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on 25 January 2017
I found this author quite patronising. In her view, it is all so simple but of course she doesn't mention that French women smoke like chimneys. There are some good tips but you will get so annoyed with her you won't finish it. I know I think I finally threw it against a wall without finishing it
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on 16 September 2013
Well I'll start with the good stuff first. There were some very good tips in this book - nothing hugely ground-breaking but it was a nice read and it makes you more aware of what you're stuffing in your face. It's advice that you already know but don't bother to adhere to, so the book is a good reminder and confirmation that, if you fail to do these things, you will indeed end up like a heifer. I hate exercise so was pleased you don't need to sweat your butt off (just move around a bit more and climb some stairs) but I've tried just limiting myself to one square of top-notch chocolate a day before and that was a complete failure so now I simply don't buy any at all!

The downside to the book is that she is really self-satisfied. At first it's just here and there but by the end of the book you're just skim-reading over the smugness and starting to hate her just a little bit. It does feel like we're all getting a sound ticking off and that French women are simply amazing and the rest of us are undisciplined fatties. The little French sayings here and there were also delightful at first but you tire of them pretty quickly.

So overall, a sweet little book - not earth-shattering, but good as a reminder to get you back on track and developing better habits. However it is also irritatingly self-satisfied and smug in parts.
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on 24 June 2017
Great book should be every womans bible.
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on 22 July 2017
Great book. Inspires you to eat in a mindful way, allowing yourself to enjoy foods instead of binging of them.
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on 27 June 2017
I have always wanted to read this book and it didn't disappoint at all.
Sensual, sophisticated and self-indulgent! No more diets for me!
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on 23 February 2014
I have not read the whole book yet, but seems interesting one. I have always wonder how french women stay so thin and this book help to understand it.
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on 18 November 2011
After reading this book, several things changed in my life:

1. I enjoy walking more, as this is the natural way of French women to keep weight on check.
2. I enjoy food more and take it slowly, as this is the way French women do to have a better digestion.
3. I eat more often but in small quantities, as French women never starve themselves but never staff themselves either.
4. I take a deep breath sometimes and make a yawn at work, as French women do this to keep stress level down

It is a fun book to read and change your life in a pleasant and positive way. Recommend to every woman who loves a balanced and healthy life!
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on 4 March 2013
As someone currently living on the outskirts of Paris I thought it would be instructive to read this to see if it agreed with my ideas of why so many French women I see seem to be slim bordering on skinny. How disappointing it was - and I will put my hands up and say I haven't read it through to the end as I found a lot of hard to read. In common with another reviewer I found the constant little 'Frenchisms' and badly written sentences extremely annoying. There are so many things I disliked about this book - the constant plugging of Veuve Clicquot, the leek soup (yeugh!), the order it pretend to eat it nonsense etc., but I thought I would try and get through it. However the last straw was after the recipe for Chicken au Champagne. After using one third of the bottle in cooking she says at the end that you should drink the rest of the bottle and will get 6 glasses from it. Good grief woman, are the glasses you use even visible?!

Observations of the women I see point mainly to one thing - they smoke instead of eat. I am convinced of this by the ones you see smoking while pushing prams or walking the kids to/from school, by the ones who stand outside office buildings and smoke and by the ones who sit huddled outside cafes in winter in the rain that cigarettes are used in a large part to control appetite. Fine, that is their choice, if not so pleasant for the rest of us, but it certainly wasn't something the author mentioned in the two-thirds of the book I did read. I am sure the French do exercise - I often see one of my neighbours on her exercise machine in the morning just before she comes out on to the balcony, in all weathers, for a cigarette.

And as for the point that all French women buy fresh food at markets, well words fail me. There is a very small market a fair way from me two mornings a week and other than that the usual supermarkets. So are the women who shop at the supermarkets only buying the frozen pizzas and ready meals (many of which are actually rather nice!) for the kids and not for themselves? I doubt it.

I am sorry I wasted money buying this book - I could have bought a rather nice bottle of wine instead!
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on 18 May 2006
...very much a case of Ministry of the Obvious!

Yes, I enjoyed reading this book, overall, but I also found the author's style very smug, very arrogant, very anti-American and not always accurate (hmmm, so French women don't exercise, eh? The author has clearly never been inside a gym in France then!).

Unless a person has a medical condition or medication that makes weight-loss problematical, it follows that smaller portions, slower eating, etc. will invariably result in weight loss. And, of course, the overwhelming majority of people - overweight or not - would not doubt this fact. What is clearly lacking is an understanding of (or a failure to refer to) WHY people overeat in the first place. THAT is the crux of the matter.

Maybe this book would be better read in conjunction with Susie Orbach's wonderful "On Eating"?
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on 18 November 2012
I love this book, it was a gift from my Mum when we moved to France and I really enjoyed reading it. I learnt quite a few good healthy living tips from it and it has since become a treasured possession. At the time I did have a number of kilos to shift and the free flowing wine and cheese here in France wasn't helping! I liked the case studies and the simple way she puts it - weight loss is no mystery you just have to balance what goes in with how much you move. Taking stock of what you eat and integrating movement into your daily lifestyle is key. I must admit being in France with time, an orchard, a vegetable garden and a dog to walk has helped us to do this. Things are a bit different from our previous life where an hour and a half sitting on a train commuting to London, all day sat at a desk then another hour and a half back on the train were normal.

The thing I rather amusing however is that the one thing she keeps banging home is that French women don't waste money on gym membership as they are sensible enough to take the stairs rather than the lift and walk rather than go by car. A good idea definitely, but she has never been to my bit of France that is obvious. Our village is small, but all the French kids arrive at the bus stop by car, and if there is anything on at the salle des fêtes they all drive, needless to say some of the French ladies in the village could do with reading her book!
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