I just finished reading the book Good Calories Bad Calories by Gary Taubes. I was taking some notes during my reading it – notes about things that struck as stuff that should have been known by the general population but it is not.
Here is what we know so far:
- Exercise does not help weight loss – too few calories burned + appetite increase.
- On calorie surplus some individuals gain a lot, some do not gain much at all.
- Some overweight individuals eat less calories than lean people and still cannot lose weight (higher set point?).
- The First Law of Thermodynamics (calories in, calories out) is a cause of obesity in some individuals and an effect in other individuals (metabolic or hormone disorder).
- Extra calories from carbohydrates induce hunger, extra calories from protein and fat do not – at least not to a comparable degree.
- It’s easier to overeat on carbohydrates than it is on protein and fats.
- Refined carbohydrates tend to deplete 13 vitamins and tend to compete with vitamin C for absorption.
- 1200 Calories all protein and fats diet = significant fat loss; 1200 Calories mixed diet (800 Cal protein+fats and 400 Cal carbohydrates) largely fails (1 of 2 to 1 of 100 success rate).
- Total starvation completely eliminates hunger after day 3-4. All fat and protein – no hunger. Add carbs – hunger reappears.
- Obesity might be caused by a defect in energy distribution and fat metabolism. Fat people are hungrier because they are getting fatter – their adipose tissues are taking in more fat and holding onto it while the other tissues are starving. This is caused by hypothalamic abnormalities.
Although the book is very eye-opening and revealing, I think there are a few shortcomings and omissions. For example:
- It doesn’t become clear what is the role of leptin and leptin resistance in obesity. Only insulin and insulin resistance is discussed – to great lengths
- Insulin is the reason for storing extra carbs and energy in the fat cells. So, we have to avoid insulin spikes (by eating less or no carbs). But it is a well-known fact that protein foods raise insulin levels just as much as (some protein foods even more than) carbs themselves (1, 2, 3). So, what are we to do now – stop eating protein too?
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