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Sharon Osbourne's Blog

Hometown
Los Angeles, California

Motivation
Health 

Tips for Success
Never skip a meal!

Favorite Atkins-Friendly Food
Roasted turkey with green beans

Goodbye To Guilt

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if your fairy godmother could wave a magic wand and absolve you of the guilt you’re carrying around with you? You know what I’m talking about—the feeling that somehow you’re to blame for being overweight or at least heavier than you’d like to be? That if you just had more will power or you just tried a bit harder, you could stick to your guns and be slim once and for all.

Well I doubt if he sees himself as a fairy godmother—or even a fairy godfather—but Gary Taubes, the author of Good Calories, Bad Calories, and now the recently published Why We Get Fat and What to Do About It, wants to end the guilt trip, the blame game and all the other manifestations of excess weight as some sort of moral failure. And he doesn’t want to do this just to make you and millions of others who’ve struggled with weight feel better; he wants to do it because the assumption that you cause your excess pounds by eating too much and exercising too little has no scientific validity.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Gary earlier this week for a long article that will appear in a forthcoming February newsletter, but I was so excited about what he had to say about the psychological aspects of being overweight that I just had to share it with you right now.

We Have It Backwards

For decades, almost all the researchers, doctors, nutritionists and public health associations have been singing the same tune. (Dr. Atkins was a notable exception, of course.) We can all recite it by heart. Eat fewer calories and exercise more and everybody—and literally every body—will be leaner. In other words, get a grip on your appetite and get thyself to a gym and you’ll slim down. If it’s as simple as that, why has the number of overweight and obese people in this country increased decade after decade, with almost two-thirds of adults now in this category?  One of Gary’s conclusions is that those of us who are overweight are not heavy because we have a moral flaw or even because we eat too much.

In reality, being overweight is the result of a combination if genes that predispose us to store fat and the carb-rich environment in which we live, aka, the standard American diet (S.A.D). As long as we have that predisposition and eat the diet prescribed by the USDA Food Guide Pyramid—and particularly if we consume lots of sugar in colas along with refined grain products—we’re pretty much doomed to overeat and be plagued by cravings for more of the same carbohydrate foods. And the more we eat this way, the more insulin—known as the fat-storage hormone—we produce, the more fat we store and the more we crave the quick-fix of more carbs to satisfy our hunger and cravings. As Gary explains, this process is really beyond our control. Unless you’re a martyr who can live in a constant state of denial, it’s simply not possible to ignore hunger.

Hunger Is Hunger

Have you ever had this experience? Your physician (or his or her nutritionist) who has probably never had the tendency to gain weight sits across the desk from you and tells you that all you need to do to lose weight is eat less and exercise more. Perhaps he or she prescribes a low-fat, low-calorie diet. In a follow-up visit or your next annual physical, your weight has not changed significantly and your health professional asks whether you’ve been following the earlier advice. If you say, “No,” you feel guilty, but if you say, “Yes,” the look of doubt on the health care professional’s face makes you feel just as bad.

How can someone who’s never been in the grip of overwhelming hunger or cravings understand that “controlling your appetite” or following “portion control” just isn’t a matter of committing to do so? Anyone who casts blame on you for a metabolic imperative in your body without having experienced it himself is making the assumption that his understanding of hunger is universal. Instead, the degree of hunger is particular to an individual, depending upon predisposition to store fat, insulin responsiveness and the diet consumed. And if it’s the low-fat, refined-grain-filled S.A.D., that person, like almost two-thirds of adults, will be caught in this trap.

The Tip of the Iceberg

I’ve mentioned just one of the reasons why I found Why We Get Fat so compelling. Since it isn’t a novel, I can tell you the book’s conclusion: the “what we can do about it,” promised in the title. If you’re already doing Atkins, it will come as no surprise: follow a low-carb diet. But before Taubes gets there, he arms you with ammunition that explains why so much of the mainstream advice is just plain wrong. And front and center, being slim and full of energy are not just about taking in fewer calories and expending more.

Here are just a few questions you’ll find the answers to in this provocative book:

•    Why are certain cultures, such as the Pima tribe of Native Americans, generally obese while other groups are not? Hint: they weren’t overweight until they switched from their indigenous low-carb, high-fat diet to the high-carb S.A.D.
•    Why do certain ethnic groups include women who are obese and children who are severely underweight? Hint: it’s not that the women are eating food meant for their kids. Both are actually undernourished because their diet lacks protein and healthy fats but packed with less expensive refined carbohydrates.
•    Why do so many women become overweight in middle age? Hint: it’s about hormones, including too much insulin and not enough progesterone and estrogen.
•    Why do poor people, even those who regularly engage in physical labor, tend to be heavier than those who are better off? Hint: less affluent people eat more carbohydrates and more of them are refined, and expending calories in physical activity makes people hungry for more calories.
•    Why do some individuals who regularly run or engage in other vigorous exercise remain heavier than others? Hint: a genetic predisposition to store fat can be controlled or modified but not overcome—see above.

So it’s time to stop blaming yourself and learn more by reading this valuable book. You’ll be pleased to know that instead of a magic wand, all you need is to make Atkins your forever way of eating. Then I bet you want to share it with any friends or family members who’ve had their doubts about the healthfulness and effectiveness of Atkins. And if that includes your physician, tell him to withhold his judgment until he or she has read this persuasive book.
 

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Published Tuesday, January 18, 2011 01:12 PM by colette_heimowitz
Filed Under:
Comments
colette_heimowitz said:
got it; thanks
January 19, 2011 01:17 PM EST
colette_heimowitz said:
Nice post! Thanks
January 19, 2011 01:18 PM EST
colette_heimowitz said:
Great insights!Thanks for sharing
January 20, 2011 10:12 AM EST
Judithz said:
deleted by J
January 20, 2011 04:06 PM EST
Butlertwo said:
I have had lapband wls and I fine that aI am can not controll the white carbs and as I get older it is getting worse. I live in a stressful time and the only time I was really happy was when I doing the Atkins. It really helped my moods and feling good about myself thank you
January 20, 2011 09:50 PM EST
stardustshadow1 said:
I read this book, as well as the book it is based on (the dense, more scientifically written tome 'Good Calories, Bad Calories'. They are both fantastic. I had tears in my eyes when I realized that being overweight was not due to my failures or shortcomings--that I was not a 'morally' worse person with less 'willpower' than others. I think it is important to realize this while losing weight-to realize that you are not at fault and relieve yourself of the guilt that society has heaped upon you is to give yourself the gift of freedom from that guilt-enabling you to love yourself enough to nourish your body properly on a low carb diet. ATKINS WORKS!! It has changed my life.
January 19, 2011 09:34 AM EST
smithkathyr said:
I'm waiting for both of his books to arrive...should be here tomorrow for sure. Thanks for the insight.
January 21, 2011 08:59 PM EST
karenmahon said:
Colette, I need some advice. I've been in phase 1 for about 5 weeks. I lost 2 lbs the first week and another 2 the last 4 weeks. I still have 60 lbs to lose so I should be losing at a better rate. I know you were able to help Rebecca L. Can you do anything for me? It's hard when I read about people losing ONLY 7 lbs the first week!
Thanks.
Karen
January 20, 2011 07:08 PM EST
Sandra50 said:
**

should read...
And IF that includes your physician

just saying, Sorry Colette!

I have ordered the book and am axious to read it as soon as i arrives!

Thanks
January 18, 2011 05:25 PM EST
Sandra50 said:
**

should read...


soon as IT arrives!

See I did it too!!!!

HA HA!!!
January 18, 2011 05:27 PM EST
lisavanderv said:
I am just beginning Atkins. I read the Readers Digest version interview with Taugbes and was so excited!!. I am a nurse and I work with a lot of nurses, Dr's and nutritionists. When I told them I was starting Atkins they all became VERY upset and are seriously worried about my health. When I try to tell them about the newest information on low carb and try to show them the article they won't even look at it because they already know everything. It is so sad that 40 year old misinformation is still being held on to and passed around by most healthcare professionals.I will just have to show them how well it works and open their minds ;)
February 06, 2011 10:34 AM EST
BettySaenz said:
I had a Berkley genetic marker test done through my MD. It was very interesting. My doctor said that it showed tha whatever fat I eat stays with me. This sounds true. I do great on low fat, no sugar (boring diet) or on Atkins. I guess that Atkin's changes my metaboilism to change that fact about me to burn fat not store fat.
January 23, 2011 04:34 PM EST
whatnowtodo said:
I thought about weight watchers again...so glad I did not.I think we made a good decsion. I was starving on weight watchers! I have been back on atkins for 6 weeks lost 14 lbs and continue to love Bacon! LOL
February 15, 2011 01:30 PM EST
suebeehunny said:
Colette.....I dont know whats up with me!!! its been 8 weeks that Ive been on induction and I work out at the gym 4 days per week and daily I drink 3 litres of water. Im 50 years old, female and Ive been sticking to the program religously!! at first I lost 3 lbs then the following week gaine it back its now week 8 and Ive lost nothing!!!! what can I do??? Im getting ready to bail!
March 07, 2011 12:01 PM EST
rdidia said:
Read the book and that's what drove me to try (again) the Adkins diet. After I read the book I researched all the low carb diets out there. Adkins, by far makes the most sense. I'm on day 8 and lost 7 lbs. This is after a year of trying low fat, low calorie S.A.D. On that diet, and exersizing 3 to 5 days a week I gained 15 lbs. Some muscle but also lots of fat. No question which is the right way to go now.
January 18, 2011 06:52 PM EST
Jeamarphx said:
why guilt? I don't think guilt and lack of self forgiveness is the reason we stay overweight. I think for me my overweight was easier to deal with than the fear. My core issue is fear. I it to protect myself to comfort myself to love myself. the fear of trusting others (the unknown) is greater than the known of being overweight. I have been over weight and I have been thin. And the when I was thin health wise I felt great but emotionally scared to death. why? It was the unknown to me and the first time I was hurt the first time life hit me validated every fear imagined and unimagined. I felt safer in my fat skin. My comfort zone. How do I change my comfort zone? Well it came from some advice from a good friend that I was a grown women and that no one could hurt me unless I let them. Stop letting them. How do I get out of my comfort zone? I will do something I would never do by myself. so I hop in my car and drive myself 4 hours across the boarder to Mexico. And did I have problems yes first night none of my credit cards worked and a old man flashed me. But I did survive and the rest of the trip I had a great time. I don't think you have to be that extreme but do attempt something that you never done like maybe eating a raw oyster, or painting. it's life and you must acclimate your self to it. Now it's time for me to shed the fat shell I have been hiding in.
January 19, 2011 05:09 PM EST
louisabt said:
Colette,
what is the typical protein, fat and carb intake on the Atkins diet? Just started about 12 days ago and lost only 4 lbs, have 30 to go. Typical net carb intake is 10-12 g, Protein about 90-100 and fat 80-90. Moderate activity, walking. Any advice?
January 23, 2011 02:25 PM EST
WheatBerry said:
I just read the book this week. It's what brought me back to Atkins instead of Weight Watchers.
January 25, 2011 01:06 PM EST
moxey2011 said:
Good for you! I lost weight on Atkins and was healthy and active for the first time since I was a kid. My friends, family, and coworkers just kept at me about my diet and I always had the nagging doubts in my head about how I should be eating low-fat instead of low-carb. After a series of surgeries I gained some weight and so tried to do low-fat to get it off. Big mistake!! Here I am now, 40 lbs heavier, after that lovely low-fat diet!! I read the Readers Digest article today and decided to go back to Atkins once and for all. I feel better already:)
February 06, 2011 07:32 PM EST
slayerette29 said:
Why We Get Fat changed my life. I was never really open to the low-carb lifestyle until I read the science behind it. I am already seeing results and I feel better than ever. I am constantly recommending this and the New Atkins to friends now. I think my suggestions will be more compelling when I get to my goal weight and am happily staying there, but for the first time I actually believe that it's possible so I am getting ready to keep sharing the success.
February 15, 2011 11:10 AM EST
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