What is it?

The French Women Don’t Get Fat Diet is based on eating high-quality foods in moderate portions. The creator, Mirielle Guiliano, claims French women don't diet, and they don’t count calories, or skip meals. Instead, French women develop a balanced relationship with food. This balanced relationship is what Guiliano calls a "French Zen." 

The diet focuses on eating a well-balanced group of foods including lean meats, fresh fruit, vegetables, breads, olive oil, and plenty of water. Anything goes, in moderation—even foods typically banned from diets, like chocolate and wine. This isn’t a diet about counting calories, or cutting foods. It’s about savoring what you eat, and feeding your body what it needs to stay healthy.

Portion control is the key to this diet. Guiliano suggests that eating slowly will help you to feel satisfied with smaller portions of food. French women eat with all five senses, allowing them to eat less because they are paying attention and savoring the taste of the food. Portion sizes in America are out of control, Guiliano says—if you compare the size of a croissant in France to one in the United States, it becomes immediately clear why French women can typically eat pastry for breakfast and stay in shape while American women can’t. According to Guiliano, Americans need to prioritize quality over quantity and learn to slow down to really appreciate food.

Another essential aspect of the diet is taking in lots of liquids by drinking plenty of water every day, and drinking herbal tea and eating soup regularly.

The Promise

Mirielle Guiliano claims that a Mediterranean-influenced diet and a balanced relationship with food will lead to a healthy weight and lifestyle. This isn’t a quick-fix weight loss plan; it’s a lifestyle change that Guiliano describes as a "proper recasting and resetting of your body's dials, and a three-month affair.”

Guiliano’s plan promises that you’ll be able to trim down without having to give up on all the finer (and more decadent) things in life.

Pros & Cons

The French Women Don’t Get Fat Diet is a healthy approach to weight loss, which aims to get rid of the guilt so often associated with food and replace it with a healthy relationship to foods. Part of what’s great about this diet is that it promotes eating high-quality foods—and really enjoying them. Guiliano wants to make eating a special time. She asks readers to turn off the television and pay attention to what they’re eating.

There’s nothing completely banned from the French Women Don’t Get Fat Diet, except for processed foods. Anything fresh is fine—even chocolate, pastries, and baguettes—as long as it’s consumed in moderation.

The flip side is that this diet may be difficult for those without a lot of time and money. Sitting down to a slow, relaxing meal is a luxury that many people with busy lives simply don’t have. In addition, getting fresh, high-quality ingredients isn’t easy. They can be harder to find and more costly to purchase.

Healthline Says

This is a well-balanced diet that promotes quality over quantity. Guiliano is passionate about fresh ingredients and celebrates the enjoyment of food. There’s no calorie counting or regimented rules on this diet, which helps to make this a realistic, long-term weight loss strategy. The emphasis on taking in enough water is also great, as many adults do not drink enough fluids every day.

While Guiliano does promote healthy foods such as fruit and vegetables, she places more emphasis on the importance of taste and appreciation of food. Guiliano suggests eating fruits and vegetables that are in season and more flavorful than those that are not. Eating a piece of quality chocolate as opposed to a run-of-the-mill candy bar is a tastier and healthier choice every time. We couldn’t agree more!

According to Guiliano, the key to successfully losing and maintaining a healthy weight is about eating smaller portions of high-quality foods. She doesn’t believe it’s necessary to work out at the gym in order to achieve a healthy weight. She writes that French women don't like the gym, and get their exercise by walking everywhere.

Don’t stop your workout sessions at the gym yet! The typical American lifestyle is not one that includes enough daily walking, so additional exercise is a necessity. We agree that a run on the treadmill or a weekly spinning class won’t lead to perfect health on its own. But exercise in any form, alongside a healthy diet, is key to healthy weight loss and is definitely recommended.