Customer Reviews for

Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It

Average Rating 4
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(114)

4 Star

(39)

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(27)

2 Star

(18)

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(12)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

18 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

Critical for Your Health

As far as diet advice goes, this book is the anti-magic pill. It won't simultaneously perform Botox, plastic surgery, gastric bypass, liposuction, and apply anti-age cream. But it will make you think. If you dislike that sort of book, I would recommend paying a friend t...
As far as diet advice goes, this book is the anti-magic pill. It won't simultaneously perform Botox, plastic surgery, gastric bypass, liposuction, and apply anti-age cream. But it will make you think. If you dislike that sort of book, I would recommend paying a friend to lay out the book for you--because the contents are that important.

"Why We Get Fat" delves into the current state of the obesity epidemic in America and its root cause. Namely, one that the healthcare authorities still ignore or on which choose not to educate themselves. Taubes presents a straightforward case for re-examining traditional nutritional advice, backed by more studies than a doctor would care to read. It's simple, useful, and produces results. While the book suffered minor stylistic and organizational errors, nothing overrides the need to give this book a full five stars.

The advice works broadly, and the science has been the means of changing hundreds of individuals whom I've had the pleasure of working with as clients over the last several years. The positive change in blood work, the weight loss, the increased health and energy are all real and palpable; and Taubes writes in such a way as to make these changes personally accessible without a medical education. I echo his comment that this book "needed to be written." However, more importantly, I know it needs to be read and shared. Give this a read and take some ownership over your own health.

posted by coreathlete on March 20, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

15 out of 40 people found this review helpful.

A disappointment

This book was not what I was expecting....the author went on for page after page about how badly most other weight-loss researchers had messed up and how he was one of the select few who knew what they were talking about. After plodding through this endless book, reader...
This book was not what I was expecting....the author went on for page after page about how badly most other weight-loss researchers had messed up and how he was one of the select few who knew what they were talking about. After plodding through this endless book, readers learn his opinion that the Atkins Diet is the best way to lose weight.

posted by 6577584 on January 11, 2011

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  • Posted March 20, 2011

    Critical for Your Health

    As far as diet advice goes, this book is the anti-magic pill. It won't simultaneously perform Botox, plastic surgery, gastric bypass, liposuction, and apply anti-age cream. But it will make you think. If you dislike that sort of book, I would recommend paying a friend to lay out the book for you--because the contents are that important.

    "Why We Get Fat" delves into the current state of the obesity epidemic in America and its root cause. Namely, one that the healthcare authorities still ignore or on which choose not to educate themselves. Taubes presents a straightforward case for re-examining traditional nutritional advice, backed by more studies than a doctor would care to read. It's simple, useful, and produces results. While the book suffered minor stylistic and organizational errors, nothing overrides the need to give this book a full five stars.

    The advice works broadly, and the science has been the means of changing hundreds of individuals whom I've had the pleasure of working with as clients over the last several years. The positive change in blood work, the weight loss, the increased health and energy are all real and palpable; and Taubes writes in such a way as to make these changes personally accessible without a medical education. I echo his comment that this book "needed to be written." However, more importantly, I know it needs to be read and shared. Give this a read and take some ownership over your own health.

    18 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 6, 2011

    Hits the Nail on the Head!

    After reading the book I can say the author makes a very persuasive point in eliminating carbohydrates and I agree. The book points out reasons that make some of us "fat" even in poor situations and during starvation mode as well as looking into other causes such as in my case- genes. In my family some are heavy and on the other side skinny, I got the fat side. Along with the fat gene, many family members are severely diabetic (both I and II type), I was spared being a diabetic unlike my father and his father, but notice how fast I "blew" up when including carbs in my diet. I defiantly agree, there is a connection to sugar ( have you seen how sugar is made, a lot like cocaine) and other processed foods that contributes to weight gain. I was born 11 10oz, I can say being almost a 12lb baby from a 130 lb mother and a heavy father, you defiantly can see where the genetic influence comes from. This book is great and answers many questions I've had over the years. If you always carried weight with you, and can lose weight when cutting back carbs or exercising your head off on a calorie in/out theory with no results, than this book will go through why that happens. Excellent read!!

    15 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2011

    A disappointment

    This book was not what I was expecting....the author went on for page after page about how badly most other weight-loss researchers had messed up and how he was one of the select few who knew what they were talking about. After plodding through this endless book, readers learn his opinion that the Atkins Diet is the best way to lose weight.

    15 out of 40 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 1, 2011

    Fantastic Book

    This is a nice fast book to read for your good health. I read Good Calorie Bad Calories but it was a hard read, this gets to the points without the 600 pages of technical reading.

    14 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 31, 2011

    Highly recommended

    This book is great for those who have an open mind about what really makes us fat. It makes complete sense. I found it very informative. He reviews past research regarding weight loss and it becomes clear as you carefully read that we have been sold a bill of goods re: low fat diets. For those who want to really understand why they are fat - this is a must read!

    11 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 10, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    It's about nutrition - not a "diet" book

    I recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn about nutrition and how it affects our general health. The author Gary Taubes is not a doctor but a journalist who specializes in scientific writing. He explains how mistakes have been made in the field of nutrition for the last 40 or 50 years. The misunderstandings have led to many of America's current health problems - obesity, heart disease, diabetes, hypoglycemia, and even Alzheimer's disease - are affected by "bad" nutrition and incorrect eating habits.

    Today's doctors and nutritionists are not going to change their minds about what they've been taught in medical school - even though there's a mountain of evidence to prove them wrong. Taubes makes a strong case for us Americans who care about our health to take matters into our own hands. If we wait for the medical schools to start teaching correctly about nutrition - and they will change - it will be 40 or 50 years down the road. We'll all be dead by then!

    Read this book with an open mind. You'll be amazed and want to start changing your bad eating habits immediately. For anyone who's seriously overweight or obese, you'll find that Gary Taubes is very sympathetic and not judgemental. He says repeatedly that it's not our fault if we're overweight but we can do something about it.

    10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 8, 2011

    Great Book! And it does work!

    I heard Gary Taubes talk about this book on NPR and bought it for the Nook as soon as I could. For the past decade (since giving birth), I've found that dieting doesn't work when I'm trying to lose that extra 20 pounds I've put on. What Taubes said resonated with me, so I decided to give his advice a try. And it's true -- you can lose weight even if you don't count calories, even if you eat all the fat you desire or can stand, so long as you cut out sugar and most carbs. Within 3 weeks, 13 pounds came off. Even if half of these were water weight, I look and feel much better now. I am confident I'll continue to my goal weight without any more effort. This has been fairly easy. Although I had been craving sugar/breads like crazy before, these physical urges disappeared after two days of carb-free meals. Now I can eat all I want of high-fat foods, so long as they have no or next to no carbs in them. This means I've rediscovered the pleasures of real mayo and tuna or chicken salad, fried chicken, bacon cheeseburgers wrapped in lettuce, almonds (my new munching food), peanut butter (on celery), bluecheese dressing, eggs with cheese and ham, etc. What Taubes explains makes total sense scientifically, as well. All of this low-fat nonsense is probably why Americans (including me) have gotten so fat over the past three decades. I had adhered to that low fat stuff for years, thinking mistakenly that it was healthy of me to have high fiber cereal, high fiber bread, and low/skim milk, yogurt, meats, etc. But yet I was always hungry and wanting more, including the stuff I knew I shouldn't eat. Now, the cravings are gone. I eat some food and am full. I don't think about food as much. Sure, I could joke to friends about my diet pretty much consisting of cutting out the top 10 foods I love most, but it doesn't seem so funny anymore because what I'm eating is satisfying enough and it works. I can see this as a lifetime eating program with the possible re-introduction of a modest amount of fruit and the occasional glass of wine once I reach my target weight. So if you are frustrated with being plagued with that extra 10-20 pounds, I recommend you read this book and act accordingly. It makes sense!

    9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2011

    Simple proof instead of theory on why we must cut carbs.

    I've never read so much compelling proof of why & how carbs are at the heart of all disease. This book goes way beyond losing fat & I liken it to reading a book on how to stop smoking: we all might know smoking (like alot of carbs) is bad for us, but until you see the proof from clinical studies, photos, patterns from tests made in this century & last century you don't feel as compelled to stop. This book will quickly reveal how this info has always been out there, but how & why it was dismissed by mainstream healthcare - and i can clearly see how so many people can,t lose weight given the current medical "advice".

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 20, 2011

    Finally, someone how makes sense of all the nutrition mush out there

    I've tried everything from vegan to gluten-free to whole foods-only to food pyramid. I was thin until my 30's and then couldn't seem to reverse the direction of the scale. 2 pregnancies and 20 years later, I was up to 180, even tho I walk marathons and really enjoy exercise.

    This book gave me the explanations I was looking for, and a plan that works for both me and my husband. Eat the right foods when we are hungry, stop when we are full with no calorie-counting. We know why thin people don't have to "diet" and we know we can live without cravings and feeling starved while losing weight. It turns everything I've learned about nutrition on it's head, but obviously, what we've been learning about nutrition is just making us fatter.

    Try it for a week, and you will be amazed. My husband (age 57)and I (age 52)are each consistently losing 2-2.5 lbs per week (we are very active) and have lost a total of 20 lbs in the last month.

    If you have specific questions, the author, Gary Taubes, has a website, and answered our question within half an hour...pretty exciting!

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 20, 2011

    Must Read, very interesting and surprising

    Gary Taubes clearly understands the science behind obesity, and in Why We Get Fat, he explains it in a relatively clear way (though at times it is still drawn out a bit[on the other hand, I like the science and detail, and as such enjoyed 'Good Calories, Bad Calories' more])

    Super briefly, don't eat to many carbs, especially flour and sugar. This book certainly convinced me the carbs are the enemy of good health!

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 4, 2012

    Life changing book!

    Have you ridden the diet roller coaster? Practically killed yourself to lose those 10 or 20 lbs before a major event, only to gain it all back and then some the second you relax? Ran/worked out your legs off, ate healthy just like your doctor told you, yet still gain weight? Wonder why you're so tired all the time, wonder what's wrong with you, wonder what you're doing that's so wrong when you eat so well and so little and still are overweight? This book has the truth (finally!) in it. The problem is not with you, it's with the advice and info you've been given. We can't even blame our health professionals, it's what they've been taught all along, and they're often as clueless as you. The truth is we were never designed to eat grains and processed foods and when we do, bad things happen. Stuff like heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity. Sound familiar? Read this book to learn the truth, take responsibility for your own health and get HEALTHY! I did and in less than 2 months, I've lost 20 lbs and my cholesterol went from 205 to 164, my triglycerides went fro 127 to 74, my LDL went from 165 to 99 and my HDL went to 50. These are real numbers from a real person who hasn't exercised in too many years, but who now has the energy to start a weight training program and get her body and her life back. READ THIS BOOK. CHANGE YOUR LIFE. Thank you, Gary Taubes, for finally explaining this stuff to me.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2011

    This is science.

    Stop eating what the marketeers of big agribusiness and the FDA (bought by big agribusiness) tell you to eat. Our conventional "common sense" is obviously flawed. This book demonstrates that obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and the rest of the metabolic diseases (including cancers) are very easy to overcome, once you understand the science. READ IT, with an open mind, and think for yourself.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2014

    Read this before you diet

    This book is an excellent summary of the science behind dietary recommendations for losing or maintaining a healthy weight. The two leading camps are low fat and low carb diets. The author has done an in-depth analysis of the scientific literature and summarizes it in a very readable form. Spoiler alert: the low carb diet wins. This is not a traditional diet book, and contains not a single recipe. It does give the general outlines for a low carb diet, however. This is the most sane and well-reasoned book on diet and weight regulation I have ever read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 24, 2014

    ~Yawn~

    Too disappointing for words. A co-worker recommended this book; I can only surmise that she's been living in a cave the last 20 years to not already know this. The author drones on endlessly about the "why" - nothing new there - before getting to the "what to do about it." Again, anyone vaguely familiar with Atkins/Weight Watchers/ADA guidelines already knows "what to do about it." The only nice thing I can say is that it doesn't take up any space after I hit the Delete key.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 10, 2014

    I Also Recommend:

    Taubes' science background and passion for finding truth whereve

    Taubes' science background and passion for finding truth wherever it leads him shines through in his writing. The majority of the book
    is a careful examination of the case for  a complete change in how we view our food and how it interacts with our bodies. It's the advice
    in the back of this book that could change your life, though. Following the diet in this book (and the same from his older, much more
    technical book) I lost 125 pounds relatively easily. I have kept it off, too. No, I'm not skinny, but I'm much, much closer to my proper
    weight, and far healthier than I was before.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 23, 2012

    Excellent and informative

    A very well written book, explaining where the current diet guidelines went wrong, and why. He uses clear language with a minimum of medical terminology. I started following his advice 3 weeks ago, and my blood pressure and blood sugars have been much better than they were before. I have also lost 7 pounds, so far.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 18, 2012

    Eye-opening! I've incorporated his ideas and also Dr Atkin's and ive lost 8 lbs in 2 weeks.

    This should be the foundation of nutrition education. Forget the pyramid! Our government controls the current nutrition education as well as runs this country on agriculture that feeds its needs, not ours. This book will open your mind.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2012

    It has been effective for me

    It may not be appropriate for everyone, but Mr. Taubes' description of how carbohydrates can act on the body rang true with my own experience. Cutting out carbohydrates has had a profound and positive effect on my body.

    That this is less a "diet" book, and more an overview of the science of metabolic regulation might make it boring to some, but I appreciated the way things were presented--without certainty, for Mr. Taubes is aware that none of the science in this field has yet been structured to as to "prove" anything, but with assurance grounded in attention to details that flow from the research has been done.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 7, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Excellent!

    Gary Taubes summarizes in more simple language his discussion from Good Calorie, Bad Calorie. What makes us fat is carbohydrates.This book has changed the way I eat.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2011

    So good

    This book makes so much sense, now if someone would combine the info on GMO and food additives with this....learned so much, now if we could change the worlds thinking esp the medical community

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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