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Old 04-05-2013, 08:54 PM   #1
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Has anyone read "Why we get Fat" by Gary Taubs?

I'm a new member here, but not new to Low carbing. I did it a couple years back and lost about 25 lbs. Fell off the wagon, gained it all back, plus.

I realize now that the first time I opted for a low carb diet, I did it for the wrong reason, or at least not the most important reason. I did it to lose weight, period. I was a slave to the scale, bummed when I stalled, and not proactive in keeping my low carb diet varied and fun.

Fade in fade out, I found myself overweight again, and this time on the edge of Diabetes II. So this time I'm doing it for my health, although believe me, I'll take any weight loss that comes my way.

I'm in my third month of aiming for 50 carbs or so a day, sometimes it shoots up to 80 or 100, but not often. No big dramatic weight loss, like I often read here, but have lost 8 lbs, and I believe it is fat not water, as I did not do induction, hence no big whoosh of water loss. And I can feel it in my clothes, and that's always nice, even if it isn't a big change yet.

What's great is that I feel good, and am eating like a queen. I have made it a project to cook new Lo Carb recipes, and I'm experiencing more interesting variety of meals by far than pre Lo Carb.

The thing that has helped and inspired me no end is reading Gary Taub's "Why we get fat." It's fascinating! And scary how much the nutrition/health/medical community has mis lead the public about the nature of weight loss with "calories in calories out" mythology and a host of others.

Taub's basic premise is, contrary to conventional wisdom, you're not getting fat because you're eating too much, you're eating too much because you're getting fat. And from that everything else flows in an amazing logical sequence that leaves you gob smacked at all the crap we've been sold when it comes to weight loss.

I could go on and on, but I thought instead I'd see if anyone else has read it, and hear what y'all took away from it. I'd love to discuss the many aspects of this book with anyone who feels the same as I do about it.

If you haven't read it, I highly recommend it. For me, it makes more sense than anything I've read or understood in my off and on again journey of losing and gaining, and I swear, you'll never look at unhealthy carbs the same way again, no matter how good you know they taste.
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Old 04-05-2013, 08:56 PM   #2
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I've always wanted to read it because it's HUGELY popular here on the forums, and I know lots of others have drawn great inspiration from it too... I may just have to buy myself a copy now that you've brought it to the forefront of my mind again

Welcome, by the way! It's good to have you here!
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Old 04-05-2013, 09:02 PM   #3
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Thanks raindroproses. I appreciate the welcome.

I really do encourage you to pick up the book. It's very scientific, with many interesting facets as to how he comes to his conclusions, but not dry or boring to me at all. Some of it I had to read a couple of times to get my head around the way it all works, but once it all kicked in it was such an a ha! moment for me---being able to actually PICTURE what was happening in my body every time I ate big plates of pasta, or 3 dinner rolls. This has made it SO much easier for me to make good decisions.
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Old 04-05-2013, 09:06 PM   #4
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You should read it, raindroproses, but in the meantime, you can watch one of his lectures on youtube. Taubes is awesome!

That being said, I haven't read it. I read Good Calories, Bad Calories a couple of years ago and I thought it was amazing. I'd like to read Why We Get Fat, but I have a feeling it won't say anything new and I never have an extra 20 bucks lying around, sadly.

Anyhow... I think if the whole world listened to Taubes, we wouldn't all be in our current predicament.
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Old 04-05-2013, 09:09 PM   #5
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Thanks raindroproses. I appreciate the welcome.

I really do encourage you to pick up the book. It's very scientific, with many interesting facets as to how he comes to his conclusions, but not dry or boring to me at all. Some of it I had to read a couple of times to get my head around the way it all works, but once it all kicked in it was such an a ha! moment for me---being able to actually PICTURE what was happening in my body every time I ate big plates of pasta, or 3 dinner rolls. This has made it SO much easier for me to make good decisions.
That's a good thing! I know I enjoy reading about the scientific hows and whys of the way our body works, but when things are dry and boring... I just can't get into it. Probably the reason I've always been fascinated with biology but just couldn't stick with school long enough to become a dietitian or a nurse like I wanted to

I could probably USE that mental picture for sure though! I haven't cheated once since starting my diet, but man... if SOMETHING could convince me why rice is just sooooooo bad for me, it probably wouldn't be such a bad thing I think that's what I miss more than anything from my carb addict days!
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Old 04-05-2013, 09:09 PM   #6
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You should read it, raindroproses, but in the meantime, you can watch one of his lectures on youtube. Taubes is awesome!
Oh, nice! Thank you for mentioning that... I had no idea he's done lectures that are on YT!! I'll have to check those out for sure
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Old 04-05-2013, 09:13 PM   #7
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Hi rubidoux.

I tried to read "Good Calories, Bad Calories" years ago, but didn't get very far. Big book, lots of details and science, and as I said, I wasn't motivated in the right ways. "Why we get Fat" is kind of "Good Calories, Bad Calories" for Dummies, LOL. Shorter, more to the point, but still chock a block full of the science and so much more. But I agree, if you read his first book and absorbed his message, you don't need to read this one.

I started watching him on a You Tube video, and decided to buy the book as I absorb better when I can read, and re-read to really understand as I go. He puts A LOT of information out there!
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Old 04-05-2013, 09:17 PM   #8
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Yes, I've got the book. Very good.

WWGF is an eye-opener even when you think you know lots about nutrition.
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Old 04-05-2013, 09:19 PM   #9
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If SOMETHING could convince me why rice is just sooooooo bad for me, it probably wouldn't be such a bad thing I think that's what I miss more than anything from my carb addict days!
I sure get that. For me it's bread. And I don't intend to go without it either, but now it's a special treat instead of a daily indulgence. And I found a GREAT low carb bread machine recipe---3 carbs per slice. So that helps.

If you like biology, I think you'd like this book. And you can always skim the "boring" parts, but I was surprised I didn't find many of those. I just really got into his whole journey of laying this out and fighting for his ideas.
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Old 04-05-2013, 09:25 PM   #10
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WWGF is an eye-opener even when you think you know lots about nutrition.
Ain't that the truth. I found myself so irate about the myths perpetrated on such THIN evidence, not to mention the evidence and studies totally contrary to YEARS of bad conventional wisdom from the health community. What blew me away when I came to understand it is how the whole idea of how our bodies regulate fat is rarely a discussion in the tons of same old bad and unproven advice.
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Old 04-05-2013, 09:29 PM   #11
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It's a very popular book here, and discussed very often. The info in his two books is about the same, just presented differently.

Here's one of his presentations. There are several on YouTube.

Why We Get Fat - YouTube
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Old 04-05-2013, 09:37 PM   #12
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I figured it had been discussed here, but didn't see it on recent threads, and just wanted to share my enthusiasm for it. It has been my number one tool in these last months, and will hopefully lead me on a much different journey than my last low carb experience. I need to lose some more weight, and I believe I will. But my satisfaction in my efforts this time is coming from a different place, due to this book. So far anyway. It's a looooooong journey, but happy to at least be on a path that feels so right, for the right reasons.
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Old 04-05-2013, 09:40 PM   #13
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It's a looooooong journey, but happy to at least be on a path that feels so right, for the right reasons.
I think that's really the key to this WOE and long term success and happiness right there... doing it for the right reasons, and recognizing what those reasons are! When I stopped looking at it as a "well, you'll look better if you lose X amount of pounds" sort of thing and started looking at it as a positive investment in my long term health and overall quality of life... everything just sort of clicked for me
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Old 04-05-2013, 10:02 PM   #14
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Thanks, raindroproses. I agree, that's the "click" for me this time too.

I notice there are many threads here about losing weight---techniques to break the stall, lose the last 10, etc, etc, and I so get that. Been there, done that many a time, and like I said, I certainly hope to lose more weight.

But I don't have a goal weight, or the expectations I've tripped over before, because that makes me get obsessive, and then I amp things up to a point I can't live with for the long term.

If I can just get my blood sugar where it should be, that will be a huge victory. And for me, THIS TIME, I need to do it in a way that feels good, tastes good and goes the long haul. I believe the weight will go down in due time, whatever that is, but it's going to have to be in a way I can maintain, something that becomes natural for me, without obsessing.
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Old 04-05-2013, 10:18 PM   #15
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"Why We Get Fat" is fabulous. Reread much of it today and it should be required reading for anyone with 30 lbs or more to lose! Infinitely better than his older "Good calories, bad calories". (I found that one to be a good substitute for Sominex.)
His entire Diet Plan instructions fits into only nine of the 300+ pages. The rest explains how and why LC works where low calorie plans usually fail. Folks with weight problems get told repeatedly they are lazy glutonous overeaters and this book explains why that is a total pile of garbage in understandable language.
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Old 04-05-2013, 10:34 PM   #16
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Hi Chuck

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" Folks with weight problems get told repeatedly they are lazy glutonous overeaters and this book explains why that is a total pile of garbage in understandable language.
Yes. That "garbage" is almost criminal when you consider the lack of foundation it's built on, and the lazy "meme" repeating health community.

When Taubs says at one point in the book that in some ways fat tissue is not unlike a tumor---something that wants to grow---and will dominate if allowed, ie, robbing the rest of the body of energy and driving the appetite for more, it started to really click into me..."you're not fat because you're eating too much, you're eating to much because you're getting fatter.

And yet still, a gazillion words in weight loss articles and health articles about calories in, calories out, same ole eat less, move more.

And Yeah, Good Calories, Bad Calories was a snooze and I didn't get very far in it, but read where Taubs said he felt he had to go into that kind of uber detail to get taken seriously in a world that really really wanted to argue with him.

He said he wrote "Why we get Fat" because many people asked him to write a book more would read.
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Old 04-05-2013, 10:37 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Blue Skies View Post
I figured it had been discussed here, but didn't see it on recent threads, and just wanted to share my enthusiasm for it. It has been my number one tool in these last months, and will hopefully lead me on a much different journey than my last low carb experience. I need to lose some more weight, and I believe I will. But my satisfaction in my efforts this time is coming from a different place, due to this book. So far anyway. It's a looooooong journey, but happy to at least be on a path that feels so right, for the right reasons.
Nothing wrong with bringing it up again, I just wanted to let you know that other threads exist, if you wanted to search for some other discussions about it. Some older threads have gone in interesting directions.
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Old 04-05-2013, 10:43 PM   #18
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Thanks Ntombi. Not sure how to use the search function here. Whenever I put anything in the search block I get directed to netrition. But haven't tried it yet since I joined, which was just a couple of hours ago. Perhaps you have to be a member to search?

I would enjoy reading those other threads.
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Old 04-06-2013, 12:07 AM   #19
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When you click on search, two options appear: search products and search forums. You're searching in the top one, when you want to search in the bottom.
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Old 04-06-2013, 03:52 AM   #20
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Both of his books are excellent reads, certainly eye-opening. I think there is a bit more territory to cover though, with respect to the battle against the bulge. And hopefully he will continue to research and write more books. I think there is more to it than just reducing carbs, especially for some people. I know his research changed my approach. It made me wake up and smell the coffee with respect to exercise, I had no idea that I was making myself fatter by doing so much. Now my life is balanced and I don't have to worry about getting fat anymore, it is such a relief
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Old 04-06-2013, 05:27 AM   #21
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WWGF is a terrific book and so is GC/BC. The difference between the 2 is pretty big in terms of information and subject matter. I first read GC/BC, then WWGF and then listened to GC/BC on audio books. Each reading, I got something more out of each book.

If you have now read WWGF I recommend reading GC/BC.

Another terrific book is Wheat Belly and I highly recommend that to those who think wheat is ok.
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Old 04-06-2013, 06:10 AM   #22
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I'm glad I never tried reading "good calories bad calories"
the info is pretty much the same as "why we get fat" but I was warned that it was very scientifically oriented and that gcbc was more 'user friendly'
so anyway, i got gcbc and found that IT was pretty science based. I can't say that I enjoyed it as a read, but I admit that it was loaded with great info.
The message seems to come down to something like this " Forget the food pyramid. Forget that fat is bad. If you want to lose weight and gain health then avoid carbs.
The science is very useful because it details how our bodies, actually our cells metabolize the foods (fats, protein,carbs) to create glucose, and how hormones, mostly insulin work in this regard.
It's a great myth buster and I would recommend it as a resource to anyone who is serious about health and nutrition.
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Old 04-06-2013, 06:24 AM   #23
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I just read Why We Get Fat and I loved it. Everything he said really resonated with me. I've been doing low carb for a year now. I tried exercising for 6 months prior to starting low carb and lost nothing. Lost 10 pounds in my first week of low carb. When Taubes was talking about the doctor that diligently did the rowing every day for months and lost no weight, I was smiling.

I am reading Wheat Belly now. I'm not sure about it yet.

By the way, Why We Get Fat is less than $11 at Amazon.
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Old 04-06-2013, 06:33 AM   #24
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I've read it and it's a solid book. I don't follow a lc plan and there's a few things I disagree with Taubes about, like his views on calories, but overall I really respect his insight-especially about sugar. He's supposed to be working on a new book about sugar right now and I can't wait to read it!

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Old 04-06-2013, 07:26 AM   #25
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I'm glad I never tried reading "good calories bad calories"
the info is pretty much the same as "why we get fat" but I was warned that it was very scientifically oriented and that gcbc was more 'user friendly'
so anyway, i got gcbc and found that IT was pretty science based. I can't say that I enjoyed it as a read, but I admit that it was loaded with great info.
The message seems to come down to something like this " Forget the food pyramid. Forget that fat is bad. If you want to lose weight and gain health then avoid carbs.
The science is very useful because it details how our bodies, actually our cells metabolize the foods (fats, protein,carbs) to create glucose, and how hormones, mostly insulin work in this regard.
It's a great myth buster and I would recommend it as a resource to anyone who is serious about health and nutrition.
He is a gifted writer on a very complex subject. So many of us get ridiculed because we are dismissed as lazy overeaters and its great to find someone that can explain specifically why we are not. He even interjects a bit of humor in it from time to time.
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Old 04-06-2013, 07:46 AM   #26
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That book changed my life. Best book out there to give a full view of all the nutrition lies that have been perpetuated upon us in the last 50 years.

Blue Skies, you may have to drop to under 50 carbs if you're trying to get your BG under control. I had to do 20 or less for many months before my BG stabilized to normal. I can eat more carbs now, but I still rarely go above 50.

I started out with a fasting BG of just over 300, and I'm now regularly in the 70's and 80's. It can be done!
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Old 04-06-2013, 08:02 AM   #27
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That book changed my life. Best book out there to give a full view of all the nutrition lies that have been perpetuated upon us in the last 50 years.

Blue Skies, you may have to drop to under 50 carbs if you're trying to get your BG under control. I had to do 20 or less for many months before my BG stabilized to normal. I can eat more carbs now, but I still rarely go above 50.

I started out with a fasting BG of just over 300, and I'm now regularly in the 70's and 80's. It can be done!
Another book you may want to consider reading is Dr. Richard Bernstein's 'Diabetes Solution'.
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Old 04-06-2013, 08:11 AM   #28
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Along with many others, I read this book after I started my way back to low carbing. It helped me understand more about myself and how food impacts me, which I think allows me to stay with this way of eating than I otherwise would. And it also provided me with a little more inspiration to keep going because it made things make sense. Plus, it's an easy afternoon read if you have the time and the information is quite digestable.

I started taking my weight/health seriously back in January after all the holiday gorging by allowing myself to eat anything but to restrict my calories and exercise regularly. I ended up gaining 5 pounds doing it that way! So then I returned to a stricter, yet more enlightened, version of what I did about 10 years ago with the low carb way of eating. This book helped reinforce why the simple low-fat/eat less, move more, generic advice doesn't work for me along with so many others.

I actually recommended the book to my mom who passed her weight genetics to me, but doesn't really want to commit to any particular type of way of eating. She just knows I'm doing something Atkins-esque, but kept commenting she "couldn't understand how a low-carb, high-fat diet could ever work." And while Atkins does delve into a lot of this, I think of that as more of a "diet" book and felt that Why We Get Fat would help explain to her in a very accessible way a lot of the reasons this way of eating works while rebutting "conventional diet wisdom." I'm not sure if she read it yet, but I told her if she really wants to understand beyond my quick couple minute explanation of this way of eating, it's a great place to start--especially since she passed her weight genes to me lol.
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Old 04-06-2013, 08:17 AM   #29
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I read it when it first came out. I should get it out again. Should be yearly required reading. :-)
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Old 04-06-2013, 10:05 AM   #30
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That book changed my life. Best book out there to give a full view of all the nutrition lies that have been perpetuated upon us in the last 50 years.

Blue Skies, you may have to drop to under 50 carbs if you're trying to get your BG under control. I had to do 20 or less for many months before my BG stabilized to normal. I can eat more carbs now, but I still rarely go above 50.

I started out with a fasting BG of just over 300, and I'm now regularly in the 70's and 80's. It can be done!
Thanks Vilya, I'm do for a check up soon, so we'll see where I'm at. My BG was just over the line for Diabetes II, so I'm hoping I can do this with between 30 and 50 carbs a day, which represents a HUGE drop for me, as it would for most people. I eat virtually no refined sugars, and the carbs I do eat come from low carb bread I make in the bread machine, nuts and occasional fruits of the low carb kind. If not, I'll have to re-configure.

Luckily the less carbs I eat, the less I want, as we know. So if I do have to drop more it won't be so bad, and I have a head start in the weaning down process.
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