Cover Image: Nature Wants Us to Be Fat

Nature Wants Us to Be Fat

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Member Reviews

I thought this was a great book but slightly dry compared to other books about the food habits that the United States has adopted. It is a very research heavy book so please be aware before purchasing.
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Really interesting book, I would say this was worth a read if you want to understand your body better. 

Thank you NetGalley for my complimentary copy in return for my honest review.
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👍🏼 a good non-fiction read for those weight conscious and curious

Dr. Johnson has spent a career on research into why people are fat and how to stop being fat. Despite the certainty in the title, we still don’t have all the answers. Dr. Johnson is going to give you his best educated guess and opinions though. 

The premise of the book is that we humans, like many animals, have a “survival switch” that nature uses to keep us alive when resources are scarce. However, unlike most animals, humans (especially those in the Western world) generally have abundant food resources and don’t really need the survival switch in the “on” position - even though we are really good at turning it on. 

This book takes you through the evolution of research and links together observations from nature, laboratory research, and clinical trials to explain this survival switch - why it exists, how it works, and how to turn it off (and lose weight).

This book definitely doesn’t have all of the answers, but can be a good resource for anyone trying to better understand what is going on in their body.
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Interesting subject, unfortunately it just didn’t hold my attention. 
Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC
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A useful book that is different from many of the others out there, and makes you see diet and fitness differently. Thanks to NetGalley for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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There’s a lot of information to digest in this book so it took me a few weeks of reading on and off to finish. What I found most interesting was the author’s thoughts on the “survival switch” and how animals in nature use fructose to trigger that switch to prepare for hibernation or emergency, whereas many humans live in a way where their “survival switch” is permanently on. Thanks so much to NetGalley for the advanced copy in exchange for my honest review!
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Dr. Johnson draws upon various observations from our development as a species over the millennia and how our genetic code got changed and written over those years. He dissects the conditions in which we survived as a species and how each of those battles for survival shaped our metabolic system.
He also looks at various other surviving mammals and how they live and exist in the wild. He examines how their bodies turn on a energy saving switch and how they can turn off the switch. What happens before the switch is turned on and how is it that this fat switch is turned off.

The author quotes extensive research to present his understanding on how we accumulate fat and then provides a solution to reverse these conditions based on actual data. For those who like to dig deep, he goes a step further that quoting research papers and explains each of the experiment in an easy to understand language and leaves it open to interpretation.

He also warns you that his approach is just an hypotheses and the research data comes from experiments on animals in a lab. He understands that these may not be right a hundred percent when it comes to humans, but he is confident that it holds true.

For those who have never bothered to think about losing weight and are only just now worried about diagnoses like Metabolic Syndrome, Diabetes, Hypertension and other lifestyle diseases, the book is an excellent resource to begin your journey to health the right way.

The author compares various diets, their pros and cons and which ones work the best.

For those who have tried a few and dropped the ball only a few months later, the author proposes The Switch Diet that can keep you on track with little cravings and still help you achieve your goals. Author gives you concrete numbers about what is really bad, how much of what you can consume, and the best way to consume what you shouldn’t if you must.
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This was a fascinating book, one of my favorite science/health books that I've read in a while. Johnson talks about how animals in nature use fructose in order to trigger the "survival switch" that tells their bodies to slow their metabolism and put on weight to prepare for hardship, starvation or emergencies. Bears gorge on berries to prepare for hibernation, hummingbirds eat so much nectar all day that they end each day in a diabetic state in order to survive until morning, and so on. The problem is that our modern diets are extremely high in fructose through things like high fructose corn syrup and also that we can easily convert refined carbs into fructose to trigger our survival switch, so we have developed eating styles that keep us with our survival switches permanently switched on. He also talks about some other things that trigger it, such as being dehydrated and taking in too much salt.

One thing I love about the book is that Johnson and his colleagues have been doing numerous scientific studies on this stuff for years. They have done studies on mice, fruit flies and people in order to study exactly how things like fructose, glucose, levels of uric acid, dehydration, etc. affect whether we put on weight, enter states of metabolic disorder, and so on. It's rich with science that is accessible, interesting and thought provoking.

The last third of the book is Johnson's specific advice about what to eat and supplements that can help. He also talks about how we can create new mitochondria through vigorous exercise, how to go back to previous weights, how various diets like keto and paleo compare in terms of the survival switch, and more. His recommended diets are very doable in my opinion, but I happily follow a clean, plant-heavy keto diet so I may have different opinions about how easy it is to follow diets. :) His switch diet is easier than a traditional keto diet (there are similarities), and you don't have to worry about counting calories or any of that with it (as with keto).

I read hundreds of books a year with a special interest in science and health. I always know I'm reading a good one if I end up rambling all about its ideas to my family members. My husband and several of my kids have heard all about this one. :) Well recommended.

I read a digital ARC of this book via Net Galley.
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Outstanding book! In his book Nature Wants Us to Be Fat, Dr. Richard Johnson explains why we gain weight and what we can do to reverse this weight gain helping us to become healthier. Based on research, this well written easy-to-understand book is a groundbreaker. I highly recommend this book for those who care about their health and want to feel better.
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This is an interesting book!  There's a lot of information I haven't seen elsewhere. I was easily able to maintain a size 6 until I hit my 40s. I haven't seen size 6 since entering my 40s, so I thought I'd read this book. I plan to read through it a second time because there really was a lot of thoughtful information to digest (pun intended!).
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This is one of the top 10 health books I've read all year!  It clearly explains how and why our bodies react the way they do, and the connection between fructose and weight.
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I don't think I've ever read a non fiction book that kept me on the edge of my seat like this book! As the author slowly explains the main reason people are locked into obesity and bad heath, I kept wanting to know more. This book is a must read for anyone!
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