Thursday, January 12, 2012

BlogHer Book Club Review: Why Women Need Fat

It's the new year, and everyone's making resolutions, including many about losing weight or getting more fit. There are tons of diet and exercise books out there, some that I find downright scary and others that fascinate me. Why Women Need Fat: How "Healthy" Food Makes Us Gain Excess Weight and the Surprising Solution to Losing It Forever by William D. Lassek, M.D. and Steven J.C. Gaulin, Ph.D. falls into the fascinating category.


I am someone who believes in real food. We don't eat high fructose corn syrup around here, and I do my best to minimize processed foods. Tonight's dinner, for example was honey glazed chicken served over cous cous. It had six total ingredients, the most processed being soy sauce. When I cook, I'd much rather taste my food and have it be what I consider to be real food, which means that I'm not eating Splenda or margarine either. After reading this, I'm grateful for some of the formative years I spent in Europe that perhaps led me to eat this way (shhh, most of the time!).

The BlogHer Book Club book Why Women Need Fat validates this approach for me. That isn't to say that I'm anywhere near the weight I'd like to be or that I'm perfect, but it discusses intelligently why it is that we need to eat the real foods and why substituting low fat foods is counteracting the very thing we're trying to do. That and it talks about how we need to figure out what our weight should be and not just dream of a completely unreasonable six foot, eighty-five pound frame that fits dreamily into a size zero dress.

The first two sections of the book run to the statistical and are fairly evidence based. As someone who is somewhat of a stats and analytical geek, this appealed to me, and I really enjoyed reading some of the hows and whys behind the findings. It was right up my alley, but I know that isn't the case for everyone. The third section was the one that I'm guessing most people will gravitate to, as it's the one that talks about what we need to think about without laying down the law of each six cups of this, four cups of that and so on. It focuses on us educating ourselves and taking charge of our lives and being realistic about doing so.

So no, we can't and won't all be thin. Not all our bodies can be that way, but that's ok. We still need to take care of the bodies we have, and it's critical that we eat real food instead of the chemically altered ingredients designed to resemble food. What do you think about what and how Americans eat? Join in the BlogHer Book Club discussion.

In the interest of full disclosure, I am participating in the BlogHer Book Club, which is a compensated review program. I also received a copy of book to facilitate the review. As always, the opinions expressed remain my own.

7 comments:

Heather E January 13, 2012 at 9:11 AM  

I think I really need this book- I think I would get a lot out of it. Since starting my whole journey to healthy, I have really changed my outlook and opinion on food, especially the way I look at cooking. Sometimes I think it's better to use full fat things instead of putting synthetic "fat free" options into my body. It's very strange how before I never cared, and now I am much pickier!

Anyways, I could go on about this for hours. You and I are a lot alike in our food choices, I think :)

Tami January 13, 2012 at 9:37 AM  

Another one of my blogger friends had a post about this book too. I have decided to go Organic because of it.

Pat January 14, 2012 at 10:25 AM  

In the past three months of cutting out animal fats, e.g., replacing eggs and cheese with steel-cut oats and non-fat yogurt for breakfast, my blood cholesterol went from 264 in October to 230 in January...woohoo! But I do agree that whole and natural foods are better for you than artificial foods.

Sandra January 14, 2012 at 11:10 AM  

I'm with you on the whole foods and minimally-processed foods bit. I used to use an app called Calorific. It stresses simplicity over accuracy, and encourages us to eat 50% green foods (whole grain, fruits, veges), 40% yellow food (breads, dairy, minimally-processed foods), and 10% red foods (all the bad stuff). I realized how much effort I needed to put in to fulfill my green group. But after a while, I got the hang of it and felt so much better, physically. I don't use it anymore, but I've internalized the concept and do better now.

Michelle January 17, 2012 at 9:58 PM  

Heather - It is a fascinating book. I love how this is to some degree a "you have to be comfortable with how you're made" and focuses on real foods rather than on cutting out this or that and replacing it with fake foods.

Tami - We do a lot of organic around here, but not as much as I'd like to because of cost. I pick and choose my battles, but the taste is different even!

Pat - That's amazing! And yes, you can't just say that butter is natural so here's a whole stick on my baked potato. It is definitely still about making good choices, which does include eating lots of fruits and veggies and grains!

Sandra - That's an interesting app. I'll have to look it upat some point. Interesting the categorization, but so true. I'm guessing the 50% isn't by volume but by calories, right? ;)

Sandra January 18, 2012 at 10:21 AM  

Are you Android or iPhone?

http://www.noom.com/calorific/
http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/calorific-lite/id445446069?mt=8

yes, it's by calories, but a much simpler version, and unless you count to the single digits, this works well. I really like the portion estimation bit. Do check it out. It's really helpful. I should get back on it just to get enough green foods back into my diet.

Michelle January 19, 2012 at 3:29 PM  

Oh that's too funny! I actually have noom on my phone (I use the fitness tracker that goes with it reguarly) from the last time I had to get my phone hard reset and it downloaded with that app. I can't tell you what the other app is, however, because my phone remains possessed. Needless to say, I think I'm visiting the Verizon store this afternoon. And yes, I have it on video for a fun(?) post. I need a new phone.

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