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Nibbling on Mireille Guiliano’s French Women Don’t Get Fat

How do the French stay so thin? – I’ve spent some time in France and trust me, French women get fat just like the rest of us.  Sophisticated urban French women don’t as a rule, but then neither do sophisticated urban American women.  But I have to agree with Mireille Guiliano that French women eat more and have more fun staying thin than their American counterparts.

French Women Don’t Get Fat (paperback edition published by Vintage, December, 2007) is a blend of Guiliano’s life story and her lifestyle advice.   As a French exchange student, she came to America a normal weight and went home fat (her father met her at the boat and told her she looked like a sack of potatoes), thus beginning her search for a way to have both croissants and designer clothes.  Now in her 60s and dividing her time between America and France, Guiliano offers anecdotes and recipes along with her basic philosophy– that Americans eat too much, sit too much, worry too much, and consequently, weigh too much.

Much of the book is right in line with the 2Rich2Thin philosophy, namely that food is not your enemy (in reasonable portions), that eating fabulous food can actually help you lose weight, and that starving and depriving yourself will only end in tears and mumus.  There are also some wonderful recipes for yummy French food.  On the other hand, I found the writing style a little pretentious (and trust me, if I find it pretentious, a normal person is in serious danger of rolling their eyes right out of their sockets).  When “France” or “French” appears so often in the book, most people are capable of remembering that the author is French without French phrases creeping cutely into the text, n’est-ce pas?  (By the way, I actually read French, and even I found the “franglais” annoying.)

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