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' 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.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.
©2010 Gary Taubes (P)2010 Random House
good content. neat narration. holds your attention till the end despite so much statistics and endocrinology.
although in the beginning it felt whacky since it's going against the common teaching of a good diet. it just shows how badly we've been brainwashed, however this book has a lot of heart ('hard equations and rational thinking' - 30 rock, tv show) in it.
personally i don't need to lose weight, but i USED TO have a chunky fat in stomach which i've lost most of it since i limit the amount of carb consumption.
This book came in the nick of time for me. In order to fix my cholesterol I was put on the wrong diet, and started gaining weight, increasing my risk of heart disease. Hopefully I can now control it correctly.
One irritating problem with this book: the narrator replaces "causal" with "casual" and "causality" with "casualty". It would be amusing if it wasn't so obviously wrong. -1 star for these repeated errors. Apart from that I think this book is great.
Say something about yourself!
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.
I'm just a dumb troglodyte who like reading. Me feel good after I read book.
Gary Taubes' “Why We Get Fat” (WWGF) is an engaging summary of the science related to human weight gain. Taubes cites numerous research articles, case studies, and social/cultural situations to support the hypothesis that obesity is a result of our bodies inability to effectively digest select carbohydrates. The more complex the carbohydrate (bread, rice, potatoes,...) the higher the probability an individual will gain weight. This carbohydrate digestive processing program is also idiosyncratic, effecting some while not others.
WWGF reads like a doctoral dissertation attempting to support the argument that excess carbohydrates are responsible for excess human weight gain and corresponding health problems. Taubes espouses that diets high in protein and fat with restricted intake of complex carbohydrates not only results in weight loss, but are the healthier for the body. WWGF also reports that although exercising is beneficial to the human body, it relationship to weight lose is inconclusive at best. At this moment many readers may be saying “What the What”? According to Taubes you have been brain washed by the dieting industry and he has the research to prove it.
The strength of WWGF is Taubes debunking many long established weight lose myths. For example, the myth that weight lose occurs when calories consumed are exceeded by calories expended (called the first law of thermodynamics). For Taubes, the solution to society's obesity problem is not reducing time sitting on couch, but the replacing complex carbohydrates with copious amounts fat/proteins. Does this make sense? To Taubes the research is clear and Americans have been mislead into thinking dieting is an excess calorie problem.
There are two major drawbacks to the WWGF. Taubes arguments and theories are not independently verified. He does not conduct the hard scientific experiment to justify his claims. As a reader you keep waiting for him to discuss that well controlled study that will allow you to start eating steak for three meals per day. That study never materializes. A second weakness is WWGF does not provide any guidance on the types of carbohydrates you should focus on relative to weight lose. His best advice is to replace high insulin producing carbs with green leafy carbs. WOW and Thank you!
WWGH is a great book for readers interested in a more than passing interest in weight lose. The book is very well written, flows, and the information is easily digestible.
As far as audiobooks are concerned, it's good. I liked the performance. It wasn't stale and boring, even when getting into some scientific concepts
Exactly what I expected
He kept what at times was a dense topic light enough to follow
Disappointment at the way some of the arguments were made. It's definitely written to draw out people's sensationalism
He gives you the general premise of the book at the beginning and then spends a good bit of it using weak arguments to discredit people who may detract from the premise he's trying to express.
Yes, I have fought the battle for most of my life. At 50 yrs. old I am now 80 pounds thinner than I have been for most of my life. I have read every diet book and belonged to every diet program. Gary Taubes Nails it! I am one of the less than 5% who maintain my weight lost and have done so for over 5 years. There are many other good weight lose books. But this one covers them all without endorsing or laying out any one diet. With that said each person is different, but I do believe if you want to loose it for good most of us could do very well by simply giving up 3 foods....Wheat, Potatoes, Rice. Hard to do but turns out quite possible.
I found this an interesting read despite the heaviness of scientific data presented. Lots of good information to ponder. But be warned, it's big on meat as seemingly a cure to the issue of obesity. Gary appears to be a proponent of the Atkins diet and similar ways of eating.
He was pretty convincing, though. And this is coming from a 20+ year vegetarian. Afterwards, I read In Defense of Food, which gives another perspective entirely, however, and I found great benefit in having read them both---as I felt I got a well-rounded view of today's science and perspectives on diet. In the end, my leanings are more toward that of Pollan's (In Defense of Food), but this is a very good and worthy read for that sense of well-roundedness.
Here is a compelling argument for eliminating sugars and processed starches from our diet. The correlation between eating sugars/starches, the development of insulin resistance, obesity, and subsequent heart disease, is frightening. This book does go into the biochemistry of glucose and fructose metabolism, but it really isn't necessary to understand each step of that process. Focus on the end result, and be very, very afraid.
The real shock is in the author's explanation of the disconnect between the scientific research and the established medical advice that we are given every day. "Calories in, calories out" has been the mantra for as long as I can remember, and it is still being touted in the recent HBO series "The Weight of the Nation" (May 2012). I had read the author's essay on this series in Newsweek and decided to listen to his book. I was simply amazed... and when I cut out sugars/grains (just to see what would happen) I lost eight pounds in four weeks.
Yes. There is a lot of information that I didn't know or understand before.
The connection of eating carbohydrates to insulin production and appetite elevation was illuminating.
He made the arguments much more compelling. The more senses involved in learning the better the lesson is learned.
The discussion of how eating carbohydrates elevates hunger was very important. So much of the book described my battles with hunger and weight control. I liked the fact the book did not advocate for one particular diet plan over another. It was left up to you as to how you would use the information to plan your diet.
I chose to listen to this book because of the high rating your website gave it. I'm so glad I did. Using the knowledge I learned from the book I am now losing weight and feeling wonderful. I've feared for years that I might be heading toward diabetes. Now I'm hopeful I can avoid that. In that respect this may be a life changing book for me. All this good news because I joined an audio book club. Keep up the good work!
"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.
"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 :)
"No Idea what the fuss is about - Overrated"
The interesting part was the title. I bought it as I am very interested in all aspects of health, fitness and nutrition. According to other reviews it's amazing but all I got from it is that if you are really fat, then following this method will help you lose weight (including muscle mass I presume - but that's OK because you don't need it unless you are one of them exercise nuts like me). And you won't even need to worry about your health or the impact your new gluttony for meat has on the environment. It is full of scientific sounding theories and filler from ye-olde ancient texts but does not actually get to the point or lead the listener to anything other than a very simple conclusion which could have been summed up in one sentence.
Dull. American. Condescending.
No. I gave up and started to chapter skip.
I really don't see why this book has so many high star reviews (although it is due to them I bothered to download it). It is dull, slow and cites many debunked theories as 'fact' by missing out vital information along the way. The whole book can be summed up with one sentence: Carbohydrates make you fat, especially white flour and sugar, so go buy an Atkins diet book and find out which foods to avoid and why.
"Change your whole idea of eating healthly"
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!!!!!
Not the best, but I got used to it and was interested in the content
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.
"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.
"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.
"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.
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.
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.
If you are interested in losing weight this is the best. you will never think about carbohydrates the same again.
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