By Ciaran O’Regan.
- If you only want to learn how to practically manage your weight for the rest of your life then skip to the section with the picture of the lad in Fake Tan and Speedo and read from there.
- If however you also want to learn about what Taubes has made a mess of then read the whole thing as you will have a much deeper understanding of nutrition for weight management.
TAUBES AND HIS BOOGEYMAN OF OBESITY
Soooo we need to talk about something……..
Gary Taubes was recently on both the Joe Rogan and Sam Harris podcasts and so was exposed to HUUUGE audiences. Taubes is a personality that has been floating around the nutrition world for years now and has authored books on low-carb high-fat diets (LCHF).
Basically, his mission is to portray carbohydrate as the Boogeyman cause of obesity…..
Taubes is also a fantastic speaker who is genuinely good at getting his message across in easy to understand manner using analogies, metaphors, and a vocabulary rich in scientific terms that really makes his argument seemingly make sense. For this skill of communication, I genuinely admire him. On top of this, he portrays himself as this noble revolutionary science outsider who is lifting the lid on bad science and highlighting the supposed fact that “the conventional wisdom on why we get fat or fatter is both foolish and wrong” (Gary Taubes). Just check out this beauty of a passage as an example of his skills of communicating his message:
On the surface, he makes some good points right?
I will even admit that I was once myself on the anti-carb bandwagon for a spell in 2014 as guys like Taubes had me convinced. Their seemingly scientific arguments and anti-establishment take were extremely compelling to a person like me who was ripe for the picking after already being exposed to things like the whole history of the Ancel Keys saturated fat controversy and the USDA based origin of the food pyramid. I was even one of those guys that thought chucking big chunks of butter and coconut oil into coffee was not just a way to make a strangely tasty high-calorie coffee, but was the recipe for a magic potion that resulted in body fat being forced to disappear into a mystical dimension.
Luckily, however, I was fortunate enough to come across some great resources and was able to learn myself good about the principles that actually underpin nutrition science for body composition management. Before I get to the principles of nutrition science (and the “fake tan and speedo counter” I mentioned in the title), I want to explore what Taubes potentially got right as well as what he made a mess of.