In her new book, author Karen Wheeler, an English fashion writer living in France, examines the eating habits of the colourful eighteenth century French Queen who is notorious for her famous phrase, "Let them eat cake".
The Marie Antoinette Diet, also referred to as MAD, suggests that, if you eat cake, you should do so at breakfast to curb your appetite for sweets later in the day – research indicates that an early morning indulgence helps reduce cravings later on.
Karen also dubs soup "a miracle in a bowl for fat loss". She says that it is a must for dinner as it satisfies hunger faster than other foods and makes us feel fuller for longer.
Marie Antoinette indulged her sweet tooth in the mornings, had her main meal of meat or fish with vegetables and pulses at lunchtime and ate little more than soup in the evenings and, according to measurements recorded by her seamstress, had a tiny 23in waist after the birth of four children.
The author of the diet book, who herself lost one-and-a-half stone after ten weeks on the regime, follows Marie Antoinette's lead in focussing on when you eat as opposed to just what you eat.
"[Antoinette’s confidant and first-lady-in-waiting] Madame Campan's memoirs suggest that Marie Antoinette instinctively knew what 21st-century science has shown -- namely, that it is not what you eat, but when you eat it," writes the author.
"And the more I looked into the Queen's diet, the more I became convinced that it held the key to the so-called 'French paradox -- the question of how the French eat rich, fatty food yet still manage to stay slim and avoid coronary heart disease."
What's out? Processed foods are a big no, as is eating past 8pm and fried food. And Karen suggests: "Only eat dessert if it's amazing."