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Expat wanderer

Bacteria Makes Me Fat!

It’s not my fault! Bacteria makes me fat! I am so relieved! (But I am still fat 😦 )

This is an excerpt from Newsweek Magazine, part of a much longer article which you can read for yourself by clicking on the blue type, above.

The grapefruit diet, the Atkins diet, low-fat diets, low-carb diets, the cabbage-soup diet: they and all the other fad diets make the health establishment roll its collective eyes. The only way to lose weight, says every reputable textbook and medical society, is to burn more calories than you consume. And if you are adding pounds, the reason is, pure and simple, that you are consuming more calories than you expend. Weight gain is a straightforward matter of calories in minus calories out, they maintain.

But while the basic math is right, the meaning of “calories in” isn’t what we’ve been taught, according to a growing pile of studies of chubby mice, obese people, svelte mice, and slim people. The calories that matter are not simply the number printed on grocery items, fast-food menus, and those guilt-inducing signs next to Starbucks’ brownies.

The calories that count are those extracted by your digestive enzymes and—as more and more research is showing—the trillions of bacteria in your intestine. People whose gut bacteria are better at digesting fats and carbs than their neighbor’s will absorb all 1,500 calories in a Friendly’s Ultimate Grilled Cheese BurgerMelt, while the neighbor will absorb fewer. So even in people with identical metabolisms, the effects of eating identical foods can be different.

July 8, 2010 - Posted by | Diet / Weight Loss, Food, Health Issues


  1. There’s a new angle to pursue with my physician this summer! He’s tired of hearing me ask if he double checked my thyroid hormone levels 🙂

    Comment by Grammy | July 9, 2010 | Reply

  2. LOL. I always hate the part about burning off the calories going in . . . that you can’t lose weight without exercise and portion control. Isn’t there a fun easy way?

    Comment by intlxpatr | July 9, 2010 | Reply

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