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
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.
Internet entrepreneur from the Netherlands.
Need I say more?
This guy knows his stuff. He has done a ton of research, but he presents it in a very orderly fashion, so you can follow easily. It shifts your paradigm and it makes perfect sense. The concepts you learn are easy to translate to others around you and they work.
Though you get a lot of data, it is well written and well read. Especially the narrator did an excellent job, making this research data sound nice to listen to. So thanks for that Mike.
This book is a basic cornerstone of all the knowledge a person can acumulate during life. It touches on a thing every person on this planet has to deal with every day of their life: food!
Why do some foods make us fat and others don't? And it's not what you think!
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.
The headline of this review is true. I'm currently just under 300 lbs and still dropping. Its amazing to see the effects of following the nutritional plan in the pdf. I'm now reading Good Calories, Bad Calories and am a convert. I'm an Engineer by school and job and I love his scientific approach and that he can back it all up in GC,BC with evidence.
If you want to lose weight, read this book and follow the advice. It really is that simple.
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'.
I lost 20 pounds in two months following Gary's recommendations. I feel great and most of my ills are gone. My BMI is currently 25.9 down from 29.2 People say I look 10 years younger other more than that. Great book! Thanks!
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
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.
"Frighteningly eye opening."
Excellently researched and narrated book. Some of the points were repetitive, but I think that's necessary when trying to convey such complex biological processes to laypeople.
For anyone interested in the topic of how the human body stores and manages fat, this is a must read.
"Best book on its subject"
This is an excellent book and possibly the best book on this subject. It's a bit technical at times but will satisfy the doubters on the complete authenticity of the low carb lifestyle. Strongly recommended
"Narrated by a Nerdy Chris Hansen"
Found the narrator's voice annoying. This book was recommended to me as a book to give to someone to introduce them to this sort of thing but It's not dumbed down so it's unsuitable.
"Interesting, challenging & thought provoking,"
Fascinating book on weight regulation & health, done in a good amount of technical depth, but well explained. Take care to read warnings at end though (especially diabetics)
"Life changing book...for the better,"
This book has completely transformed my whole understanding on food, nutrition and how your body processes food types. By embracing the positive outcomes of this book I feel so much more informed and more importantly a lot healthier in the process. It's not an option to read this book but a pure necessity.
"Along the right tracks but..."
The whole stay off carbs \ starches thing is a good idea from what I can see but being encouraged to eat fat? cheese? really? Replace these items with fruit and veg and I think it makes a bit more sense.
"Interesting ideas, poor narration!"
Yes I would, the content is interesting, The idea that it is carbs rather than calories that makes people gain weight is a hypothesis that is well articulated by Taubes.
n/a it is non-fiction!
No, the narrator was not enjoyable to listen to. Like others have said, mispronouncing 'causal' as 'casual' multiple times is a really stupid mistake! I also found his accent annoying!
Yes, the flow of the book was great. The discussion of different populations formed a good basis for the later recommendations in the book.
I think that Taubes' ideas about nutrition are interesting and well thought out. He discusses several different populations and the effect that carbohydrates have had on their health and weight. However, his arguments regarding exercise are weaker. He doesn't discuss the different types of exercise and the way in which they may impact body composition (more muscle, less fat with weight training, for example) rather than necessarily causing weight loss. I also think his idea that athletes are driven to exercise because of being lean has no evidence at all to support it.
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