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French Women Don't Get Fat


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I thought I'd start a discussion about the book "French Women Don't Get Fat". Has anyone read it? If so, what did you think? I thought her approach to food was marvelous, really gets one in touch with what one is eating and has nothing to do with "dieting"...

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I've not read the book, but when I read the title of your thread I almost wanted to scream "I have a cousin that lives in France that can counter that argument!"

I'm not trying to be offensive, just that was my first thought.  It's kind of like what Margarget Cho said about when one of those rag magazines ran an article about the "Cho natural Korean diet plan" or something.  And it was all fish and rice or some shit like that.  (it was like the most racist shit you ever saw, they even used the hung kung fuey font)  Margaret Cho said something to the effect of "I don't eat like that, I'm fucking American.  I eat Big Macs.  Can't you tell?"  Or something like that.  [i can't remember right now what exactly she did say, sorry.]

All I'm saying is all things in moderation.  Talk to a doctor first and foremost before starting an exercise plan and nothing in excess.  Too much exercise = not good.  Too much water = not good.  Too much chocolate = not good.  Too little water = not good.  too little chocolate = not good.  Too little exercise = not good.  Moderation and balance, baby.

YMMV.  And, as always, keep in mind I'm crazy.

Maddy the Mad Hatter.

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Heya,

Maddy has good points here.  But then, I'm also crazy, so who am I to judge?

I ran into the same issues when I went with my husband and inlaws to China.

People in one of the tour groups just kept expressing their amazement that there were so many fat Chinese people in China.

After I got home, it was the same.  "Oh, what was it like to be there?  You never see a fat Chinaman."  Really,  Chinaman.

I had a hell of a time convincing people in my family that indeed, there are a lot of fat Chinese people.

Well, here's the thing.  Half of China is suffering from undernutrition:  dead babies, failure to thrive, underweight, protein and vitamin deficiencies.  The other half is suffering from the same problems of overnutrition that we have:  diabetes, heart disease, cholesterol, obesity.

Argh, that became a rant, I apologize, it's just something that rankles.

Sorry, this has only a tenuous connection to the book you mentioned.

It's just that, as Maddy pointed out, its title alone is misleading, because of course French women can get fat, if they take in more calories than they put out.

I leafed through but did not read the book, although I have seen lots of work that was erroneously done looking for the magic non-fattening French food.

The author does try to derail a lot of our closely-held feelings about food and dieting, which does place this book above most of the drivel on the diet shelf at Chapters.

But a lot of people are going to buy it at face value based on its lying title.

Lifestyle counts for a lot -- balance, moderation and above all, physical activity.  The most recent evidence is that being sedentary is a risk factor by itself, and that overweight people who nevertheless maintain regular exercise are perhaps healthier than thin people who never get off the couch.

And we obsess too much over food anyway.

Seeya, there's some leftover fried chicken and a Coke in the fridge calling my name.

--ncc--

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I don't disagree with anything anyone has said.... haven't been out of the US, so don't know how other countries are. However, I did see something on tv, quite a while ago, that said while french foods can be very rich..... THEIR PORTIONS ARE SMALL. It's become a contest here in America about who has the biggest meal for the best value. I far prefer to savor quality foods than fill my belly with a $2.99 meal-deal. No offense meant to anyone.

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Heya,

Yah you guys have *big* portions.

Part of why we like going there.

And why I *really really* want to go to a town where they have that uniquely American "barbeque" which is *so* yummy on TV and *so* distinct from what *we* call barbecue.

;)

But really.  If we all ate *realistic* portion sizes, of whatever food, it would help.

--ncc--

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O.K. glad this started a discussion but I was looking for people who HAVE read the book. It's just a title. In fact, as Maddy was so wise to point out, that's exactly what the book is about - moderation. Come on, guys. Don't attack it because it has an ironic title. Even the author admits that some French women DO get fat. But it's because they've forgotten the true French mantra - again, moderation. I was hoping for some good talk about the book, not an attack when you haven't even read it. ;)

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You know, you might try starting a thread up in the book area?  (We still have that right?)  It might get more feed back there? and you can put my stamp of OK on it to cross post if anyone gives you any shit over a cross post.

Sorry my meds are starting to kick my ass.

Maddy.

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Maddy:

Thanks for your response! But I really feel like this belongs here - it's about how to lose weight, moderately. That's what this board is about, isn't it? (Weight?) It's really not a book as much as a way of thinking about food. Can we please leave it here?

- Kiki

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And why I *really really* want to go to a town where they have that uniquely American "barbeque" which is *so* yummy on TV and *so* distinct from what *we* call barbecue.

Well, now that depends on where you're from (said with a southern drawl). I'm from Texas, and we have the barbeque sauce that is tomato-based. I've lived in South Carolina, and they've got this gross looking stuff that is mustard based. ewwwwwww. Looks like something you'd find in a diaper.

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O.K. glad this started a discussion but I was looking for people who HAVE read the book. It's just a title. In fact, as Maddy was so wise to point out, that's exactly what the book is about - moderation.

Well, I admit, I haven't read it cover to cover. But I did leaf through while I was at a bookstore. Does that count? Yes, like you said, it IS about moderation, no matter what you eat.

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Come on, guys. Don't attack it because it has an ironic title. Even the author admits that some French women DO get fat. But it's because they've forgotten the true French mantra - again, moderation. I was hoping for some good talk about the book, not an attack when you haven't even read it.
Nobody attacked the book. ;)
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Libby:

Yes they did. If nothing else the title was attacked, which is, again, meant to be rather ironic. The book offers a lot of sensible attitudes about food and I didn't even get a chance to say that beforehand. Rabbit is right - a lot of it IS the portions. Top that with just learning to love good food and it's something we can learn from.

Look, I just wanted to discuss it not start a "There are SO fat French women!" debate. Geez. I guess I'll try it over on the book board.

- Kiki

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I thought I'd start a discussion about the book "French Women Don't Get Fat". Has anyone read it? If so, what did you think? I thought her approach to food was marvelous, really gets one in touch with what one is eating and has nothing to do with "dieting"...

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

My sister read another book that had the same basic idea -- cut out processed foods, eat whole milk and cheese, etc.  She went from a size 18 to a size 6 in the course of a year.  Seriously.  I hardly recognize her anymore.  I'd love to do the same thing, but unfortunately I hate to cook...

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I've been to France several times and I always end up loosing weight when I go there (ALWAYS).

They eat SLOWLY! It takes them like 2 hours to finish dinner- at home we scarf down food so fast- within 20 minutes, that a mere hour later we are all back in the kitchen looking for more food to eat. In France meals are really important- there is a lot of wine, a lot of conversation, people eat slowly, and enjoy things!

Like somebody else said- portions are small. I've been to plenty of restaurants were pasta was served and it is just a small plate full not a huge overflowing plate full like served at...the Olive Garden or... somewhere.

And then I also think with the markets that they have in France, the food is very fresh..it is not processed and it doesnt have additives-- I think uncomplicated whole ingredients is key also. Of course, I didn't read the book- I've just been there a couple times.

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