Good Calories Bad Calories


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Designed by science journalist Gary Taubes, the Good Calories Bad Calories guides dieters through the scientific information behind food and weight loss. Taubes asserts that the best diet is one that focuses on healthy proteins and fats, paired with a decrease intake of carbohydrates. By implementing these, and additional, healthy changes, Taubes asserts that dieters will more successfully achieve weight loss goals.

How Does the Good Calories Bad Calories Diet Work?

Taubes asserts that weight gain is caused by an increased intake in carbohydrates. Carbohydrates stimulate weight gain because they drive up insulin levels in the body. As a result, the body’s blood sugar levels are unstable, causing increased weight gain, decreased energy levels, in addition to other negative side effects.

Ultimately, with this and other foundational concepts, Taubes argues that not all calories are the same; essentially, a single calorie is not always a single calorie. Taubes asserts that some foods can cause more weight gain than others; therefore, a simple calorie counting plan is not always effective for weight loss.

Good Calories Bad Calories Food Options

Dieters following the Good Calories Bad Calories program are encouraged to avoid refined carbs, as these foods cause excess weight gain. Adding to this, dieters should strive to incorporate more lean proteins, such as:

  • Lean meats
  • Fish
  • Fowl
  • Cheese
  • Eggs
  • Butter
  • Non-starchy vegetables

Good Calories Bad Calories and Exercise

Taubes argues that exercise is not essential to lose weight. In fact, Taubes asserts that exercise causes hunger, which can often cause individuals to gain weight. His approach to exercise is often argued and disputed.

Research and Support

  • Taubes’ philosophies of good and bad calories contradict mainstream ideologies of calories and weight loss
  • Taubes disagrees with many nutritional experts and science-based information about calories and diet
  • Taubes argues that the common perceptions of diet and weight loss are based on public research methods that have utilized poor science methods
  • Taubes asserts that the mainstream ideologies of weight loss are simply outdated hypotheses
  • Taubes researched information for his book, which is over 450 pages, for over 5 years in order to provide dieters with extensive and thorough information
  • In the 5 year process of writing his book, Taubes consulted over 600 doctors, administrators, and research experts

Pros of the Good Calorie Bad Calorie Diet

  • Taubes’ information is extensively researched and supported
  • Taubes’ plan is affordable, as the book costs $27.95 for the hardcover edition, and $16.95 for the paperback edition; however, prices and discounts may vary
  • Dieters are able to eat a large array of foods without many restrictions (other than refined carbs)
  • Dieters do not have to follow a strict exercise regimen

Cons of the Good Calorie Bad Calorie Diet

  • Some reviewers of the diet argue that Taubes downplays the benefits of exercise
  • Taubes refutes a great deal of common perceptions, studies, and research information
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