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  • The Secret Life of Fat

  • The Science Behind the Body's Least Understood Organ and What It Means for You
  • Written by: Sylvia Tara
  • Narrated by: Sylvia Tara
  • Length: 7 hrs and 23 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (15 ratings)

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The Secret Life of Fat

Written by: Sylvia Tara
Narrated by: Sylvia Tara
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Publisher's Summary

This groundbreaking work of practical, popular science reveals that fat is much smarter than we think.

Fat is an obsession, a dirty word, a subject of national hand-wringing - and, according to biochemist Sylvia Tara, the least understood part of our body.

You may not love your fat, but your body certainly does. In fact your body is actually endowed with many self-defense measures to hold on to fat. For example, fat can use stem cells to regenerate; increase our appetite if it feels threatened; and use bacteria, genetics, and viruses to expand itself. The secret to losing 20 pounds? You have to work with your fat, not against it. Tara explains how your fat influences your appetite and willpower, how it defends itself when attacked, and why it grows back so quickly.

The Secret Life of Fat brings cutting-edge research together with historical perspectives to reveal fat's true identity: an endocrine organ that, in the right amount, is critical to our health. Fat triggers puberty, enables our reproductive and immune systems, and even affects brain size.

Although we spend $60 billion annually fighting fat, our efforts are often misinformed and misdirected. Tara expertly illustrates the complex roles that genetics, hormones, diet, exercise, and history play in our weight, and The Secret Life of Fat sets you on the path to beat the bulge once and for all.

©2016 Sylvia Tara (P)2016 Random House Audio

What the critics say

"Finally, a book that sheds some light on understanding body fat - specifically, its role, why it is so difficult to fight, and how it works differently for different people.... This genuinely enlightening book will be a revelation to those engulfed in self-blame and shame about their weight." (Publishers Weekly)

"[Tara] ably combines an accessible explanation of how the body’s metabolism works with a clear survey of the latest research on obesity. [The Secret Life of Fat] should have wide appeal, not only to those fighting the battle of the bulge." (Kirkus)

"Biochemist Tara gives readers the skinny on fat in a lively discussion that incorporates sumo wrestlers, a bloated diet industry, [and] genetics.... Readers will discover that, regardless of body size and shape, fat does some heavy work on our behalf." (Tony Miksanek, Booklist)

"Body fat is so much more than a passive calorie storage depot, as Sylvia Tara brilliantly shows. Read The Secret Life of Fat to make friends with this misunderstood and critically important organ." (David S. Ludwig, MD, PhD, Professor, Harvard Medical School and author of the number one New York Times best seller Always Hungry?)

What listeners say about The Secret Life of Fat

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It’s a hard truth

I actually bought this book BECAUSE of a one star review saying it was someone trying to justify her unhealthy lifestyle choices. That meant it would go against conventional belief and the current recommendations we are always told at every turn. It tells you the hard truth about how fat works and how it will fight you at every turn. It took a while to get to the part where she gives advice, but it really helped to know fat’s strategy in order to fight it. It’s extreme. But I do believe some people have to be extreme. This is not self love, its tough love. Though I agree with the self love movement, it seems even more challenging and confusing than tough love.

This is not your typical weight loss book

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    4 out of 5 stars
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It's scientific in nature, it's written for women

And the title clearly was suggested by the publisher's marketing department. A more realistic title would be 'The Science Behind Why You're Fat (what you can do about it and what you can't)'. The content is more suited to text and my second read will be a true read. My only criticism in writing style is where the author transparently tries to personalize the data. I don't care what any doctor or patient looks like, or what relationship he/she is in - I just want the evidence-based facts. Fortunately, there are plenty of those. i found the author's voice @ 80% to be very pleasant.

i had to laugh at her talking about physician-supervised fat-loss: Maybe in the USA and possibly in Canada if you are rich . But the approach here in my province of BC, is that except for nedically-dangerous true obesity, no doctor has the time to fine tune weight-loss.

And my final criticism is that despite right at the very beginning vlarifying that her book *isn't* about dieting or a diet. in the last 15 minutes of chapter 10 she sure uses both words a lot. Again, I suspect editorial interference from the publisher.

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Insightful and great story telling

Very interesting book, easy to follow on audio, and the author is also a great narrator. I highly recommend!

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Author crafts book to defend her disordered eating

This is a ton of science selected to defend the bizarre rant the author shares about her obsessive undernourished eating regimen.

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