Mireille Guiliano, author of 'French Women Don't Get Fat'

In France, the home of cheese, chocolate and croissants, just 11 percent of the people have weight problems. Meanwhile in the United States, 67 percent of the people have weight problems. So just how do the French stay so thin?

Mireille Guiliano, author of the bestseller French Women Don't Get Fat thinks she has the answers and is ready to share!

Mireille says she distinctly remembers the moment of discovery about the path to thinness in the traditional French diet. "When I grew up in France, I was a normal size. And then I came to the United States and I gained 20 pounds." When she went back home to Paris, Mireille says she felt fat. "Our family doctor told me that I could get back to my normal weight in six months just by doing a few French tricks."
Mireille Guiliano, author of 'French Women Don't Get Fat'

The key to Mireille's own weight-loss success and book is rooted in attitude. "In America, you look at food as bad and guilty," she says. "In France, we love food and we enjoy food; food is pleasure."

And, according to Mireille, French women do not believe in diets. "American women tend to always be on a diet whether it's Atkins or South Beach or Slim Fast," she says. But for French women, nothing is off-limits. "If we want a piece of chocolate or pizza or some ice cream or pastry," she says, "we have it. But, in small portions. ... We're not concerned with calories. Once you have to start counting calories, it takes away from the joy of eating."

Mireille says that she always sets out to truly savor her meals, even during that forgotten midday meal so many of us rush through. "For 20 minutes I don't take calls," she says. "I don't work on my computer. I enjoy my lunch."
Gym-free Mireille Guiliano, author of 'French Women Don't Get Fat'

Also, Mireille says French women do not live by the scale. "We're not obsessed, like many American women," she says. "We don't go on the scale every morning. If you've overeaten, your pants are going to be tight."

The French attitude to exercise is also different from America. They don't go to gyms! "I prefer to walk everywhere," she says. "In France we have a saying, joie de vivre, which actually doesn't exist in the English language. It means looking at your life as something that is to be taken with great pleasure and enjoy it."
Christine lives by the French women's diet.

Christine is a 59-year-old who was dismayed by the toll aging had taken on her body, to the point where she could no longer wear her favorite pair of black leather pants. Christine tried numerous diets, including eating nothing but grapefruits and watermelons. When she read Mireille's book, however, it was like a revelation. "I was so excited I could hardly wait to launch this new lifestyle," she says. "The first day I climbed up 10 flights of stairs in my apartment building. I took Mireille's advice: When you're eating food that you adore, you don't need a lot of it. I put my portion on beautiful plates, great style, lovely linens, crystal, china, and enjoy every morsel. No more standing in the kitchen eating out of a little container."

Christine says she used those black leather pants as motivation. "I hung them on the door, looked at them daily, tried them on every other week. Soon that zipper that was far apart, zipped closed."

After losing 22 pounds, Christine says, "I feel fabulous. I've never felt so frisky. It's the best."

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