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French Women Don't Get Fat: The Secret of Eating for Pleasure
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French Women Don't Get Fat: The Secret of Eating for Pleasure

3.53  ·  Rating details ·  16,650 ratings  ·  1,863 reviews
The million copy, ultimate #1 bestseller that is changing the way Americans eat and live

Don't Diet
Eat Chocolate
Drink Wine
Take Long Walks
Enjoy Life
Stay Slim the French way

Experience the joie de vivre of French Women Don't Get Fat by Mireille Guiliano.
Hardcover, Large Print, 263 pages
Published December 1st 2005 by Random House Large Print Publishing (first published January 1st 2004)
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Lucy B I truly don't. The part where her father shamed her for her weight definitely struck me as being off putting that someone would be so direct to a youn…moreI truly don't. The part where her father shamed her for her weight definitely struck me as being off putting that someone would be so direct to a young girl about her weight, but this is a part of her story and she relayed it. It's not right that people say these things to their family members, but many people are still shamed for their weight especially by loved ones. She didn't want to look like that so she took matters into her own hands by consulting a doctor. I think that is far more noble than the crash dieting that we see today with minimal to no science to back it up.
I personally did not see the fatphobia in this novel, rather I took away the message "eat for pleasure, but eat in moderation" with the focus being placed on excess being the problem. (less)

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Jan 12, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cookbooks, culture, food
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
Apr 01, 2017 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: No One
Making choices that are meaningful to you is the essence of the French woman's secret.

Rating and reviewing this is going to be very difficult.

Let's first establish that diet books are anathema to me. Dieting is the anti-Carmen. And make no mistake about it, this IS a diet book.

Let's break this down.


- Advising people to track their eating for three weeks and then have 48 hours where they eat nothing but leek soup (ingredients: leeks, water) and water is a great way to jumpstart an eating
Jan 08, 2009 rated it did not like it
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
Mar 03, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, 2008
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
da AL
Aug 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The idea of staying healthy while enjoying food as well as life -- made me enjoy reading this book more than once!
Jul 05, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: before-2012
Personal touch works! Well-structured and conveyed as a story, it is pleasant. It has a long section on food preparation and acquisition. Water loss facts were researched. Our teacher is LIFE. An ‘expert’ is not a degree-holder whose experiments are published! Mireille discovered what works and tells us.

‘America’ means the USA (Europeans forget to say ‘North America’) but I read with Canada in mind. Mireille emphasizes availability of fresh food in France while we’re buried in snow. The muted ta
May 02, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: women who want to view food differently
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
Valerie Sherman
Mar 08, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
May 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fic
While I'm not entirely naïve to believe a well-written book can change your life (insert some quote about how change starts with you) - this book was so deliciously and exquisitely worded, and as far as a "non-diet" book can influence an individual like me, consider it done.

Mireille expertly weaves personal experience, lifestyle advice and recipes and makes you fall in love with food. If you are, like me, already in love with food and haven't read this, then be prepared to be absolutely horny f
Meredith Holley
Jul 27, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed, non-fiction
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)
Nov 12, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  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.
Nat K
* Equilibrium is all
* Quality over quantity
* Fresh is best
* Eat seasonally
* Don’t eat in front of the TV
* Enjoy little pleasures daily, just don’t overindulge
(not too often anyway)
* Water, water and more water (drink up!)
* Champagne suits all occasions

“…a survey reveals that nine out of ten people admit to loving chocolate…and the tenth one is lying.”

I was quite shocked when I saw that the print date of this book was 2005. Was it really that long ago that it was released? Time flies (and all th
May 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
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.

A philosophy of savoring the sensual indulgences is exactly what helps keep the French in equilibrium. There is no shame in rich food so there is no need to hoard/scarf/smuggle/sneak it by the handful. There will be more bread/chocolate/pastry again soon so you don't have to download as muc
Ivonne Rovira
Aug 07, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm pretty heavy, and I've tried a lot of diets -- and failed miserably. Giving up potatoes for life, constantly counting calories or points or carbs, fasting alternatively -- none of those diets worked for me. However, Mireille Guiliano has really inspired me! Gradually, cutting down on what she calls "offenders" -- sweets, bread, hard alcohol -- doesn't seem like a hardship when you know that these favorites aren't banished altogether, just reduced to a moderate amount. Rationally, I knew I ne ...more
Aug 13, 2008 added it
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:
Agatha Lund
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.
Apr 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Renee Amberg
Ahhh the joys of international travel days ... reading a few books in one day. I really loved Guilianos dietary advice and personally have lived my life around these “French” rules for a while, which makes me wonder if she was the first to introduce them. They were great reminders for sticking to a healthy life and how living a lifestyle is so much more beneficial and happier than living life hating food and yo yo dieting. Half the book was recipes (which I haven’t explored yet) and obviously su ...more
R.J. Rodda
Oct 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I consider this book life changing. It contains great recommendations for simple healthy lifestyle changes. I credit this book with helping me lose weight after baby number three.
Sally Siawidjaja
Dec 29, 2008 rated it did not like it
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
Aug 01, 2019 rated it it was ok
Oh my gosh, I totally forgot I read this book years ago until I saw another reviewers comments and could not stop laughing.

Here's my personal viewpoint. The French are not the ones to emulate in-spite of all their so called knowledge of food, wine, style and their "healthy good sense". Why? Because, birds eat more than they do! Who wants to live like that? Of course, they think they are the experts in food, fashion, women...blah blah blah.

In my opinion, the people to emulate are the Italians.
Feb 26, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Amy by: Rachel Chen
2.5 stars
Reading this book reminded me of eating out with my Grandma. You spend half the time enjoying her outspokenness and the other half hoping the waiter did not spit in your food.
I think I enjoyed it, though it was not necessarily a book for me. The author alienated me with her tone. I found her pretentious. (Pretentious might be the wrong word. I do think she knows what she is talking about. She just sounds so smug about it all!)
I also don't particularly care about my weight (at least, n
Annie ⚜️
Feb 27, 2020 rated it liked it
I enjoyed her story. The diet? Not so much but if it works for you cool. I can’t subsist on leek soup.
Oct 02, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A lot of this is common sense, but it's common sense that seems to have eluded a lot of people in the United States, myself included. Things like:

- Savor smaller amounts of real, delicious food instead of processed or diet foods
- Eat seasonally
- Balance your indulgences. Have something rich for lunch? Eat lighter at dinner or the next day, to regain your equilibrium.
- Don't torture yourself sweating at the gym - not chic! Instead incorporate more activity into your daily life by walking, taking
Apr 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017-challenge, food
According to the list at the back of this book I am culturally French. Who knew?

An odd and interesting little book on Food, the French way of life, and the secrets of French women. The major secret appears to be "Don't feel guilty about what you eat." This is something I can live with.

There are a few interesting recipes scattered throughout the book, which the author cannot appear to decide whether it is a lifestyle book, cookbook, or personal memoir.

Makes for an interesting read.

Oct 20, 2009 rated it liked it
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
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
May 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
4 stars - It was great. I loved it.

After a recent trip to France, I observed that the vast majority of French people are very svelte, men and women, young and old. Curiosity behind what was the cultural variance that created this noticeable BMI difference led me to this book. I felt the author has a very unique position of living the majority of her life with one foot in each country (USA and France), and I found her perspective to be thought provoking.
Apr 01, 2008 rated it it was ok
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
Apr 30, 2013 rated it it was ok
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. ...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

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