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Why We Get Fat -book Review

August 12th, 2011 at 10:08 am

I recently finished reading the library book Why We Get Fat And What To Do About It by Gary Taubes. I thought it was really good. It basically details the history on how government policy was formed around the theories of low-fat, high-carbs is good for peoples health regardless of the science that doesn't back up those theories. The following quotes are from Amazon. Well worth reading to decide for yourself.

"The most important point of the book is that all those public recommendations -- the food pyramid, the "eat food, not too much" approach, everything we know about a balanced lifestyle -- is founded on the premise of Calories In vs. Calories Out. That we get fat because we eat too many calories, or we don't burn enough of them through movement. But this is nonsense. It's not just wrong, it is actually not a statement about what causes obesity at all (or heart disease, cancer or diabetes, for that matter.) It is, in Taubes' words, a "junior high level mistake," because it tells us nothing about fat accumulation. If we get fat, by definition we have taken in more calories than we've put out -- but WHY we took in those calories, or didn't burn them, is the key point. "

"Taubes reviews the scientific literature (rather than the popular press) and presents a conclusion that was common knowledge before WWII, and heresy afterward: we get fat because our fat cells have become disregulated and are taking nutrients that should be available to other tissues. Like a tumor, the cells live for themselves rather than in balance with the rest of the body. And since those nutrients aren't available, we become hungry and tired. Therefore we eat more, and move less. "

"While Taubes acknowledges that exercise seems to be good for us for a variety of reasons, weight control isn't one of them. Study after study conducted by proponents of exercise have admitted that they see no compelling evidence for exercise as a weight-loss tool. And it makes sense if you throw out the calories in/calories out model of why we get fat. If we're fat because our fat tissues are starving the rest of our cells of fuel, exercise is just going to make us hungrier and more tired, not leaner and more fit. (It's worth noting that according to Taubes, in the 1930s obese patients were treated with bed rest.) "

I ordered 7 books from Amazon this morning and paid $0.00. I had $80 in swagbucks and when I was signing out they offered me another $40 if I signed up for the Amazon gift card. So I did that.

$66.29 - total of 7 paperbacks
-9.93 - free shipping
-7.99 - 4 for 3 promotion
$48.37 in free books used $8.37 of my swagbucks total

I finished reading the library book Just Like Heaven by Julia Quinn. Romance - very good.

5 Responses to “Why We Get Fat -book Review”

  1. Miz Pat Says:

    I think I'm going on swagbucks. I love amazon and books.

    So does the book have suggestions on how to regulate those pesky fat cells?

  2. ceejay74 Says:

    I go back and forth on the question of whether calories are calories or not. I tend to think there are just foods that cause us to eat higher densities of calories and not really realize what we're doing, and it makes us think those foods' calories have a different quality.

    I do think it's easier to lose weight if you avoid those types of foods. I'm currently successfully losing weight by avoiding white rice, flour/pasta, potatoes, chips, sugar and beer.

    However, there was a compelling experiment where a guy lost a bunch of weight eating strictly junk food but cutting way back on calories.

  3. retire@50 Says:

    Miz Pat - the book suggests low-carb, high fat, (but good fat) and protein for losing weight.

    ceejay74 - I think anyone can lose weight cutting way back on calories for awhile, but it's hard to sustain. This was of eating as explained in the book also improves blood pressure, lipids and blood glucose control. I've been following this for 4 months and I can tell you for me all those numbers have improved dramatically. I'm interested in being healthy overall as well as losing weight.

  4. Miz Pat Says:

    The only problem with the fat is I have high chloresterol, but I might try that.

  5. Jerry Says:

    $80 worth of books for nothing? Wow, I think this will lead me to check out swagbucks, as well. I get a lot of my school (and other interesting) books on Amazon, and my Kindle offers me some insurance of even more savings for digital versions. Thanks for the tip!

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