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.
"I don't do this..."
I don't do this... review purchases. This time I've made an important exception.
WIth a keen interest in personal fitness and health, I've been interested in nutrition for the last twenty years. Although not particularly overweight, I'm very aware of the sacrifices that the majority (of which I am one) make to keep healthy and trim. I've read the magazines and followed the fads and routines over the years. I even qualified as a fitness instructor and particularly enjoyed the nutrition element of my training.
Central to common accepted 'understanding' on weight loss is the tenet that if you don't burn off the calories you put in, you gain weight, and vice-versa. This book destroys this myth. With reasoned argument that is backed with research by world renowned academics and institutions over the past one hundred years, Taubes explores carbohydrate consumption, Glycaemic index, insulin secretion and their effect on the body.
The result is knowledge which I've applied to the way I eat (not 'Diet') and followed for approximately two months. I've lost 12 pounds in weight ...easily. I haven't even exercised as much as I might. I've never been hungry, eaten as much as I want, and have enjoyed all that I've eaten - all in the knowledge that not only am I slimmer, but the information offered with have a positive affect on my risk of diabetes, heart disease and health in general.
Please don't dismiss this. Please read/listen to this book first and base your judgement on an informed opinion. I'm spreading the word as much as I can; I hope you will do too...
Having read 'Protein Power' a number of years ago I already knew how bad carbs were and that it's them rather than fats that make us fat. However reading this book will completely change the way you think about food; or at least it did with me. Gary explains in great detail that we eat because we get fat, the conventional wisdom is that we get fat because we eat. If that doesn't make sense now then read this book; for those of you who are overweight maybe its time to stop blaming the obesity epidemic on gluttony or your own lack of willpower.
Please note, this is not a diet book and I agree with Gary Taubes that diets just don't work, at least not in the long term. Having said that, I lost a large amount of weight after reading this book because I changed what I eat rather than how much I eat. I don't see that there's an end point or a target weight to be reached, after which point I'll go back to my old bad eating habits. This is the diet trap and one of the many reasons they fail.
This book will debunk years of dietary myths and completely shatter the hypothesis that high fat, high cholesterol diets lead to heart disease and obesity.
I was trying to think of a particular demographic for whom this book is essential reading but actually it's essential reading for everyone. Whether you're a parent trying to make the right food choices for your kids, suffering from obesity or just plain health conscious; buy this book and change the way you think about food forever.
"Getting to the meat of it..."
This book would have five stars were it not for the narrator. The material is absolutely excellent. Insightful, well researched, carefully structured and unpacked I wish it had been available when I was growing up instead at the latter part of my life. I'm very fortunate not to be obese but there is no question that my body has paid a price for a life-time of dietary ignorance. Vulnerabilty to all the ills of the first world is the price, and I have the package - diabetes, prostrate problems, hyper-tension - I'm just lucky to have made it to 70! This is one of those books that will change your life and your attitudes to obesity - all for the better - thank you Gary Taubes. But now what of the reader? Mike Chamberlain is very strange. The American determination to pronouce certain words without an 'h' (as in urbs instead of herbs - OK I can live with that) is taken to extremes and he makes practically all 'h's silent! Its very funny - though I am sure he didn't mean it to be....Fortunately the material survives and its well worth putting up with the reader's quirk. However I have come to a decision - from now on I buy only books narrated by the author - Rob Lowe, Stephen Fry, Darren Bown, Michael Caine, Christopher Hitchens - all brilliant reads...
"Life Changing. Wow!"
I had no idea. And now at least four of my friends are just as stunned after buying their own copies.
If you've ever wanted to lose weight. If you've ever struggled to be slim, PLEASE try this book. I've listened to it three times so far and I'm still learning.
This is a very informative book, I have read everything there is about health and weight loss etc but I found this one really laid it down in plain English while not skimping on any of the necessary science and information. It's not really a diet book as such however the advice on how to eat to deal with the issues you may have regarding insulin regulation is extremely helpful. I will definitely be recommending this title to friends and family as I think it's basic advice that everyone should know regardless of whether they have weight issues or not.
"Listen to this again and again"
I have listened to this book three times over already, It is quite simply a revelation and it gets better every time I listen. I have changed my lifestyle and I am losing weight because know I understand why i couldn't lose weight before, despite a whole number of different diets. I cannot recommend this book highly enough, everyone should have the chance read it or hear it. Awesome.
"Do not diet without listening to this first!"
A straightforward take on a really simple concept. I listened to this while on a VLCD and it makes more sense than virtually everything else I have heard - not so easy to follow but with the tools available you are then empowered! Definately worth listening to if you want to control your weight in the long term.
"All makes sense really...."
if you can just drop all you probably believe now about dieting (don't worry reasons are given on why you may wish to change your mind). So many of us (I'm definitely including myself) have tried every diet under the sun and beat ourselves up when it doesn't work or the effects last.
I had a long drive ahead of me last week and thought an audio book (first for me) would be ideal - I wasn't wrong and in general would recommend audio books but I didn't expect the content of this one to be so facinating!
Am trying the diet outlined - so far no craving of carbs (which is amazing). I used to think I was in a habit of eating every hour or so and that I was a 'grazer' however within only a few days I can now (with the knowledge of the book) see that I was only responding to my body's craving for carbs (the more of them you eat, the more you want) - whether you are hungry / need them or not. I feel positive with this level of control and we'll just need to see how things go re my inches / weight as time progresses. Far too early to comment on that one at present. I'd highly recommend a listen to this audiobook though - then you can make you own mind up on what you believe.
One minor downside is repetition - which is generally across chapters and I suppose is to be expected if you want to be able to read each chapter in isolation - or it may be a method of pressing the point being made!
Absolute must listen, well researched and presented, well read. Loved it!
"Great way to start a new year"
Brilliant - This book has changed the way I think about food. It makes such perfect sense.
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