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211 of 213 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chris
I recommend this book if, like me, you have spent time, effort and money trying to figure out how to remove your excess weight and have better all-round health.

This book is the second from Gary Taubes that I have read. The first `Good Calories, Bad Calories' (or The Diet Delusion here in the UK) is long, at nearly 600 pages, expects a knowledge and...
Published on 30 Dec 2010 by C. Hilder

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not really suitable for non-meat-eaters
The science seems convincing but there is no solution offered to creating a do-able low-carb diet without large amounts of meat. Dairy is frowned on in this plan, nuts and pulses don't get sufficient mention.
Published 3 months ago by Claire M


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211 of 213 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chris, 30 Dec 2010
By 
C. Hilder (Manchester UK) - See all my reviews
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I recommend this book if, like me, you have spent time, effort and money trying to figure out how to remove your excess weight and have better all-round health.

This book is the second from Gary Taubes that I have read. The first `Good Calories, Bad Calories' (or The Diet Delusion here in the UK) is long, at nearly 600 pages, expects a knowledge and understanding of science, is occasionally repetitive and sometimes poorly edited, but makes the point about the wrong road we have been following in pursuit of weight loss and better health extremely well to my mind.

This is a shorter book and took a lot less time to read. It is clear to me that Taubes has tested and honed his arguments and has learned how to get them across better. To my mind the book flows easily. There were one or two technical sections but he led me up to these with background so by the time I got there I was able to understand the point he was making. In GCBC this was not the case and there were some sections that I didn't `get' and had to read a number of times to understand.

The book acknowledges but does not deal with the consequences to the environmental and moral questions that it raises. This is left for others to debate. Here the science behind fat metabolism is the focus of attention.

There is new information in here too. There is a description of Insulin Resistance that I found very useful in furthering my understanding. The unanswered question in the whole book for me is: Can Insulin Resistance be `cured' and if so how long does it take?

`Why We Get Fat...' is not really a diet book. Since starting the diet as prescribed here, though, I have lost 28lbs without hunger or any discomfort.

Thank you Gary for this book and for your perseverance in dealing with the establishment and with the established Diet writers who seem to me to be more interested in defending their own fiefdoms than in solving the issues of weight, diabetes, heart disease and cancer that is the natural outcome of this work. I hope that politicians and the medical establishment will read the book with an open-mind and change the message to benefit us all. Now where's the Lard...

Update August 2013:
It is now three years since I stared my low carbohydrate diet. In that time I have been able to continue to lose weight gradually. I have improved my blood markers (I cannot remember them all - but all the ones that count, LDL, HDL,Triglycerides, blood pressure,etc.) . Over the three years I have lost 65 lbs and I feel better than I have in years. My doctor wanted to put me on Statins as I am over 50 but when he saw my blood test results decided that it was unnecessary.

I am very pleased that in these three years Gary Taubes and Peter Attea have set up NuSi ([...] I very much support this idea as it seems the only way we will build a consensus and people will stop looking down their noses at me when I reach for the salt / fatty foods / cream that I love! Hopefully in a further three years the conversation will have moved on - I am sure my wife will be relieved when that is the case :-)
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51 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fat to thin in the blink of an eye, 10 Aug 2011
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I was tempted to buy this book following the number of positive reviews and because I wanted something which explained the science behind the weight-loss plan. I am 38, 2 small kids, 5 ft 6.5 and weighed 11 st 11 on Mon 1 Aug; this is the weight I naturally gravitate to, but I am going on hols in 2 wks with my glamorous size 8 ex-air-hostess friend so had been trying to lose weight since April, with only 1.5 lbs lost in 4 mths. I was v disheartened and had been cutting down cals to 1600 a day of "healthy" food, and doing 4 hrs of hard exercise a week, which took a major amount of effort and could not understand why the weight wasn't coming off, as I was eating better than I ever had and doing a major amount of exercise. Then the guy at the gym told me I was eating too many carbs, and so I bought this book to read up on the science, which I had previously thought was ridiculous and was a firm believer in balanced diet/lots of fruit/exercise/low fat - how wrong I was! I am now 11 5 after 10 days!!! This is amazing for me - I have never lost so much weight in such a little time and most importantly not felt hungry. The diet itself is a life-style choice, as you have to take time in the mornings to cook eggs etc where you might normally just have cereal etc, but I love the fact you can snack on cheese! It effectively shows that Atkins was right, and many people's bodies cannot metabolise the amount of carbs we eat nowadays as they are shoved into loads of processed foods (e.g. skimmed milk and yogurts!). I felt tired on days 1/2 on thsi but since then been fine - it's good as before I felt all this pressure to exercise to lose weight whereas he says that doesn't make a difference to weight loss, just fitness. I think this book is great for someone like me who needs to see the science behind something to believe it - especially such a radical departure from current thinking on weight loss - and I'm thrilled with the results to date.
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140 of 146 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading, 28 Jan 2011
By 
Yay!! (UK) - See all my reviews
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A very easy read - clear, concise, you'll get the point first time every time.

I'm rereading it, from cover to cover as it's so good, and I want to make certain I've not missed anything.

In a nutshell, if you eat sugar, flour and other hi carb foods, you generate a lot of insulin.

Insulin is a very powerful hormone, that has the following effect...
1. Its stops you burning fat instantly, so if you eat carbs, you literally cannot lose weight.
2. Insulin is known as the hunger hormone, so you're starving and overeating.

Current Dieting advice is to eat 5 portions of fruit and veg. If you eat 4 meals plus 5 fruit, you'll be realising Insulin 9 times a day... so you'll be permanently starving and worse, unable to burn any fat... so won't lose weight at all.
Insulin triggers our overeating.

It's a constant cycle.
This advice breaks that cycle and gives you masses of research to back up it's arguments. It's a stunning piece of work, that blasts government advice for the folly that it is.

All current diets miss the key factor - the influence of hormones.
This book introduces the concept that Obesity is "malnutrition", it's caused by poor quality foods in sugar and flour not by overeating or lack of exercise.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars you will never need another diet book, 27 Oct 2012
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I read Gary Taubes other book 'The Diet Delusion' which I got from the library, it took me about 3 weeks to read, as it was pretty heavy going for a layman, plus it was absolutely fascinating. but must admit to skipping a couple of paragraphs! so thought I would buy this book 'Why we get fat', and very glad I did, because I did miss some of the crucial points Gary makes. And now have all the answers, loosing weight and eating the foods I love most, plus butter on everything!I will never need another diet book, this one is all you need to know.I have cured my diabetes,exterior body inflammation gone, blood pressure down. Doctors surgery gave me a diet sheet for diabetes, I laughed when I read it, would have put me back in diabetes. Wonder how long until the medical profession in the UK acknowledges the benefits of low carb? with the exception of the enlightened ones, such a Dr.John Briffa to name but one.In fact it was Dr.John Briffas book 'Escape the Diet Trap', I got from the library that started me down this road in the first place,was a bit annoyed as I had just got my cupboards restocked, ready to turn vegetarian/vegan, in another attempt to try and loose this ghastly weight, started at 22stone, down to 16stone at moment, target 11stone. and know i will finally do it. Hallelujah.I am around 60 and have been dieting most of my adult life, so wish I had found this information a long time ago, still am now going to enjoy....everything.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Required reading !!!, 22 Feb 2011
I stumbled onto this book quite by accident, when listening to the podcast Windows Weekly of all things. Paul Thurrott a tech journalist who seldom goes into print talked about this book in an extremely positive way, as I respect his opinion on tech matters it encouraged me to get this book - and I am very glad I did. Gary Taubes book is just on the money with the amount of scientific evidence he unearthed that casts major doubts on the perceived widom from nutritionists, doctors and current and latter day scientists who bang the drum for the low fat, high carb, calories in/calories out crowd. His book systematically and emphtatically undermines all that and comes to a "heretical" conclusion that we are becoming more obeses as well follow the "conventional wisdom"

I recommend this book highly and would also urge readers interested in material such as Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson as a complimentary source that comes to the same conclusion but from a completely different angle, whereas Gary Taubes book is built on scientific evidence, Mark Sisson's book stems from his days as a very successful athlete - two authors, who have no known association to my knowledge that arrive at the same conclusion that increase insulin caused by high carb diets are the biggest culprit behind the explosion in obesity we see today.

Both books, highly recommended.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading for everyone, 18 Aug 2011
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I bought this book after a recommendation from a blogger who said he was loosing weight thanks to this book. After reading it, I can see why.

When I was young I could (and did) eat everything I wanted without becoming fat - I loved it! However since I was about 27, my body changed and I started putting on weight, so in my 40's I have a normal male middle aged spread, which conventional diets failed to address.

Now I have read this book I understand why. It is the first book that looks at the chemistry going on in your body and explains how it is the composition of your diet that affects your weight, not the calorie in vs. calories burnt low fat mantra that "nutritionists" have been killing us with for 50 years.

Have been following his low carb recommendations for about 3 weeks and have lost 5 kilos and feel great. Everyone should read this book so they can make an informed choice about their diet in the future. It isn't an easy way of life, and isn't for everyone, but everyone could learn something about their bodies from reading this, to help themselves and the burden on health services around the world due to the poor western diet we enjoy.
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54 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Personal experiment still going on - returning good health, 27 Sep 2011
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Shifting paradigms (fundamental ways of thinking) seems to have become a way of life for me, at least over the last 12 months. This is basically what Gary Taubes is attempting to do. Having had stents fitted after a heart attack nearly 11 months ago I was left several months later wondering how the hell I was going to recover from feeling as though I was getting older by the day, piling on even more weight (I had gone up from about 15st 4lbs (214 pounds) to 16-2 (226 pounds)), forgetful and unable to concentrate. In the excess weight stakes I appreciate that I am relatively low, but never the less the same principles apply. The hospital had put me on 5 tablets a day and my local GP had continued repeating the tablet prescription which of course included statins (Lipitor). To cut a long story short I asked my GP if he would help me come off at least the statins. "They are for life' was his response. I had already started my own 'lay' research into the statins for I was aware of some controversy in their use. This I continued after my visit to the GP until I bought a number of books on cholesterol and saturated fats. The two seemed to go together but I eventually ended up at Gary Taubes book, and subsequently listened to the audio of this title. Being armed with his research added considerably to what I had learnt from Barry Groves and initially Malcolm Kendrick (on cholesterol). Sufficiently so that I decide to take things into my own hands, reduce the statins and embark on a low carb regime and increasing my fats (especially saturated fats). You will appreciate at this point some pretty hefty life long beliefs being thrown out the window here. I had had another visit to my GP which had ended up a bit of a battle on the good advice stakes, resulting in my totally losing confidence - but leaving me feeling rather vulnerable to say the least. Belief in a doctors advice when your life? seemed at stake?? Shifting paradigms I would suggest. His extensive research has kept me hopeful during a difficult period. More than that. I have lost 27 pounds. I have lost the spasms of eczema which had bothered me for around 5 years. I am now far fitter, think more clearly and have embarked on a mission.

I also believe that forms of stress have a part to play in all this for if we were perfectly attuned with our bodies (which we are rarely) then we would naturally sense what was good for us. I know that this puts a 'cat amongst the pigeons' but this should surely be part of much needed further research. If the reader wants to start at the beginning with the guy who in Victorian times incredulously said similar things to Gary Taubes then look up William Banting on Google. His book about what a low carb diet did for him sold for a shilling, it went to 4 editions and he gave the proceeds all to charity! There must be, a great deal more to this story to come. Many lives must be at stake! There are over 300 reviews to Gary Taubes book on Amazon.com and over 200 of them have 5 stars. Personally I believe that little further research is required to get the ball really moving, not until there are many more on board, and I am convinced that it will come, can a comprehensive research programme be initiated. There are many many many health issues here, indeed it has the potential to rewrite the medical books. Like all 'medicines', this is not for all or all at the same dose but I believe that there are many millions who would get benefit from finding their own 'lower' carb regime and to benefit so many ways not just weight loss. Further reading (again I bought the audio version coz the paperback isn't due out yet) is Wheat Belly' where the author puts the issue firmly at the feet of mega over indulgence of modern day refined wheat products. Genuinely best wishes to all who need that little help, many of you will find it here.
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53 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading, 16 Jan 2011
By 
Lester (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
I am so happy that this book not only lived up to expectations but exceeded them. It improves substantially upon The Diet Delusion/Good Calories, Bad Calories in terms of how well it's written. The arguments are much better focused as Taubes skilfully assembles his case against the current diet and nutrition paradigm. In particular his Adiposity 101 section is a masterclass in simplifying the science of fat metabolism. Unless the reader suspends critical thinking I really can't see how anyone could fail to find Taubes' position utterly compelling.

I think this book will be useful to people like myself who already endorse low-carb because it helps to clarify the arguments and will enable us to better articulate the sound scientific principles that underpin it. However, and perhaps more importantly, readers who may be skeptical or simply unaware of the causes of the current obesity epidemic will be shocked at the extent of the fraud that's been perpetrated on us by successive governments, scientists and medical authorities for the last forty years. It is truly staggering.

I hope you get this book and lend it out and encourage others to do the same. It's such an important message that it needs the widest possible audience.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Praise from a lifetime yo-yo dieter., 25 Aug 2013
By 
R. E. Lee "RELinSpain" (Spain) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Why We Get Fat: And What to Do about It (Vintage) (Paperback)
In my 65 years on this planet, I've spent a good proportion of them trying to lose weight.
I love all that's bad for you. Pies, chips, alcohol, chocolate, you name it. Denying myself the pleasures of eating what I enjoy seemed to be an integral part of any and every diet I've ever tried, (and I've tried a lot).
At a conservative estimate, I'd say I've dieted off some 25 stones over around 45 years. A stone here, two stones there, with the inevitable result that sooner rather than later, the weight-loss eating regime wouldn't last. It never did.
In december 2012, I clocked my heaviest weight ever at 17st 5lbs, (110kg). I'm 180cm, 5'11", and decided another diet beckoned. By serendipity, I came across Gary Taubes' book and gave it a read. The message seemed clear (if a little laboured in places) though it could have been conveyed in 100 pages fewer, so why not give it a try?
The eating regime (not really a diet as such) was easy to follow and I stuck to it religiously for 6 weeks (no alc'), no deviations from the rules. The results were astounding. A stone and a half 'fell off' with any minor feelings of denial of 'treats' being utterly outweighed (no pun intended)by the euphoria of the achievement.
I'm now 8 months down the line and 26kg lighter (13st 2lbs). I'm still losing, but only at the rate of 1kg/month, because I've relented of some of the stricter rules and woven some 'treats' into my eating/drinking habits. For instance, I have several G&Ts a week (5 or 6 large ones), plus a bottle of red wine. I have a bar of chocolate at the weekend 100-200g depending on what I fancy (high cocoa content), none of the sugar-free rubbish. I exercise regularly too, partly because I can, now that I'm 4st lighter, but primarily because I enjoy it. (Cycling for an hour on the Med's flat coastal roads is no hardship).
I haven't had potatoes, pies, rice, pasta, beer or bread for 8 months and realise it'll have to stay that way (except perhaps for the very occasional mega-treat). To be honest, I enjoy being fit and 4st lighter more than I miss the carb-loaded foods I've been filling myself with over 64 years.
Gary Taubes, I salute you.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the best book on weight loss ever written, 30 Aug 2011
This book explains in the most articulate and well researched way why you need to change the way you eat forever. The benefits of doing so will mean you quickly lose more weight than you could have imagined. You will also significantly reduce your risk of being effected by several of the major illnesses impacting modern society (e.g. heart disease).

It is controversial because it contradicts conventional advice, unusual as you never go hungry, compelling as the science and evidence overwhelmingly supports the suggested approach, and totally convincing because you will recognise from your own experience that Gary Taubes has made significant progress in uncovering the secrets to losing weight permanently. Please read it.
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Why We Get Fat: And What to Do about It (Vintage)
Why We Get Fat: And What to Do about It (Vintage) by Gary Taubes (Paperback - 20 Feb 2012)
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