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Everyone knows that if we eat more calories than what we expend, we will gain weight.  That’s easy and irrefutable, right?

We also know that if we exercise and cut out the fat from our diet, that will make us lose weight faster.  The government tell this to us, our doctors tell us, tv shows and commercials say it.

Has that worked for you?

It has not worked for me.  I work out 4-5 days a week, I play sports often, and I do my best to avoid red meat and pop.  I don’t always do it, but all that effort I put in has to balance out on my side of the equation.

But it has not. I continue to gain weight, I can’t drop the spare tire, and I have a very hard time staying away from sugar.

So is that the answer to the obesity epidemic? That America lacks the willpower to make itself lean? That is surely the message that is given to all of us.

But what if that is wrong?  What if the calories in / calories out doctrine that has been preached all of our lives is wrong?  What if exercise for the sake of losing weight is not the answer?

What if it is not how much we eat, but what we eat that makes us fat?

I read Why We Get Fat, and What To Do About It, by Gary Taubes on a suggestion from a couple of friends, and his argument will surprise you. It will also make you wonder why you never thought of it before.

According to Taubes, and innumerable sources he cites, it was not until the 1970s that our current way of thinking about nutrition took over our collective minds.  Before that time, everyone knew it was bread and beer and pasta and sugar that made you fat.  That is, the culprit was carbohydrates.

Carbohydrates now form the base of the nutritional food pyramid. If carbohydrates are in fact the reason we get fact, our government, which decries obesity, is in fact what is pushing us to get fatter.

Taubes shows how and why we came to believe the calorie in / calorie out idea of weight loss.  He gives historical evidence of why it doesn’t work, why eating the way the government prescribes makes people fat, and how all of those carbohydrates affect the body.

He also discusses how carbohydrates play a big factor in health, including diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s.

I strongly recommend you read this book. At the very least, you may answer the question of why you work so hard at losing fat, but it never happens.  And if your question is answered, you just may be convinced to change your diet.

I was. I’ve had very few carbs since September 10th. I’m going to stick with it a few months and see what happens, and I’ll be sure to let you know how it works for me.

Oh, you may be wondering what I’m eating now instead of carbs.

Fat. Yup, beef and sausage and cheese and eggs.  I’ve lost 4 pounds in 16 days.  Think that’s crazy?  Read the book and then let me know what you think.  You may just be crazy for eating spaghetti with a side of garlic bread.

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