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LiterateGriffin 01-24-2013 06:02 AM

Gary Taubes: Why we get fat
 
After having so many people here tell me I "had to" read Gary Taubes, I looked him up while I was at the library yesterday. This was the only book of his they had at "my" branch, and I took it home.

I'm on page 170.

I've already decided, at this point, that I'm buying a copy and mailing it to my weight-loss-buddy back in California. She needs to read this, so she can stop beating herself up for "allowing" herself to gain so much. (NOTE: Part of her gain was when she was on birth control hormones AND being treated with the WRONG hormone-medication. Yet she's decided she was -- and I quote -- "trying to kill myself with food.")

If a lab-rat pre-disposed to become fat will sacrifice its brains and organs in preference to fat-tissue when denied calories from infancy, it does not hold that fatness can POSSIBLY be a "moral failure" on her part... particularly as I know how very, very little she tried to eat during the times she was blowing up. (I speak of her, rather than myself, because her weight gain was so FAST. She went from a normal-looking attractive woman to significantly larger than me -- while being 4" shorter and of smaller frame -- in about 2-3 years. "Blowing up" is really the only appropriate word for what happened to her.)

Also of note was the effect gestational diabetes has on the fetus -- including predisposing it (the fetus) to middle-age obesity. I'm the FIRST in my family (thin or fat) not to have had gestational diabetes.

BUT...

When I was pregnant with my son, I was coming -- reluctantly -- off Atkins. When I was pregnant with my daughter, I was eating a much more "conventional" Western diet. My son has always been an "easy" eater, accepting the healthful foods I gave him, and not overly interested in sweets. My daughter, on the other hand, while raised in the same house and in the same way has always been ADDICTED to sweets and processed foods. She would live on fruit and bread if allowed. While my son at a year CRIED when given ice cream (by my mother... fortunately I had some broccoli on hand to make him happy again), my daughter at 8 months STOLE my ice cream cone. She'd never had it before, but she saw that and KNEW she HAD to have it. We've got pictures. We have a terrible time getting any sort of protein into her at all. It reached a peak around the holidays, and she was told she no longer gets a say in her food: For one month, she'd eat whatever she was given, period. There were early struggles, but... it's been exactly like watching someone go thru induction: Initially, she only wanted the starchy/sugary foods, but is now accepting more protein-rich foods and is displaying improved behavior as a result.

My son is 8, my daughter 5. My son seems to have inherited the "Scottish genes" in my family, which pre-dispose one to obesity. My daughter, by appearance, seems to have inherited the "French" ones, that predispose other members of my family to be amazingly thin. Little Man is not fat or overweight -- but his height/weight ratio is a little bit skewed towards weight. (It comes across as, "I wish he were a little taller", rather than overt concerns about what he weighs.) He's got more visible reserves of body-fat -- there's fat on his belly, for example, though not enough for concern. You an still see his ribs through his skin (which I've always been given to understand is one of the things they check for: visible, though not prominent, ribs.) My little girl, on the other hand is tiny for her age. Her height/weight ratio is skewed towards height. Six months ago, when last she was checked, she was the HEIGHT of a 3.5 year old, but the WEIGHT of a 3 year old. (She was 5 at the time. She's now 5 1/2). She has NO visible body fat. She's still able to back-float in the water, so she obviously has SOME fat... but it's not visible, anywhere. She is highly energetic, literally climbs the walls, but her low body-fat means she gets cold very VERY easily in a cold environment...

And yet she's the one with the horrid diet. And she's the one -- if Taubes is right -- who runs the risk of suddenly turning 40 and finding she's carrying an extra 40 lbs for no apparent reason...

Unless we can teach her better before then.

clackley 01-24-2013 06:17 AM

Great book! I think the thing that sticks out to me when you are discussing the diets and weight of given children, that one must remember that excess weight is a bit of a 'heads up' on metabolic disease. This however does not mean that that the reverse is true - i.e. that being slight means good health.

avid 01-24-2013 06:24 AM

thanks for the reminder. I have been meaning to read him as well.
I just went online to the library website and see that I can get his books on
inter library loan.
I requested "Why we get fat and what we can do about it"
Can't wait.
I hope your friend realizes that the "moral failure" argument is just
a tactic by the corporate poisoners to keep the focus off of themselves.

synger 01-24-2013 06:34 AM

I really enjoyed Taubes' Good Calories/Bad Calories. It's more detailed than Why We Get Fat, from what I've heard. So much of it was eye-opening.

Jrw85705 01-24-2013 06:56 AM

“Why We Get Fat” was the first, and most eye opening book I have read on low carb. For the first time, in all the years of reading and dieting, I got it. What he says in that book made perfect logical sense. After reading his book I got Dr. Richard Bernstein’s “The Diabetes Solution” and I was on my way.

The most compelling argument, for me, in “Why We Get Fat” is when Taubes writes about poorer societies where many of the adults are obese and the children are thin to the point of looking malnourished. As he says, you know the parents aren’t eating all of the food and depriving their children; so it must be the type of foods they are eating and how their bodies are reacting to it.

I have bought and given away at least 5 copies of the Taubes book, but only to people who were really interested. Though I know people who could benefit from it, unless they ask I keep my mouth shut. And it’s not always easy.

Needless to say I highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in low carb. I have found that when I have questions or doubts about my own WOE (even after two years) just going back and rereading parts of it will remind me I am doing the right thing.

LiterateGriffin 01-24-2013 07:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by synger (Post 16216223)
I really enjoyed Taubes' Good Calories/Bad Calories. It's more detailed than Why We Get Fat, from what I've heard. So much of it was eye-opening.

In the intro to "Why we get fat", he cites "Good Calories/Bad Calories" as the more in-depth work. "Why we get Fat" was written because of repeated requests for a simplified "easy-reading" version that could be given to people unable or unwilling to plow through "Good Calories". (Paraphrasing from both his intro, and the bibliography at the end.)

I've just FINISHED "Why we get fat", and am going to see if I can order "Good Caloires/Bad Calories"

Another "keeper" -- he effectively links most types of cancer to the high-carb diet that broke our metabolisms... ~shudders~

avid 01-24-2013 07:32 AM

I just got a call from the main county library (that was quick!) Why we get fat is on the shelf there and they are sending it to my branch..Should have it tomorrow.
After reading the above posts, I'm glad I reserved 'why we get fat' instead of 'good calories, bad calories' I need the 'simplified' version fer sure.....:sing:

DD80 01-24-2013 07:47 AM

For your friend, I would also recommend "Master Your Metabolism" by Jillian Michaels. She doesn't follow a low carb approach, but the entire book is about balancing your hormones (and why we are getting fatter). It does recommend an organic lifestyle (eliminating as much chemical/pesticide as possible not only in food, but packaging, lotions, cleaning products, etc). My hormones are out of whack after years of on/off birth control, thyroid problems, adrenal issues...etc etc etc. I was desperate to find a solution.

I found it very helpful, and while I can't afford to change everything right now, I am gradually phasing in glass or BPA free plastic, more natural cleaning solutions (vinegar, peroxide, and baking soda), and organic products as much as possible. I was already a proponent of more natural products, so things like soaps, lotions, makeup, etc, I already had 80% of those natural. I even found a great supplier of organic meats (they have EVERYTHING!) that is in my neighborhood and, I think, quite reasonably priced.

Anyway, I hope your friend finds some relief!

reddarin 01-24-2013 07:58 AM

Yep. WWGF was my eye opener too. I'd done Atkins back in the 90s so I knew how easy it was to lose weight on LC.

I read WWGF and started LC. Then I read Wheat Belly and excluded wheat completely (as possible) from my life. Some time after that I found LCF and started tweaking what I was doing.

:)

LiterateGriffin 01-24-2013 08:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DD80 (Post 16216399)
For your friend, I would also recommend "Master Your Metabolism" by Jillian Michaels. She doesn't follow a low carb approach, but the entire book is about balancing your hormones (and why we are getting fatter). It does recommend an organic lifestyle (eliminating as much chemical/pesticide as possible not only in food, but packaging, lotions, cleaning products, etc). My hormones are out of whack after years of on/off birth control, thyroid problems, adrenal issues...etc etc etc. I was desperate to find a solution.

I found it very helpful, and while I can't afford to change everything right now, I am gradually phasing in glass or BPA free plastic, more natural cleaning solutions (vinegar, peroxide, and baking soda), and organic products as much as possible. I was already a proponent of more natural products, so things like soaps, lotions, makeup, etc, I already had 80% of those natural. I even found a great supplier of organic meats (they have EVERYTHING!) that is in my neighborhood and, I think, quite reasonably priced.

Anyway, I hope your friend finds some relief!

Thanks -- that's RIGHT in line with our (hers and my) lifestyle anyway. She makes most of her cleaning and "beauty" products from scratch already, because she doesn't like the idea of poisons in her house (and CERTAINLY not on her or her babies' skin). Heck -- she's the one who introduced me to home-made laundry soap. (Talk about an instant convert!) So Ms. Michaels sounds like she might be "palatable". :)

She's actually down more weight, at this point, than I am, last I heard. She's been seeing a series of bariatric-specialists, who've been varying degrees of help/hinderance since we both started down this path a year ago. Left to her own devices, she'd eat a very Hindu, vegetarian to vegan diet, so incorporating MEAT into her diet for weight-loss was a huge step. She approves of how I eat, when we discuss food, but has issues with eating animal-flesh. It's one of the things Taubes is VERY convincing about: Flesh is not a harmful food. (It'll also maybe help her quit worrying about her husband's cholesterol, with "all the meat and eggs" he eats.)

watcher513 01-25-2013 01:46 AM

I was really glad Taubes wrote the easier to read/understand version of GCBC. I tried reading the original but it's pretty technical.

hopewell 01-25-2013 02:08 AM

Thanks I just downloaded the audio format from my local library.
God I LOVE the internet. :jumpjoy:

lterry913 01-25-2013 07:07 AM

An article on "why We Get Fat" was what started me on the low carb path...I sat down one evening 2 years ago and saw a Reader's Digest with a smiley face made of bacon and eggs staring back at me from the cover. I should have saved this little book as a reminder but I didn't...I did however take the advice of the person who credited Taubes in the Article with writing the book that enlightened him on eating better and lower carb to lose weight. IT WAS MY LIGHT BULB MOMENT...that moment when evertyhing became clear...I bought Taube's book, then bought Atkins' book and so far so good...These books were life savers for me.

LiterateGriffin 01-25-2013 08:32 AM

lol I thought I had all the science of weightloss I needed with Atkins. He presented compelling logic and evidence, and my body proved him right.

Taubes goes into more depth, and more breadth, on the subject... and me with my thirsty mind just suck that kinda stuff up! He's also got the benefit of the recent & current research that's been being done lately, all of which supports the not-so-new idea that carbs are fattening. (I REMEMBER when this was common knowledge... and then we all changed our tune. "Bread and pasta make you fat" turned to "Eat bread & pasta, or you'll get fat.")

PianoAl 01-25-2013 09:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lterry913 (Post 16218421)
An article on "why We Get Fat" was what started me on the low carb path...I sat down one evening 2 years ago and saw a Reader's Digest with a smiley face made of bacon and eggs staring back at me from the cover.

You can read the article here:

Nice quote from the article:

"What we tell people to do to lose weight—eat less and exercise—is exactly what you’d do if you wanted to make yourself hungry."

reddarin 01-25-2013 09:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PianoAl (Post 16218744)
You can read the article here:

Nice quote from the article:

"What we tell people to do to lose weight—eat less and exercise—is exactly what you’d do if you wanted to make yourself hungry."

Thanks for posting that :)

Gilded Lily 01-25-2013 12:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PianoAl (Post 16218744)
Nice quote from the article:

"What we tell people to do to lose weight—eat less and exercise—is exactly what you’d do if you wanted to make yourself hungry."

I cannot tell you how in love I am with this quote! :love:

lterry913 01-25-2013 12:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PianoAl (Post 16218744)
You can read the article here:

Nice quote from the article:

"What we tell people to do to lose weight—eat less and exercise—is exactly what you’d do if you wanted to make yourself hungry."

Aw,that was sweet of you to dig that up...I will surely save it and look back at that smile face often and re-read the article that got me started...Thanks again.:)

Adoug4ho 01-26-2013 06:04 AM

Thanks piano! Love the succinctness of the article. Great to share and motivate others to dig deeper :)

Vilya 01-26-2013 06:24 AM

WWGF was the book that changed me into an LC'er for life.

I've mentioned this here before; what I thought was a bona fide eating disorder all these years was really mostly my horrible carb-filled diet. Not that I am magically cured of wanting to overeat, but probably 95% of those obsessive thoughts about food disappeared after ditching the carbs.

Sunnyanne 01-26-2013 06:39 AM

Thank you for posting the link. It is well worth saving!

avid 01-26-2013 07:32 AM

I noticed a big difference in my appetite as well.
It used to be that when I got hungry I would get weak and shakey.
Definitely hypoglycemic.
But since ditching the carbs now when I get hungry, it's well....just hungry.
Y'know that sensation in your stomach that says "feed me"
No more having to eat something "right now" or feeling like I'm about to pass out.
Of course I would gorge down something super carby like a bagel etc. and start the
viscious cycle all over again.
What a relief to be done with all that.

lterry913 01-26-2013 08:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by avid (Post 16220433)
I noticed a big difference in my appetite as well.
It used to be that when I got hungry I would get weak and shakey.
Definitely hypoglycemic.
But since ditching the carbs now when I get hungry, it's well....just hungry.
Y'know that sensation in your stomach that says "feed me"
No more having to eat something "right now" or feeling like I'm about to pass out.
Of course I would gorge down something super carby like a bagel etc. and start the
viscious cycle all over again.
What a relief to be done with all that.

I was the same way...I would eat breakfast and a couple hours later I would be a monster...and if someone got in my way when trying to get food into me to feel better, they had better look out(monster unleashed lol)...So glad those days are gone...I feel so in control now.

Jrw85705 01-26-2013 12:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LiterateGriffin (Post 16218657)
(I REMEMBER when this was common knowledge... and then we all changed our tune. "Bread and pasta make you fat" turned to "Eat bread & pasta, or you'll get fat.")

This is so true. We lived in Mexico in the mid 1960s and one of the first things I noticed was there were so many overweight people. I asked my mother about it and she explained since their diet was too heavy in “starches” and not enough protein, they put on extra weight. Of course she didn’t know about carbohydrates but back then everyone knew too many starches made you fat.

You are so right about breakfast. When I used to eat my healthy bowl of oatmeal, which I did enjoy, two hours after breakfast I could have eaten the box it came it. Beside the hunger and shakiness my blood sugar numbers would go crazy. In over two years of having ham, cheese and eggs every morning I never have any after breakfast ill effects.

LiterateGriffin 01-26-2013 02:35 PM

It occurs to me... I remember, too, hearing from some official-type source when I was young, that Innuits had a diet of 90% fat, but almost no heart disease.

And it was immediately followed up with a discussion about how they eat "blubber, which is not the same as fat", which made the difference. We were ACTUALLY TOLD that walrus and whale fat weren't bad for your heart, because they were magically different from all other kinds of fat. (And, incidentally, off-limits, being from endangered species and all.)

Am I weird, for thinking this is a "normal" topic of conversation for a drive along the coast? ~chuckles~

But yes... whales and walruses have magic heart-safe fat, we can't tell you what's magic about it, though, because it would be unethical to kill a whale or walrus for their fat. We just know it's obviously unlike any other fat on the planet, because the Innuits don't die from heart attacks. Here, eat some grain.:annoyed:

For so many years, they worked on changing our thinking... We KNEW better, once... But we bought it. ("They" = FDA, AHA, AMA, etc. Those who make public announcements about health and nutrition. And "We" = the majority of the American public. And obviously everyone here, at least at SOME point in their life, or we wouldn't have gotten in trouble with carbs in the first place.)

I'm just so grateful for people like Taubes, Lustig, Phinney, etc... It's no longer a lone voice in the dark (Atkins), who can be easily dismissed. More and more respectable researchers are coming out and pointing out the many gaping holes (um, COMPLETE LACK OF EVIDENCE, anyone?) in the Lipid Hypothesis, and the dangers of the "officially approved" diet. It's getting harder to blow off. It's getting harder to dismiss. It's getting harder to keep quiet.

I'm REALLY hoping that by the time my kids hit middle school -- or at least high school -- that public policy will have backed off a little bit on their stance... or at least that enough people will "know better", so that we don't have another generation like this.

Biochic 01-26-2013 07:14 PM

I just ordered this book!! Can't wait to read it!!

DeborahL 01-27-2013 09:53 AM

If you search YouTube, there are several videos of Gary Taubes discussing this information too.

avid 01-28-2013 06:39 AM

I'm about a third of the way through the book and I gotta tell ya,
so far I haven't read anything that I hadn't already learned from following
lc posts here at LCF.
I'm going to finish the book, but if you have been coming here for any length of time
you probably are already familiar with the baisics of Mr. Taubes' arguments.

dejaht 01-28-2013 10:53 AM

I love this book :) For me it was a real life-changer. It absolutely changed my self-esteem once I understood it was not a 'character or moral failing' to become overweight in the first place. I'm not a greedy pig. It was physiological, not psychological, and my body just doesn't tolerate high carb.

mainemom 01-30-2013 08:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lterry913 (Post 16218421)
An article on "why We Get Fat" was what started me on the low carb path...I sat down one evening 2 years ago and saw a Reader's Digest with a smiley face made of bacon and eggs staring back at me from the cover. I should have saved this little book as a reminder but I didn't...I did however take the advice of the person who credited Taubes in the Article with writing the book that enlightened him on eating better and lower carb to lose weight. IT WAS MY LIGHT BULB MOMENT...that moment when evertyhing became clear...I bought Taube's book, then bought Atkins' book and so far so good...These books were life savers for me.

LTerry - This was almost exactly my same experience! Was at the grocery store late one evening, and saw that same Reader's Digest. I picked it up and started skimming the article. I didn't buy it, but wrote down, "Gary Taubes - Why We Get Fat," on the back of my grocery list. When I got home, I looked up the book on Amazon and immediately ordered it. Two days later, I was alternately crying, shaking my fist, and saying, YES (ooh, just realized what all THAT sounds like, but really, I was just reading!). What a complete and total LIGHT BULB MOMENT(s) that absolutely changed my life and how I think about food forever. I also recommend to anyone who shows any interest in my choice of food lifestyle.


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