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“What we tell people to do to lose weight – eat less and exercise – is exactly what you’d do if you wanted to make yourself hungry.”

Gary Taubes

We have all been bombarded by information on weight control.  But what diet and exercise regimen really works?  We all know that obesity leads to complications.   As of 2011, it has been estimated that there are around 350 million diabetics worldwide, and obesity is blamed for this number.  Are our modern methods of diet and exercise insufficient to stop this ballooning epidemic?

Recent diet regimens that have been in vogue include the Atkins Diet, the South Beach Diet, and the Zone Diet.  Atkins fans claim that processed carbohydrates and insulin, not excess kilocalories, are responsible for weight gain and obesity.  South Beach suggests low glycemic index meals.  The Zone Diet is 40% carbohydrate, 30% protein, and 30 percent fat, which deviates from the usual 60% carbohydrate : 20% Fat : 20% Protein ration often suggested.  If you notice, all these diets push for a reduction in carbohydrate intake.

An article by Gary Taubes published in Reader’s Digest’s October 2011 has got me thinking.  Here are some of the things that intrigued me:

1.  You don’t get fat because of overeating.  You get fat because of what you are eating.

2.  Diets don’t work.  Food restriction also leads to less energy expenditure.

3.  There is no compelling evidence that exercise leads to weight loss.  Exercising will not keep you thin.

4.  It’s impossible to count calories, so don’t do it.

5.  A high fat diet is better for your heart.

Mr. Taubes suggests a low carbohydrate diet, not a low fat diet.

According to the Mayo Clinic, the reason for promoting a low-carb diet is to stimulate fat breakdown by inhibiting  insulin secretion.  In other words, with the low-carb diet, the body burns stored fat for energy.  However, the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends unrefined whole grain foods, fruits, and vegetables, which contain more carbohydrates and less fat.  The members of the AHA include noted heart disease experts, who have always suggested a lower intake of saturated fats and cholesterol-rich foods.

What do you think?  Should we lower our carbohydrate intake by removing rice from our diet?  Must we stay away from wheat bread and pasta dishes?   Or is it better to count calories and limit the intake of  fats as suggested by the American Heart Association?

Let the debate begin.  Send me your thoughts on this.



  1. Pingback: Gary Taubes And Low Carb Dieting. « Killsession Musings

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