Why French Women Don’t Get Fat!

Nutrition Advice
Vegan banana carrot bread

I have been reading the very interesting book by Mireille Guiliano, “Why French Women don’t get fat”….. and it has totally resonated with me!

I get it, and I think we should all be doing more of what French women do.

In fact, the slimmest and healthiest people I know do what I have been reading in this book!

They don’t believe in diets. In fact, they really believe in INDULGENCE. They believe in eating with gusto. Eating whatever they wish – just smaller portions! NO deprivation. They don’t think about what they have eaten. In fact, guilty eating does not exist. They also believe in a starter, main and YES dessert too…

You may be thinking – what rubbish. Perhaps they are genetically blessed?

Some of them, yes perhaps!  But I also think it’s the culture of these woman that is keeping them thin. They see food as pleasurable, not as the enemy – like so many women of the Western world. They don’t jump on the scales everyday either.

And yes, while they indulge in pastries more than some of us – they also love their healthy food. They know to have fruit, their greens and healthy lean proteins – that’s just apart of their lifestyle! So is “indulging”.

If they indulge – they do not berate themselves. If they over indulge – they simply eat clean for the rest of the day – or the next day too perhaps. Unlike many woman these days, who will do the opposite – binge as a result of indulgence or guilt.

French women eat slowly and mindfully – because that’s polite, and that’s the culture.

As a nutritionist, I believe we can eat whatever we want – just in small portions. But in reality, so many of us can’t seem to do…

It’s my belief that it’s not so much about what kind of foods we are eating – it’s more about how we eat them, and the emotional relationship we have with food and ourselves that has a far bigger impact on our weight. Perhaps I am different to most nutritionists in this way.

When I indulge – say eating a pastry and a coffee, and feel GOOD about this – my body can cope. My digestion can handle it. My body can break it down.

But when I feel guilty – it seems my body also doesn’t like it.

I struggle to digest, I struggle to enjoy.

Here are some of the reasons why French women don’t get fat – perhaps some points for us to take on board and consider!

  • French women typically think about good things to eat. Whereas other women typically worry about bad things to eat 11169003_10153226676925699_1873257949_n
  • French women eat much smaller portions
  • French women don’t believe in fads or diets – they think its ridiculous. They don’t believe in ‘sugar free’ or ‘fat free
  • They drink alcohol – in moderation
  • They eat bread and carbs in moderation, and in an enjoyable way. They are not SCARED of foods!
  • French women eat lots of vegetables
  • French women love chocolate – especially the dark kind. But they also know how to have 3 pieces – not the entire block. They know when it’s enough.11185833_10153226681250699_115723645_n
  • French women are active – but don’t over exercise either
  • French women believe in pleasurable eating
  • French women do over indulge at times – but they then compensate in other ways – by eating less the next day for example
  • French women don’t snack all day long – they eat 3 satiating meals 11173535_10153226666175699_1169276948_n
  • They don’t say no to desserts – they enjoy them with gusto
  • French women love to cook real whole foods and buy their foods from local markets – they believe in local and organic produce
  • French women love to sit in a cafe and do nothing but enjoy the moment11185834_10153226625880699_1304036691_n
  • French women void anything that demands too much effort – they keep things simple
  • French women never let themselves feel hungry – but they also never let themselves feel stuffed
  • French women plan their meals in advance
  • French women don’t watch TV while they eat or stand up (to the, this is simply rude).  They connect to their food – they respect mealtimes 
  • French women drink water all day
  • French women don’t weigh themselves – they keep track of their weight through how their clothes feel on them
  • French women believe in rest

….french women don’t get fat!

I always find it so interesting to read about different people and different cultures, and how they perceive and approach food. There is so much we can learn from one and other!





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Hi Jessica, I believe in synchronicity so when I was guided to you .on FB I was intrigued and inspired. I turned 46 last week and my husband bought me your book. I wanted to thank you for sharing your wisdom in such a beautifully presented way. My  copy is now filled with tabs and post it notes with actual notes throughout. I am dairy intolerant since having my gallbladder removed 15+ years ago, I don't eat meat, very minimal gluten and was told 12 months ago my gut was not digesting my food properly so I wasn't receiving sufficient nutrients and taking supplements would be a waste of time.  My weight fluctuates tending to gain rather than lose but now I believe I have a tool to help me bring my body back into balance that I need for my health and longevity of life - so again thank you. The first few steps to creating a stronger path forward for my health has found its foundation in your beautiful book, The Healthy Life.

With kindest regards Samantha

I'm writing this email because I wanted to tell you how much I love your blog and how you really helped me in my health journey. Thank you for sharing all your advices and experiences.

When I started my studies, I was drinking lots of coffee and I was eaten the wrong foods, and feel bad about it, I wasn't at my best. So I had done some research on the net but at first I didn't found advices that are for me, and then I found your blog. It was exactly what I was looking for, good advices and healthy recipes. Now I'm following your advices on rest more, and snacks between meals and prep the meals and take time for myself to reconnect with my body and let go my anxiety, etc, and I have a more balanced life and have a new relationship with food thanks to you.

I bought your book and it's honestly the best book I have ever bought. I suffer from IBS and anxiety. I have paid so much money seeing naturopaths however after reading your book and all of your tips I'm noticing so much of a difference, so simple and easy to follow. And symptoms have dramatically decreased. Also you have helped me to relax. Currently drinking the protein health smoothie! Thankyou your amazing.


Hey Jessica!
I haven’t yet brought ‘The Healthy Life’, but I do have the clean life and your slim down plan! I would like to thank you so much for the knowledge your share and the message you put across about health and wellness. I’m studying Nutritional Medicine in Melbourne and absolutely love the philosophy that you share with your JSHealth community. The work you’ve done to show people that leading a healthy lifestyle isn’t boring, tasteless, difficult or depriving is amazing and hope to share the message myself one day. You’ve inspired me to start my own blog , to share the message and have taught me so many things about my own health! You should be proud of your achievements! Thank you again

- Jacinta

I searched for help and tips through the Internet and found Jessica Sepel. This is seriously not exaggerated, but she was the reason why I have dared myself to eat again, to have snacks in between, to nourish my body. I could slowly improve my negative thoughts about my body image and my stupid anxiety of gaining weight. Besides, The Cleanest Gut was awesome too! A huge thank you! Especially from my mum. Seriously, without you I wouldn’t be where I am now!


Congratulations on your new book! It looks absolutely gorgeous. I’ve been following you on Instagram for a few years and you’ve inspired me to slowly but surely eat healthier without giving myself a hard time when I don’t. It made me so happy (and weirdly proud) to see the Daily Mail article on The Healthy Life. I remember trying out your recipes before you even had your eBook out! I can’t wait to get my hands on the book. Keep up the great work.

– Sophie

Cooking in this way truly brought out the foodie in me and has instilled a huge passion for health and wellness! Life throws you hard and frustrating things sometimes but I truly believe that this is where we learn more about ourselves and what our passions in life are! Thank you for inspiring me on my journey to health and wellness!


I am a yoga teacher in Johannesburg and am thrilled to have bought your book today. I love making healthy, nutritious food for my family, friends and fellow yogis! Thank you for this book and your inspiration (had to share a pic of my book on my recipe stand in the kitchen).

– Helene

I bought your beautiful book during the week and told my bestie to go out and buy it also! I love love love it. It is the book I would give to my younger self if I could (I am 41 years old). Everything is just so sensible and informative and is definitely a book all teenagers should have. This should be a text book for girls becoming teens. I will love going back and re-reading it many many times and can't wait to make more of the recipes. Thank you Jess - you are an incredibly inspiring woman and you should feel so proud

Michelle Curtis

My fiancé bought your book and we have cooked some of your meals. Amazing! I love your outlook on a healthy lifestyle and your hints and tips with preparing tasty meals are fantastic. Thanks for reviving us to live a healthier lifestyle and get our bodies wedding ready.