Thursday, January 12, 2012

Why Women Need Fat

So many people make New Year’s resolutions to lose weight or eat healthier and I am often one of those people.  In fact, I think I’ve resolved to lose weight every year since I graduated from college.  Now I think I understand why weight gain has been a problem for me and I’m glad that my body has held on to the necessary fat and DHA for my babies.  My perspective has changed a bit since I just finished reading Why Women Need Fat by William D. Lassek and Steven J. C. Gaulin.  I really have (at least for the time being) found a new way to look at the foods I eat and today I resolve not to lose weight, but to slowly change my “set point.”
I found this book fascinating, which is not typical of my thoughts on self-help type books.  Mostly I was intrigued by how much of the changing weights in America have to do with our consumption of little omega-3 fats and lots of omega-6 which we’ve been adding to foods when we purify vegetable oils.  It makes sense because our country has been increasing production of corn and soybean oils and it makes sense that we should just be able to eat more natural foods rather than foods with these hydrogenated oils in them and reduce our fat.

Another thing I found really fascinating was the encouragement of the authors regarding natural weight gain in women during childbearing years.  It really made me feel so empowered by my body and by nature and the way I’m made to know that my body knows when I have low levels of omega-3 and it pushes itself to store additional fat so that I can provide DHA for my babies’ brains.  There were no references to Christianity in this book and plenty of references to science; as a matter of fact, I don’t even have a clue if the authors believe in God or not.  However, as a Christian I can’t help but believe that God’s creation in our human bodies is simply more amazing than I could even fathom.  To create a being that is able to regulate itself so magnificently is incredible. 

It also makes me elated to think that I’m supposed to be fat right now and that there is hope in returning to a lower weight.  I love how the book includes ways to evaluate what we’re eating.  The later chapters include tips on what to eat and what to avoid.  I made a nice little list I’ve been carrying in my lunch tote each day just as a reminder.  I love the idea that I can change my “set point.”

I can’t tell you how many diets I’ve been on that tell you not to diet.  This is yet another couple of people preaching that.  But when they say, “the best way to achieve this weight loss is by making a permanent change to a better overall diet rather than by dieting to lose weight,” I can buy into that (p. 124).  Of course “moving back toward the lower weights that young women have had in the past by changing to a natural diet should be beneficial for the health of everyone” (p.107).

If you find yourself thinking about your fat frequently this time of year and you’d like to try to change that I’d urge you to give this book a try.  You might find it a tad too “science-y“ for your liking and you might question whether or not the authors have anything new to offer but I think it’s worth the read.  There’s just enough science to make their message believable but not so much that it bores you and I believe they’ll provide at least one or two insights into the faults of our diets today versus the diets of our ancestors.

Check out what others are saying about this book (and butter) on BlogHer's Book Club page.

This is a paid review for BlogHer Book Club but the opinions expressed are my own.


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