The path to freedom from weight obsession and food cravings.
Big Fat Lies with Gary Taubes (VIDEO)

Big Fat Lies with Gary Taubes (VIDEO)

Great lecture by Gary Taubes on the true causes of obesity that explodes many common myths – including the widely held belief that obesity is a simple matter of calories in exceeding calories out. You think this is obviously true? It’s not. Watch!


  1. Thanks Sheryl – this was fascinating and reinforces my very positive experiences with high-fat, low-carb eating. What struck me most is the incredible power of the proffered lie that low-fat, high-carb diet is healthy. My parents followed the Dr. Taller diet (Atkins’ predecessor) in the early 1960s. When I mentioned that I was following a low-carb diet about 10 years ago, my mother enthusiastically told me how well the Taller diet worked for her and my father and then went on to tell me how unsafe Atkins’ theories were.

    Physically, I felt terrific on a low-carb diet, but my emotional eating issues led me to be completely obsessive etc etc. I’d be interested in exploring it again when I’m ready.

    Thanks again for posting this.

    avatar Fee
  2. you are a site that is supposed to be getting people to eat normally, not to diet and to boost our self esteem. I have battled with overeating for years, been on diets twice and lost huge amounts of weight. I clicked on this video expecting to hear some good information, yes some of it was good, but then I get to the end and find that he is biased and has his own diet plan, ie low carb, high protein. You should have put a disclaimer on the video to mention that. So you are pushing a diet.

    avatar mitzi
  3. Hi Mitzi,

    I don’t ascribe to Gary Taubes’ diet ideas (and I think he becomes extreme in his later writing), but he doesn’t push that aspect in this video, as I recall (I haven’t watched the video in a while). The reason I posted it is he says some important things here and the non-diet approach does not negate biology – there are some physiological facts that are relevant. I have another blog post that talks about the place of nutrition in the non-diet approach. That might help put this video in context:

    – Sheryl

  4. I also got mixed messages from this video. I just started reading the book but from browsing the site I think that your philosophy is that “normal eating” allows you to be thin because you follow your body’s instinctive cues to tell you when to eat and when you are full (hence, stop eating). You also mentioned somewhere on the site that if you watch a skinny person eat- they eat whatever they want but they only eat as much as they need.

    Then I watched this video.. Dr. Taubes said that we have it all wrong.. being fat has nothing to do with how much you eat and that carbohydrates is what makes us fat because it causes a spike in insulin. This video makes me fear carbohydrates.. which makes me want to restrict them.

    avatar Kris
  5. Hi Kris,

    I understand what you’re saying. This video seems to have confused a lot of people. I want to again reiterate that I do not subscribe to all Gary Taubes’ ideas. I do think, however, that refined carbs have a weird effect on the body and can undermine body wisdom – more so for some people than others.

    This blog post describes the original study the showed human beings can trust their bodies to tell them what to eat:

    It was done with children, and the universe of foods that the children were allowed to choose from did not include refined foods and sugars. This is significant.

    Now take a look at this piece from 60 Minutes that talks about how food scientists spend all day every day trying to make people crave processed foods:

    Being able to CHOOSE not to eat the foods that trigger cravings is not something you can do immediately. The Normal Eating method is actually a four-stage process. This is detailed in my book – I don’t really go into it on the Web site. The CHOOSING stage is the last stage, Stage 4. So this video is really aimed at people in the final stage of the Normal Eating process, people who have dealt with the emotional issues around their eating and are able to make choices about what they eat without being triggered. There’s a lot of emotional work you have to do first to get there.

    One of the big fallacies of attuned eating is thinking that it doesn’t matter at all what you eat. That’s why many people fail with this method. It does matter what you eat. I don’t agree with Gary Taubes that all carbs are evil. But junk food can really mess you up when you are trying to figure out what your body is telling you re hunger and satiation. That doesn’t mean you never eat sweets, but it means you eat them with the understanding of how they affect you – you eat them with your eyes open. So maybe you decide not to eat sweets on an empty stomach because you’ve noticed it sets you up for cravings, for example.

    – Sheryl

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