Monthly Archives: September 2009

Exercise Makes You Healthy, But Not Thin

I’ve never been especially athletic. I don’t enjoy sports, and I was always the last one to be chosen for teams in gym class. It wasn’t that I was particularly fat or out-of-shape as a child. I was a little chubby, but I was fit from the ballet classes I attended from the age of 5, and I always enjoyed riding my bike. The fact was, given the choice between softball and a novel, the novel won every time. I’m a natural book worm.

One of the things that always bothered me in my struggle with weight loss throughout my teens and twenties was the idea that I had to become an exercise aficionado in order to lose weight. I didn’t want to spend my leisure time participating in sports or sweating in a gym. I value (and enjoy) intellectual accomplishment over athleticism. I’d rather be learning something than running around a track. Did I really have to be a different person to be a normal weight?

I am happy to report that the answer is no.

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Taubes’ Book and the Real Cause of Obesity

I just finished reading Gary Taubes’ book, Good Calories, Bad Calories. It’s superbly researched and contains crucially important information, but it’s a hard read – long, dense, meandering, and repetitive. I fear that many people won’t get all the way through it. And while the extensive detail on studies is great, the forest gets a bit lost among all the trees. So here is a summary of the book’s main findings, which start with this revolutionary notion:

Overeating is not the cause of obesity, but rather its consequence – a form of body wisdom caused by dietary fuel being abnormally locked away as fat. The cells of your body don’t have enough usable energy, so you eat more and move less. Sound crazy? There’s actually voluminous research to support this theory.

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