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

3.49  ·  Rating details ·  13,955 Ratings  ·  1,649 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 28th 2005 by Random House Large Print Publishing (first published January 1st 2004)
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Ganesh
Jan 12, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cookbooks, food, culture
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
Carmen
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.


THE BAD:

- 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
...more
Aj
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
...more
Kristl
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
...more
fivethousandbooks
Mar 03, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: truestory, 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
...more
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)
...more
Jonnie
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
...more
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
...more
Oceana2602
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.
...more
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
...more
Sarah
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:
...more
Venessa
Jan 05, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Agatha Donkar
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.
Suzanne
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.

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
Rebekah 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.
Molly
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
...more
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
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
...more
Margaret
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.

Recommended.
Melissa
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
...more
Biz
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
Roxanne
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.
Cher
May 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, audiobook
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.
------------------------------------------
...more
Jen
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
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
Quanti
May 13, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
No... kdybych měla shrnout, co jsem si z toho odnesla, tak by to bylo asi "jezte všechno, ale s mírou, chlastejte šampaňské a všude choďte pěšky". Jako dobrý, ale na 280 stránek trochu málo :D
Mo
May 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Here’s the good news… I quit smoking more than 3 months ago – HOORAY!
Here’s the bad news… I’ve since gained 12 pounds, and my clothes don’t fit, and swim suit weather is right around the corner, and my daughter has a pool – BOO HOO!

Consequently, I’ve been reading a slew of diet/health books lately. Most of them I skim, but this one I read (off-and-on) from cover to cover. It seems to offer a lot of reasonable advice that would be sustainable in the long term. For example, you can have a piece of
...more
korey
Dec 10, 2007 rated it really liked it
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
Judyta Szaciłło
Jul 24, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cookbooks
Basically, it's an old story. Perhaps it's groundbreaking for the people in the US, but I can't see how it contributes to the general state of knowledge about how to eat. The author is so focused on her beloved French nation that she completely overlooks the fact that there are many other nations in Europe that have slim women and take care of the quality of food they eat. The book is slightly pretentious, overloaded with French phrases that I imagine may cause significant difficulty in understa ...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.” 13 likes
“We can't imagine anything more boring than to live with someone who doesn't care about food or eating or sharing meals.” 8 likes
More quotes…