corporate life in America as the CEO of Cliquot, Inc., it is both an easy and practical read, full of recipes and tried-and-true practices for obtaining and maintaining a healthy we ...more
Iris
Um, yes they do. In all seriousness though, this book provides good advice to living well: walk everywhere, eat healthy, eat locally and with the seasons, and treasure your food. If you want to move to Paris to do that, I'll meet you there. The author does provide some staggering, and personal, comparisons between her lifestyle in Europe and her lifestyle while living in America, and how it impacted her body. But she confesses that, while living in America, she stopped at the pastry shop every m ...more
Lexie Carroll
Sep 16, 2007 Lexie Carroll rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: foodies
An interesting story of a french woman (the author) who studies abroad in Boston when 18 and got quite fat off of brownies and cookies- and her weight-re-awakening once she got back in France. She shares the "secrets" that "all French women know" to keep a healthy weight. Which, when we read them, though enlightening, are things we already know. Drink more water. Sit down and enjoy your food rather than scarf it on the run. Eat higher quality foods in smaller amounts, rather than large amounts o ...more
Brittany
This book tells is what we already know. Basically, everything in moderation, eat more fruits and veggies, drink more water, and add moderate exercise, preferably walking, to your routine.

However, the lifelong Francophile in me loved it as a book which really gets into French culture more than we ever did in French class. I enjoyed picking up new French words and phrases, although non-French speakers might find it annoying.

I definitely found this book motivating. Furthermore, it is a plan you
...more
Antonia
There's a lot of good basic advice here, and I wish many of my women friends would read it. However, Guiliano does sound more than a bit smug at times. And unfortunately, she strays from science-based advice in a few places. One is in recommending a multivitamin. We now know better. I say “we” meaning people informed by science. Not the general public, unfortunately. What a multibillion dollar scam the vitamin industry is.

The author also harps throughout the book on the importance — mais oui, t
...more
Jane G Meyer
Well written, and fun--I loved much of what the author had to say, and feel that I'm a little closer to understanding that mysterious French psyche. I picked up several useful tips for staying healthy, and much of what she had to say is a confirmation as to how our family goes about food (with the exception of our fasting) but what I'm really excited about are the many recipes. Can't wait to try the vegetable soups!
Rachelfm
Consider my curiosity about an America that loves to hate on France but yet defers to their lifestyle and parenting satisfied.

Interculturally mildly interesting, but ultimately, a testament to marketing.
Roxanne
The ideas here don't justify several hundred pages of length, and the very idea of claiming your book isn't a diet book while advocating a weekend-long 'leek soup' fast is totally fucked.
Christine
I really liked this. I liked the author's writing style. She's really funny, especially one part when she's describing seeing her Dad for the first time in a year and how he was in such a shock with the weight she put up and said she looked like a bag of potatoes!

She gives a lot of advice about what French women do differently when trying to lose weight. I like it cause it doesn't encourage you to starve yourself so you'll look like some celebrity or whatever. It's more to do with being healthy
...more
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Internationally best-selling author Mireille Guiliano was for over 20 years the spokesperson for Champagne Veuve Clicquot and a senior executive at LVMH as well as CEO of Clicquot, Inc., the US firm she helped found in 1984 and was its first employee. Her first book, French Women Don't Get Fat: The Secret of Eating for Pleasure, became a runaway best seller around the globe in 2005. She followed u ...more
More about Mireille Guiliano...
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“Making choices that are meaningful to you is the essence of the French woman's secret.” 9 likes
“~Garbage in, garbage out~” 7 likes
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