I'm attempting to read and review 100 Books in 2013. You can read all about The 100 Books Project here.
As a rule I don't read diet books. I sometimes read cookbooks because I'm interested in food, and I love a good memoir. Having recently finished The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry: Love, Laughter, and Tears in Paris at the World's Most Famous Cooking School by Kathleen Flinn and wanting more of the same, I picked up French Women Don't Get Fat
hoping I'd like what I found.
It's not really the same, but I did enjoy reading it. I liked Guiliano's style, more gentle guidance than scolding. She starts off with her own background - how she found out the hard way about the difference between French food life and American food life on a high school year abroad. She was handed much of the advice she gives in the book by a man she calls Dr. Miracle. She also includes many of the lessons she learned from her mother. It's nice to think that she's just sharing advice with the world that worked for her for most of her life.
The thing I liked about this book was that it's not really a diet book. It's a common sense book. The first thing she says is to write down what you eat everyday for 3 weeks. This is to get a handle on the kinds of things you're eating, the obvious patterns that get you into trouble. The rest of the advice is simple: drink lots of water, walk as much as you can, take the stairs, don't eat standing up, and eat slowly.
Guiliano posits that being a French woman is a state of mind. The goal is not to be thin but to be "bien dans sa peau" or comfortable in one's skin. I felt good reading this book; there was advice in it that I could use and I didn't feel like I was reading some crazy Hollywood diet book.