Why We Get Fat Book Review

These clinical thoughts are a summary of the book Why We Get Fat And What To Do About It by Mr. Gary Taubes. If you want a more detailed explanation of what he is suggesting about why we get fat, check out his site www.garytaubes.com.  Below are the nuts and bolts in understanding the whys. 

Book Cover


Our next blog aims to lay out a foundation for understanding how to get on track and regain your healthy weight once and for all.  No more yoyos, no more diets.  Please remember it is not just a new fad diet, diets simply aren’t sustainable.  Mr. Taubes also discusses the “why’s” in his book with in depth details.  Giving us a clue on which lifestyle change could be sustainable.

The law of thermodynamics or the law of energy conservationstates that, energy is neither created nor destroyed but only changes from one form to another.  But how does this apply to weight loss? We’ve been told that if we eat food which is x number of calories, and then if we exercise at a specific energy and intensity level we will be burning off those calories or the fats stored in our body.

Have you ever heard of the women in Africa working out in the field? Their glutes are huge and yet they are burning lots of calories. Why are they storing fat and so much of it in one area?  Does this make sense if they are exercising and working so hard burning calories?  If you just exercise and watch what you eat then it is a thermodynamics issue than you would be losing weight and not gaining them.  The theory simply does not explain why we get fat.

Gaining Weight, The Real Story.

It is more of not just a physiological problem but a multifaceted problem where environment, genes, and toxic load play a huge part.  I cannot begin to count the number of times patients have asked me why they were gaining weight.  “I haven’t changed a thing, all I am doing is aging.  I have even increased my exercise, sleep, and reduced my diet and still I am gaining weight”. And there’s a simple explanation, what you are eating, specifically high glycemic carbohydrates or fructose, including certain fruits and fruit juices, can be causing your genes to generate higher levels of insulin.  It’s these higher levels of insulin that are ordering your body to store fat.

Have you eaten certain foods you know you are sensitive to? It could be a small amount and voila! The next morning you’ve gained 10 lbs.! It has happened to me numerous times. How is that even possible?  At the end of this blog is a picture explanation of what is going on in your body. The key to this lifestyle change is keeping your gut in check. Cleansing at least twice a year and even more sometimes, based on your genetic profile. If your body also has a hard time eliminating toxins, then as those toxins build up, your gut gets out of balance.

But yet again you start craving those foods, sometimes you were able to avoid those, and those were the foods that made you feel sick and gain more weight.  After cleansing, reintroducing certain foods, is like getting in tune with your gut so you can figure out which foods ‘genetically’ makes your body stores them as fat.  It could be what you considered a healthy food like cantaloupe for example. Remember, every patient is different. Understanding what triggers food cravings is the key to creating a lifestyle change.  Diets absolutely do not work but lifestyle changes stick.  And we want it to stick. The ultimate goal is to gain a healthy gut and keep it in check always.

Where Does Cortisol Play In Relationship To Insulin As It Relates To Getting Fatter?

Cortisol makes us store fat both directly through LPL and indirectly through Insulin.  It helps to bring down the Insulin levels in your body.  It works to release fat from our fat cells primarily by stimulating HSL.  Cortisol can make us fatter when insulin is elevated but can also make us leaner when insulin levels are low.  This might explain why when patients get fatter when they get stressed, anxious, or depressed and eat more while others get leaner. The key to getting a leaner body is keeping the insulin levels low.  If we can get the insulin levels lowered than we can

Fructose is metabolized in the liver.  It has no immediate effect on blood sugar and insulin levels but has long term damaging effects.  Due to a diet with high levels of sugar that includes corn syrup, overloads the liver and turns most of the fructose into fat and then ships it out to the tissues. Fructose has been referred to as the “lipogenic” carbohydrate because it is the one most readily converted to fat.  Also the fructose increases blood sugar levels, stimulating the insulin levels and orders the fat cells to convert more calories into fat.  Alcohol undergoes a similar path as fructose.  The outcome from alcohol consumption is we get fatter because it also gets processed in the liver; the fat storing processes are identical and you get the “beer belly”.

How The Gut Works with Insulin (An Infographic)