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on March 1, 2011
You have to approach this book with an open mind. It is purely science based; although it is the author's interpretation of the science. It is very easy to read with short, sweet (pun) chapters. The editing is not the most polished, but it's not a novel. Who really cares if the word fat is overused or there's a few grammar errors.

I see so many negative reviews because it doesn't agree with their own concepts. In fact, objectively speaking, this book attacks this very approach -- that things work because they worked for me and therefore they should for you too. These people haven't read the book, no way, and they are not criticizing the facts, the science. They behave exactly like the current dietary gurus who are too stupid to see it's not working. Because you're a vegan stick person is not proof this isn't valid science -- insulin sensitivity has you covered

Put yourself in one of two camps. Either you look at all the fatties and think they are weak minded slovenly gluttons or you think there's something physiologically wrong with them. If you're in the first group, which btw includes my own doctor, you need to read this book and consider the science. Not because I want to convince you, but because I want you to convince me it's wrong. Don't tell me that CICO isn't valid when you don't even understand that's not what he's saying. If you think it's a personality weakness problem, I have no time for your own mental deficiencies -- read the book before you criticize! If you're in the second group, if you're a frustrated dieter -- all dieters are -- then this book will open up a whole new world of possibilities. Even if you think you know it all, there are ideas here that will make you say "ahhh!"

Speaking from personal experience, and I have quite a bit, this book is close to the ultimate. I participate in most major diabetes forums and am in touch with possibly thousands of diabetics around the world. I watch a lot of people adopt a low carb lifestyle, some even vegan. I see medications being reduced and dropped. I see the weight falling off. I see people getting active. I see people getting healthy. Dozens? Hundreds? I am seeing personal friends doing the same. One is down 105 lbs in six months after a lifetime of constant gaining despite trying every diet out there. And it's all almost effortless. And it's working for me too. I'm down 25 lbs, my A1C (type 1) is 5.6%, DW & I joined a gym, my retinopathy has stalled completely, and I feel great. My lipids are perfect too! I've approached this as a science experiment, and the science has held up. I feel confident in saying 100% of people that follow this advice succeed. 100%!
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on December 20, 2011
First, I bought Good Calories, Bad Calories for my e-reader. Then I bought Why We Get Fat, for my e-reader. Then I had to buy hard copies, so I could share them. Then I had to buy another set. Then my husband read them. Then he bought a set to share with friends too!

I have always struggled with my weight - usually keeping it in the "high" end of a healthy BMI. Then menopause hit. Something changed. I was gaining 10-15 pounds a month! My biggest "diet success" always came from following the Atkins plan. But, I was only looking for quick weight loss and the nay-sayers would chip away at my resolve - convincing me the diet was unhealthy and would kill me!

Gary Taubes clearly, rationally, logically (and scientifically!) exposes the faulty science used to support the low-fat diet hypothesis and exposes it for what it is - the most widespread FAD diet ever and a failed mass scientific experiment of epic proportions. The results of the experiment are in and they are conclusive - we all bought into the recommendaton to replace the fat in our diet with starch and sugar - and we are fatter and sicker than ever.

Gary explains (and he is right) - until we were brain-washed with the low-fat dogma, and into the near-religious belief in the evils of fat, we ALL knew and understood, to lose weight the stuff to shove off the plate are the carbs - first dessert, then the potatoes, bread and other "fillers" like pasta and rice. What you kept was the meat and vegetables. You know, foods with actual nutrition - protein, essential fats, vitamins!

Gary Taubes has finally switched my focus from merely losing weight to regaining and keeping my health. I'm not gaining weight anymore. In fact, I have lost 35 pounds. I have energy to burn. My skin and hair are radiant. And I believe that I am protecting myself from all those nasty diseases of civilization - cancer, Type II diabetes, and the scariest of all, Type III diabetes - Alzheimers. Gary Taubes clearly demonstrates all of these illnesses are rare in populations that consume diets low in carbohydrate - especially sugar.

If, as in the past, my sole focus was on weight loss, I wouldn't have continued with this. Weight loss after menopause is slow. But Gary Taubes has educated me - about my body and about its own systems to maintain a healthy weight - which are interfered with by a diet high in starches and sugars. My weight controls itself now. My appetite controls itself now. My cravings for sweets are gone. The weight loss is a very nice side benefit to the energy and other health benefits that come with eating nutritious food.

The nay-sayers now hold no sway. I trust how I feel and what my mirror tells me, watching the devout and sanctimonious low-fat eaters get fatter, wrinkled and less healthy with each bite of dry whole wheat pita while I happily munch on my salad and steak.

When someone compliments me and asks how I keep so slim, energetic and healthy - I hand them one of my copies of Gary Taubes' books. Read these books. And get extra copies. They are the antidote to bad science and failed health dogma.
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on January 28, 2011
If you haven't read Good Calories, Bad Calories, then this will serve as a good introduction to Gary Taube's survey of the research into diet and nutrition. If you have read GCBC then this still has some new things to offer, especially as GCBC wasn't specifically targeting obesity. Taubes demolishes the calories in/calories out model of obesity with cogent arguments, and brings up some new studies that came out after GCBC. Well worth a read!
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on July 29, 2011
This book has totally changed my view of food and what to eat.

It is well written, concise, informative and supports its conclusions with detailed reference sources. Certainly the best book on food and weight control I have ever read. I am over 60 years of age and have tried other weight control regimes with success, however at the expense of feeling hungry most of the time and having to eat things that I don't really like. I now really understand the physiology of all this and realize that it is not simply a matter of calories in and calories out. This has been quite a revelation and has assisted me in focusing on the key elements of weight control.

I am presently reading his other book "good calories, bad calories" which is much more detailed and harder to read. If you want the quick and dirty read "Why we get fat" as is summarizes everything one needs to know in an easy to read and factual manner.

I now eat what I like, am not hungry, feel great and am able to easily keep my weight where I want it to be. Highly recommended.
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on January 26, 2011
This book lays out the basics of the current state of the science of fat metabolism, particularly the role of the insulin hormone in fat accumulation. Through excellent historical critical inquiry, it reveals how public health authorities and nutritionists managed to veer off on the wrong track some 30-50 years ago. Taubes's background was physics (Harvard) and he applies the rigor of sound scientific methodology to an area plagued by unwarranted conclusions derived from ambiguous data to justify public polcy interventions--well meaning interventions based on incomplete knowledge, but incorrect and causing more harm than good. Now there are a lot of vested interests at stake and Taubes's work illicits strong reactions from many (who avoid engaging with the research itself, rejecting the conclusions rather than providing a critique of Taubes's evidence and analysis).

This book is less detailed about the science than Good Calories, Bad Calories, but it is very readable and includes more up-to-date research that supports the themes in the earlier book. My daughter who is in high school and interested in science read Why we get fat in a day with excellent comprehension. Very highly recommended.
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on January 26, 2011
The debate over how we should is not over and we should not accept what we have previously been taught about how to eat. Whenever I talk about eating low-carb I have to deal with years of indoctrination that low-calorie is the way to eat to lose weight. This book and the previous book Good Calories Bad Calories have changed the way I eat. This book explains why after years of teaching that eating fewer calories and exercising, people are getting fatter.

Read this book with an open mind and it may change your life. It is well written and easy to understand. It follows a logical order and any questions you may have as to why we should eat low-carb are answered with convincing scientific research.
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on November 17, 2012
When I first bought this book, I thought it was about "why we get fat". I didn't realize that the book proposes a fundamental shift in how we think about getting fat and what foods cause us to get fat then supports that with a No Sugar, No Starch "diet". The "diet" is not really a diet but instead a new way of thinking of how to fuel our bodies for maximum energy and to stay lean. Gary Taubes supports his arguments for this new way of thinking with numerous studies and logic. At first I was doubtful but I kept reading because I hate to leave a book unfinished. But by the end, I completely agree. Well written and well researched.
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on May 4, 2013
What prompted me to write this review was reading some of the negative reviews. I am 50 and I personally have followed a high fat low carb diet for a year and a half. I lost 35 lb. in the first 3 months and then have been weight stable ever since. My blood lipid profile is all in the low risk range or better (much to my doctors chagrin), and I have much more energy. One of the negative reviews says that Mr. Taubes does not recommend exercise. This is not true, he himself exorcises and recommends that others do it as well. What he is trying to get across is that for a large percentage of the population the idea that we can exorcise to slim down simply does not work. All people are different and respond differently to exorcise (and everything else). If you want hard research also read "The Art and Science of Low Carb Living" by Volek and Phinney. If you struggle with excess weight these books can change your life.
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on April 25, 2011
Gary Taubes has done an excellent job in showing the science behind how we gain (and lose) weight. Not only does he write in easily understandable language, he clearly shows the science behind fat accumulation. Checking historical research and current realities, it is obvious that the nutritional advice we have been getting for the last 60 years does not line up with scientific evidence. Once you understand how carbohydrates change the body chemistry and what the results are, you will cheerfully ignore the food guidelines and eat your way to health. The only disappointment was Gary's seeming endorsement of artificial sweeteners - I guess that needs to be his next topic of research. I would recommend this to anyone who wants to understand how the body uses the food we put into it and who wants to be healthy.
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on February 21, 2012
There isn't a nutritionist in the world that could hold a candle to Gary. The extraordinary amount of reading and research he has put into his books is really quite impressive.

I have read his book "good calories, bad calories" 3 times and it should be regarded as a crucial textbook in health, nutrition, and medical classes's just that important.

His work is literally curing diseases.

I recommend his work to everyone.Good Calories, Bad Calories: Fats, Carbs, and the Controversial Science of Diet and Health
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