An eye-opening, myth-shattering examination of what makes us fat, from acclaimed science writer Gary Taubes.
In his New York Times best seller, Good Calories, Bad Calories, Taubes argued that our diet’s overemphasis on certain kinds of carbohydrates—not fats and not simply excess calories—has led directly to the obesity epidemic we face today. The result of thorough research, keen insight, and unassailable common sense, Good Calories, Bad Calories immediately stirred controversy and acclaim among academics, journalists, and writers alike. Michael Pollan heralded it as “a vitally important book, destined to change the way we think about food.”
Building upon this critical work in Good Calories, Bad Calories and presenting fresh evidence for his claim, Taubes now revisits the urgent question of what’s making us fat—and how we can change—in this exciting new book. Persuasive, straightforward, and practical, Why We Get Fat makes Taubes’s crucial argument newly accessible to a wider audience.
Taubes reveals the bad nutritional science of the last century, none more damaging or misguided than the “calories-in, calories-out” model of why we get fat, and the good science that has been ignored, especially regarding insulin’s regulation of our fat tissue. He also answers the most persistent questions: Why are some people thin and others fat? What roles do exercise and genetics play in our weight? What foods should we eat, and what foods should we avoid?
Packed with essential information and concluding with an easy-to-follow diet, Why We Get Fat is an invaluable key in our understanding of an international epidemic and a guide to what each of us can do about it.
©2010 Gary Taubes (P)2010 Random House
If I had to write my review in 20 words or less it read like this:-
You are what you eat, the quality of carbs impact our health, facts are everywhere but sometimes an author puts them together that just makes sense.
I just finished this book after just a few days, and since I started it I've changed to a low-carb diet. In just 4 days, I've lost about 5 pounds! This book isn't a diet book per se, but it does give you reasons on why you should change your diet to be more healthy. Before reading this, I honestly didn't know that the bread and pastries I so loved were what gave me my gut. Now I know and I've cut them out of my diet, and I'm already feeling MUCH better! Read it. Believe it. Follow it.
i started listening to why we get fat and it open up my eyes to what we should be eating. But it is not a weight lost book. Its an information book on why are are getting fat. It opened up my eyes. I hope it will open up others eyes and doctors eyes as well. 5 stars from me. Please people get this book!!!!
I was literally weeping while reading this book. It described every single attempt I've ever made to lose weight, and then explained why it failed. Also, because if my mother had this information 30 years ago she may never had been obese, and may still be alive today.
I'm not all the way through the book but am very intrigued by what I have heard so far. My background is in Exercise Science so this goes against the conventional wisdom I was taught. However, conventional wisdom on more than one occasion in history hasn't been very wise. This note is for the location of the accompanying reference guide. It's located just above the reviews underneath the Publishers Summary section. :-)
This book can be summed up into 3 words.. stop eating carbs! But there's so much more to it. The science and historical evidence behind all the claims that Taubes makes is undeniable. The lifestyle benefits from following this book's advice cannot be denied, as I have adopted them myself to amazing results.
Having said this, I do wish Taubes got to the point a lot sooner than he did. He spends about the first 80% of the text presenting the problem of obesity and explaining in excruciating detail why all other solutions don't work.
All in all it is a superbly entertaining and informative listen.
I went to a dietician at our (huge) healthcare system in our city. I wasn't expecting too much, because I have been to a dietician before and got the message we all hear: watch your calories, eat low fat, switch to whole grains. The problem is: this has never worked for me, and I've been overweight my entire life. But this nutritional approach is so ingrained in my mind that the low-carbohydrate approach to eating always seemed ridiculous, outrageous (all that bacon!), and like just another fad diet. This book is beginning to really change my mind, and that is because I finally understand the science behind it. The book is challenging in some spots, and I will definitely give it another listen, but Gary Taubes uses science to make the case against carbs. Now that I am armed with my new knowledge, it easier for me to make appropriate food choices. Now, it's not about starving myself by saving "points" up to have a slice of chocolate cake.... now that I understand what exactly happens in my body when I eat the slice of chocolate cake, it feels easier to just say "no thanks." I have slowly been making changes in my diet after listening to this book, and I feel hopeful about the impact it will have on my health.
I began this audio book knowing roughly what to expect. I knew it wasn't a diet book per se, but that it aimed to be a thinking person's guide to the science behind carb reduction's benefits.
I am a skeptic by nature. I was predisposed to disrespect the book because it was written by a popular science writer as opposed to a PhD or endocrinologist. The first part annoyed me because the author lays out all kinds of anecdotes before attempting to explain the physiological mechanisms.
However, the longer the book went on, the more I could not deny its compelling argument. For myself, I decided to do an experiment on my own body and try the way of eating that Taubes espouses. I'll see for myself if I get leaner and what the diet does to my LDL/HDL numbers. But I consider it a rather long-term experiment, because I'm merely reducing sugars and simple carbs, not eliminating them.
Here are some additional comments:
1. The narrator pronounces "causal" wrong somewhere in the first third of the book. He repeats the error, saying "casual" instead of "causal," which is kind of funny because it has a rather opposite meaning in this context. I almost poked my eye out over the fact that no one caught this mistake. Towards the end he does it again... he says "casualty" instead of "causality"... I was on the plane listening and I think I said something out loud like, "whaaa???" causing my neighbor to look at me funny.
2. Also towards the end, the author just nonchalantly mentions that if you use coffee, diet soda or other artificial sweetners, you may miss the benefits of carb reduction. What? You can't just throw that in there and not tell us why. I'm just sayin'.
About 3 months ago, I weighed 206 lbs. Now I'm 186. I try to tell my friends and coworkers that they don't need the carbs, but they won't listen. All I can do is continue to follow the rules in this book and SHOW them what a low carb diet can do.
It helps to listen to the book more than once especially when I get the cravings for sweets.
all I want to do is buy 10+ copies to give it out to all my friends/relatives because it shatters the preconceived notions of what causes weight gain and thus what not to eat to be healthy
"Important work. Finally being acknowledged."
I expect to see a version of this book published by the WHO. presented in a very accessible way.
what if everything we know about calories is wrong. given the consistent failure of "diets" it stands to reason calorie restriction is not the way forward after all...
"Don't eat starchy Carbs or Sugar."
Mike Chamberlain makes this otherwise dull 'essay' on another theory of weight control endurable.
1. The structure. As he clearly states, he's not saying anything new, so why does he waste several hours outlining his 'argument' without establishing the very simple premise of it?
2. In addition, his argument that all other diets only succeed in the short term because they reduce calorie intake surely holds true for his own which he, unsurprisingly, doesn't go into - if you don't eat bread, potatoes, pasta and avoid all sweet things then, surely, you will also reduce your calorie intake? And, as all the other diets, he claims, fail because they are restrictive surely he can see the irony when states one must be prepared to make a sacrifice.
His argument still fails to address the fact that all diets aim to reduce a type of food intake but it is the inability of most people to stick to any restrictive diet which results in their failure to maintain a healthy weight or lose weight..
Because if you didn't listen to the whole thing you'd have missed the tiny point of this book - and it came at the end.
Read my title and save yourself the time and money.
"Scientific but just missed the practical"
I liked the science, the author clearly knows his stuff and I do believe him. I was left slightly wondering - how. I guess I just start experimenting and reducing carbs to see what impact it has on my overall weight!
"potentially life changing"
This book presents the science behind what I already believed about carbohydrates and why we get fat and ill. I think people are starting to take note more, but change is going to be slow. A must read/listen for anyone wanting to understand how to get healthy and lose fat.
"Everyone should read and understand the information in this book"
As the title says, the layman's guide, read it, share it, read it again, and again!
"interesting if biased"
ok. this is an important book which has ruffled feathers. it describes some interesting evidence about fat accumulation. however it comes across as rather soap boxy, leaving me dubious of Taubes' objectivity.
the basic premise is that it's carbs that are to blame. Thats not wholly unreasonable, but Taubes focuses on biology to a degree that simply wouldn't make sense to most obese people I've ever met. we don't just eat because we're hungry we eat because we've learned to eat. A second omission is that protein if eaten in excess can, I believe, metabolize into sugar. This seems quite an important point if we'd are being directed to eat as much meat as we like, but to stay away from sugar.
The narration is ok. is a dry book read dry. I was disappointed however, that noone thought to correct the repeated mispronounciation of "causal" as "casual" given the focus of the argument.
I'm glad to have heard it. It poses questions. I'd be worried for someone who thought it answered them all.
I have read many books on the reasons to eliminate carbohydrates from our diet but none have been as clear and informative as this. Would highly recommend.
"Excellent content and narration"
Very easy to pick up and accessible to those with minimal nutrition education. Taubes at his best again.
Really interesting science behind this book's subject which makes sense. I would have liked access to appendices mentioned. It's true you don't feel hungry which is a bit weird. This book should not be confused with the Atkins diet although there are similarities. This goes further and sets out some useful safety strategies.
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