Science writer Gary Taubes was interviewing one of the USA's "top docs" when he suddenly realized the doctor did not understand the scientific method. Wondering what evidence the mainstream Medical and Government guidelines for diet and for drug treatment was based on - specifically regarding weight-loss, cholesterol, and heart-disease - Taubes began an investigation which lasted six years.
The result - Good Calories, Bad Calories - was published in 2007; it is hundreds of pages of documentation of the evidence which proves the Lipid Hypothesis FALSE. The Lipid Hypothesis has two main parts:
a) that excess dietary cholesterol is the cause of heart disease (and that, therefore, everyone should avoid foods high in cholesterol)
b) that excess dietary fat is the cause of the Obesity Epidemic (and that, therefore, everyone should eat a low-fat/high-carb diet)
Again, not to put to fine a point on it, the Lipid Hypothesis is false; no-one is free to believe it. It is not a matter of opinion.
- Just sitting on your butt eating donuts, you need 10 calories* per pound (of total body weight) just to not lose weight.
- If moderately active - cardio 2-3 days a week, or cardio 1-2 days + one day of weight-lifting - you will need 12 cals to maintain.
- If doing endurance exercise or lifting weights 2-3 days per week, you will need 14 cals per day to maintain current weight.
- To gain weight (hopefully, muscle not fat), one would need to lift weights 2-4 days per week, and get at least 15 cals per day.
*yes, technically it's "kcals", but not everyone has to be a bio-freakin-chemist, IMO
[For anyone who doesn't know: each gram of fat has 9 calories, each g of carb or pro has 4.5 (not the oft-cited 4).]
The conventional "wisdom" blames the individual for "overeating" (even Dr. Kessler's The End of Overeating - as valid as some of his points are - falls into this trap; it's right there in the title). As Taubes also documents in GCBC, 100% of the increase in calories for the average American from 1970 until now is from two sources: flour (wheat) & sugar. If someone needs to lose "weight" (really, bodyfat percentage), those are the calories to try cutting first.
Both flour and sugar are, of course, carbs, not fat; however, this does not necessarily mean an actual "low-carb" diet is right for everyone (although more than half of all people will need to restrict carbs to less than half of all calories, as I explained in my previous article).
By the time I read GCBC in 2009, I had already tried low-fat, had already gone organic, had already been taking good quality nutritional supplements, and already been walking consistently for many years; I had already been practicing a progressive weight-lifting program for a solid year, and already committed to avoiding "added sugars" for six months. My waist would not go below 40 inches.
After reading GCBC, I simply switched out the sandwiches for salads; I did not reduce fat or protein, only carbs, specifically wheat. I took four inches off my waist in six months, and have kept it off for over two years now. After being fat for 30 years, I am really enjoying being "small."
There are millions of such examples out there. It can work for you too.