Updates for 2012


Checking in after a long absence (working too hard, and blogging too little), I have news and updates for 2012.

The first order of business is a letter to the editor of the New York Times in response to Tara Parker-Pope’s “The Fat Trap” article that ran on the cover of the January 1st  NYT Magazine. I wrote the letter with my colleague Peter Attia, more on whom shortly, and we posted it online at ipetitions.com. We tried to get it signed by as many MDs and PhDs as possible, to make the case to the editors at the Times and to Tara herself that a significant number of medical professionals and researchers take the alternative hypothesis of obesity seriously and so should they. As it is, we were able to get over 250 such degreed cosigners, which was more than we expected and more than we hoped. The Times is running a 150-word summary of the letter as a letter to the editor in this week’s magazine with a link to the full letter on line, which you should all feel free to sign. I also recommend you click on the signatures link to see who’s signed it and read the comments.

“The Fat Trap” made the point that obesity is effectively incurable. The letter argues that it only appears to be incurable because the wrong treatment is being used, and the wrong treatment  is being used because the people studying the disorder don’t understand what causes it in the first place  – like trying to treat a bacterial infection with an anti-viral medication and then throwing up your hands and saying it’s hopeless when the treatment doesn’t work. Should they ever get the cause right, then the correct treatment becomes obvious.

Second order of business is my colleague Peter Attia. Peter and I started working together last April after he came to San Francisco to meet me. He had recently read Why We Get Fat and Good Calories, Bad Calories and my sugar article in The New York Times, and he had 27-pages of questions he wanted to ask. I was impressed, if not awed, and we hit it off. I suggested to Peter that he should take over the insurgency and I’d be the figurehead, as I’ve been burnt out and overworked for a decade. The good news is he took me up on it, except that now he has me working twice as hard as ever to help.

Among the projects we have in the works is a non-profit, the Nutrition Science Initiative (NuSI), to raise money for the kind of research we think is necessary to clarify the relationship between dietary nutrients, obesity. diabetes and their related chronic diseases. We have a specific plan of research to pursue (or rather to fund so that established, unbiased researchers can then do the studies) and have already recruited a world class scientific advisory board and executive board. I’ll fill in the details in the next couple of weeks as we get closer to going on-line.

Peter’s blog, The War on Insulin.com, is up and running. Peter takes many of my ideas and expands on them from his own unique perspective. He also blogs about his own personal experience on a conventional healthy diet and then a ketogenic diet. What makes this particularly interesting is that Peter is a fanatic endurance athlete and an obsessive self-experimenter, and he comes at his experience and his blog with a significant amount of medical training and acumen. I highly recommend that he be read.   (And if anyone can figure out how he manages to workout 23 hours a week, function in a full-time job, blog regularly on nutrition and physical activity, and be there for his family and not collapse in a puddle of exhaustion, please let me know.)

The next order of business is an exciting and promising project. My friend Larry Istrail is a medical student at Virginia Commonwealth University. He’s recently created the Ancestral Weight Loss Registry, to collect and publish data on individuals who have tried to lose weight with a paleo/carbohydrate-restricted diet. He’s also spent much of the last few years compiling clinical data on many aspects of carb-restricted eating in the related science section, such as the efficacy of such diets for weight loss or the effects of saturated fats and cholesterol intake on heart disease. Tara Parker-Pope’s article in The New York Times claimed that the National Weight Control Registry (about which I could easily fill up a few blog posts with criticisms) has some 10,000 people registered in over 15 years. We’re hoping that the  Ancestral Weight Loss Registry will beat that in a few months. Using this kind of self-selected data to do good science is tricky if not perhaps impossible, but it will be interesting to see what happens.

If you’re reading this and you’ve lost significant weight on a carb-restricted/paleo diet (or if you haven’t), please check out the  Ancestral Weight Loss Registry and enter your details. I’m also hoping you’ll pass this on to your friends and if you have a blog or a podcast, to your readers and/or listeners.

The last order of nutrition/obesity-related interest is that I have some speaking engagements coming up in the next few months  and I thought I’d mention them, which I’ve been lax in doing in the past. I’m giving a couple of readings in the Berkeley/Oakland area, a lecture at the Seattle Town Hall and the University of Texas San Antonio, an after dinner talk at a diabetes conference at Auburn University, a talk at an integrative health conference in Los Angeles and a lecture in Santa Cruz, courtesy of the local office of education. There’s also a couple of talks coming up in Europe — in Amsterdam and Brussels — and a slew of conferences and keynote addresses into the summer and fall, details of which will go up shortly. The dates and locations and links through April (Amsterdam not yet included)  are up on my calendar, and I promise I’ll do a much better job in the future of keeping the calendar updated far in advance.

Along these lines (okay, this is the last order of nutrition/obesity-related interest), the email subscription to my blog now works as it should, and will NOT subscribe readers to “Two and the Zoo” like it used to. Feel free to sign up if you’re interested.

Finally, my best friend Marion Smith recently did a post on her website about our shared history with one of the more distasteful but apt terms in journalism and writing. Marion credits me for the terminology, although I’m going to give credit here to Calvin Trillin, who came up with it. It was from reading Trillin in my salad days — back when I had time to read — that I learned of the term and the technique and embraced it. Either way, Marion is a wonderful writer and nutrition and weight is not the subject. Both reasons to read her blog.

And with that, a belated Happy New Years.

Speak Your Mind



  1. Pattye Ludwig says:

    Gary, it is awesome to see a new posting by you, happy new year. This article is very good news indeed, and I will share with Facebook friends and by email. I truly hope to see more postings by you, I check this blog everyday.

  2. Richard A says:

    Great to know your not letting this thing go. In your absence it seems that CarbSane and Guyenet have won Kurt Harris over to the opposing forces. Nervous?

  3. Peggy Holloway says:

    Hurray! This is indeed an historical moment! For years, I have been reading and commenting on Tara Parker-Pope’s columns. I am sad, but not surprised to learn of her issues with obesity. Had she just listened to all of us over the years writing to tell her that “calories-in, calories-out” and “low-fat” don’t work! Maybe, just, maybe, this letter and petition will trigger the paradigm shift I’ve been awaiting for 12 years.

  4. DB says:


    I am so happy to hear that you are going to be raising money for the much needed research you often write about. I feel that you have an important contribution to make and look forward to hearing more about this. AFter watching your talk, and reading your books you did to me what no one else ever did ….. you convinced me that my thinking was flawed and that diets DO work. I can understand where Tara is coming from as it can be so humiliating, demotivating and depressing to be constantly failing at diets and seeing the literature that also shows pretty clearly that diets don’t work. But your books, and your talk showed me (as you state) that it was the low calorie/low fat diets that don’t work. I recently started low carb following your guidelines and for the first time in my life I don’t feel hungry!!!!!!! I actually feel in control. I just spent five days travelling in aeroplanes and staying at hotels and I easily stuck to low carb (in terms of motivation) but it was a challenge in that I had to search for it. Despite that I dropped 9 pounds.

    I want to thank you and I know you have probably heard this before but I really feel you changed if not saved my life. My heart was beating extremely rapidly after carb laden meals, I was always tired, and I had hit 300 pounds. Now for the first time in my life this is all diminishing and with little effort…so it seems I DO have willpower!!!!

    • DB says:

      ps – I meant easy to stick to low carb the issue was finding.

      I would also like to say I started a blog based off your books and talk too!!!! I am abiologist but the way you present your arguments for different angles, the way you always back it up with solid scientific evidence, and the way you approach science in general is very inspiring now just as a fat guy trying to lose weight, but also as a scientist – even if it I am just a marine biologist! The interesting thing is that fish at aquaculture farms also get fat when fed high carb diets. FISH!!!!!

  5. Rose says:

    I feel that, after being on a low carb diet for almost a year, I Have been helped. I constantly binged on sweets; now I routinely pass them up. This is nothing short of miraculous. I do Not discount this in the Least.
    In terms of weight, I’m very much in the “morbidly obese” category. I can tell, from my clothes, that they are a Bit loser. That is better than the alternative. I still do struggle w/immense fatigue, sad to say, but my digestive troubles have cleared up wonderfully well. I feel guilty, because I can’t wean myself away from coffee w/heavy cream, which I enjoy each & every day; not too much, but still. Maybe if I gave up coffee it would help, but I can’t seem to make myself do this, after having given up all breads, sugars, sweets, pastas, bagels, etc. I LOVE the low carb diet I’m on (essentially Atkins Induction), but I still do struggle a great deal w/a great deal of weight & a great deal of fatigue. I recall that Gary Taubes says, at the end of his most recent book, that there will be some people for whom little if any weight will be lost, even on a very low carb diet, because the “point of no return” has been passed. As a woman of middle years, morbidly obese for at least ten years, that could very well be me. Even so, how Freeing it is, to Routinely Pass Up the boatloads of sugary junk that people I know consume w/relish. However, as a very fat woman, I am judged as being extremely weak. No one cares that I can now show immense control, on this diet, around the very foods that used to actually drive me almost insane w/cravings. So, given this wonderful achievement, even w/my fatigue & very minimal weight loss, I hope I can eat the way Gary Taubes recommends, for the rest of my life. For I know if I allow “carb creep” to take me over, it won’t be long before I am bingeing out of control again, eating entire cakes until I am very very sick. I was very ill before I started this diet. Now I am considerably less ill, but have my struggles. Does this count? *I* think it does.

    • Elenor says:

      Please — go immediately and read up on the website Stop the Thyroid Madness”! As you’ve discovered about low carb, you have to educate yourself because your docs just don’t know! Same thing with thyroid and adrenals — your docs don’t know, and only treat according to Big Pharma’s money-making ideas (less-than-optimal drugs: we self-educated types — and there are thousands of us! — call Synthroid Synthcrap! Cause it is!)

      I, too, was 300 pounds and exhausted (and depressed and listless). It took self-education, treatment (both careful self-treatment, and the assistance of a semi-wise doc who was willing to go along with many of my requests), some adrenal-related dietary changes, and a good bit of time — and one day my husband said to me: “I think that adrenal stuff is working: you’re so happy now!” (I hadn’t realized how dull/sad/slow I had become till it went away!) Good luck, and good learning!

    • Galina L. says:

      May be the combination would sound odd to you, but if you want to go easy on the coffee with a heavy cream, try the coffee with a lemon . I decided to experiment with the avoiding all dairy for a month and using lemon for my coffee works just fine. If you use an artificial sweetener, make sure it is 100% Sucralose, or saccharin, or similar, sometimes it can be found only on internet. If you read the list of ingredients , it is easy to notice most sugar substitutes contain some dextrose (- a carbohydrate) in significant amounts.
      I lost 30+lb on LC myself, but in the process I understood that LC is a tool to eat less, to get less prone to craving, to be less hungry, to EAT LESS in general, not a goal by itself. If I followed Gary’s advice to limit my carbs to minimum and be content with any result, I would be fatter than I am now. I added to LC eating an intermittent fasting (http://gettingstronger.org/2010/11/learning-to-fast/), and make sure I never eat just for a pleasure, or outside 8 hours of eating window, or add too much butter just for heck of it into my food. My food is high in fat already. There are a lot of people who are not successful with LC diet mostly for the reason they think they can gorge on the LC food and still loose weight. It is more difficult that on carbs, but still there are ways to do it, and it is better to be aware of such possibility.

      • Eric says:

        Amen. The simple message I got out of Good Calories is that carbs make you a little hungry and a little lazy and it adds up over the years. But my experience was that I had to keep exercising and watch the calories. The difference is that it is actually effective for me now because I’m not hungry and I’m not blown away by exercising an hour.
        Low carb did not eliminate my habitual snacking places and times, but I have found that if I can avoid getting hungry then the willpower is there to find something else stimulating to do besides eat.

        • Galina L. says:

          Eric, I assume you are a male. Often guys have an easier time with a weight loss than females especially pre-menopausel ones. Somebody who is a morbidly obese female would have a less easy sailing (to put it mildly) as well. I just don’t want people who read all optimistic stories about an easy weight-loss on a LC diet but have trouble to loose weight themselves to get into despair. There are individual difference in the ability to loose weight , but LC diet will address the hanger issue for most people and will make it easier to try other diet strategies if the carb limitation is not enough.

    • Galina L. says:

      I want you to go and check the blog of the formerly morbidly obese person. She needed more than carb restriction to loose weight, http://itsthewooo.blogspot.com/2012/01/analogy-to-obesity-therapy.html

  6. Rose says:

    Also, I read the NYTimes article when it came out & was very intrigued by it, because, despite the author neglecting to mention low carb diets a tool for getting better – she Did mention many factors for why people so often regain the weight they lose. It’s almost like the body is Fighting the dieter, to get back to the high weight it was once at. Factor in, as well, all the immense quantities of sweets pushed at people; well, as the author says, it’s a “perfect storm” for regain. I Love that this article is an answer to those who complain that fat people have no will power. Of course, those people won’t be reading the article, or if they do, they will just say that it’s fat people’s fault, regardless. I also read the letter that Gary Taubes & his colleague wrote, in reply to the Times article. Both the article & the letter are “food for the soul” of anyone who wants to think beyond the stereotypes of weight, diet, weight loss & regain. Obesity is a complex topic. I think it’s high time that people started to really understand what fat people are up against, should they try to lose weight. Shows like “The Biggest Loser” just promote stereotypes & wrong information. Gary Taubes is a panacea to that – and I did admire that article in the Times, as well. I think the letter, as follow up, is Perfect. Btw, it was Gary Taubes’ article on the dangers of sugar, that I read in the Times a year ago, that started me on my low carb ways.

  7. Moose says:

    Hi Gary,

    Great to hear about NuSI – will look forward to its success. I have to admit that I’m dubious about the registry, as you alluded that you are. If it fails, the LC community will dismiss it as bad science, and if it succeeds, the LC community has to contend with the fact that both registries are successful, and cannot simply dismiss the conventional registry as bad science. I’m not sure that it will bring nutrition science much closer to any truth. Although perhaps it can generate some testable hypothesis regarding the successful implementation of carb-restriction/paleo…

    And your article in Science Magazine on obesity and cancer is wonderful. I work with at least one obesity researcher at USC whose attention it caught.

    • Sheri says:

      I lost 70 lb low-carbing, and weighing daily. I kept it off for three years while continuing to weigh daily. The second I stopped daily weights, I regained 20lb. It’s foolish and dogmatic to think the weight loss registry has nothing to teach since it doesn’t preach low-carb. I just learned from Tara’s article that daily weighing is correlated with weight maintenance according to the registry. It jives with my personal experience, is reasonable, and easily actionable. It also goes against conventional wisdom which says “Don’t let fat people weigh themselves too often, they are too stupid to understand water fluctuations.”

  8. Sheri says:

    Tara in her article did with popular science what you did with actual science in GCBC. She actually managed to do it relatively succinctly in her very long article, at least compared to your massive tomb. This is to her credit. Your response was unfornatuely unkind, considering how good though limited her article actually is. You were obviously attracted to responding to this article because it begins to point in the right direction, but so frustratingly misses the mark. Instead of slapping her hand and pointing out what she missed, you should have taken her hand and guided her on that lateral logical step. At the end of her article I feel a virtual plea from her for someone to step in with an answer. She is begging for life to not be this hard. You had the perfect oppertunity to be that guiding hand, and it not to late. Do not continue to point out what she missed. She summaries the failings of conventional dieting into a perfect little baton which you should gleefully grab and run with. She is a seaker of knowledge. Share it with her, in the spirit of kindness and hope. Then you will see how well you are received.

  9. Andy says:

    Hi Gary, what do you consider to be a carbohydrate-restricted diet? How many grams per day (or percentage of macro)? At what point would you expect deleterious effects?

  10. Sue Richart says:

    I look forward to the you getting the Nutrition Science Initiative up and running. I can’t think of anything I could donate to that would do more to help people than getting away from consensus diet advice that regularly results in people dying early.

  11. Sharon B. says:

    Gary, you need to call Paula Deen right away!!

  12. skinqueen says:

    SO glad to hear your voice of reason, and your response, to this article! I’ve signed the petition.

  13. Alexandra Mazzeo says:

    I just checked the comments on The Fat Trap and as of a few days ago, commenters were still flapping on about what a valuable contribution Parker-Pope was making to the discussion and how well she explains the “science” of obesity. As soon as I saw that article, I started checking here for your response – and what a good one it was!

    Somebody mentioned Paula Deen: what are you going to do when most people (including all of my sciency friends) think she got her diabetes from consuming saturated fat? Even the website of the American Diabetes Association recommends a low-fat diet with plenty of whole grains…

  14. Jim Ancona says:

    One suggestion about the Ancestral Weight Loss Registry survey. It includes required questions asking for the percentage of calories from fat and proteins. Since I do not count calories or carbs, I have no idea how to answer those questions, and since they’re required, I can’t complete the survey. I suspect I’m not the only person in that situation. Please consider modifying the survey to either make those questions optional or to add a “Don’t know” option to the choices.


    • FrankG says:

      I noted the same Jim (with the percentage calories) and I also wondered why many of the question were phrased as if the low carb diet is seen in the popular sense of a “diet” — a short term weight-loss intervention — rather than what it is to me now… the way I eat every day, and see no reason why I would not continue to eat this way for the rest of my life.

    • Carol P. says:

      If you’re willing to take the time, you can create an online Fat Secret account, and if you log your typical meals, you’ll find a breakdown of your macronutrient percentages. It’s free, by the way.

      • FrankG says:

        @Carol — I think the point is that the low carb approach differs greatly from the “calories in vs. calories out” model in that there is little if any need to “count” anything. Even as a Type 2 Diabetic I no longer count carbs, calories or anything, yet I still maintain excellent Blood Glucose control, significantly reduced excess fat mass, and improvement to all my other health after 3+ years of a low carb diet (what I eat).

        Thank-you, but I suspect that Jim (just as I am) is already well aware pf the many tools available to count what we put in our mouths… for myself I would rather rely on my own body to tell me when I need to eat — just as it tells me when I need to breath or drink water… just as it manages to keep every wild animal in perfect equilibrium without kitchen scales ;-)

        That this registry asks for these details (which I just guesstimated) I see as a failure to recognise this crucial difference in the low carb model — just as it seems to imply it is a short term “diet” rather than a long term way of life.

  15. Mr. Taubes,

    If you haven’t ever heard of Kay Sheppard, please take a look at her website, http://www.kaysheppard.com/. She’s not an over-achieving, nobel prize winning scientist, and figured out through sheer desperation and obsession that abstinence from refined carbohydrates was the key to reversing diabetes and the “holy grail” of “permanent weight loss.” And she figured it out way before you and your brilliant scientist friends did.

    Someone like you, who has no biological propensity toward obesity, has no idea how difficult it is to stick to this kind of food plan. You’re a fool if you think that anyone can achieve this if they really tried. The only way someone with a biological propensity toward obesity can maintain abstinence from refined carbohydrates in this society is to make it the sole focus of their every waking moment, for the rest of their lives, with plenty of support from those closest to them. You will never understand this because you will never have to experience it. Stop ignoring those of us who know better.

    • FrankG says:

      @Miriam — I have a “biological propensity toward obesity”… I could show you the photos of my family.

      I started gaining significant excess fat mass in my late 20′s and struggled with it for the next 25+ years… trying just about every diet and exercise routine out there (mostly based on eat less and exercise more) with no long-term success. It was only after reading Gary Taubes’ Good Calories, Bad Calories that I finally understood why my struggles had been in vain — from then on I was able to work with my body instead of fighting against it.

      That was over 3 years ago and not only have I lost over 100 lbs excess fat mass BUT I have kept it off, with minimal daily effort on my part… I eat very well of tasty, filling food that satisfies me. It is NO hardship, I do NOT have carvings, and most especially I am NOT HUNGRY all the time; as I used to be. I see no reason why I could not effortlessly keep up this diet (what I eat) for the remainder of what I hope to be a long and (now) healthy life. From reading comments here, at other blogs, and on diabetes forums I know that I am far from alone in this.

      In terms of “who thought of it first” you might try reading Good Calories, Bad Calories where Gary Taubes starts off by describes in great detail how this is really a very old idea, and not one for which he takes the credit.

      • FrankG says:

        CORRECTIONS: the above should read “…I do NOT have cravings…” and later “…Gary Taubes starts off by describing in great detail…”

        I do wish there was a preview for these posts… despite multiple proof-readings, it seems I often miss some of my typos until after they are published! ;-)

    • SimonPure says:

      Gary Taubes has likened the difficulty of eliminating carbs to quitting smoking. Smoking causes lung cancer, there’s no doubt, the science says so. It’s also very hard to quit smoking, but that doesn’t change the fact that smoking is linked to lung cancer.

      Similarly with carbohydrates and obesity. The science says that carbohydrate consumption is linked to obesity. Whether it’s easy to cut carbs or hard to cut carbs doesn’t change what the science says.

    • Peggy Holloway says:

      I have followed a very low-carb lifestyle for over 12 years. It was absolutely essential for my health due to a serious family history of “Type II Diabetes” and obesity. Most of my family has followed suit. We do not find it at all difficult. We eat wonderful, satisfying food that we enjoy thoroughly and we all feel so much better and enjoy such great benefits that it is worth the small hassle of dealing with a culture that doesn’t eat the way we do. We mostly eat at home or at restaurants where we know we can get good quality meats and vegetables. My brother and I both travel a great deal (he is actually a touring musician who has lived in Europe much of the last few years) and find no difficult traveling and maintaining the low-carb lifestyles.

    • Sarah says:


      How can you make such a grand assumption about Mr. Taubes’s biological propensity? If you, in fact, have educated yourself and viewed the many lectures he has given, at some point a well-intentioned but rather ignorant audience member will point out the fact that he has a “tummy” or an imperfect physique, the asinine argument being that he mustn’t be credible if his body isn’t perfect. Ironically, this is part of the point…He usually counters by pointing out that he would be far worse off if he consumed carbohydrates. If one takes the time to read and understand the science in Good Calories, Bad Calories, you will learn that insulin receptors become exhausted and damaged by overuse (from carbohydrate consumption) and the longer one consumes such foods, the more damage that occurs, the more difficult it will be to ever lose the adipose tissue–and perhaps, sadly, never. Thus, if Mr. Taubes consumed a typical North American diet, he would quite possibly eventually be overweight / obese. As he notes in Why We Get Fat, the leanest we would like to be may not be the leanest we can be.

      Additionally, I don’t think it’s a credible argument to emotionally lash out at a science journalist for having the “audacity” to cull together a century’s worth of credible research. Why is it you feel the need to “put down” someone who you feel wasn’t “first” to the finish line? The truth is Mr. Taubes’ publications have brought unprecedented interest and attention to the misunderstanding of how we accumulate fat and has likely extended the life span of many, many people. This doesn’t diminish Ms. Sheppard’s accomplishments… It’s unclear why you feel the need to put down a writer who at no point claims to be the founder of these ideas but rather simply the archeologist who rediscovered them based on a society which continues to become sicker and fatter.

      Furthermore, it’s disheartening to read ignorant comments from those who clearly have not read, or, at least not understood Good Calories, Bad Calories. Mr. Taubes does not claim to have “figured it out” but rather says, “Hey, scientists have already figured this out. Here is their research again…Perhaps we should pay attention to this irrefutable science.” Had you read GCBC, or even the lay version, Why We Get Fat, you would already know that Mr. Taubes is very aware of others who have already “figured it out,” like William Banting, who, may I humbly point out, “figured it out” over a century before Ms. Sheppard, or even Dr. Atkins.

      Please, I implore you to educate yourself prior to posting emotional and childish outbursts in a place that should be reserved for intellectual discussion geared towards health and awareness.

      Finally, I must agree with FrankG: I too have lost over 100 pounds and maintained that weight loss for many years. I have a “biological propensity” towards obesity. Mr. Taubes certainly does understand the science driving people to consume carbohydrates. It’s like a drug and it’s more difficult for some than others to cease consumption but it’s certainly not impossible and I do not find I need to obsess over what I eat to avoid carbohydrates.

  16. Galina L. says:

    Gary, I just want you to know about my opinion that your message that all we have to do in order to loose weight is limiting carbs could be misleading for people who have more than 20 lb to loose . I have been on a LC diet for more than 4 years, very happy with it because it manages all my health issues, I lost more than 30 lb on it, but limiting carbs was not enough, just the very important first step that allowed me to eat less, be able to practice IF (before LC I was uncontrollably hungry all the time and could not fast), to chronic cardio with more reasonable exercise plan. I believe into limiting carbohydrates in one’s diet for a health improvement and a weight management, but from my perspective it looks like you are advising people to make just a first important step and then stay still. They will not stay, some like me will continue their experimentation, others will find ways to over-eat on LC and regain lost fat.

    • FrankG says:

      @Galina — would you please be kind enough to point out precisely where you see Gary Taubes “…advising people to make just a first important step and then stay still” ..?

      You do raise an important issue that: it is important to keep learning and questioning — lessons that were driven home to me by a very lengthy and dense book entitled Good Calories, Bad Calories then followed up by perhaps a more approachable version Why We Get Fat

      Low carb may be just the first step but it is a crucial paradigm shift away from “calories in vs. calories out” BUT to take a 600+ page book, multiple published newspaper articles, lectures, on-line presentations, blogs etc… etc… simplify them down in your ow words to “…all we have to do in order to [lose] weight is limiting carbs…” then claim that this message is “too simple”… seriously?

      • Galina L. says:

        I checked briefly the content of the blog, in every post GT writes about the importance of the limiting carbohydrates in one’s diet in order to loose weight in order to reduce the amount of the insulin:

        “There are a few obvious dietary means to reduce the amount of insulin we secrete and ultimately the level of insulin in our circulation day in and day out. One is to eat fewer carbohydrates; one is to improve the quality of the carbs we do eat, which means eating carbs that are less refined (their glycemic index is low or at least lower) and carbs that come with a lot of fiber attached (green leafy vegetables), and then eating less sugars, by which I mean both sucrose and high fructose corn syrup.” I never saw any other advise about what else could be done in order to achieve the same purpose.

        I also remember reading but couldn’t find right now that he said that the carb restriction would correct the weight as much as it can be corrected, so people would be as lean as they could but not as thin as they wished to be.

        I planned my weight-loss strategy on the insulin theory. Like everybody else, my weight loss proceeded through stages, each stage ended on a weight-loss plateau, and I had to change something in order to move on. The changes were based on the attempt to limit my insulin production
        1) Initial limiting carbs
        2) limiting carbs to the ketogenic level and less
        3) limiting the amount of time I eat during the day, eliminating of snacking
        4) narrowing the eating window , introducing IF.

        Also, from the personal experience I found out it is beneficial for a weight-loss to keep the volume of food low.
        If I followed Gary’s advice, I would stuck on the step 2. There are more things to be done even within the insulin theory to loose weight besides eating less of carbs.

        I am quite serious. I earned my right to have such an opinion by painfully slowly loosing weight on the LC diet for more than 4 years and figuring out all possible tricks to move from my plateaus. GT just have a different priority right now – to convince as much people as possible at the importance of cutting carbs. I am convinced. What is the next thing to do? I think my message is very important. You know what, FrankG, don’t jump to the defense without thinking hard first. Do you defend the idea that we can do nothing besides counting carbs by the mentioning the volume of GT work? GT always answers questions at the very beginning after posting . Let him answer mine. My concern is real, I am not just ranting out of desire to stir some drama.

        • FrankG says:

          @Galina — “I checked briefly the content of the blog, in every post GT writes about the importance of the limiting carbohydrates in one’s diet in order to [lose] weight in order to reduce the amount of the insulin: …” Restating that Gary Taubes core message is regarding the control of insulin by restriction of refined carbohydrates is NOT the same as stating that is ALL he says. BUT it is, in my view anyway, the most important step. Do you think any of your other steps would have worked without it? Does one man single-handedly have to provide ALL the answers? What about all the others who have jumped on the band-wagon and now claim it as their own?

          I was not left reading Good Calories, Bad Calories with far more than a simple one-step message.

          I did not read your post as a rant and of course you are entitled to your own opinion but please be clear that what you are stating IS your opinion and not the fact of the matter. If I felt any need to defend it was because of those who grossly oversimplify the message to that of “Gary Taubes says that ALL carbs are bad” and then proceed to attack him on what is effectively a straw-man argument.

          I hope he does respond to your question.

          You wrote “Like everybody else, my weight loss proceeded through stages, each stage ended on a weight-loss plateau, and I had to change something in order to move on.” I also have over 3 years of low carb eating and I have not found these stages you describe… I lost over 100 lbs in the first year and have maintained it since… along with improvements to all my other health markers. Your experience has clearly been different but that is not “everybody” ;-)

        • FrankG says:

          Or put it another way: in the face of such traditional thinking about diets by folks such as Tara Parker-Pope and apparently the bulk of the medical establishment, is now the time to be saying “after you start your weight loss with a restricted carb approach you may encounter a plateau and the need to change things up a bit”… is that really the message to get out there when there is still such a resistance to the core idea?

          Do we really need Gary Taubes devote energies to the broader scope of successful weight-loss approaches or are we still stuck on the wrong side of a paradigm shift? Many here may have accepted that high levels of refined carbs leads to high levels of insulin and the consequences we see all around us… but until “the establishment” accepts this idea, I suggest that it should remain the primary focus of efforts.

          • Galina L. says:

            There are other things besides eating high-refined carbs that may lead to higher level of insulin, like frequent eating and big portions of anything. Do you think that in order to successfully convince “the establishment” we all have to pretend there is the only thing to be done to loose weight is eating fever and fever carbs? Probably a damb-down message has a better survival rate and a higher marketing potential in a public opinion, but such way of action will compromise the whole idea at the same time. I don’t want the creation of another diet delusion to take place.

          • FrankG says:

            My point is Galina that: YOU are stating this simple (dumbed-down) message NOT Gary Taubes. It is not at all clear to me that you have read Good Calories, Bad Calories

            I am not suggesting any kind of “pretence” — just a focus on the most important message first. Your attempts at dilution of that message is likely to see it fail.

          • FrankG says:

            I wonder if you are not spending too much time over at that harpy Carbsanes blog? Perhaps her simplistic straw-man arguments against Gary Taubes and her acid nature is starting to make you think she might be have a point after all?

            No doubt that if she were reading this she’d be thrilled to see “LC’ers” fighting amongst ourselves — I suspect that is is indeed her role… destroy the low carb message (or maybe just Gary Taubes) by spreading dissent. Having initially given her the benefit of the doubt, I now rarely visit her site except occasionally to remind myself why I gave up trying to read her verbal diarrhea… her arguments have no substance: she relies on innuendo, sarcasm and vitriol to try and destroy others.

            By all means, make the point that restricting carbs may not be the whole message for everyone but, at least so far as I am concerned, it is the key message in helping resolve our current epidemic levels of Type 2 Diabetes, Obesity and so much more.

            My concern is that you accuse others of only giving a simplistic message, when that is really not the case.

    • moo says:

      I often wonder about the accuracy of calculating carbs by those on my low carb lifestyle by those who state they are not successful in losing/maintaining loss. I have lost 40 for 5+years, discovered carb creep, had to re evaluate and fine tune what I was choosing.. also learned much more along the way about actual food contents. There are many chances for pitfalls even for the most enlightened and motivated to miscalculate or underestimate their intake of those pesky carbs. It is easy to forget about a bite or two here or to include foods that are probably not as friendly(sugar alcohols, powdered dextrose splenda etc)
      I also see this frequently- at work with type 2 patients. At first there seems to be a good understanding the starch containing foods, but on further discussion later on its amazing what misinformation they’ve somehow gotten-either through denial or ignorance or lack of resources. This misinfo or misunderstanding is not just found in the less educated. I’m sure those posting here are more aware, nevertheless it is not easy to have a really accurate count of daily carbs for the average person trying to keep to 20gms or less.
      Listed counts for servings may be ballpark, or if under 1 gm per serving, we know how those little things build up How many are eating food that comes with an exact accurate count in exact amounts? ….weighing their food at home and outside home in grams to determine serving sizes? Going out to eat ,even if ordering “simple dishes ” and buying at grocery say- even a rotisserie chicken can have hidden ingrediants and starches therein.
      Some posting here may be the more careful and aware, as I have been, but I cannot imagine all trying the low carb lifestyle are doing the same thing consistently…

      • Galina L. says:

        We limit carbohydrate consumption in order to lower insulin level and minimize insulin spikes, aren’t we? It it not logical to address other things that rise insulin as well if you believe into the insulin theory of obesity? There are a lot of testimonials about weight-loss plateaus after a period of fat-loss, somebody probably miscalculate, but why to assume that it is the only reason for that phenomenon?

  17. Eugene Cahikk says:

    After weight loss, why don’t new signals from reduced fat volume support weight maintenance.?

  18. Lyn Kirby says:

    I began what I consider a “lifestyle change” in May of 2010. I weighed 222 and now weigh 165.6 where I’ve been for several months. I would like to lose about 30 more lbs. I’m 5’6″ and 62 years old. I’ve been heavy all of my life and on numerous diets. I always gained the weight back. What I’ve done is tried to eat lots of fruit and vegetables and protien. I stopped eating lowfat anything, I buy whole milk, and don’t use artificial sweetners much. I drink red wine sometimes and an occasional cocktail. I try to eat whole grain bread and pasta when I have that. I followed weight watchers online for awhile and now use myfitness pal to track food. I weigh myself almost every day. I think that it’s of course it’s better to eat healthy food, but I can even over do that, and then I have too many calories. I’m very afraid I’m going to start gaining again. Pretty much, I think if I eat too many calories, no matter what they are, I will gain weight. I think I’m going to have to pay lots of attention to everything I eat for the rest of my life. I do like to eat, and I hope I can keep doing this.

    • Galina L. says:

      There is no benefit of eating whole grain pasta and bread over regular ones, milk contains too much lactose, modern fruits too sweet, belong to the deserts category. Try LC if you want to loose more weight. According to your post, you eat too much carbs.

    • Paula says:

      Lyn, Galina is right. What you need to do is read “Why We Get Fat” by Mr. Taubes. He also has a February 2011 Reader’s Digest cover story, and of course his piece de resistance (sp???), “Good Calories Bad Calories.” What you’re not getting yet Lyn is that ATKINS WAS RIGHT. And he was just following earlier science; he didn’t discover it, he UNcovered it. DO NOT EAT BREAD. Unless it’s Julian Bakery’s Carb Smart GF (“Gluten Free”) #3. 3 carbs a slice (read Wm. Davis, M.D.’s new “Wheat Belly” if you want to know what’s wrong with wheat; also pasta, which is made of it, is terrible for you — “Italian fast food”). Back to the Carb Smart GF (“Gluten Free”) #3: Toast it and slather it in as much butter as you like. I freeze my loaves when they come, FIRST PLACING LITTLE SQUARES OF WAXED PAPER between the slices, so I can go pry off a frozen slice and pop it in the toaster. If you HAVE to have sweets (most of us do), eat 2-3 SQUARES A DAY of 85% dark chocolate (that’s about a third of a bar). No more. OR!!! Make chocolate mousse from scratch with dark chocolate and use Truvia as sweetener. Mmmmm! THAT is actually on the low carb diet! OR!!! Order some Quest Bars. Only sold online at its own website, or order from Julian Bakery. THEY’RE THE ONLY LOW-CARB BARS WHICH WON’T RAISE YOUR INSULIN LEVELS. They’re wonderful, full of protein, filling, only natural sweeteners. EAT EGGS & BACON OR SAUSAGE FOR BREAKFAST EVERY DAY. Do not, I repeat, do NOT eat regular bread of any sort. When you read Taubes’s GCBC, look in the index and read about Steffanson. You will see you DO NOT NEED VEGGIES OR FRUIT. You can have green veggies but we low carbers only eat (in general) some berries, like blue berries or raspberries, maybe an occasional strawberry. BUT FRUIT IS TOO SWEET otherwise.
      And read about Steffanson. Meat has all the enzymes etc. necessary to prevent scurvy, pelegra, etc. etc. Fruit WILL DO IT (limes anyone?) but fruit is not NECESSARY to prevent these issues. Meat does the same thing. Amazing stuff to learn. Also Omega 3 is important. Buy expensive eggs with hi Omega 3 and eat lots of them. There is no limit: I eat 3 a day and have lost significant weight, have high energy for the first time since childhood (I’m 57!), AND my blood lipid levels improved dramatically. HDL went from 52 to 67, Triglycerides from 105 to 48. BUT!!! Unless you make a HARD effort and read GCBC, you won’t understand how diet advice got SOOOOOOOOO off track. You’ll be “scared straight.” It’s a fascinating book. Once you get into it you’ll be sorry to see the book end! Reads like a detective mystery…

  19. Kevin Morgan says:

    Hi Gary,
    It’s me again, wondering about your thoughts on the diet for the diabetic athlete. Some recommend low carb AND low fat, but that sounds crazy, unless you live on proteins and then what do you do if you have renal problems?
    Thoughts on this conundrum, which will be mentioned (as is my asking you) in my blog post coming out tomorrow morning at 6:00 am.
    I hope you are well.
    -k aka @FitOldDog

    • Peggy Holloway says:

      Read Phinney and Volek “The Art and Science of Low-Carbohydrate Living.” Dr. Phinney did a lot of his research with athletes and is an athlete himself. My partner and I do long-distance cycling on high-fat, low-carb diets and do quite well. The book explains why that is true.

  20. kay says:

    Gary, thank you for all your hard work. I was so happy to see your response to the Fat Trap article and am very excited to hear about the Nutrition Science Initiative. I read “Why We Get Fat” last year, and it has affected me and my thinking more than anything I’ve ever read about obesity, nutrition and diet (and I’ve read a lot!) I find myself questioning every “mainstream” story and article about weight loss, in a good way. I’m angry that the government has been complicit in pushing guidelines that are more harmful than healthful and have little to no basis in science. So, thank you! I tell anyone who will listen about your book.

    On a side note, would you believe that Dr. Oz is on television right now pushing gastric bypass surgery as the answer to type 2 diabetes?! Unreal.

  21. Sylvie says:

    Low-carb diets/research focus on the ills of refined and processed carbohydrates. What are your thoughts about weight loss that occurs through raw (vegan) food diets? The calories primarily come from fats (nuts, avocados, oils) and sugars (fruit, dates, bananas). Proponents of this form of eating point to many cases of individuals eating whatever they choose–often in excess of their previous caloric intake–and still losing weight.

    • FrankG says:

      If you are interested in a vegan approach you could do worse than read The Vegetarian Myth by Lierre Keith… she was herself a vegan for many years. http://lierrekeith.com/vegmyth.htm

      If I may attempt a brief answer to your question: refined (processed/packaged) carbohydrates are clearly a major focus of the low carb approach, but the clue is in the name… “low carb”. An high percentage of daily energy from carbohydrates (any carbohydrates) are the concern; due in large part to their effect of raising and maintaining high levels of insulin. The “empty calories” of refined/processed carbohydrates certainly make it much easier to eat plenty of them… but the effect is the same no matter what the source. That is not to say that ALL carbs are bad… just that we currently eat too many of them.

      There are some/many who do well on a carefully planned vegan/vegetarian way of eating (especially if they were not overweight to start with) but in terms of weight loss and health benefits in the short term for somebody who is obese, I’d suggest that: probably ANY restrictive or carefully thought-out “diet” would be preferable to the Standard American Diet (SAD).

      • Paula says:

        “The Vegetarian Myth” is a FABULOUS book! I came across it recommended by Mike Eades, M.D. at his proteinpower blogsite. Lierre Keith is a truly great writer. YOU SHOULD WATCH “KING CORN” BEFORE READING LIERRE’S BOOK THO. You got to have the visuals or you’ll think she’s exaggerating. I a zillion times disagree with L.K.’s prescription to save the earth (“Don’t have kids!!!”), BUT her description of what’s happened with agriculture is FANTASTIC and what she has to say about diet and the mind/body issues involved – no one says it better. She’s an awesome writer, one of the most powerful I’ve come across. My husband was blown away by her too.

  22. Mer Boel says:

    I’m so glad you wrote the rebuttal to the NYTimes article! Do you know of Dr. Fuhrman’s work on what he calls the “nutritarian” diet? http://www.drfuhrman.com. There are definite points of agreement, I’d say. My husband was 210 pounds and is now 167, and we both follow a diet that emphasizes vegetables (non-starchy) both raw and cooked, to good effect. We both eat animal protein (me more than him), and limit/extremely restrict refined carbs, sugar, fruit, processed foods, etc. His diabetes II has come under control very nicely, and I’ve lost the extra 20 pounds I was carrying as well. Plus veggies, especially organic, are yummy!
    Thanks for your work on this subject.

  23. Rose says:

    Someone suggested I try lemon w/my coffee. Well, that sounds Perfectly Awful; sorry! I appreciate the kind impulse to give suggestions, but we all have our own journeys to make. I think the comment about artificial sugars containing dextrose is important, however. That’s why I try to just drink seltzer water completely plain, why I do not put any artificial sweetener in my coffee (which I drink in moderation) and why I recently gave up drinking diet soda (I just don’t trust it). That said, I’m not perfect & I’m sure I”m not doing this low carb eating perfectly. I think I’m doing pretty good, however. I do not gorge myself. I do not NEED to – the low carb eating of meat, poultry, fish, veggies – it’s satisfying on it’s own. I don’t feel a sense of bottomless hunger anymore. At the same time, I’m probably eating too many nuts as snacks. Also, pepperoni as a snack, from time to time (although I don’t really like it – too much acid reflux from it). The point is: I’m a real human being, struggling w/real weight issues. I’m morbidly obese – a painful term for a painful condition. I’m struggling w/fatigue – perhaps thyroid? Perhaps hormonal? I don’t have a lot of $$$$ to find a doctor who might think outside the box. So, it’s all I can do to do my best. This is the low carb lifestyle, in the Real World, w/obesity that appears to be fairly intractable, & with me, a person of limited resources. That said, I might be too negative, because I’ve only lost a little weight. I mean, think about it: Since the almost year that I’ve done this way of eating – Had i Not changed my eating habits Dramatically – I’d surely be Heavier – Much Heavier – than I am now. I, a prior sweets binger who could not stop eating sweets – Now I can! That is MAJOR. I just must be strong in the face of temptation, which is still w/me, although much more muted than it used to be. It’s asking ALOT for someone to Completely & ALWAYS give up sweets. I may slip up. If I do, I Must get back on track. Sugar free jello is not a good low carb option, but I sometimes have 1/2 of one when a desire for a sweet taste overwhelms me. On the weekends, I add splenda sweetened home-made whipped cream to my coffee. Okay, I’m not a perfect low-carb eater, but I Could be stuffing my face w/twinkies & I’m NOT. So I Treasure my coffee w/cream and I am NOT giving it up. For, as it stands now, I AM doing this fairly well, this new way of eating. Not Perfectly, but not badly, either. Given who I am & where I have been – I think I’m doing pretty good. And that has Got to be good Enough, for if I get too discouraged w/my imperfections, I will go back to bingeing. And that is Not a place I EVER want to be at Again. EVER again. (& maybe this summer I will allow myself a Bit of corn on the cob – w/butter, natch. And a bit of blueberries w/heavy cream. And Maybe – MAYBE – a bit of watermelon. It’s the Real foods that are Not low carb – more than twinkies – that I miss the Most).

    • Paula says:

      Hi Rose! Rose is my middle name! I really think you’ll end up righting your body. It can take 6 years, seriously. Keep at it! I did want to mention (spoilsport that I am) that although I cannot snatch that watermelon from your fingers, I DID want to say it’s is REALLY REALLY REALLY high in fructose (which is the most damaging half of sugar). Try Quest Bars. You can get them thru their own website or thru Julian Bakery’s website. They’re $2 each, but really worth it. Lots of flavors — try the sample box to see what you like. Mmmmm! Not sold in stores. Low carb, use only natural sweeteners, nothing with “ose” in the name either. Perfectly fine to have berries & heavy cream (cream has like ZIP carbs & sugar! which is why Akins uses it). Also a few squares of 85% chocolate is actually GOOD for you. I like Splenda, but lately I’ve taken to Truvia. I heard they add some “ose” ingredients to bulk up Splenda. I DID have it in little tablet form (can’t bulk THAT up!), but can’t find it now. But I like Truvia! In fact, any low-carb sweetener one chooses ultimately tastes fine because once it’s in one’s system for about 3-4 days, any “off flavor” is no longer tasted. It just tastes good. I think it’s really cool you gave up diet soda. That aspartame — hmmmm…. Diana Schwartzbein is really against diet soda. Wish my husband would give it up!

      • moo says:

        do check and double check carb counts and measure carefully the heavy cream -it is not “zip carbs”(dammit, I thought so before also) ,also some cream is less fatty and has a few carbs more.When taking in moe than a tablespoon a day it can build up

      • moo says:

        make sure the choc. is unsweetened,and/or then choose carefully what sweetener used -for instance types of bottled online versions of liquid sucralose(splenda) has no dextrose powder fillers,others can raise blood sugar so study it and do not accept anyone’s advice here or else without checking it out…. WEBSITE “about.comlowcarbdiets” is a resource, but avoid the many ads and look carefully for the articles only.
        Ads for low carb anything- like breads are found everywhere, but be very afraid as ingrediants may not be as low carb as they claim. Be especially careful of words like “natural sweeteners” as that often means-will raise blood sugar and act like sugar if not just another form of sugar outright

  24. Rose says:

    Hopefully, I don’t sound defiant or stubborn. This is a very good way to eat, basically Atkins Induction. Arguably, a diet is worthless, however, if a person can’t make it work in the real world. What sounds good on paper may not be applicable to a LIFELONG approach. We live in a world of endless food. Daily, I must (and do) pass up constant opportunities to eat sweets, breads, bagels. Just at work, alone, there are numerous (endLess!) sweets pushed at one. I never Realized, before, how much sweets are pushed at people. From office parties, to girl scout cookie sign-up sheets, bagels at meetings, candy set out in the lunch rooms for anyone – my GOD. It’s just a dieter’s nightmare. So I am Very Grateful to have found a way to eat low carb, that *I*, personally, can do. The cream in my coffee (including whipped cream, made w/heavy cream & a *bit* of splenda, on weekends), while not a perfect way to do low carb, is something that helps me do this diet in the Real World. I can pass up those cookies, candies, cakes, communal celebrations, HEAVY on the sugars & grains – when I have a little bit of Something to tide me over. If this sounds pathetic to people, I can only say: it’s what *I* can do. Maybe You can do better. If so: More Power to you.

    • Rose says:

      Hi, Rose! Another Rose here. Your point about sweets being pushed on people constantly is an important one. In my nearly five years of low-carbing and hanging around low-carb forums, I’ve seen people fail over and over again because the cultural pressure is so great. I know Weight Watchers experimented with a sort of half-hearted LC program for a while (I don’t know if it’s still going), but I think if an outfit like WW that provides social and institutional support for dieters would adopt a serious low-carb paradigm, they’d be tremendously successful. Otherwise, I think the birthday/holiday/kiddie cereal trap is just too powerful for a lot of people to resist (not to mention the fear-mongering ill-informed doctors telling people they’re endangering themselves with “all that meat,” lol).

    • Galina L. says:

      It takes time to adopt to another way of eating, I remember regularly buying sugar-free candies during my first year on LC. Right now I just don’t react on cookies or bagels or cakes if it is around, I stopped thinking about it as a food. It was me who suggested trying coffee with a lemon, sorry for upsetting you. I don’t drink it all the time, just one of options. Take you time.

  25. cm says:

    As a twenty-year type 1 diabetic who tries his hardest to follow a carbohydrate-restricted diet, I look forward to hearing you speak at UTSA. Always enjoy reading your information.

  26. With only one reservation, I wish to commend Gary for his two books and all of the “missionary work” he is doing to shine a much-needed bright light on all of the science and pseudo-science of adiposity. Gary is leading the charge to tear down the Berlin Wall of obesity research. And it is way past time for this to happen. My one and only reservation is around the unintended consequences of going low carb / high fat without considering the Omega 6: Omega 3 ratio in the fats being consumed. Bill Lands is leading (I think) the charge on this one, and makes a strong case for the linkage between a high dietary 6:3 ratio and CVD-related inflammation. So, peanut butter (one of my favourite foods) is out, and fish oil is in. I’d be very interested in Gary’s take on this issue.

    • Paula says:

      Gary does mention Omega 6/3 in a few of his talks (like to the folks at Harvard, can be found on YouTube). He hasn’t done a lot of research on that research. But Bill Lands (William E. M. Lands, PhD) is “the man” on Omega 6/3 — you can see him lecture on YouTube. He is one of the “Plain Spoken.” Gary Taubes is another, as is Richard Feinman. All 3 are a pleasure to read and learn from. You can find Bill Lands’ papers on the internet. VERY UNDERSTANDABLE. The science makes sense. It’s readable. He’s extremely respected. Yes, peanut butter is OUT (TERRIBLY high in Omega 6s which is exactly what we need to get away from), and not just fish oil, but SALMON esp. is IN. And be sure and eat the skin! I get wild-caught salmon (frozen) from Super Walmart (sorry, I hear the screams of the Walmart Big Box haters!)… They says it’s “sustainably caught” AND they have 3 different ranges in quality from the very expensive sockeye to the regular old big old WHOLE SALMON. I just stick it in the Sous Vide Supreme at 130 degrees for a half hour, and eat it in a bowl with balsamic vinegar and salt! Mmmmmm!!!! :-)

      • Thanks Paula – I first became concerned about Omega 6:3 after understanding Bill Lands’ position. So, now I’d like to get Gary’s take on the issue. Dropping carbs and upping fat could be counter-health if the wrong fats are used, and if 6:3 is as big a concern as Lands makes it out to be. At this point, Lands’ story works for me, but I’m looking for validation from a credible, independent source such as Gary. Loren Cordain – Paleo Diet – is all over the issue, and that helps, but I’m looking for the penultimate opinion – from Gary. This is potentially a huge issue – as big as obesity itself!!

      • Oh, and Paula, I looked for and couldn’t find Gary’s Harvard YouTube, can you point to it for me?

  27. Robert Wright says:

    Dear Mr. Taubes:

    I wanted to thank you and let you know that I am using your insulin resistance reporting in my thesis project with the county health department in Atlanta to push the refined carbohydrate>insulin resistance>metabolic syndrome hypothesis to combat child and adolescent obesity in Georgia (which is currently # 2 in the nation in child overweight/obesity prevalence).

    I’m working with the Fulton Cty. Dept. of Health and Wellness to implement the CDC’s 2010 NYPANS survey in high schools to assess and, given time, reduce the consumption of refined carbs. amongst youth to try and reduce youth obesity rates in Atlanta and Georgia (an estimated 45% of Georgia 3rd graders and 27% of HS students were overweight or obese as of 2010).

    I presented my thesis project yesterday to our Healthy Heart Coalition, which I’m coordinating, and no one had any clue about the refined carb/insulin hypothesis of chronic disease. The video is here if you’re curious: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X_GbY2yYaYI

    Thank you for boldly confronting the current scientific dogma of “energy-balance” that so many believe is truth yet has failed and possibly even caused this metabolic mess we find ourselves in. I believe your research will lead to a fundamental change in global nutrition policy (though it will likely take a few decades).

    If you know of anyone looking for an Epi MPH to work with nutrition data, could you please forward them my resume?

    Thank you for your time and good luck with turning this ship around.


    Robert Wright

  28. Stephanie says:

    I’d love to know when the rest of your schedule goes up, especially your European talk dates. Looking forward to the new direction and work with Peter Attia. You guys have my utmost respect.

  29. Susanne Anderson says:

    I don’t get why people think that a low-carb style of eating is just a bunch of meat and loads of fat. I eat plenty of vegetables and I have fruit. I just don’t eat the starchy carbs/sugar, processed foods. Dr. Oz eating the pork skins–I don’t remember the last time I ate pork skins!!
    After talking to a nutritionist at my doctor’s office I gave Weight Watchers another try–big mistake. I let myself be swayed by the low-fat and worried about my cholesterol nonsense. I should have learned my lesson from the 80′s.
    I started off my lower carb eating from reading books by Suzanne Somers in 2000–I got sidetracked by Bob Greene and Dr. Oz. I started listening to a podcast called Dishing Up Nutrition by Nutritional Weight and Wellness in 2011–with vitamin supplements and their WOE I’ve lost 60 pounds so far.
    On one of their podcasts from 2011, I was introduced to Mr. Gary Taubes–wow…
    I borrowed Why We Get Fat and What To Do About It from the library and I have no doubt about the way I will be eating for the rest of my life and that I will reach my fitness/health goals.
    Thanks, Susanne Anderson

  30. Helga says:

    I happy to read your response to Tara’s article. I sent “The Fat Trap” to a friend of mine, and she told me it made her want to kill herself (tongue in cheek). I recommended your book. I’d just like to say I’ve tried a more paleo/carb restricted diet recently and the greatest benefit for me in the short term has been completely eliminating my lifelong struggle with low blood sugar. I’m not diabetic, but low blood sugar in non-diabetic people is virtually a non-subject to the medical community. Their advice for correcting it is to eat sugar. Which only corrects the problem for about 2 hours. Great treatment plan! I don’t know how widespread non-diabetic low blood sugar problems are, but I imagine they are more common than the information available would lead us to believe. Perhaps this is a transitional problem that happens before we become insulin resistant, but after we have gotten accustomed to over-secreting it. I would like to know more, but simply haven’t been able to find any credible information. I was concerned that eating little to no carbohydrates would negatively impact my athletic performance, but have found it’s just the opposite. Thank for the great link to Mr. Attia blog. The results of his self tests are great.

  31. mpalmer says:

    You’re making progress. The insulin hypothesis was approvingly advaanced by Holman Jenkins in today’s
    oped section of the WSJ.

  32. Teresa says:

    Thank you again! This is so exciting.

  33. Sean says:

    This is great stuff, and I am looking forward to following the progress of NuSI. I am currently a PhD candidate in the social sciences, and hope to trace the genealogy of discourses of nutrition at some point in the future as part of a science-technology-society interest that I have. I believe there is much that the work of such scholars as Bruno Latour, Gabriel Tarde, and other constructivist approaches can offer to trace the networks of power and associated “rhetorical commonplaces” (Jackson: 2007) that become legitimated, even in the face of “good science”–no more so than in this narrative of obesity research.

  34. Carl says:

    Recently I was discussing Gary Taubes’ carbohydrate hypothesis with an acquaintance. I expressed the opinion that it was still possible to overeat and get fat, even on a low carbohydrate diet. This individual rather indignantly told me that “calories don’t matter, carbs are what makes you fat”. Having read both of the books, that seemed to go beyond what was claimed. However, it also seems to be a common impression among low carb fans, that foods which do not contain carbs are ‘free’, you can eat unlimited amounts, with no risk of gaining weight.

    Because of this conversation, I have begun looking back through both books, and looking at other writings by Mr. Taubes regarding this point, and I haven’t found as much clarity on the question as I had hoped.

    One of my main take away’s from GCBC was that he wanted to challenge the accepted notion that obesity was a consequence of overeating. The alternative hypothesis was that overeating (and thus obesity) was a consequence of abnormal fat storage, triggered by consumption of carbohydrates. In other words, people don’t get fat because they eat too much and are lazy; they eat too much and become lazy because they are consuming carbohydrates. If you cut out carbohydrates, you should spontaneously reduce your food intake and increase your activity until a balance is reached. The one point that seems consistent between the two hypotheses is that weight gain is related to consumption of calories in excess of need. The point of contention was causality – is the cause of over consumption gluttony and sloth, or a hormonal disorder created by carbohydrates. Is that essentially a correct interpretation of his CH hypothesis? Because I see nothing in that alternative hypothesis which suggests that willful overeating can’t produce weight gain, even if no carbs are involved.

    Then I happened to look at the closing remarks of the second book, in the section entitled “What it means to eat as much as you like”. The final paragraph includes this:

    “The goal is to remove the cause of your excess adiposity – the fattening carbohydrates – and let your body find it’s own natural balance between energy expenditure and consumption. So you should eat when you are hungry and eat until you are full. If you are not eating carbohydrate-rich foods, you won’t get fat or fatter doing so.”

    That sort of sounds like you can eat as much as you want and not get fat if there are no carbs involved. But is that really what is being said? What happens on a low carb diet if you eat when you aren’t hungry, and continue to eat after you are full? People are quite capable of behaving in this manner. Realistically, don’t people sometimes WANT to eat more than they NEED to eat, for reason other than hunger and hormonal inputs? I know I sometimes have a snack more out of boredom or habit than need. And I’m sure I’m not the only one who has decided to try a tasty dessert even though the main meal had left me feeling quite full. Meals are not just for satisfying a calorie deficit – they are social events and entertainment. If those circumstances cause you to want to eat in excess of need, won’t you still be at risk?

    I’m hoping Mr. Taubes will get a chance to address this directly, though I understand he is quite busy, and may not have the time. But perhaps some of his fans here can point me to things he has previously written or said which address this question.

    • Martin says:

      Yes, technically you can stay on a very low carb-diet, be in deep ketosis and not lose any fat or even gain some. But in practical terms it’s unlikely to happen as you will simply be not hungry.

      I have recently been experimenting with increased fat in my diet and very recently I have started adding coconut oil to my morning coffee. As a result I do not feel any hunger till 2-3pm. I then eat my lunch, typically a big portion of meat or fish with a green salad and lots of olive oil and butter and around 4-5pm drink another coffee with coconut oil. Later at night when I look into my fridge (out of a pure habit) and start planning the dinner, I realize I don’t feel like eating anything. I then end up skipping dinner altogether or just have some nuts. Before I had always had problems limiting the amount of food I would eat at night, I was that hungry or had wild cravongs, which was the cause of my overeating.

    • FrankG says:

      @Carl — the answer to your question is already in the quote you give from Gary Taubes “…eat when you are hungry and eat until you are full.” This is not a licence to eat because you want to, out of habit or boredom, desiring that extra bit of dessert even though you are quite full already, or whatever… it is simply asserting that humans, just like every other animal on the planet, is able to maintain equilibrium naturally. Learn to listen to your body once again…. a real, whole food diet without refined, processed and packaged “franken foods” is uniquely satisfying. And remember that we don’t just eat to provide our bodies with energy (calories)… it is possible to remain hungry even after eating to bursting on poor quality foods.

    • Joni W.H. says:

      Carl, I don’t believe Mr. Taubes said anywhere, “If you cut out carbohydrates, you should spontaneously reduce your food intake and increase your activity until a balance is reached.” I think he is saying that if you cut out carbohydrates, you will feel satiated and that feeling will last longer. You will not experience food cravings and hunger that is out of whack, you will not binge, and in particular you won’t binge or overeat carbs. The notion of “overeating” itself will become a moot point. You might not reduce your food intake in terms of calories, and yet you will lose excess weight and then maintain it. Indeed, my understanding is that Mr. Taubes IS saying that “calories don’t count, carbohydrates are what make us fat.” Our physiology is exquisitely designed to metabolize protein and fat, but not carbohydrates. It’s not a thermodynamic problem. It’s not about calories.

      With respect to whether somebody could engage in “willful overeating,” as you put it, and gain weight on a low carb diet: the fact that you’re asking the question indicates to me that you may not have gotten the point yet. The phenomenon of overeating has been attached to charges of gluttony and lack of willpower for so long that it’s hard for all of us to shed the paradigm. But if the dysregulation of fat metabolism is caused by the ingestion of too many carbohydrates, which in turn messes with insulin production and causes a syndrome which WHICH INCLUDES OVEREATING, then that’s the cause of overeating, not gluttony, a willful nature, or a lack of willpower. In this new paradigm, the notion of overeating as a character defect or an irrational desire simply to stuff one’s face, is specious and can be put to rest permanently. “Willful overeating” can then be seen as an archaic value judgment that we’ve placed on people suffering from metabolic syndrome, an insulin issue, not a mental or emotional one.

      This is a long way of saying that no, I don’t believe that one will get fat “overeating” fat and protein, because the body has a built-in mechanism that turns off the hunger when we’re full. (In GCBC, Taubes describes several such studies where researchers tried and failed to get test subjects to eat unlimited amounts of meat. The subjects simply just could not do it and pushed the plates away.) This is why we can “eat when we’re hungry and stop when we’re full,” without worrying about becoming obese in another key.

    • Galina L. says:

      Doctors who actually treated obese patients like Dr. Eades, for example(“Protein Power”) never said that “calories don’t matter, carbs are what makes you fat”. It is more difficult to overeat LC food but still possible. I can’t eat an extra piece of my favorite lamb chops, but it is no problem to graze on something like macadamia nuts or salami rolled with cream cheese. A lot of people eating LC diets can’t loose weight or even regain because they eat too much nuts, nut-based deserts, graze on a LC food. I think no book should be approach as a sours for all possible answers. GT’s books are not a weight-loss manuals, plus, people have individual differences. I personally had to eliminate all snacks, limit meals to 2 a day, do one 22 – 24 hours fast a week, keep the size of my meals small in order to shed last pounds. Right now I am only maintaining my weight loss on a such regiment. However, it is the forth holiday season I survived without any weight gain.

      • Sarah says:

        Hi Galina,

        I found I had to do the same thing at a certain point as I hit a long-lasting plateau. I didn’t want to give up and accept that I had already hit my leanest point since I still had visible adipose tissue, mostly on my stomach. I found IF to be very helpful. In fact, it was my endocrinologist who mentioned IF and noted that while the research was not clear-cut it might be worth trying. I tried 16/8s as well as 24s and I also had to cut out snacking. I found it pretty easy to do, considering the appetite is really controllable once we are ketone-adapted. I still did not reach my leanest that I think I could have as I am now 33-weeks pregnant, but, I plan on reverting back to this very low carb, IF way of eating for the rest of my life, or, until additional compelling research gives us more information on how we might repair insulin receptor damage even further.

        Glad to meet someone else who has tried IF and found it successful!

      • ZippyChick says:


        I just want to say you make so much sense. I’ve been reading Gary Taubes’ blog since the beginning and I love hearing your story and your progress. When you write “the fourth holiday season without gaining weight”–that’s HUGE! I love it. Your ideas are logical and I really appreciate your emphasis on observation and figuring out what works. (Maybe it’s because I”m another female engineer :-) .

        Please keep the comments coming. I really look forward to learning your next major breakthrough–because with your inquisitive mind and relentless focus on data, I”m confident there will be one!


  35. Jennifer says:

    Robb Wolf is working on getting a study going in a closed ward to test the hypothesis that low-carb diets improve metabolic functioning and lead to weight loss compared to calorie and fat restriction.
    He discusses it here:

  36. Jorge Echauri says:

    Dear Gary, I got to your work through skeptic.com and your interview on uprising radio. Since then I follow a strict ketogenic diet and eat lots of fiber as it comes from the plant. I feel better than never and at my 39 years of age my weight is at high school levels. I’m about 10kg lighter.
    The point is here, your work has changed my life and I want to thank you and encourage you to keep your hard work. I’ve recently had some unpleasant experiences trying to convince people Olathe new scientific evidenceand trying to make them drop the dogma of low fat etc. Therefore I have at least a clue of the kind of hurdles you have to face among the scientific and medical community.
    Thank you once again.

    Jorge Echauri

  37. Kasundra says:

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I discovered your book Good Calories Bad Calories and began learning how fat accumulation works. Went on your recommended protocol and lost an additional 45 pounds. (I had already lost 20lbs using low glycemic index eating.) It has been almost two years and I have kept the weight off. And better yet, when I notice the weight creeping back on, I go back to my restricted carb lifestyle and within a couple of weeks the creep stops and the weight is lost again. The best news however is my lipid profile. 187 total cholesterol w/76 good chlesterol and tryglicerides at 41. (I cook three eggs w/chees in either bacon grease or butter just about every morning.) My doctor said, “I don’t know what you are doing, but keep it up! Your blood work is excellent.”

  38. Theresa Olmstead says:

    I went from 356 fasting blood sugar, 469 non fasting, 666 triglycerides, elevated alt and AST and 299 cholesterol to 102 fasting, 105 non fasting, 136 triglycerides, alt and AST at 20, and 178 cholesterol in three weeks using low carb, high fat (butter, Avocado, coconut, palm and olive oil), zero grains or fruit except olives, all proteins except tofu. No beans, no rice, bread or pasta, only protein, fat and above ground nonstarchy vegetables. 8 months after diagnosis, I have lost 53 pounds, and my fasting blood sugar is 70-90, non-fasting under 100 almost all the time. Almond milk and organic raw egg yolks are eaten everyday as a smoothie. Moderate exercise (1 hour low intensity 6 days a week. I am convinced (as my body tells me everyday) that low carb, high fat (the right kinds) and protein is the way to eat.

  39. Alexandra Mazzeo says:

    Now that the petition has over 1,000 signatures, what’s going to happen to it? Will it be closed? Will the additional 750 signatures be called to the attention of the NY Times?

    It’s very impressive that there are so many signatures from bariatric physicians, but I can’t help wondering if there would have been many more signatures from the general public (and the inevitable trolls, I guess!) had a donation not been required to sign.

    • Joni W.H. says:

      Andrea, a donation is not required to sign the petition. I didn’t make a donation and I signed it. My signature is #920.

      • Alexandra Mazzeo says:

        Why did I have a feeling somebody was going to tell me that?! Did you not get that screen, or you just got past it? Oh, well – no regrets.

        Why do people always call me Andrea?

        • Joni W.H. says:

          Alexandra, so sorry I called you Andrea. The answer is probably optical laziness. But that’s really no excuse.

  40. wally courie says:

    i”ve read your books and even listened to them. Generally you are right. But i have found a couple of things u may reconsider. Also listened to the Ohio State & Google Author lecture.

    1. the pima. they were also agricultural. Probably grew Maize & knew how to eat it. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nixtamalization
    Probably right about the lack of protein b/ it’s probably the wheat allergy (Wheat Belly) & the sucrose that done them in.

    2. Dr. Lustig makes a great point. What is the commonality of the former Japanese way of eating & Atkins? they both work. Lo Sugar!

    3. please consider the idea of Jaminet’s safe starches.

    4. Exercise does more that work up an appetite, i.e. releases Risin which they say ‘browns” fat.

    i consider your main contribution to advancing the discussion not the carbs drive insulin hypothesis but blowing the hi fat heart disease hypothesis out of the water! (from your triglyceride: HDL ration, it could have been inferred u had the light buoyant LDL type A.) What do you think of Mercola guest Dr Stephanie Seneff’s hypothesis that small particle LDL & plaques are relate to sulfur deficiency? http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/10/15/dr-stephanie-seneff-on-cholesterol.aspx

    i thank u for all your research, it was very enlightening reading. Thanks for coming around to recognizing the over-riding chief evil of sucrose and its evil ingredient of refined fructose.

    Take Care! (from a fellow B.S. Physics)

  41. Mark McPherson says:

    Hi Gary,
    Boy am I glad you introduced me to Peter Attia. I am so much clearer (and more confident) about the need for more fat, but less protein, and of course, very low carbohydrate. I lost 11 pounds my first week, eating the way he recommends.

    I think it’s the “fat part” about the diet that can be scary, as even though I’ve read your books, multiple time, and understand that the primary culprit that makes us fat is carbs, it is still scary to eat cream, butter, cheese, etc., without feeling like “oh my God, is this going to kill me?”

    Yet, it’s working . I had a minor stall in my weight loss recently and realized it’s because I was eating too much protein, but I’ve corrected it and I’m sure I’ll “pop” back into ketosis immediately.

    Anyways, I just wanted to share some good news.

  42. Razwell says:

    Hi, Gary :)

    It’s great to see you blogging again. Never mind the Internet gurus. Their piddly minds cannot even begin to grasp much of what you wrote about and are known and respected for in the scientific journalism community.

    The real way that bariatric surgery works is that the actual physical trauma/re- routunbg of the digestive system somehow interfers with the ( involuntary ) weight regulation system (ina slightly beneficial way) where it creates new hormones and alters existing ones in a beneficial way. However, the average BMI after bariatric surgery is still 32 – obese. They are less obese , but still obese on ONLY 1,000 calories a day. This observation alone should tell us how very deep and complex obesity is. Bariatric surgery is *sometimes* helpful in SOME, but it is FAR from perfect. And it has serious complications and sometimes fails.

    Scientists are currently working on identifyinfg this newly created cocktail of hormones, so that they could use it in a pill form, rather than the surgery.

    As you know, I respect your own mission to get the word out that “eat less, move more” is a completely unscientific nostrum which does not at all work reliably in the scientific literature. All other medical conditions demand a certain scientific protocol. Obesity should be no different. The biggest reason it is different is because of the politics, misinformation and assumptions the unscientific commercail dieting industry scams the public with.

    Take care, Gary, and keep getting the word out.

    Best Wishes,

  43. Charles Newbury says:

    Im very confused. You say, “Should they ever get the cause right, then the correct treatment becomes obvious.” This is in relation to obesity. But then I can’t find anywhere what this obvious treatment is. Please tell us in terms that leave no question. What foods should we be eating to loose and maintain a healthy weight? Thank you.

    • Alexandra Mazzeo says:

      Charles – have you read Why We Get Fat? It explains everything in easy to understand terminology. But here it is in a nutshell: eating carbohydrates raises insulin levels, elevated insulin encourages fat storage, therefore if you restrict carbohydrates, insulin levels will fall, and fat will be burned instead of stored.

      Which is exactly what is explained in the letter to the Times – not sure how you missed it:

      “By this logic, the way to treat obesity is not by eating less and exercising more, as Ms. Parker-Pope implies, but by reducing insulin levels, perhaps as low as possible. That is accomplished most efficiently by severely restricting the carbohydrate content of the diet and removing, in particular, refined grains and sugars that have the greatest effect in stimulating insulin secretion.”

      If you want specific advice on what to eat, I suggest you look at the blogs of Dr. Peter Attia and Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt:



    • Joni W.H. says:

      Charles, I concur with Alexandra Mazzeo (above). Read Gary’s work first: Why We Get Fat and What To Do About It. It’s very clear.

      For specific diet advice, I recommend that you read Dr. Loren Cordain’s book, The Paleo Diet, and Robb Wolf’s book, The Paleo Solution. The Paleo approach is tremendously effective (I’m an example). Both these guys are scientists. Wolf does nothing but advise people on their diets. Check out his website.


  44. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Day 5: down 3.3 lbs, chest congestion (from “exercise induced asthma” which I never had before my 40′s) GONE, way more energy, and HOPEFUL for the first time in a long time! Can’t emphasize enough how the explanations in “Why We Get Fat” have helped me know that this is the BEST way to improve my own health and the health of my precious family: husband and two young teen boys. And it’s only DAY 5! I’m never going back…. God bless you for your voice of reason.

  45. Linda Slater says:

    …and now the Parker-Pope article has appeared in The Weekend Australian Magazine….

  46. Anthony says:

    Gary. This article appeared in our Weekend Australian paper this past weekend and I was dismayed at the content. I posted a reply to the article from the New York Times to register my dissapointment. It is nice to see in my searches on this article that I was not the only one who took exception with the content. I am not new to being across the issues around obesity (I am not obese nor have I been) but I am relatively new to the “correct” diets or nutrition we should be consuming that runs at odds with government backed or endorsed diets. Your books will be on my list to purchase and I can hopefully influence those around me to a more healthier life – as mine has started to become.
    Best Regards, Anthony – Brisbane, Australia

  47. Ida says:

    Mr. Taubes,

    I wanted to thank you for your book…”Why We Get Fat”. I’ve read low carb books before and looked at various low carb blogs and websites but they always left me suspicious and unconvinced….I ate a non fat vegan diet for years and although I felt like hell I couldn’t believe my diet was at fault. Maybe it’s because you weren’t trying to sell me weight loss supplements or protein powders or expensive appliances…but something about your book hooked me and made me think. I read the book, looked at what I’d been eating, how I’d been exercising and how I was feeling…and I changed it all. I can honestly say that within 72 hours of giving up sugar, grain and “food products” and eating grass fed meats, pastured poultry, wild caught fish, real eggs and real butter, full fat dairy, extra virgin olive oil, organically grown vegetables, nuts, seeds and small amounts of berries I felt like a different person! I no longer spend 90 minutes a day pounding a treadmil and exercise bike…now i walk outside, work out at a ballet barre and lift some weights. I eat 3 meals a day of real food. My mood swings are GONE, my brittle temper is GONE, my nervous shaking has STOPPED, my uncontrollable all consuming need for sugar is GONE and I’ve dropped from 162 pounds (I’m a 5’8″ 51 year old woman) to 148 pounds with no hunger and no effort. Simply saying “thank you” falls woefully short for all your work has done for me…but thank you sir…from the bottom of my heart!

    With respect and appreciation,

  48. Sara says:

    Love your books, love your blog. Just stopping by to say thank you so much for being a voice of reason in a raging sea of educated folks who don’t have the sense to admit when they are wrong.
    Thank you!!!

    • Matt Taylor says:

      “… educated folks who don’t have the sense to admit when they are wrong.” Nice. Didn’t Quint say something like that in the movie Jaws?

  49. Matt Taylor says:

    Gary, I and many others have started following Peter Attia’s blog due to this post. I don’t think you could have found a better partner in all this. He is an extraordinary activist and a blogging machine!

  50. John Bailey says:

    Gary et al;
    A year ago I read Why We Get Fat. At the time I was up to 199 lbs, and a few other key metrics were not good. I began to cut way back on sugar and flour, and ate meat ( not lean ) more often, including bacon and eggs for breakfast. Over the past year I have exercised less than at any time in the past 10 years because of herniated disc issues in my lower back.
    I ate as much as I wanted to , and never went hungry. If antyhing , I believe I ate less quantity of food because I was far less hungry between meals.
    What follows is an overview of some key measures a year later:

    Weight: Down to 177 lbs versus 199 lbs last year , and average of 193 lbs for previous 10 years
    Blood Pressure: 130 / 85 , same as it has always been for last 10 years
    LDL: 1.91 this year versus 2.06 last year : no impact from eating more fatty meats
    HDL: increased to 2.17 from 1.63 last year. Had been as low as 1.38 in 2004. WOW! more meat helps increase HDL more than exercise? seems to .
    ApoB: decreased to .61 from .67 last year , .7 in 2010
    Triglycerides: decreased to .54 from 1.87 year last year, and average of 1.25 prior 5 years. WOW!
    I hope this can help your arguments re flour and sugar. If anyone reading this would like more details, please feel free to contact me. I have put together a powerpint presentaion that gives more of the story,

  51. Maygunn says:

    Gary… U rock my world I just finished ur first book and am starting into your second,. I don’t even know how to say thank you enough for all the research youve done on this . You don’t even know how it’s changed my life. And many others. I am so happy that you started this journey because it’s truly astonishing what you’ve found . I am so greatful a real scientist and journalist took the time to find out the truth about something so many people In out country struggle with.
    A million thanks !

  52. JessR says:

    Just heard you speak at the IIN mega conf in long beach. You had soooooo much good/solid information jammed in to such a short time slot . Looking forward to looking over my notes, your slides, and reading your updates/blogs/books to learn more. Thank you for presenting!

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  55. Neal Paisley says:

    Still losing, still getting healthier after a year. Still not hungry, either.

  56. nikki du plessis says:

    i have just finished your book why we get fat along with the dr atkins books.
    i have also been doing the atkins diet for 2 months now with not much success. but i have turned back to your book and i now think i might have cracked my problem. i am a 56 year old woman who is obviously in menapause. this week what i have done is carried on with the atkins 20 a day carbs intake but instead of doing aerobic type exercise I have done a full week of weights. i cannot believe how different my body feels. i have always done weights but felt the way to loose weight would be running etc……i was wrong and only once i read your book CAREFULLY did i realise that weights benefit carry on much longer than benefit of aerobic…in my case anyway.
    so i am re reading your book once again to find these things that resonate with me.
    thank you so much for this
    if you have any other hints on how to overcome middle age spread,…..my fight against insulin being in charge of my fat cells has ended…… i would appreciate them
    thank you

  57. Cathy W says:

    I can’t stay true to not eating fruit and my binge food is bread. Is there hope?

  58. Jas says:

    The book WWGF suggests that lowered insulin levels should trigger fatty acids draining from fat tissue and they will be used as fuel for energy. That should mean that fasting while maintaining low insulin levels should drain fat cells to a minimum level until the body reaches a threshold and signals hunger again. So any peson with excess body fat should be able to continue the fast for prolonged periods, without getting hungry before draining alll excess fat. And should be able to fast like this for several days and achieve a more or less perfect fat loss.

    So the question is why do I feel hungry after 15 hours now, when I have maintained low insulin levels since 2 days now? I still dont have lower body fat yet.

    The book also talks about body going into starvation mode. If such a fast is continued overnight or for 15 hours, body should go into starvation and become more obese and muscle wasting. This is contradictory to that body will burn and ‘lose’ fat in this non-fed state and low insulin. So which theory is correct – that body will start draining fats in non-fed state under lower insulin, or go into starvation mode and become obese and muscle wasting?

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  60. Robert Patocchi says:

    I am very Grateful for Gary Taubes , Peter Attica and Mark Sisson.

    This is my story.
    My name is Robert Patocchi. I am going to turn 57. Fourteen months ago I weighed 255 pounds. My body fat was over 30%. My triglycerides were over 1500. I wanted to exercise but had no energy. At that time I thought Dr. Atkins a nut. I then listened to an audio book. ” Good Calories Bad Calories” by Gary Taubes. I went on Atkins and into ketosis and lost 25 pounds in two months. I felt more energetic so I began to lift weights and swim. I felt good so I decided to compete –. I had not competed for 33 years. When I added anaerobic interval training exercise to my workouts I added more carbs to my workout 60 to 110 grams a day. It was mainly fruit and vegetables. I am thankful to Mark Sission and his book ” The Primal Blu Print. ” Now I do eat rice and bread sometimes and I drink milk. I also emailed Peter Attia. He is great guy and answered my questions. I stared eating only once a day in the evening. I eat a lot of saturated fat. When I went to the doctor my triglycerides were under a 100! My cholesterol improved. My body fat is 13% now and still dropping. I weigh 200 pounds and I did good in my swimming competition for Pacific Master Swimming for not competing for 33 years. I was almost as fast as some of those that I knew 36 years ago who had not stopped competing for years. Some had not stopped racing since collage. . Maybe this year I will beat them.Masters Swimming. I am a sprinter but I also did ok in a open water swim. I enjoy my life more now. I can hike play work harder now. I have two kids , one 11 and one, so this is even more important. I am very thankful for these guys.

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