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Publisher's Summary

Stylish, convincing, wise, funny, and just in time: the ultimate non-diet book, which could radically change the way you think and live.

French women don't get fat, but they do eat bread and pastry, drink wine, and regularly enjoy three-course meals. In her delightful tale, Mireille Guiliano unlocks the simple secrets of this "French paradox", how to enjoy food and stay slim and healthy. Hers is a charming, sensible, and powerfully life-affirming view of health and eating for our times.

Now in simple but potent strategies and dozens of recipes you'd swear were fattening, Mireille reveals the ingredients for a lifetime of weight control, from the emergency weekend remedy of Magical Leek Soup to everyday tricks like fooling yourself into contentment and painless new physical exertions to save you from the StairMaster. Emphasizing the virtues of freshness, variety, balance, and always pleasure, Mireille shows how virtually anyone can learn to eat, drink, and move like a French woman.

A natural raconteur, Mireille illustrates her philosophy through the experiences that have shaped her life: a six-year-old's first taste of Champagne, treks in search of tiny blueberries (called myrtilles) in the woods near her grandmother's house, a near-spiritual rendezvous with oysters at a seaside restaurant in Brittany, to name but a few. She also shows us other women discovering the wonders of "French in action", drawing examples from dozens of friends and associates she has advised over the years to eat and drink smarter and more joyfully.

Here are a culture's most cherished and time-honored secrets recast for the twenty-first century. For anyone who has slipped out of her zone, missed the flight to South Beach, or accidentally let a carb pass her lips, here is a buoyant, positive way to stay trim. A life of wine, bread, even chocolate, without girth or guilt? Pourquoi pas?

©2004 Mireille Guiliano; (P)2005 Books on Tape

Critic Reviews

"It's hard not to be enlivened by a [weight-control] book that celebrates both chocolate and bread, and espouses such wisdom as 'Life without pasta? Perish the thought'. (The Washington Post Book World)
"A common sense diet based on both restraint and simple exercise, Guiliano's diet stresses that food consumption ought to be deliberate and pleasurable and done always sitting at table with appropriate napery." (Booklist)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
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  • Story

Wish I had this book pre-college!

I wish I had read this book before going to college where, in the throws of constant stress and laziness, I developed bad eating habits! Mom's, this is a great book for a teenage daughter leaving home for college/returning home from college/living on her own for the first time.

This isn't a diet book. This is a grown-up girl's guide to eating. Most of us aren't as lucky as Mireille Guiliano, who found a kind family doctor to help her reprogram her eating habits when she found herself over her ideal weight. Instead, most of us turn to the gym and dieting to quickly fix weeks/months/years of transgressions. This book offers a holistic approach to well-being and will help you form a new relationship with food.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Kathlyn
  • Salt Lake City, UT, United States
  • 07-02-12

Enjoyable Audio

What made the experience of listening to French Women Don't Get Fat the most enjoyable?

I watch my weight carefully and found the French women's approach to be more self control over diet rather than more exercise in order to eat.

Any additional comments?

Throwing in a few French phrases makes it appealing for one who is trying to learn French as myself.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Very inspiring and nostalgic!

Would you listen to French Women Don't Get Fat again? Why?

The book brought back memories of growing up in Europe. The author is so right about how American eating habits vary from the Europeans. Lots of great recipes. I tried a bunch. So much fun.

What other book might you compare French Women Don't Get Fat to and why?

"Bringing up Bebe" - another look at French, mostly about parenting but a lot about eating and food habits. Very helpful.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Kristen
  • CONCORD, NH, United States
  • 04-21-12

Bon appetit!

What made the experience of listening to French Women Don't Get Fat the most enjoyable?

I put off reading this book for a long time. I thought it was just another diet book. However, after reading a book where "French Women Don't Get Fat" was referenced I decided to give it a go. I ended up loving it. It's not a diet book, it talks about a way of life. A holistic way of living. I think it was filled with a lot of good advice and good recipes.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Well, Mireille of course!

What does Kathe Mazur bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

How to actually say the french words.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

This is non-fiction, so I don't know if moving is an accurate word to describe it. However, it did inspire me to eat leeks for the first time in my life (and as it turns out, I LOVE them!). I also started walking to work and drinking a lot more water.

Any additional comments?

Honestly, I loved this book, but I think it would be better to have a hard copy because of all the recipes in it. I listened to it first and then bought the hardcover.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Jean
  • White Marsh, MD, United States
  • 11-08-11

Loving French and Food!

Would you listen to French Women Don't Get Fat again? Why?

Yes, a matter of fact, after I listened, I had to own a copy (and I bought the cookbook too).

What was one of the most memorable moments of French Women Don't Get Fat?

The most memorable moment was when the writer returned from America (20 lbs overweight) and her father said she looked like a sack of potatoes.

Which character – as performed by Kathe Mazur – was your favorite?

The main character

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The love of food... that it's ok to enjoy and celebrate natural foods. You can strike a harmony with your food intake and daily activity level that is nearly effortless and sustainable for a lifetime.

Any additional comments?

I just love the french language and I can appreciate how it's sprinkled into this book.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Rachel
  • North Bay, Ontario, Canada
  • 08-31-10

Fantastic!

Great recipes, that are also available on the author's website, and excellent information that's easy to apply to your everyday life to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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A light read for commutes

As a french person living in the United States, I strongly identified with the cultural differences in eating and story. The narrator does not however pronounce the french words correctly.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Different way of thinking of things

I really liked the different views this book presented. Never again will I sit down mindlessly - without making that choice consciously - to eat a meal without looking at it and taking in the beauty. I have recommended this book to 3 others already.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Don't Get This Version

The narrator was awful! What was she reading, the phone book? To really enjoy this book, you must get the abridged version, read by Mireille Guiliano. Even when I am not thinking about a lifestyle change, I love to listen to her insights on life and food. She speaks about food the way most people talk about a lover, but it is impossible to enjoy when read by Kathe. Get the abridged and be happy!

12 of 14 people found this review helpful

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Loved it!

Totally enjoyed this book. Did the leek soup and enjoy that as well. Would recommend this to all women and girls.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful