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
A long long time listener to audiobooks, who appreciates good writing.
This is almost a text book. The author sites research in detail and finally 2/3rds into the book reveals why the world is getting fatter. Highly recommend this book. Provides a great education.
So far i'm down 13 pounds in just over a week. Losing weight when you don't have to starve yourself makes all the difference in the world. I guess I won't know for awhile if their are any side effects from eating a high fat diet, but I know what the side effects of being over weight are and i'm sick of it. If you were like me, eating a low fat and not getting results, you owe it to yourself to check out this book.
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."
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.
I don't say that a book is life changing easily. I minored in nutrition in university and thought I was pretty knowledgeable. I will be the first to admit that this book pretty much teaches you the exact opposite of what you learn in university nutrition classes (or at least what I learned). As a generally skeptical person, I appreciated the science based explanations and the attention given to the conflicting research that exists. I thought that the arguments it made regarding insulin metabolism made a lot of sense and some of the descriptions seemed to really match my physiology (excessive appetite, fat around the waist, sugar crashes). I figured that since the experts don't agree, I might as well try it out.
I was AMAZED at the results. I quickly started dropping weight and feeling better when I cut out grains, increase fat intake, and cut down carbs in general. I dropped 15 lbs within 3 months and have been at my ideal weight ever since with very little effort. In total it's been about 10 months.
The only thing that I don't like about this book is that it is so sure that low carb is the right way to eat for everyone. I have a hard time believing that, based on what I've observed in real life. However, what the book pushes is right for ME and I have completely changed my diet based on the information provided. I could not be more happy with the results and wish I'd been open to trying this years ago.
Even if this doesn't end up being right for you, if you struggle with extra body fat, I suggest that you read the book and learn about the approach. You can always try it out and if if doesn't agree with your body, try something else.
Addicted to Audible since 2009
A first decided to listen to this book after hearing about such a great review and how that person said this book changed their life. I won't go nearly that far but overall, I did find this book to be very helpful and hopefully, the tips and advice I got from this book, help me lose some weight.
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.
Full time Mother of 3, part time emergency physician, avid cyclist. Active in community and schools. Living in a small town in the Northwest
A well-documented, well researched systematic debunking of the common wisdom: "Eating fat makes you fat". By the end of the book, you realize the jump from learning fat clogging arteries (which cause heart attacks and strokes) must be caused by dietary fat is just as nonsensical as if we believed "eating wrinkled food like prunes or rasins will make you age and wrinkle faster". There is just no neurohormonal evidence behind the low fat craze, and our unrestricted carbs are creating the obesity epidemic we have today. Prepare to think of obesity as truly malnutrition, more common in the poor, and understand why. The audio format is excellent because you can't skip any of the supporting evidence, you hear it all and it is very compelling.
This is a great book that presents the reason why we get fat and then provides the solution.
This is not magic potion, it will require will power and a change of lifestyle, however - IT WORKS.
I enjoyed the balance between applicable information as well as the science behind the book. As someone who will most likely never find the time to read "Good Calories Bad Calories", this brief but thorough book was just what I wanted.
good content. neat narration. holds your attention till the end despite so much statistics and endocrinology.
"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.
"Repetitive and a dead loss if you are vegetarian"
You better like eating meat and you'd be better off reading Atkins. Vegetarians like me are according to this author doomed to obesity! I think I'll turn elsewhere for healthy eating advice!
So repetitive and laboured. If this is the shortened version of his previous book I shudder to think how dry that must be.
No-one was going to be able to make this one lively.
I would have cut 75% of the book and still not have lost any of his arguments.
"Great for anyone looking for more information!"
I engaged with the text more. I have always found it quite hard to get my head around the arithmetic and mathematical equations that go into the weight calculations, but listening to them made them make sense.
Non-Fiction, but it set everything right for me. The notions of how fat works had always intrigued me and this really made me think about it.
By narrating, he opened up the subject for me and made it interesting. He can be a little tiresome when the same material is being repeated but it still engages me.
An apple a day could keep you fat.
"A Real Eye Opener"
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.
Report Inappropriate Content