OK, so I totally just stole the title of Gary Taubes‘ book “Why are we fat and what can we do about it?” but I did so because it is the inspiration behind this post and my new eating lifestyle. Over the past 3 years and 105 lbs I have eaten a balanced diet consisting of whole grain carbs, low fat, lean protein and lots of veggies. This worked for the first 50-75 pounds but I’ve had to make some changes along the way because when you are 325 lbs, any healthy change in your diet works. But if you truly want to lose fat and get lean you have to know your body and how it works best. I’ll get into the new diet in a second but first lets discuss the question, “Why are you (we) fat? I’m sure you know this but there is a reason but it’s probably not what you think it is.
I’m sure you’ve asked yourself this question,”Why am I fat?”, figured out the answer and then probably had very mean thoughts about yourself afterwards. I’m sure there was a lot of blaming parents, maybe genetics or your love for cookies, cakes and fried foods. You probably said to yourself, “Well I hate to exercise and I eat like crap” or perhaps “I don’t know cause I eat decently healthy and exercise”. This has probably led to some frustration and possibly to the conclusion that you’ll always be “fat” and there is nothing you can do about it. Well I’m here to tell you that is false on so many levels.
So who is Gary Taubes and why should we care what he thinks? Well….
Gary Taubes (born April 30, 1956) is an American science writer. He is the author of Nobel Dreams (1987), Bad Science: The Short Life and Weird Times of Cold Fusion (1993), and Good Calories, Bad Calories (2007), which is titled The Diet Delusion in the UK. He has won the Science in Society Award of the National Association of Science Writers three times and was awarded an MIT Knight Science Journalism Fellowship for 1996-97.
Born in Rochester, New York, Taubes studied applied physics at Harvard and aerospace engineering at Stanford (MS, 1978). After receiving a master’s degree in journalism at Columbia University in 1981, Taubes joined Discover magazine as a staff reporter in 1982. Since then he has written numerous articles for Discover, Science and other magazines. Originally focusing on physics issues, his interests have more recently turned to medicine and nutrition.
Taubes’ books have all dealt with scientific controversies. Nobel Dreams takes a critical look at the politics and experimental techniques behind the Nobel Prize-winning work of physicist Carlo Rubbia. Bad Science is a chronicle of the short-lived media frenzy surrounding the Pons-Fleischmann cold fusion experiments of 1989.
Note the second paragraph…This guy is smart and I don’t mean just kinda smart. This dude has three degrees from three of the top Universities in this country. He’s smarter than you and probably most of the people in the country. But it wasn’t his credentials that made me pay attention, it was his use of science and the human body. I don’t know about you but I don’t want to follow some new fad or some skinny persons opinion who has never dealt with weight gain. No Gary has never been obese but his diet has a lot to do with that. I won’t attempt today to explain all of Taubes’ points and the science behind his findings. Instead, I’ll quickly summarize and then provide you the links to the youtube videos that opened my eyes and changed what I believe. He’s not some blogger (like me) with an opinion or some “fitness guru” at a gym. If I were you I’d listen and pay close attention to what he has to say.
So what is all this science?
Gary’s main hypothesis is that if you are overweight, it’s not because you ate too much and didn’t exercise. Yes, these are factors on why you got fat but it’s not the reason. As you will see in the videos Gary did extensive research showing that you can become obese and still be starving. That cultures that were once thin and healthy, became obese and riddled with heart disease during famines. (How is that possible?) This very thought challenges our core beliefs. After all, we’ve been told for the last 50 years that obesity is caused by overeating and being physically inactive. I mean, how is it possible for people to gain fat while starving? (watch the videos to find out more)
These videos are long and they are full of information. Just take the time, watch them and learn something.
Well one of Gary’s main points is that we’ve been lied to by the American Heart Association and doctors since the early 1960’s. That their science is just bad.
hmmm….In the 1960’we were told that eating fat makes you fat and eating carbs is good. Is it a coincidence that in just 50 years, since the creation of the food pyramid, the obesity rate has QUADRUPLED?? I think not. As Gary explained, once society started to eat a high carb, low fat diet, obesity and heart disease reared its ugly head to the point that it’s now considered to be an epidemic.
So lets cut to the chase. If its not fat what makes us fat? EATING CARBS MAKES YOU FAT. Well, at least for certain people. This is not new science and what Gary has found isn’t some new revelation. But for some reason it still challenges us to the core. Why? CAUSE WE’VE BOUGHT IN TO THE LIES and we haven’t listened. Also, we don’t want to believe cause truthfully we like carbs and desperately want to eat them. They taste good and are delicious. But carbs (not all mind you) are toxic to those of us who struggle with weight loss. It’s like a smoker who is told, you WILL get cancer if you continue to smoke, yet they still smoke a pack a day. If you do so you are ignoring truth. Here’s a great video explaining why some people (those of us with excess fat) are in fact fat…
So, remember how you would think, “Man that person eats whatever they want, never exercises and doesn’t gain a pound. I HATE THEM.” Well now we know why. Some of us, and if you are overweight you are one of these people, are insulin resistant and do not use carbs properly. Carbs are our greatest enemy. It’s science. Protein and Fat do not make us fat. And in fact, the reason why you are so hungry while on a diet is probably because you don’t eat enough fat, which makes you feel full. That’s why people hate dieting. They don’t want to feel hungry all day.
So no, losing weight isn’t about calories in and calories out. It’s not about how much exercise you do or how little you eat. It’s about WHAT you eat. I’ve been on this diet a week and have already lost 7 lbs. I feel full all day and I never have those intense cravings. I plan a cheat meal every Friday night for one meal only but the rest of the week it’s virtually no carbs. Now go do some research on the glycemic index and you’ll find a ton of carbs that are OK to eat. I’ll have a post up next week explaining this is more detail but for now, if you haven’t done so already, go watch the videos, buy his book and stop listening to the lies we’ve been told for 50 years.