This book details the experience that Mireille Guiliano, a French woman, had as an exchange student in the United States that inevitably led to her gaining weight for the first time in her life. Upon returning to France, with the help of the families' doctor, she got back in touch with the "French way" of eating in order to lose weight. The concept that this book wants to drive home is moderation. Everything can be done with moderation...and of course the class and poise of a French woman.
What surprised me was that the book did not really cover anything about exercise because apparently French women don't like to sweat it out in the gym. Looking back on my 10 day trip to France in high school, we walked....everywhere. And so did all of the natives. Although I was enjoying baguettes, nutella filled crepes, and croissants daily, I did not gain an ounce while I was away. The author spoke about little tips and tricks like taking the stairs instead of the escalator or elevator when you are going up less than 3 flights of stairs. She relived her experiences in apartments while going to school about how she was able to coast up and down endless flights of stairs while others remained huffing and puffing after 1 measly flight. However, her coasting led to her coasting her behind to the store to get jeans in a smaller size, so it is hard to complain.
The majority of this book focuses on how to eat like a French woman. Like most diets, the author suggests a detox with a special leek soup that helps your body get rid of water weight. I was happy to hear that the food portion was not only realistic, but it was easy to follow. Most diets need you to go out into the forest and find some native root to grind up and mix into your food, but this book really only used ingredients that most people should be able to find in their local grocery store. However, I will say that this book is not a get-skinny-quick book by any means. The method used is much more the slow and steady weight loss approach. As with any diet, if you are very overweight, you will lose more in the beginning from making simple changes to your lifestyle, but then again, you have more pounds to lose in general then.
The only major drawback in the book is the author's style of writing. Not only does she use French words in nearly every paragraph of the book without translations, but as a reader, I felt a bit like she was preaching that French women are amazing and us Americans are just fast food loving, unhealthy, non stair taking buffoons. I kept thinking that this trend would go away after the first few chapters, but it did not. And my four years of high school French did not help me get through the French verbiage any faster either.
All in all, I thought it was a decent read for anyone who is just beginning their weight loss journey and needs a quick and easy read to get them started. It isn't an overly difficult book to get immersed in, and you can just skip over the French words and you will be a-okay. You may also want to read it if you are just looking to read about simple ways to incorporate your goals of being healthy into your life (that's me!)
If you are looking for the kindle edition of French Women Don't Get Fat, follow the previous link.
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