An opinion on Gary Taube’s Program

Gary Taubes was at the Long Beach, CA IIN conference in March.  It was probably pretty difficult for him to be sandwiched between charismatic and quirky David Wolfe and hunky paleo man, Mark Sisson.  He was also seen on Dr. Oz, where he was on his defense because Dr. Oz was after him for some of the things he includes in his diet.  He looked very uncomfortable but he was very brave to be on the show.

What Gary has to say is pretty interesting because he is a physicist.  He has a lot of strong opinions on diet and they all make perfect sense.  Gary has written a book and promotes a diet based on his scientific theory.  The information he presents is well thought out and backed up.  He says his diet doesn’t really make you lose weight, it corrects your weight.  That sure sounds nice.  His diet in a nutshell is a restricted carbohydrate diet.  He isn’t restricting the good green stuff, he is restricting the things we know we should not eat too much of the bad carbs and limiting the fruit.  He doesn’t say no fruit – just like David Wolfe doesn’t say no nuts – just if you need to correct your weight, that isn’t what you should be shoveling down.

Gary says “This diet is focused on providing your body with the nutrition it needs, while eliminating foods that your body does not require, namely, nutritionally empty carbohydrates.”  For WEIGHT LOSS, you will need to keep the total number of grams to less than 20 grams per day.

His diet is definitely a meat eater’s diet.  He says, ”when you are hungry you should eat” (that is a good concept in itself). Anyway this is what he says you should eat:

Meat, poultry, fish, eggs:  He says that you should not need to avoid fat.  This may be true as far as weight loss goes, but in reality we have to look at something as, if not more important than weight loss and that is health.  We know that animal fat is not good for us so, even though Gary says we can eat it and lose weight it does not mean we can eat it and be free of heart disease or stroke.  Cut the fat off.

Salad Greens: Must be eaten every day – 2 cups a day!  He says ALL varieties!

Vegetables:  Must be eaten every day – 1 cup per day.  He makes no exclusions.

Bouillion:  Must be eaten every day – 2 cups daily.  He says for sodium replenishment.  This one is a debatable topic. He did exclude people with hypertension or heart failure. I think most of us could use a little sea salt and do not need to make an effort to add MORE salt into our diets.

Cheese: up to 4oz a day. Thank goodness, no processed cheese like Velveeta or those spray cans.

Cream:  up to 4 tbsp a day, full cream not half and half.

Mayonnaise:  Low carb, not agreeing with this one either.

Olives: Up to 6 a day

Avocado: Up to 1/2 a day (Yay!)

Lemon/Lime Juice: Up to 4 tsp a day

Soy Sauce:  Up to 4 tbsp a day (definitely won’t be needing the bouillion)

Pickles: Dill or sugar free:  up to 2 svgs a day

Snacks:  (OMG!) Pork rinds/skins; pepperoni slices; ham, beef, turkey and other meat roll ups; deviled eggs.  May help you lose weight on his diet but it isn’t going to do your health any good in the long run!

He promotes sugar substitutes. These sugar substitutes have been proven to be unhealthy.  Pass on the aspartame and sucralose.  Stevia (sorry Dr. Hyman) is a good substitute if you need sweet.

He says drink water!  YAY!  He says that caffeine has messed with peoples’ blood sugar but allows 3 cups in a day.  He also has you stay off alcohol at first, but since this is a lifestyle allows it back in later.

Fruit:  is nowhere in his meal plan. It is on the restricted list.  He does say in the book that fruit was seasonal in early civilization and was not like the fruit that is available in the supermarket.  People ate it infrequently.  This is something that I would agree with, but think it should be added in sparingly.  Although the fruit is healthy, it is full of sugar and will not help people who are trying to correct their weight.

Carbs are the primary restriction here.  Gary makes wonderful suggestions to cut the starches, sugars and processed carbs.  This is a very healthy thing to do.  My primary problem with this diet is the fats.  I am not a physicist and I have no doubt that the principles he is basing this weight loss diet are sound.  The animal fat is just plain unhealthy.  Coconut oil for fat would be a good addition and lean meat.  I can see ways to work within his plan and make it a healthy weight correction alternative.  (I LOVE THAT PART!  Weight Correction!)

If you want to check him out, I am including his web site!  The book is very educational, interesting and worth the read.

I’d love to hear your opinions!