French Women Don’t Get Fat by Mireille Guiliano


Blogging about baking has been playing havoc with my weight.

Actually, that’s not entirely true. To be completely honest (and to be fair to blogging), I’ve been eating too much of my baking and so I have put on weight. Blogging is just a good excuse to bake a lot.

I read French Women Don’t Get Fat by Mireille Guiliano when it first came out, years and years ago. (I was comparatively thin then). I’ve also read the 5-2 diet books, the South Beach diet books, the Cabbage Soup diet books and many other diet books. The problem is, reading diet books doesn’t lead to weight loss. I exercise a lot and am quite fit, but exercise doesn’t lead to weight loss either, although exercise does make you feel good.

Sadly, the only thing that leads to weight loss is eating less, and I just don’t want to eat less. I want to eat more. Especially baked things with sweetened condensed milk in them.

However, I enjoyed reading French Women Don’t Get Fat the first time around and re-read it for a bit of inspiration. I’ve even made a recipe from it, leek soup, which you are supposed to eat for two days straight. One day was bad enough, and don’t even ask how my stomach felt on the second day.

What I did enjoy about this book was the glamour. Mireille Guiliano really seems to have her act together.

To prove my point, she is:

  • French.
  • thin.
  • a good cook who regularly eats out, including dessert.
  • President and CEO of Cliquot Inc and drinks as much champagne as she likes. (I don’t drink, so could care less about champagne, but is does sound like a very glamorous gig).

The recipes are set amongst the author’s stories of growing up in France, then gaining weight after an extended trip to the USA, and losing the unwanted weight and maintaining a healthy weight (using Leek Soup).

The author explains how on her return to France, on the advice of her doctor,  she recorded everything she ate for three months before making changes to her diet. The changes were simple. A ‘re-casting’ which involves a short term fast, followed by a more sensible eating plan with occasional treats, (in other words, so you have something to live for).

The author is a promoter of eating well and enjoying what you eat. For example, if you are going to eat chocolate (and you know you will), then buy good quality chocolate and enjoy it. Don’t splurge on cheap, nasty chocolate. Likewise, meals. Eat good, wholesome food in season. There is nothing ground-breaking in the author’s advice, but she gives it charmingly.

The book contains some very good tips to ensure that you eat sensibly and stay hydrated, which are important for maintaining healthy weight. The tip I would benefit most from though is to eat a little bit of dessert, then stop and have someone take my plate away. Not going to happen.