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the marie antoinette diet

June 28, 2013

Marie%20Antoinette%20Diet%20cover%20-%20med%20size.jpg Surprise! I've written a book – but not the one that people are expecting. I've actually written... a diet book.

Why, you might wonder, have I done that?

The answer is that when you first move to France – and I'm sure other expats will agree with this – you lose weight, thanks largely to the stress of moving.

And then it starts to creep back on again. Before I knew it, I'd gained ten kilos (1 stone, 8lb).

Last autumn, I decided that something had to be done.

The answer came to me while reading a biography of Marie Antoinette.

The French queen, I discovered, liked sweet things and ate cake (actually a pastry) for breakfast, along with coffee or hot chocolate.

But according to her chief chambermaid, Madame Campan, she ate very lightly in the evening – nothing but a bowl of broth and a piece of chicken.

The more I read about her eating habits, the more it seemed that the queen knew instinctively what science has recently shown: for example, if you’re going to eat cake, the best time of day to do so is early in the day.

I discovered many other things that Marie Antoinette did, and about the 18th-century diet in general, that are very conducive to weight loss – and possibly the real reasons why (most) French women don’t gain weight.

I didn't mean to write a diet book, but the deeper I delved, the more excited I became.

In addition to historical research, I read over fifty scientific papers while writing 'the cake diet' as one reader has called it.

The result is The Marie Antoinette Diet (MAD for short, yes I know!)

It is not your usual diet book. It's written, in part, as a memoir, but served up with a lot of science and sprinkled with some interesting historical snippets.

It explains among other things, the benefits of following a 12-hour night fast and the very unfashionable super-food that can help weight loss if eaten once a week.

It also contains recipes for delicious cakes and soups, including the 18th-century recipe for the broth that Marie Antoinette ate for dinner, which is believed in many cultures to have astonishing health benefits.

I’m not a dietician or a doctor, but because I wanted the diet to be as healthy as possible and safe for others to follow, I consulted someone who is: leading dietician Dr. Mabel Blades.

But does it work? Well, the book explains how I lost ten kilos in ten weeks, eating normally most of the time but following a few simple rules. And yes, I did eat (homemade) cake.

The Marie Antoinette Diet: Eat Cake and Still Lose Weight, is available in e-book format, at an introductory price of £1.98 until 7 July, from www.amazon.co.uk and on www.amazon.com. The print version will be published in January 2014.

comments (7)

1. Posted by katie on June 30, 2013 8:21 PM

I cant believe that this new MAD book has solved my addiction for cakes and my sweetooth.
A diet of my dreams .....Thank you sooooooooooooo much Karen.
I will let you know the outcome.

Just one little question that my friends and family keep asking , when is your next book to follow Tout Soul ?
We are all desperate for some more good antics????

2. Posted by bossything on July 3, 2013 1:58 PM

looks amazing! sounds perfect for me :))

3. Posted by Diav on August 1, 2013 10:00 AM

Looks great! So I couldn't (and didn't want) stop myself from buying it right now on Amazon - going to dig in this afternoon :)

4. Posted by Ali on August 11, 2013 10:26 PM

Karen - just completed my first week on the MAD and I'm full of enthusiasm for week 2 after losing an amazing 6 lb! I started with the same waist size and with the same amount of weight to lose for my goal as you and we're a similar age so I've been interested to see if I get comparable results. Where I differ is that I work in an office so have to think ahead and prepare what I'll eat for my main meal in advance to take with me - as you suggest I tend to cook as usual in the evening for my husband and take mine to work the next day. I've made and loved 3 of the soups so far and 2 of the cakes, most of which are now in the freezer to pick from at my leisure. I have 2 more weeks before I return to our holiday home in Ruffec, Charente (where I always tend to put on weight!) so I'm hoping to lose a few more pounds by that time and try not to put too much on while I'm there! Thanks for showing me I'm not alone in adapting to staying slim in Poitou-Charentes :-)

5. Posted by mimi pompom on August 12, 2013 12:57 AM

Thanks everyone for the really wonderful feedback. Ali, so delighted to hear your story especially – it's great to know that the diet is working for you.

All best


6. Posted by Ali on November 12, 2013 10:28 AM

I started the Marie Antoinette Diet back in Aug (see my earlier post) with the goal of hopefully getting back to my "wedding weight" by my 40th birthday. Well, my birthday is this Sunday and I am very pleased to say I not only met my goal but surpassed it. I am a fraction away from having lost 2 stone on this diet, have dropped 2 dress sizes and 4 inches from my waist. Although I now have some weeks with no weight loss at all I keep at it because all of a sudden I will lose 3 or 4 lbs in another week. I have long since got used to adapting my day to the habit of eating in the daytime and have even persuaded my husband to try it whenever it's feasible for him. I sleep better for not going to bed bloated too. So all in all I have to say that, like Karen's other books, this one has stayed with me long after finishing reading and has brought a lot of positivity to my life.

7. Posted by Diane Baker on February 1, 2014 10:27 PM

Just found your blog and your MAD book and can't wait for it to be published. I buy and keep all my hard cover French books! Yours will be on the book shelf with my others. D

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