wonder soup

Macarons for All: Introducing the Marie Antoinette Diet

Photo: Sony Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

Please say bonjour to the Marie Antoinette Diet. It is a meal plan and a recently published book that includes a section heading that reads (yes), “Why eating cake for breakfast promotes weight loss.” While one’s first associations with Marie Antoinette might be wigs and silky sleeves rather than body type or healthy constitution, it is a well-known and proven rule that French women have always had the secrets to svelte figures

By following these simple principles outlined in the Marie Antoinette Diet, you too can return to a moment when life was a macaron and love was a tartelette. According to the book blurb itself:


The French queen ate cake for breakfast and was fond of hot chocolate, but seems to have known instinctively what scientific studies have recently shown: for example, it is not what you eat, but when you eat it.

After reading a biography of the famed Austrian princess turned French queen, fashion and beauty writer Karen Wheeler, who keeps a blog called Tout Sweet, attempts to examine how the modern woman could base her diet off the height of fancy French indulgences. She calls the Marie Antoinette Diet MAD for short. She backs the history with contemporary scientific papers and the consultation of a dietician. 

MAD is very à la mode, it seems: Emma Brockes at the Guardian writes that restrictive diets are falling away in favor of “indulgence-based,” “treat-yourself” programs. The logic is that if the dieter consumes what she craves while using PORTION CONTROL, she will be more successful in her efforts. But don’t imagine that the MAD plan is all petits fours and crème brûlée. Wheeler also introduces the casual diet observer to the magical, mystery soup that “the queen ate for dinner every evening.” So you can come for the flour and sugar, but you’ll stay for the “wonder soup.”

Macarons for All: Here’s a Marie Antoinette Diet