Mythbusters - French Women Don't Get Fat

You know that weight loss book everyone talks about? French Women Don't Get Fat, or something like that? Well I'm here to tell you that the book's a complete load of crap. First of all, there is no highly codified way of eating in France like the Author would have you believe. They eat differently, sure. But there's a bit more flexibility than she shows in her book. Secondly, I have definitely seen fat people here. Granted, they're rarely extremely obese, and there are fewer fat people in general in France, but they still represent a sizable (pun not intended) portion of the population.

Looking list a tourist and getting ready to eat my XXL Pain au Chocolat (buttery croissant filled with chocolate).
So delicious!

The author is basically selling you generic good dieting advice in a well-marketed package, but she is not telling you how the French stay skinny.

Let me debunk of few these so called "rules."

French women don't drink hard liquor - The author clearly never attended a French university.

French women drink water all day long - Whatever! They drink wine and/or soda pop. I'm the only person I know that drinks a lot of water and I get teased for it. Seriously, go eat dinner at a French person's house. I always have to ask for water specifically, because it's almost never on the table. The host then looks a little shocked, and starts to list all the drinks that they could offer me besides water. 

French women don't eat anything that's fat-free or sugar-free - Good heavens! The woman who wrote this book is either a liar, or she has never stepped foot in a French grocery store. They sell tons of that fat-free, sugar-free crap! I've definitely seen fat & sugar free yogurt in people's refrigerators here. 

French women don't keep fattening snacks at home -  The huge aisles of cookies and chips you find in French grocery stores tell a different story...

Oh dear. She gives a whole list of crap, including the four "facts" above. I read them to my husband (who is French if you're new to the blog), and he said, "Oh, so she never even went to France before writing this book." Yep, she did. This women is actually French, and knows how to sell her product. 

I think this Amazon book reviewer hit's the nail right on the head:


It's definitely peer pressure.  Heck, people notice when I gain or lose five pounds, and they make comments. Granted, the comments aren't mean or anything. But when you realize that people are paying so much attention to your weight, you often start paying attention as well. 

People even judge comment on the weight of small children and babies. They're very worried that their children will be over weight. The weight control indoctrination starts young here. 

Also, let's be honest, there are a lot more chain smokers here - an unhealthy, but well-known method of keeping your weight down.

Overall, this myth is complicated to explain. While there seem to be far fewer fat people here in France, they do most certainly exist. 

Making this week's myth:


You can read about my experience with weight loss in France here. Just to give you a little spoiler, I didn't lose weight for any of the reasons that they list in French Women Don't Get Fat.


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