Q&A With Gary Taubes

By Tony Budding and Gary Taubes

In CrossFit, HD Videos, Nutrition

November 28, 2011

Video Article

In this video, Tony Budding of CrossFit Media sits down with investigative journalist Gary Taubes, author of Why We Get Fat and Good Calories, Bad Calories. Through publications and lectures, Taubes tackles scientific controversies and debunks bad science. In this interview, Taubes shares some of his insights with the nutrition-conscious CrossFit community.

“Science is about trying to prove that you’re wrong,” Taubes says, “and then sort of grudgingly accepting that you haven’t been able to prove yourself wrong.”

According to Taubes, the health, nutrition and medicine sciences lack consensus and are pseudoscientific. He says he’s working to change the system and help educate the public.

The advice he gives to help someone get healthier is to read his books and think critically about the issues he presents. He says there is so much misinformation and conflicting information available that it makes it hard for people to choose their nutrition path.

“This is the problem: how do you decide who to trust? And I don’t know what the answer is,” Taubes says.

Two questions he suggests asking are: “Does it make sense?” and “Can I test it myself?”

His approach is a carb-restricted, high-fat diet. A simple lipid test will show you are getting healthier if your HDL count is getting higher and your triglycerides are getting lower.

“Right off the bat, that will tell you that you’re reducing your risk of heart disease,” Taubes says.

He discusses how to test diets for their efficacy and how long it might take to get results with self-experimentation. Taubes also critically evaluates the Zone Diet.

24min 15sec

HD file size: 675 MB
SD wmv file size: 301 MB
SD mov file size: 255 MB

Please note: These files are larger than normal Journal videos. For smoother viewing, please download the entire file to your hard drive before watching it (right-click and choose Save Link As...).

Additional reading: Good Hormones, Bad Hormones: The Energy Balance Equation by Tony Leyland, published March 1, 2008.

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21 Comments on “Q&A With Gary Taubes”


wrote …

Lol I watched this video while eating dinner skirt steak and mushrooms with artichoke hearts cooked in 3tbs of beef tallow. Awesome video!.
The part about good science and falling love with an idea or theory i belive to right on point. I understand it to be the ego so hell bent on survival. only at that moment seeing one solution to a problem solution matrix that it/we become convinced that is the truth and the only possibility. The ego keeps us from seeing the reality. Thanks Gary for seeing through the matrix of a hundreds and even thousands of egos to deliver us at the truth


wrote …

Owen Wilson got really smart.


wrote …

What an excellent surprise to find GT in the Journal! Read GCBC four times, just outstanding.


wrote …

I cant load the videos the link is down . Love to hear Gary Taubes and his insights are always helpful.


wrote …

I hear the same arguments visavi reversing type two diabetes from high carb low fat authors. Check out Dr mcdougal and douglas Graham if you dont belive me.


wrote …

your moustache is awful :-)


wrote …

Great to hear from Gary but I have to say, this guy interviewing is terrible. He is laughing the whole time and I can see him bouncing around in the background the whole interview. Maybe learn some interview etiquette.


wrote …

Looks like Tony Budding might have done this interview on the fly/was not prepared. Great to have Taubes here, but maybe TB is not the best guy to do interviews!


wrote …



Great to see Taubes in the CFJ. His eval of sci is very good. Thanks for this.
I love the take home message, that vibes perfectly with CF: self-experimentation. I think that is the rule that should apply to just about everything we do: diet and exercise. Great stuff!


wrote …

I think Tony was laughing because Gary was funny as hell!!! That dude is a walking scientific cliche'.


wrote …

Outstanding moustache!


wrote …

Wow. Tough crowd!

I thought Tony did a lot better that most so-called "professional" interviewers. The substance was there.

Taubes -- who has done about a gazillion interviews -- was actively engaged and thanked Tony at the end.

He was probably relieved to be talking to someone who could ask intelligent questions, and find humour in the folly of so many in the nutrition field.

It may not have been slick, but whaddaya want...

..a blow dried pretty boy with a mellifluous voice?


That said, the 70's porn star moustache has to go.

And soon.


wrote …

Just think of the effect on our economy if the truth of Gary Taube's dietary prescription became the conventional wisdom. In one generation the debt incurred from entitlement spending for the health care of millions with chronic disease could possibly be greatly reduced. But of course our politicians would find any number of other ways to squander trillions of our national treasure.
I read both his books. I'm 51 and have been 172 lbs for the past 20 years. I have been a crossfitter for the past 3 years and considered myself lean and fit.I decided to drastically reduce my sugar and bread intake, but still eat as much as I want. In two months I lost 14 lbs. of water and pure fat. I've never been so ripped and I eat until I'm very full.
I have watched numerous videos with Tony Budding and he has impressed me as being smart, insightful, and a regular guy. His interviews aren't glitzy but intelligent and educational.


wrote …

Great to hear from Gary, very insighful. But very disappointed TB had to try and get validation for The Zone from Gary. HQ is on the Zone/Reebok bandwagon, we all get it. ENOUGH ALREADY.


wrote …

I thought the interview was excellent. Thanks Tony.


wrote …

Who else thinks Tony Budding needs to follow Taubes advice?


wrote …

Great interview Tony. Love the stache!


wrote …

Does anyone know where i can find the (recent) study about sugar induced metabolic syndrome he mentions at 17:00?


wrote …

Any opportunity to hear Taubes speak about his ideas is welcomed and I appreciate seeing him here. I wish he had gone a little deeper into the results of the Harvard study he mentioned, in order to give us his interpretation of the long-term results which contradict his own findings. Having read his books, I know for sure that he is correct, and that the science behind his insights is somewhat complex. If someone who didn't know his writings were to watch this, they might (as I did) want a clear answer to that question, because he seems to be debunking himself and I know that was not his intention.

It was fascinating to hear Taubes' explanation of the history of the lack of scientific method in the USA with respect to epidemiology and nutrition. No wonder many academics despise him. Imagine hearing in public that you have no idea what you're doing. LOL.

BTW, I disagree with those who are criticizing the interviewer's skills; I thought he did a fine job. (I also have no problem with his mustache.) It's axiomatic that regardless of our good intentions, somebody is bound to find fault. Rock On, Mr. Budding.


replied to comment from Patrik Karlsson

Where? Hard to believe.

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