Customer Review

209 of 253 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Informative, but a little frustrating to read, February 13, 2011
This review is from: Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It (Hardcover)
I thought this book was good, but I thought it was extremely frustrating to have to get 80 pages in to read that, yes, in fact, Taubes thinks that we shouldn't overeat (because he was basically going on and on about how he disliked the "calories in calories out" advice we get from all sources) and that we shouldn't under eat our daily recommended intake of calories. But that's because I realize that undereating isn't healthy; so, if you are like me, stick with the book it's still informative. I loved all the historical research and the scientific facts as to what goes on inside the body when the calories we eat are absorbed (or not absorbed, based off the quality of food we eat). I liked knowing the relationship between insulin, hormones and fat as well as the extra information I didn't know about good and bad cholesterol. But, I did have to remind myself that it's not a diet book and that it was explaining the processes of how the body metabolizes food and what we need to eat so that our bodies perform the way they should; it's easy to get wrapped up in wondering when the diet and exercise information will start to pop up if you are used to reading diet books. If you are looking for a diet book, the basic information in this book translated into a diet book can be found in a south beach, atkins, or zone diet books. If you want to know the "whys" behind the advice these books recommend, read this. I find it's easier to follow marching orders if it's understood why they are given.
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Tracked by 5 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 15 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 21, 2011 2:42:29 AM PST
FO4SC says:
This book was written so that people won't need anymore "diet" books. It's a book about a grossly misguided way of life and eating that is causing an epidemic of obesity and disease, which can be prevented and/or reversed. "Marching orders" would be:

1. Cut out simple and easily digested carbs
2. Cut out sugars

Posted on Mar 7, 2011 7:14:13 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Mar 7, 2011 7:15:12 AM PST
Elenor says:
Oh dear! You've really missed the point! Gary was NOT "going on and on about how he disliked the "calories in calories out" advice we get from all sources" -- he does not "dislike" it -- he showed, using actual science, why it's NOT TRUE!! Skip The Zone and the South Beach; they've got some real flaws, to say nothing of NOT understanding the science Gary shows.

Go for Atkins or Drs Mike and Mary Dan Eades' The 6-Week Cure for the Middle-Aged Middle: The Simple Plan to Flatten Your Belly Fast! or Protein Power: The High-Protein/Low-Carbohydrate Way to Lose Weight, Feel Fit, and Boost Your Health--in Just Weeks!. To reinforce the message Taubes is showing, try this documentary -- it's hilarious and oh-so-accurate! (Fat Head) And Taubes appears in it, as do the Drs Eades.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 22, 2011 2:13:13 AM PDT
Jered Morgan says:
Thanks Elanor, I thought I might have to make the points you just made. And Lola, Elanor is right. South Beach is dumb. Zone is dumb. In fact all diet books are basically incredibly stupid because they simply ignore about 150 years of research and anecdotal evidence from those who actually WORK with obese people. It's a horribly mangled scientific field. Just horrible. All Gary does is basically take a fresh look and set things straight. Enjoy eating all the fat you want!!

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 25, 2011 1:45:54 PM PDT
While I'm not familiar with the South Beach diet, I don't see how you can say "Zone is dumb", if the main concern with that diet is insulin control which is a big part of what Mr. Taubes is talking about.

Not saying Zone is the best diet, and I don't follow it, but it is certainly not "dumb". It is actually quite reasonable if you can follow it, and conforms with the final goal of low carb diets - insulin regulation.

Posted on Jul 3, 2011 8:04:20 AM PDT
S E Morris says:
A caveat: this is not a critical review of the book Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It, but of reviewers who think it is a "diet" book repeating the tired and ineffective mantra of weight loss by calorie and fat restriction. This isn't a traditional weight loss instruction book, despite the title. Indeed, intelligent people know that "diet" is everything you eat, not what you do to control your weight. This is a health book, in which medical and public health advice about diet health over the past 40 years is shown to have fallen tragically short of any effectiveness; it shows how this advice actually increased the very problems it was supposed to solve. Mr. Taubes clearly explains the mechanics of body fat metabolism and regulation (finally! science!). Careful reading of this book will show it does not advocate calorie restriction or low-fat eating. Thorough reading will locate the "diet and exercise" advice at the end of the book. If you will, the first part of the book is a manifesto on the damage done to the public health by political, economic and educational expediency, simplistic thinking, and the careers of some influential "experts." Bravo, Mr. Taubes!

I read it carefully, and nowhere does the author indicate he "thinks that we shouldn't overeat." He shows, using the evidence of years of fat metabolism and insulin usage research, that most of us should not eat carbohydrates, including sugars, starches and (interestingly) sugar alcohols. Of everything else, we can eat as much as satisfies us without concern for calories. We do not become fat from the sins of gluttony and sloth, but instead we exhibit gluttony and sloth from becoming fat on the very diet we have been advised (and forced, through availability of foods in our markets) to follow.

Personal experience has shown me for the second time that I can consume an unlimited amount of protein, non-starchy vegetables, and fat in my diet AND lose weight (fat and inches), gain energy, and have lower cholesterol and blood pressure--without feeling hungry or paying any attention to calories or exercise. It generally disproves the calorie-restricting, low-fat, punishing diet advice I've been receiving and gaining fat weight on for 30 years. One will have to sacrifice to succeed: cutting out carbohydrates is no easy task for those of us who love them, have to prepare meals for a family with children, or EVER eat in restaurants.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 23, 2011 12:03:56 PM PDT
On the other hand, based on this very credible book, children should be eating animal products including lots of fat, and avoiding anything high carb, just like the rest of us. Read the information Taubes gave about what existing and recently existing hunter-gatherer cultures ate. To any extent that carbohydrates can be reduced for children, it should improve their lifelong health.
I read the book and started the low carb diet on the advice of my doctor. I am not at all overweight, but have had a hemorrhagic stroke with no obvious cause, and very few pre-existing health problems of any kind. I am guessing that all the carbs I was eating may have caused inflammation which led to the stroke. I was previously a vegan.
I have been on the diet about 11 days. It is very hard to give up carbs, but I was convinced by the book that this is the diet we have the best evidence for.
Actually, Taubes did say or quote other experts that we should stop eating when we are full, which is much the same as not overeating.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 26, 2012 11:39:54 AM PDT
Oh thank you so very much for this so helpful and sensible post. I am 59. I am detoxing yet again from alchohol. I am exhausted, sad, and tired, and have bought so many books and so much bull. But this makes so much sense. I have bought this book. I must do something, for I have grandchildren who need me very much.

Posted on Aug 5, 2012 1:45:15 PM PDT
JC says:
I'm not sure what book you read but the whole point of this diet is that you are no longer concerned with limiting yourself to eating the right foods. I don't see where you got the whole undereating thing. You can eat as much fat and protein as you want until you are full and you will lose weight. I know because I've been on it for 2 years. Yes, I do sometimes crave sugar and bread (I have a cheat meal once a week), but the rest of the time I *overeat* on the allowed, non-carb, items.

Posted on Oct 7, 2012 4:21:05 AM PDT
Jered Morgan says:
I think you kind of missed a crucial point of Taubes whole body of research: that calories are simply an incomplete answer. The thing is high insulin makes you hungry, and if you just cut out the foods that cause high insulin, your natural appetite will take care of itself. It's basically impossible to overeat on a low sugar/starch diet. And, furthermore, when you do eat supposedly more calories than you need, your cells help make up the difference by burning more fuel. (You'll feel warmer.) It's still not about calories in that calories do not make you fat. If you have really low insulin, and eat a bunch of calories (fat and protein) you still will not put on extra weight. That's what his whole thing is about. The ground squirrels discussion illuminates this point, but I'm not sure if it's included in this book, or if it's just in Good Calories, Bad Calories, which is worth a read. Enjoy! :)

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 7, 2012 4:24:40 AM PDT
Jered Morgan says:
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