Why We Get Fat
I’m so frickin sick of not losing weight, I decided to take a chance on this book by Gary Taubes called “Why We Get Fat and What To Do About It”. I had never heard of Mr. Taubes and had no real idea of wht to expect. So I did some research.
It turns out Gray Taubes has a good reputation. He has written for the New York Times, wrote a book called “Good Calories, Bad Calories” (the basis for this new book), and has won a couple of awards. With that knowledge and a couple of good reviews, I decided to take a chance on the book.
In effect, Mr. Taubes is an advocate of a low carb lifestyle for all around good health. If you’re looking for a diet to help you lose weight, this book isn’t really for you. But if you want to read why our science of eating is so out of whack, and you want to learn that there’s more thought than just “calories in vs. calories out”, then this is a great book.
You see, there’s this hormone called insulin that regulates carbohydrates and turns them into fat. Insulin rises when your blood sugar is high. And if, like me, you doubt this claim, look it up. It’s not controversial. it’s well a well-known process. And yet I’ve been told over and over that fat is created by eating too much.
The first law of thermodyamics states that you do NOT talk about thermodynamics. No, wait, I mean “Energy can be neither created nor destroyed. It can only change forms. In any process in an isolated system, the total energy remains the same.” So most scientists applied this law to diet, and, voila, calories in MUST equal calories out, right?
But wait one gosh darn minute, son! The body isn’t so simple. The body processes different nutrients differently. A carb and a protein aren’t handled the same way. Yet many books, including ones I thoroughly trust, state that a carb calorie is no different from a fat calorie is no different than a protein calorie. Yet the same scientists will turn around and tell us whole grain calories are better for us, or that fat calories are worse. Huh? If one calories isn’t different than another, then I understand how I gain weight. But if your telling me that some calories are better for me than others, then that’s the monkey wrench, at least for me.
Mr. Taubes does a terrific job at explaining all of this and more in his book. The best part is you can look a lot of the information up and discover it is well covered science behind the book. This isn’t some fly-by-night diet book. This is hard-core science comin’ at you at the speed of funky.
I have decided to give it a shot and go on a low carb diet. I’m not doing Atkins, which, as I’ve recently discovered, is insanely difficult. Instead I’ve decided to lower my sugar intake first and foremost, while keeping the carbs down as well. For the first diet in my life I am not trying to count calories to lose weight. And it’s all due to this book.
As preliminary, I’ll recommend the book. I’ll update on whether I’m losing weight or not and how I’m doing it. If I don’t see some results within a month, I may change my mind on this book. Until then, I’ll say that this dude is on to something, and the book is worth the read if just for the great argument he adds to a difficult discussion.