The Secret Life of Fat by Sylvia Tara


The Secret Life of Fat – what would people not do to know this. Fat has troubled every fat person on this earth. Once you have gained weight, to lose it is a lifelong struggle. You wonder why a minute on the lips and forever on the hip works. Why despite everything being normal – your body clings on to fat cells? Leave the few skinny people, most of us have struggled with fat and wondered if really there is a way to get rid of it. Eventually, we say – Is there really a need to get rid of it? What’s wrong with living with it – as long as everything else works well with the body?

Sylvia Tara in her book ‘The Secret Life of Fat’ tries to tell you exactly this. Through the history of scientific research in the area of fat and obesity, she tells you each and every known reason that made the fat cells fall in love with you.

She tells you about the genes, lifestyle, and food that make you fat. Nothing new you can say. However, she goes on to tell you that it could be a bacteria or a virus that may be making you fat. At one point she even suggests that fat could be contagious. I could visualize all not-so-fat people treating fat people as untouchables.

Sylvia Tara follows a researcher’s approach for this book. She presents a problem – usually with an extreme case of obesity. She then walks you through the on-going research by various people. And She takes you through the first experiments and the use of research on the case she first introduced. The effect proves one more theory of ‘Why Fat Sticks’. You understand the pain point, you understand the research and the remedy and you know you are not alone. I appreciate the fact that she begins the book by telling us that we all need fat to do various functions. We can not live without fat. It’s just that too much of anything is bad.

She mentions in passing about the super thin models and how they starve themselves. She talks about various incidents when they fainted on work. I wish she had elaborated more on that. For, these thin models are responsible for making most women feel guilty. It is this propaganda that these models take by choice but psychologically impact the whole generation. We need to talk more and more about this so that rest of the world, especially women can live in peace.

In the last chapter Sylvia Tara – talks about her own struggle with weight loss. This is an interesting chapter. Here you find how the author figures out her own body. How she discovers what makes her fat what does not. She does not torture herself but accepts her plump self. He is aware of what she eats, but she is careful to eat in moderation.

Similarly, sleep and stress-free living could have been spoken about a bit more.

According to Sylvia Tara – fasting helps. No, she is not recommending starving – but rather a kind of partial fasting. This is when you eat in a small window of 7-8 hours and let your body work on the food you ate for the other 16-17 hours of the day. Author has Indian roots. I wonder if she studied a bit of Ayurveda because eating light and early dinner as suggested by Ayurveda – does exactly that. It gives body ample time to digest the food you ate during the day.

The language of ‘The Secret Life of Fat’ is a bit academic. At times I was lost in too many names and labs which I knew were not really relevant to me unless I decide to take up research in obesity.

What works and the reason you should read this book is it gives you a scientific perspective on the common myths on obesity and weight gain. It can help you get rid of a lot of guilt that you may be carrying with your weight. It will tell you it is not necessary that you are fat because you are careless with your eating or exercise. You can be fat because of reasons beyond your control. It will tell you it is ok to have a bit of fat as long as you keep a check on any uncontrolled gain.

Buy The Secret Life of Fat by Sylvia Tara at Amazon.

If you think you suffer guilt or low self-esteem because of your weight – reading it would help you deal with it.

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The Secret Life of Fat by Sylvia Tara
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  1. Yes, every fat people struggles in their life. I’m also fat. I don’t have any idea how I gain so much of fat during my 5th standard. From those days, I never fill something else about fat. But when I reached at my Engineering college, the actual problem arises. There I faced many problem as well as some criticism also. But, when I realize to reduce the weight, I was too late. But, now I’m doing some exercises for that. I needs to reduce some fat to look fit as like my friends. But, it’s not an easy task to do that. Don’t know why it’s so hard to reduce. Some people trying to gain it, but some like me trying to loose it, but it’s not happening.


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