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New “Eat More Fat” Infographic: Gary Taubes’ “Why We Get Fat” in a Nutshell

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There are some awesome infographics about nutrition coming out now. Check out this one from Massive Health.  It does a really good job of summarizing Gary Taubes theories as explained in his opus, Good Calories, Bad Calories, and later in his simplified Why We Get Fat.

Gary Taubes is a friend. He introduced me to his publishing agent, who became my publishing agent. He spoke to a packed house at, the non-profit I run. And in all honesty, Good Calories, Bad Calories is one of the best nutrition and science books I’ve ever read, not just for the content, but for the way he never wasted even one sentence. It takes a master to pack as much information into 500 pages as Gary did, without making it into a boring list of references. If you still believe the calorie myth, read that book. You will walk away knowing what the science said vs what the media said, and you will be angry.

Gary’s research led him to point the “fat” finger at insulin. There are other theories about what causes obesity, including leptin, mitochondrial dysfunction, and one of my favorites, xenoestrogens. In all honesty, it’s likely a combination of those factors for most people, and there are some pieces we just haven’t discovered. That’s why the Bulletproof Diet methodology is to keep evaluating new research in order to update the infographics as new research becomes available.

Why We Get Fat focuses on insulin’s role in obesity. There are other competing – and compelling – theories like the food reward hypothesis of obesity, being written about by Stephan Guyenet.  He also posted an excellent article about the carbohydrate hypothesis.  Still, it’s a great book worth the read. Real biohackers and enthusiasts will want to read Good Calories, Bad Calories too.


That said, here’s Why We Get Fat in a nutshell. But read the book too – there’s a lot more to it.


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Post date: February 7, 2012
  • Jahed Momand

    What do you think of Stephan Guyenet’s criticism of Taubes’ work?

    • Armistead Legge

      I think it’s superb.

  • Eddie

    HRV on my favorite bodybuilding website and some sweet special forces study refrerences.

  • Kaylee

    Hey Dave,
    I agree with the concept of IF and like to do it from time to time. My question is can I substitute the Bulletproof Coffee for 100% cacao chocolate in the morning? Or will the chewing and what not of the chocolate ruin the effect of fasting…

    • Dave Asprey

      Kaylee, an interesting question. I think the protein in chocolate will get you; you could do pure cocoa butter though.

    • Armistead Legge

      no, you can’t.

  • Cassandra

    Hi Dave,

    Just wanted to say Thanks for sharing our infographic!

    We also released our first experimental app The Eatery ( recently, which you may find useful. It’s available for free on the App Store.

    The Eatery gives you the big picture breakdown of your eating habits and the best places to start making changes.

    It was named one of the Top 10 Health apps on the App Store in 2011.

    We’d love to hear your thoughts on The Eatery, so if you’d like to share, do drop us a note!

    Warmest regards,
    Cassandra and the Massive Health team

    • Dave Asprey

      Thank you for making it. I’ll have to check out the app, seems very cool.

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  • J-Bird

    I love your blog and appreciate all that you have to/and do offer. It’s been proven in many a metabolic ward study that regardless of carb intake calories are always the defining factor in weight loss in these studies. Anthony Colpo has refuted Taubes and Eades and the whole calories don’t count with endless citations. Even Martin Berkhan says that a calorie deficit is necessary to lose fat.

  • J-Bird

    Also, protein raises insulin just as much and in some cases more than carbs do.

    • lowcarbconvert

      No, it definitely does not. Only in some instances where protein is eaten in excess.

      • mhikl

        Exactly, lowcarbconvert. We need very moderate protein if we are not exercising, tearing, working muscle. If we are working hard, exercising hard, body building hard, then we will be needing more protein to build and repair muscle. What is not used for building & repairing can be used for energy, aka converted to sugar burning with heavy releasing of uric acid. It is the glory of fat that our bodies need for energy unless we introduce carbs which will take priority until burned or converted to fat and then burned or stored.
        The tricky part is the protein. One can eliminate all carbs but if the protein is too high, much more than is needed to build new and repair torn/damaged muscle, then the rest is turned to sugar, an arduous tax on the body, and weight loss can be stymied, plateaued or even weight gained. Older and or mobile limited persons will not have the speedy metabolism youth and active people have, and either that brick of ice cream or the twenty ounce steak will slow weight loss.
        It’s the little details that J-Bird and others get mixed up.

    • zach jonez

      No, this is BLATANTLY FALSE.

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  • mikemarkham

    The protein comment is blatantly untrue.

  • Jon

    The reason why obesity and metabolism researchers don’t typically
    subscribe to this idea is that it is contradicted by a large body of
    evidence from multiple fields. I understand that people like ideas that
    “challenge conventional wisdom”, but the fact is that obesity is a
    complex state and it will not be shoehorned into simplistic hypotheses.

    • lowcarbconvert

      “Large body of evidence” = paradigm.

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  • Hordac

    Over the past couple of months I have read many articles and the two most recent books by Gary Taub. I like to think that I was a big believer but then someone always comes out with a newer study showing higher levels of of a protein diet increase your risk of cancer significantly – can you view the link below to discuss/explain

    • Dr. Dru


      A. The diet included carbs. Thing is – diet studies are shaky because how do you isolate variables and figure things out when all 3 macronutrients are used Fat, Protein, Carbs. What we do know is that when you eliminate carbs you lose weight the most succesfully – period.

      B. Think about this. As an zoologist knows – when you come across a predators kill in the wild they all look the same – a disemboweled carcass. Apex predators head straight for the fatty, nutrient dense organ meats such as liver, stomach, pancreas. And leave the rest for the buzzards.

      Why then are human mammals bothering with all the meat animals DON’T eat. Easy – culture. Organ meats, and offal are considered “peasant food” and muscles in some bizarre twist of fate – are now considered delicacies. We’ve got it all backwards now because of something as simple as perception. But ask anybody with a grandmother from the old world and their dishes always include Liver, or Tripe, or any manner of delicious hearty healthier meats.

      Perhaps red meat may be bad for us. But the more sensible answer is that we had no business eating mammal muscles in the first place unless we’re starving. And with that being said – nutrient dense poultry, and Omega rich fish are too. So even if red meat were bad for us (which it probably isn’t we’re just eating the wrong parts these days) there’s always seafood and poultry.

      Lastly. Nutritionally speaking Greens =1, Fruits and Veg = 10, Nuts = 15, Animals = 45 and Insects = 50. Because insects go around and eat those greens, fruits, nuts and veg and carry those nutrients with them. Many cultures consider some insects a treat, and a valued source of protein. Why don’t we? Again – poor people food.

    • Dr. Dru

      Lastly, and I should have said this firstly as I looked at the study :

      The diets they fed the subjects were all high carb with between 45% and 56% of the calories from carbs and only 31-33.6% from fat meaning they were only testing what effect a little extra protein has on the Standard American low fat diet!

      In summary, the real headline should have been, “Official Low Fat Diet Guidelines Linked To Cancer”

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  • smoorega

    It’s interesting, but this diet works for me. I used to be insulin resistant, hypothyroid and always tired. I dropped 20lb in one month on this diet. The only reason I stopped was because I was losing weight so fast I lost a lot of energy. I now know that was because I needed to add back my potassium, magnesium, other essential vitamins as I lost the weight. Now I’m back on and feeling much more energetic. All of you haters can $uck it.

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