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Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It | [Gary Taubes]

Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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.

Download the accompanying reference guide.

©2010 Gary Taubes (P)2010 Random House

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  •  
    Mike ALPHARETTA, GA, United States 02-20-11
    Mike ALPHARETTA, GA, United States 02-20-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not a Diet Book"

    Gary Taubes' book explains the biology and science of food and the human body. He cites observational and scientific studies to support his conclusion that most of the guidelines and advice we have receive about diet, excercise, and good health are most likely incorrect. The book will challenge what you've heard before, and what you probably believe. This book convinced me that many of the heart-healthy diet messages I've received and believed over my entire lifetime (I'm in my early 40s) is absolutely wrong. And Taubes did this by using facts, not suppositions and notions. However, this is not a diet book, nor does it prescribe Atkins, South Beach, etc. It simply explains the biological effects of carbohydrates, protein, and fat on the human body. I've researched new lifetime approaches to eating and consulted with my physician. As a result, I am effortlessly becoming leaner. I've lost 10 pounds in about 5 weeks without being hungry or exercising. My bloodwork just came in the other day, and everything is reading just fine. Read (or listen) and you'll come away enlightened.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Georgina Atizapan de Zaragoza, Mexico 02-16-11
    Georgina Atizapan de Zaragoza, Mexico 02-16-11 Member Since 2009

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Changed my life"

    As soon as I finished I bought an Adkins's diet book and began avoiding carbohydrates.
    It worked wonderfully, I have lost around 10 pounds and the most amazing thing, I am eating more and feeling a lot better. So buy, and read the book. It is a miracle.

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel Lindenwold, NJ, United States 04-29-13
    Daniel Lindenwold, NJ, United States 04-29-13
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    "Convincing.. once Gary gets to the point"
    Any additional comments?

    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.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephen Schoenberg Belmont, CA 11-07-12
    Stephen Schoenberg Belmont, CA 11-07-12 Member Since 2002

    yogi.md

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Thought provoking look at the theory of fatness"
    What did you love best about Why We Get Fat?

    Gary Taubes does an excellent job poking holes in the conventional wisdom about dieting. It does seem the official medical theory of obesity fails to provide any advice except "have more willpower," and that advice is not very helpful. There are some questionable statements in the book's argument, such as the idea that humans have not genetically adapted to agriculture. The selection for lactose tolerance in cultures that have adopted milk products refutes this. Overall, the book is a solid refutation of what so many think is "common sense."


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    The words "causal" and "casual" are different words, and not homophones. Same with "causality" and "casualty." This repeated error in the narration seriously detracts from the credibility of the book.


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ray Glendale, AZ, United States 08-04-12
    Ray Glendale, AZ, United States 08-04-12 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The Bible For Those Who Want The Truth"

    Taubes has made quite a stir with this and its more technical predecessor "Good Calories, Bad Calories" but he's not going away. Instead his arguments and logic only get stronger.

    This book is perfectly accessible as it lacks the excruciating detail of "Good Calories" but still contains the meat of the information (no pun intended).

    It is not a diet book, and Taubes is not selling a diet plan. And he's not a research scientist or a doctor with some academic dog in the fight. He's a renowned science writer with a history of credibility. He presents the history of how we came to the place where we're at now - an epidemic of obesity compounded by some very, very bad advice from the highest ranks of the medical community.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Silver Spring, MD, United States 12-29-11
    Michael Silver Spring, MD, United States 12-29-11 Member Since 2009
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    "Why Our Waistlines Have Swelled on Low-Fat Diets"

    Taubes is a writer for the NY Times who has done in-depth research on the science of obesity for almost 10-years. He wrote a detailed book on the subject in 2007, but this slim volume is especially written for the layman and casual reader. He uses historical fact to prove that "fat" is not man's enemy, but refined "carbs" are.

    Taubes documents how medicine, from the late 1800s up through the 1950s, had correctly identified overconsumption of starches as the principal cause of weight gain. Then, so-called "modern" medicine began to attack dietary fat as the chief cause of heart disease, and carbs (flour and grain products, especially) were pushed as healthful. Over the past 50 years, the campaign against fat has ravaged our nation's health, by unintentionally shifting humans away from even "good" fats to consume more sugar and refined carbohydrates. We now have a nation with obesity rates going from less than 20% in 2000 to more than one-third today, leading to rampant diabetes and other weight-related ailments. Taubes's analysis carries an important message for policymakers, educators, and our loved ones -- in order to stay thin and healthy we need to lose the carbs, not the fat.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brian 11-07-11
    Brian 11-07-11 Member Since 2005
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    "Mar '11 385#, read book, Nov '11 300# and losing"

    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.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Virginia Plantation, FL, United States 08-05-11
    Virginia Plantation, FL, United States 08-05-11
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    "Excellent read!"

    This is one of the most basic, informative, enlightening books I have ever read on the topic of weight and weigh loss. An excellent presentation.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Roberto SAN PEDRO GARZA GARCIA, Mexico 07-19-11
    Roberto SAN PEDRO GARZA GARCIA, Mexico 07-19-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "It worked for me!"

    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!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nichelle Apopka, FL, United States 06-22-11
    Nichelle Apopka, FL, United States 06-22-11
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    "Saved My Life!!!"

    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.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 21-30 of 152 results PREVIOUS123416NEXT
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  • M. Campbell
    Glasgow, Scotland
    9/9/13
    Overall
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    Story
    "A Real Eye Opener"
    What made the experience of listening to Why We Get Fat the most enjoyable?

    For me, a 5'5" male, my life has been spent around the 14-16st mark. I can't remember the last time I wasn't on some sort of eating/exercise plan, my life has been dedicated to it. I've tried them all and stuck to them rigidly and most have been successful in losing me 2st here and there but when it came to keeping it off then that's where the real problems lay.

    Eventually I got it into my head that only a sensible, varied and healthy diet would work for me as a way to gradually over the space of a couple of years lose the weight. Unfortunately this too did not work. Something just wasn't adding up. I went to the docs to have my thyroid checked, results came back normal.

    Now I'm not one for giving into anything but as far as losing and keeping off the extra 4-5st I'm carrying, I felt it was a pipe dream. I prayed for an answer and the next day this book popped up as a suggestion in my Audible account so I thought why not!

    Along with trying all the diets I've ever been on, including Atkins, I have also read numerous books and even college courses on nutrition and exercise and have a pretty good knowledge of what constitutes a healthy lifestyle but this book takes all that mainstream knowledge and blows it out of the water, however, things make complete sense to me now. I mentioned I had already tried Atkins which obviously failed in the past but the big difference now is that I understand the science behind it and trust me, it makes a huge difference.

    Apologies for the long, self-indulgent intro. I'm simply trying to capture anyone reading this who is in the same situation. If you genuinely feel you have tried to lose weight, you've explored all the emotional and physical aspects and they don't apply, but no matter how hard you try to follow dietary advice it doesn't work then I definitely feel this could be your answer. It might not actually be your fault after all!

    Bottom line is that carbohydrates, especially sugars, are responsible for why a lot of us are so fat, well technically it's our hormones ability to regulate and distribute them. And don't even get me started on the claimed health benefits, if even half of them are true the medical establishment should be hugely ashamed of their ignorance on this subject.

    Don't get me wrong, for those who think "yeah, that's me" it means making a choice, what do I want more, sugary and starchy foods or to be thin and healthy? For me, I crossed that line long ago. I've started out with minimum carbs, <20g per day. It's been 3 weeks and I've shifted 11bs and dropped almost two shirt sizes, I'm eating more than I have in a long time and genuinely feel good. The reason I know I will keep this going is I now look at food completely differently and it's all thanks to this book. I finally have the answers I have been looking for.

    I'm now on another book, living low carb by Jonny Bowden, which is a great follow up to this book. Once completed I'll review this too.

    Seriously, I really hope this book could be the answer you have been looking for too.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sam
    Mudchute, United Kingdom
    8/11/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The Most Important Book Ever Written On Diet"

    Gary Taubes exposes the most outrageous thing to ever happen in modern science. Once you listen to this book you will understand why we have the current dietary advice, why it;s wrong and what the correct advice actually is to be slim and healthy :)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lesley
    CHARD, United Kingdom
    7/8/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Change your whole idea of eating healthly"
    What made the experience of listening to Why We Get Fat the most enjoyable?

    This was really interesting, understanding the whys of why we should or should not eat things, how your digestion works, makes slimming or just eating healthier easier. This changed my whole outlook on food, is easy to follow and I feel so much better for following it. It also reduces risk of diabetes and cholesterol levels. Eat as much as you want but just ensure they are the right things. Turns everything I understood before on its head. Eat fat and get slim!!!!!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Non fiction


    What three words best describe Mike Chamberlain’s voice?

    Not the best, but I got used to it and was interested in the content


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No you need to dip in and out, work out how you best use the information before going on to the next. In usual American style, lots of things are repeated but it is not to bad in this as there are some technical things which you need to understand.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Fab
    Dundas, Australia
    5/2/13
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    Story
    "Evidence based nutrition advice? Tick!"

    Finally a book about nutrition capable of explaining some fundamental scientific concepts easily. The book is to be commended for the evidence it presents in support of the many concepts put forward. Over the last three months I have followed the advice of this book to adjust my nutrition and have already achieved significant results.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • J.L.W.B
    London
    4/7/13
    Overall
    "Really informative and helpful. However..."

    Really informative book. I learned a lot of new stuff.



    However, there is so much information here and so much of it is quite technical- easily explained here but still quite in-depth that it's hard to comprehend everything.



    I found the narrator easy enough to follow, but not so easy to follow I could describe it as bedside listening, you need to be fully awake and aware when listening as it's easy to fall out of the loop and misunderstand entire chapters. I think it does at times sound a bit monotone and narrated rather then enacted or given more force- don't get me wrong, I've heard far far worse and some books are so terribly digitised they are inaudible but there are still ways which this book could have been improved on the reading out-loud side.



    I think the price is very expensive- you can pick up the book for far less and actually with all it's technical stuff (for want of a better word) I think it may be easier to read this yourself then to have it read to you- unless your going to sit with a note-book to take down all the relevant information as it's easy to have all these facts and figures ride straight over your head.



    A good book though- a great book and well worth a read or listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Tim
    Offord Cluny, United Kingdom
    12/31/12
    Overall
    "the best most informative read of your life!"

    This thorough account of the influence of carbohydrates on your body is fully backed by science. It is just the right level of biological explanation to fully appreciate why carbs are so bad for you. Well done Gary for bringing this complex subject to the masses. Anyone who takes this information on board can only benefit from a longer more fulfilling life. Thank you and thanks to Paul Thurrott and Leo Lapport for recommending it 12 months ago.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Susan
    Ellesmere Port, United Kingdom
    12/23/12
    Overall
    "Life changing"

    I bought this book as a complete contrast to my usual genre. I listened to it on holiday over a couple of days whilst relaxing by the pool! I loved it and despite the scientific terms I found the information easy to understand and very informative. I listen to it regularly in the car to and from work to keep me on track at meal times. I am pleased with my weight loss progress and defintely feel healthier thanks to this audio book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Andrew R
    London
    12/23/12
    Overall
    "Very informative"

    If you've ever wondered whether low fat diets are as healthy as they're supposed to be, listen to this book - you won't regret it... although it might make you change what you eat.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • MR
    London, United Kingdom
    8/21/12
    Overall
    "Superb"

    If you are interested in losing weight this is the best. you will never think about carbohydrates the same again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Clare
    Appeville, France
    6/6/12
    Overall
    "Very interesting!"

    I am definately going to try this out. I remember as a child, the whole debut of the diet "thing" was about carbs then, perhaps revisiting this theory is long overdue. I grew up on eggs, bacon, lard, meat, butter - but also lots of potatoes. Not very much fruit, only in season & limited on price & availability. It will be very interesting to see if this works, nothing else has! Caveperson here I come!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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