Why We Get Fat Book Summary - Why We Get Fat Book explained in key points
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Why We Get Fat summary

Gary Taubes

And What to Do About It

4.3 (104 ratings)
23 mins

Brief summary

Why We Get Fat by Gary Taubes challenges traditional views on weight loss by presenting scientific evidence that overweight individuals have a hormonal imbalance due to excessive carbohydrate intake.

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    Why We Get Fat
    Summary of 11 key ideas

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    Key idea 1 of 11

    People who consume more calories than they burn will get fat: a common misconception.

    The first three blinks deal with the flawed logic that dominates our current view of the causes of obesity.

    The vast majority of nutrition experts believe that there is a simple formula to explain why people get overweight: if you consume more calories than you burn, you will get fat.

    They explain that the reason so many people are overweight today is because they consume too many unhealthy, high-calorie foods while using hardly any energy, for example because we spend too much time sitting in the car, at a desk, or in front of the television set.

    Based on this theory, one might conclude that fat people are simply lazy and gluttonous, and that our body is like a balloon that stretches when we put energy into it and shrinks when we take energy out.

    However, this oversimplification doesn’t do justice to the complex processes that take place within the human body – and it fails to address why, precisely, some people consume more calories than they actually need.

    Also, many cases have shown that even impoverished and underfed people can get fat. For example, around the turn of the 20th century, the indigenous peoples of America lived in abject poverty and were forced to subsist on sparse amounts of food. While their children showed symptoms of deficiency, many mothers were extremely overweight – and it certainly was not because they ate more and starved their children.

    Are we caught up in a dogma that sounds convincing but does not actually hold water?

    At any rate, the prevailing explanatory models have not yet been able to stop the obesity epidemic or explain why, among people who share similar lifestyle, some are fat and others not at all.

    In light of these contradictions, anybody who has seriously grappled with the question of how to stop being overweight should also question the established views on the subject.

    People who consume more calories than they burn will get fat: a common misconception.

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    What is Why We Get Fat about?

    Why We Get Fat (2010) explains why certain types of carbohydrates are the main reason we get fat. The book not only shows why people gain weight, but why the topic is so controversial. It also talks about why some people get fat and others do not, the role genetic predispositions play in this process, and which foods we should all avoid. 

    Why We Get Fat Review

    Why We Get Fat (2010) examines the causes behind weight gain and offers a fresh perspective on diet and health. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • With thorough research and scientific evidence, it challenges commonly held beliefs about calories, exercise, and genetics, providing eye-opening insights into weight management.
    • Its clear and concise explanations make complex science accessible to readers of all backgrounds, empowering them to make informed decisions about their own health.
    • Through compelling anecdotes and real-life stories, the book brings to life the struggles and triumphs of those who have successfully shed pounds, making it a captivating and motivating read.

    Who should read Why We Get Fat?

    • Anyone who wants to lose or maintain their weight
    • Anyone interested in finding out about the causes of being overweight

    About the Author

    Gary Taubes (b. 1956) is an American science journalist. In his books, he discusses scientific controversies and offers his readers clear insights into complex subject areas. Most recently he has attracted attention for his critical view of the nutrition science establishment. 

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    Why We Get Fat FAQs 

    What is the main message of Why We Get Fat?

    The main message of Why We Get Fat is that our weight gain is primarily caused by consuming too many carbohydrates, not by consuming too much fat.

    How long does it take to read Why We Get Fat?

    The reading time for Why We Get Fat varies depending on the reader's speed. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Why We Get Fat a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Why We Get Fat is worth reading as it challenges conventional wisdom about weight gain and provides evidence-based insights into the relationship between carbohydrates and fat accumulation.

    Who is the author of Why We Get Fat?

    Gary Taubes is the author of Why We Get Fat.

    What to read after Why We Get Fat?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Why We Get Fat, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • The Case Against Sugar by Gary Taubes
    • The Whole30 by Melissa Hartwig and Dallas Hartwig
    • The China Study by T. Colin Campbell and Thomas M. Campbell
    • In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan
    • The Great Cholesterol Myth by Jonny Bowden and Stephen T. Sinatra
    • “You Just Need to Lose Weight” by Aubrey Gordon
    • Eat to Live by Joel Fuhrman
    • Untangle Your Emotions by Jennie Allen
    • The Diet Compass by Bas Kast
    • The Mindful Body by Ellen J. Langer