Craving a chunk of Brie, a full-fat latte or a pot of creamy yoghurt, but worried about gaining weight?

Stop worrying and go right ahead and enjoy.

Chances are you’ll not only love the taste, but these dairy products also might help you lose weight.

Mireille Guiliano, the author of French Women Don’t Get Fat, a worldwide bestseller that reminded people to eat smaller amounts, ban yo-yo dieting and spoil themselves in moderation, is in Australia to help bust the common perception that dairy food is linked to weight gain.

“Australians are blessed with some magnificent produce like cheese and yoghurt that rivals some of the best in the world,” she says.

“There is no reason why you cannot enjoy this as part of a healthy lifestyle.”

The 67-year-old, who lives in New York but still eats like a French woman, is visiting Australia to judge the Grand Dairy Awards. And she has devised a light-hearted “manifesto” to help Australian women lighten up.


In her 2005 book, Guiliano writes about yoghurt as a secret to tame hunger, stating that French women often have two servings a day to help them feel fuller for longer.

“I am an avid eater of dairy products,” she says. “You know, milk, cheese and yoghurt are delicious and good for your health.

“The protein keeps you feeling full for longer and the calcium may reduce the amount of fat your body absorbs. I couldn’t imagine my life without them.”

Guiliano opts for full-fat milk and yoghurt, saying they don’t cause weight gain if consumed in moderation.

“I like to go for the full-fat milk, which is a very French thing, as long as you have it in moderation.

“I make my own yoghurt and ricotta and I use regular milk.


“It’s not like we drink three gallons a day, so go for the real thing – it’s very good for you.”

Guiliano, the former CEO of the champagne company Veuve Clicquot, became fascinated with weight gain after she visited the US as a teenage exchange student and gained 10 kilograms.

She lived with a family who ate highly processed food, plenty of brownies and tubs of ice-cream.

Upon returning to France, Guiliano’s father remarked that she looked like a “sack of potatoes”, prompting her to visit her GP for weight-loss advice.

The doctor simply reminded her to eat smaller amounts, walk more, cook her own food and drink more water.

Guiliano has been following his advice ever since – and yes, she continues to cut a svelte figure.



  1. Start every day with a real breakfast.
  2. Introduce two servings of natural yoghurt as a breakfast, snack food or dessert: the protein will keep you fuller for longer.
  3. Enjoy milk, cheese or yoghurt every day. It’s a mistake to avoid these foods because you think they are fattening. Eating them as part of a balanced diet is not linked to weight gain.
  4. Stop dieting.
  5. Take the stairs and laugh more: it’s good for the waistline and for the soul.
  6. Never let yourself get too hungry or over eat.
  7. Good food isn’t pretentious. Don’t take yourself too seriously, and don’t let recipes intimidate you. They’re a guide not a formula.
  8. Cooking is slimming. Love is slimming. Happiness is slimming.
  9. Eat smaller amounts of more things, rather than bigger amounts of fewer things.
  10. Australians love their coffee, so take pleasure in the ritual of your morning latte or cappuccino.
  11. Choose and enjoy your weekend rewards (such as your favourite dark chocolate) rather than worrying about eating bad food.
  12. Explore Australia’s great outdoors with regular physical movement. Choose things you can do in street clothes, such as a daily walk or a leisurely bike ride.
  13. Avoid anything that demands too much effort for too little pleasure.
  14. Eat and serve what’s in season. With the Australian summer in sight, enjoy plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables.
  15. Don’t save champagne for special occasions: being in good company is reason enough.


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