Monday, September 3, 2012

Book Nook - Why We Get Fat

Why We Get Fat (and what to do about it) by Gary Taubes:

At the beginning of summer, I found myself in a situation that most women dread: swimsuit shopping.  It was a depressing site in every way: the "matronly" styles that I was looking at, the sizes that I guessed would be right for me, but the worst part, by far, was the mirror system in the dressing room.  Staring at me was every part, inch and angle that I had been blissfully ignoring prior to that day.

I came home without a swimsuit, and without any self-esteem.

I'll admit, I have the weirdest body: I'm skinny in some areas and cushy in others (which is actually addressed in Why We Get Fat).  I'm not obese or overweight......I just wanted the cushy parts to go away.  Luckily, I had been reading this book at the time of my dressing-room-of-doom experience, so I knew exactly what I needed to do: cut carbs.

That's the crux of this book - if you cut out carbs, you will lose the weight (and fast, more than likely) and be healthier.  So, since my day in the dressing room, I've been going low-carb (or trying really hard to).  And I'm here to report: it works!  I lost some weight and my pants started to fit me better.  The "matronly" swimsuit that I ended up buying earlier in the summer is now a little loose on me.  I've had a few people ask me if I've lost some weight.  All because I've given up carbs........who knew?

Reading about nutrition and food has been sort of a pet project for me this year.  Compared with some of the other books I've read, this one is a little dry.  But maybe that's a bit unfair of me, because in a book like this, the best/only way to present the work is by relaying the facts and discussing the studies that have been done.  So, it's not the lightest reading, but if you want to be lighter, you'd better read it!

One thing that was surprising was a few shots of naked people for various body studies.  The nudity is in the name of science, but I wasn't expecting to see it, so it was a surprise.  Just to warn you!

DH and I always joke that he's a 90-percenter on all of his projects.  He likes to do something until he reaches about 90% completion, then he loses interest in it and never finishes.  I did a 90-percenter on this book, but I think the reason I just couldn't get to that last 10% was that I kept thinking ok, I get it.  The first 90% made so much sense to me, that I couldn't be bothered with the last bit.  I was already putting what I read into action.  I did end up finishing the last unread part, but I was already a convert.

As Fall approaches, the motivation to look good in a swimsuit diminishes.  But there are many health reasons to lose the weight, besides being thinner.  Carbs do many bad things to our bodies (like heart disease) and it makes sense to eliminate them, or eat less of them.  It's hard to do - carbs are everywhere in our diet, even hidden in processed foods.  And I haven't given them up completely: I still love ice cream!  But since I've been eating mostly fats and protein, and cutting way back on carbs, I've seen a big, positive change.

If you are interested in losing weight, I highly recommend this book.  You'll learn why the standard weight-loss method of eating less and exercising won't work, and why lowering your carbs will.  There are a couple of helpful lists that spell out what you can and can't eat, which now have a prominent place on our fridge.

If you read this book & go low-carb, let me know how it works for you!


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