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Road Reads

Sunday, January 9, 2005; Page P02

BOOK: "French Women Don't Get Fat," by Mireille Guiliano (Knopf, $22).

TARGET AUDIENCE: Anyone who returns from Paris insanely envious of the typical French female's physique.

QUICK TAKE: French-born Guiliano, who has spent the past 20 years wining, dining and maintaining a trim figure as CEO of Clicquot Inc. in New York, has a secret.

And the secret is that there is no secret. Not when it comes to women and weight loss.

Part memoir, part self-help tome, the book focuses largley on Guiliano's late teens, when she returned from a year in America several sizes larger. She dealt with her weight challenges via the insightful advice of her childhood physician: Eat a variety of foods. Don't skip meals. Exercise. Drink water. Exert portion control. Don't expect miracles overnight. And don't be too hard on yourself. Given Guiliano's persuasive voice, tips and recipes, these approaches -- including how to save room for champagne and dessert -- are less admonitions than civilized rules to live by. Enjoyably.

RANT: Guiliano occasionally lapses into preachiness.

RAVE: The observations of philosophical distinctions between French and American women are thought-provoking: "French women typically think about good things to eat. American women typically worry about bad things to eat."

-- Renee Schettler

© 2005 The Washington Post Company


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