I like nonfiction, informational books, so this was at the top of my list. A clear presentation of evidence and facts.
This is one of those books with too many reviews already, but many of them seem to be from the perspective of dieters telling us how much this book has improved their lives. I can't tell you yet whether my life will be changed or not, though I'm definitely going to try to do what Taubes says (I definitely have some pounds to lose). His ideas--basically that it is refined carbohydrates that make people fat, more or less full stop--are not all that novel, as he would be the first to admit. Indeed, one of his main points is that this was the dominant and traditional theory of obesity through the early 20th century, and only relatively recent bad science has tried to convince us otherwise. But Taubes explains these ideas better than other recent works on the subject, and backs up his claims a lot better than most diet books.
I do have to fault the book though for being something of an unhappy medium between a popular science book and a diet book. Apparently Taubes' previous work, Good Calories Bad Calories, which I haven't read, was more of the former, and this book was written for people without an inclination to sit through the whole long argument. Fair enough, but the problem I have is that Taubes spends roughly the first third of the book arguing against what he calls the calories-in-calories-out school of obesity. I guess he's probably used getting a lot of objections from hostile audiences, but I was ready to concede his point that the CiCo people have it wrong quite early on, and got pretty bored with the repetition. Then though, when he gets to explaining his own theory, he often moves very quickly through the most interesting parts, like how the LPL receptor works, the paradoxical effects of cortisol, or how the metabolism of fructose and glucose differ. And some of his explanations were kind of just so: why do men and women differ in where we put on fat? Because our distribution of these LPL receptors is different. I feel like there's a follow-up question here...
Perhaps what makes Taubes's book most original, is just how much he's sticking it to the past fifty years of obesity researchers. Taubes really seems to believe that bad advice on weight loss, which has displaced traditional views, has led to a vicious cycle, and that sedentary living and cheap food are not the culprits we've been led to believe--it's not how much you eat and exercise, but what you eat that counts. If true, medical authorities deserve a lot of blame for the enormous amounts of needless suffering and premature deaths they've caused. This bad advice may literally have resulted in millions dying early and suffering various unnecessary complications. This may be right up there in the annals of the worst effects of bad science in history, along with things like "comparative racial studies." Taubes makes the case that the real cause of this bad science is a moralization of a technical question--the idea that fat people are fat because they're lazy and glutinous appeals to researchers on a deep level they're barely aware of. I might also suggest that it appeals to the reductionist tendencies in many researchers. I'd also like to draw the analogy to bad economists who believe long slumps are the price we pay for over exuberance in boom years, rather than technical failings of dynamic interconnected systems that we have the power to correct with the right understanding and intervention. Clearly, these arguments deserve much more attention.
Having read quite a bit on this subject, I was surprised to read a new spin on this topic. The author also provided much information to back up his theory. That makes it easy for the reader to find his own solutions.
ok, suger is bad, we get it. i have found the explanations interesting and worth thinking about but the writer who says again and again that it is not a behavioral problem says nothing in the "what to do about it part" he just says: you should it meat and fat and that will make you feel better. you should just do it. well sir, i cant just do it, my body craves the sugar. and THAT'S the problem.
The title of this book is what made me choose it. It was not a simple listen. The science was often involved and took a bit of concentration to absorb and understand. The author was also very detailed in how he came to the conclusions he came to. Yet it was all worth it. I understood his conclusions, I absorbed the information and then I began to impliment it into my own life. I am feeling great!! I am energised, my moods are even, I am not hungry and I am dropping weight at a rate that I find surprising. Be warned though - this is not really a diet book. It just explains the science behind why we are getting fatter as a society, you need to then go and use the information in a way that suits you.
At the top of the list.
It helped me understand my body in a new way.
I liked listing to him; he brings the story to life.
I like the current title.
Yes. This can be weighty material and can be processed easily during long commutes or when traveling. I would also listen while cleaning the house.
Wheat Belly. Similar in that both share many reasons why carbohydrates are really unhealthy for you, but this book really is more about the science of fat production--it just so happens that carbohydrates cause you to become fat. This book is a detailed and specific exploration of adiposity science.
Really enjoyed his intonations and the authority with which he read the book.
I'm not sure where it all went wrong, but somewhere in the last 50 years we changed the way ate and we got obese. This book doesn't really have new ideas- it debunks the lies we have been told about nutrition and re-teaches how to eat the way humanity has always eaten- and remained thin and healthy. I am Ironman triathlete and despite swimming for hours, riding 200 miles, and running the equivalent of a marathon every week I remained fat. I also was told by modern nutrition to eat lots of healthy carbohydrates; especially grains. You can imagine my frustration when I couldn't drop my visceral fat. I have since switched to a diet similar to that described in the book and have dropped the fat and have higher performance than ever! I no longer have to chug gallons of gatorade and eat tons of gels and bars to fuel my workouts; now I fuel the way God intended- by utilizing the fat already stored on my body. It will raise questions and is counter-culture, but the arguments presented in this book make sense! I have switched many of the atletes I coach as well as couch potatoes- they all have seen the effects of eating more fat and less carboyhdrates. Calories in- calories out was a great theory, but so was the sun revolving around the earth! Big money fought tobacco regulation for decades, but we all know how silly smoking is now. Big money is now dupping the public to believe that foods made of wheat and laden with sugar that fill 80%+ of the grocery store aisles are good for us while in reality they lead to disease and obesity. Fortunately the arguments presented in this book are slowly coming into the main stream and it is my belief within the next decade will be far more accepted; it's tragic it will take so long
I am a long-time Audible subscriber and frequently listen to and read the same book. Often, I conclude that listening is equal to or better than reading the book. This is a valuable work; but some might find it easier to read the book than to listen to it. To his credit, the author is meticulous in laying out his premises, illustrating his point, and summarizing his conclusions. But--it can get tedious. If you were reading, you might skip past the fourth example, or gloss over the same point made for the fifth time in a slightly different way. BUT--I think this book is important for many people, so if you are interested in the subject and you are not likely to find the time to actually read the book, by all means listen to it.
The author deserves credit for embracing the scientific method in laying out his thesis. He says many things that are not part of the popular wisdom of dieting today. At the outset, he invites the reader to remain critical in evaluating his assertions. He lays out the science on which he relies and clearly explains how he gets to his conclusions. He does not rely on hocus-pocus or "you can do it, trust me" arm-waving to distract the reader. So, in the end, you feel like you understand why he gives the advice contained in the book--regardless of whether you agree with it. Having listened to the book, I feel better educated and better prepared to read other books -- like "In Defense of Food--with a more critical eye.One more point: to his credit (again), the author sets forth his thesis in the first ten minutes of the book. It would be a mistake to stop listening at that point. The remainder of the book is an explanation of why carbohydrates so dramatically affect our blood chemistry and drive our tendency to gain weight. Understanding those principles is at least as valuable, maybe more so, than simply knowing them.
Gary Taube's main premise is that "calories in, calories out" are not the panacea for weight loss. Of course, when I started the book, I thought he was wrong. I just read it to keep an open mind.
Now, I'm a convert to what he proposes, which is basically a low carb diet. Think Atkins.
The book has a great deal of scientific data to support Gary's perspective. It's tough to get through in one chapter but understanding the science is worthwhile. It will help you understand why counting calories and exercising aren't enough for permanent weight loss.