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The French Diet: Why French Women Don't Get Fat Hardcover – 1 May 2005

3.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: DK Publishing (Dorling Kindersley) (1 May 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 075661578X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0756615789
  • Product Dimensions: 15.8 x 2 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,003,488 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Would have liked more context about female culture in France.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Thank you !!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x98c77b70) out of 5 stars 25 reviews
182 of 192 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x98c785d0) out of 5 stars For Montignac, Glycemic Outcome is the Answer 3 May 2005
By Diana Faillace Von Behren - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In the wake of Mireille Guiliano's runaway best selling lifestyle memoir, "French Women Don't Get Fat," French dieting guru Michel Montignac reformats his popular "Montignac Method" for an American audience and renames it "The French Diet: The Secrets of Why French Women Don't Get Fat." His secret? Eat real food with a low average glycemic index.

Anyone familiar with Montignac's theories which were rather flagrantly adapted over ten years ago by the creators of the Sugarbusters regime and Suzanne Somers' Somersizing system and worked over to create million dollar dieting empires replete with how-to books, recipes, web sites, food products and a variety of other spin-offs including teeth whitening agents, will appreciate this compact volume that spits out the dieting principles in a minimum of pages, succinctly explains why the diet will work for life and facilitates even the most unimaginative dieter with complete menus for breakfast, lunch and dinner with accompanying recipes.

In the mid-eighties, Montignac wrote "Dine Out and Lose Weight," in sympathy for business people everywhere like himself that had gained too much weight from heavy business dinners and couldn't see a way to remain polite without the need of going up a waist size. Simply stated, he forbid the consumption of high glycemic carbohydrates with fats and proteins, explaining that the insulin release from increased blood sugar levels stores the fats ingested rather than burns them for energy. Montignac Method meals then, were either carbohydrate based or protein/fat based. Only on the maintenance phase of the diet were some lower glycemic carbohydrates allowed to ride side-car with their fattier macronutritional counterparts. Strictly forbidden on any phase were the usual suspect high-glycemic demons of sugar, white flour and other processed foods.

In "The French Diet," Montignac no longer seems caught up with adhering to his former strict dichotomy between carbs and fats. Now refreshingly, he turns his attention on the concept of GO or glycemic outcome as an explanation of the so-called French Paradox. Roughly speaking, GO takes an "average" look at the glycemic index of the entire meal, rather than its individual components. For example, eating a potato (admittedly a bad example as potatoes are forbidden on phase 1) with a high GI should be balanced with the consumption of really low glycemic, high fiber vegetables, keeping the entire GO to a level of 50 or less. For Montignac, keeping a meal at a GO level of less than 35 will result in weight loss. Anything above 50 will start packing that fat back into its favorite storage location -- your abdomen.

In addition, he throws out standard nutritional definitions categorizing carbs as either slow of fast burning, refuses to believe that caloric input and output (in the form of exercise) monitors weight loss or gain and adheres strictly to the premise that selecting foods based on their nutritional value and the effects they have on metabolism is the secret to maintaining one's weight for life. Under Montignac's plan, carbs are no longer public enemy number one and fats, the bad boys of the AHA regime are, no surprise, great if they are either omega 3 or monounsaturated fatty acids-saturated fats are used sparingly and trans fats are a no-no. As expected, proteins should be selected by origin - the best choices, of course, being fish, chicken, turkey, etc. Foods labeled as `funky'(combinations of carbs and fats like nuts and tofu) by similar food combining plans are thankfully no longer `funky' on this one.

If you thought "French Women Don't Get Fat," fun to read, but contained little dieting tenets, you will like Montignac's "The French Diet". His easy-to-understand format feeds into the American need for empiricism with just enough layman friendly science backed by hard facts and medical studies. The bottom line? Following a balanced diet of real food while tweaking the glycemic index to your best interest puts all current dietary fads to shame.
49 of 49 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x999a3078) out of 5 stars Great for diabetics 2 Dec. 2005
By Ines Hajjar - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I purchased this book 4 years ago under the title "Eat Yourself Slim" after visiting my family in Canada where this book was popular. Following this diet was easy, I was never hungry, I lost weight. The best news was that as a diabetic on medication, 3 months later my diabetis was under control, no more pills and my doctor was amazed. Highly recommend it.
62 of 65 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9abafbac) out of 5 stars I lost weight, feel great, and I'm not hungry! 21 May 2005
By Sugar Addict - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Mr. Montignac is the real deal. I have friends in Europe who have been eating the 'Montignac way' for years, but until this book was published in the US he was unknown to me. Four weeks ago I began following Mr. Montignac's eating plan, and I have discovered a new and wonderful way to eat. I have lost the weight I wanted to lose (8 pounds), I'm no longer addicted to sugar (I basically lived on sweets and pasta), and I'm eating plenty. I love 'The French Diet' because it includes recipes, easy to follow eating information, and the science behind the eating methods. I plan to follow the French diet forever -- it's not really a diet, but a way of life.
34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x98c78a08) out of 5 stars This is the REAL way to lose weight 20 Jun. 2006
By PugLuvr - Published on
Format: Hardcover
My husband and I have tried every diet known to man (and woman). All have had some flaw or another that made them difficult to maintain (boring, expensive, just plain hungry). This diet focuses on Glycemic Index, so many carbs and fats are acceptable. The diet is very easy to follow long term, we don't get hungry, and many of the recipes included are really good! We even eat chocolate and drink wine... regularly!!! And we have each lost about 15 pounds in the 3 months we have been following this plan. This is a great plan for long term success, and is our new way of eating. It's not an instant weight loss program, but finally one we have found that we can comfortably follow for the long term and lose weight consistently.
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x98c78bac) out of 5 stars Sensible - with statistics to back it... 10 Sept. 2005
By d'Isigny - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This book isn't about a quick fix or fad but a lifestyle shift to better eating. It does not tell you things you absolutely cannot eat. In fact, items discounted by most diets are sometimes encouraged. The book points out that the French eat cheeses, chocolates, and other good foods but have a low obesity rate - among the lowest in the world. The book also points out that, while America has been on a fat cutting kick for nearly 15 or more years, our obesity rate is up nearly 30% in that same time. The book focus' on sensible, sound nutrition, and the way our bodies process certain foods.

This book puts much of it's focus, usually with years of reaserch backing its theories, on the glycmic index and how sugars in foods are coverted to fat and stored. It isn't just about fat. There are even handy charts ranking foods from high 100's to low. They offer GI suggestions to loose weight, and to maintence weight. The book also offers menu ideas with a recipe section in the back.

I had to disagree with one of the previous reviewers who, to me, seemed to miss the point of the book. I will add that I have been to France and tasted their food, which is full of flavor and amazing even in the smallest cafés. Here, it too often seems that we focus more on quantity and cost. Our portions are larger and the food, overall, seems less flavorful. The focus in France seems to be quality and flavor. This book - to me and others in my family who have read it - is definately worth the reasonable price.

(Lastly: In France there is a lot more walking and less driving around. Something the book doesn't spend much time on.)
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