Introduction to The Obesity Code Summary
The Obesity Code summary presented here is a brief synopsis of Dr. Jason Fung's weight loss book, The Obesity Code. (There is a title by this name on Amazon that quite a few reviewers point out does not do justice to the original book.)
Therefore, I am giving you a summary of some of Jason Fung's critical points for free. And even though I did not use The Obesity Code to lose 75 pounds in 6 months, I wholeheartedly agree with many of Dr. Fung's main points. One of which is the critical importance of real food. I can testify that my body transformation is primarily because of real food.
Dr. Fung explains how processed food and artificial ingredients raise insulin levels, which leads to obesity. The book itself is a deep dive into how hormonal imbalance keeps you fat.
However, if you want to start immediately, here is all you need to know about how to lose weight according to The Obesity Code. My weight loss experience is in italics.
Hormonal Imbalance is the Problem
The primary theory of The Obesity Code is that obesity is the result of hormonal imbalance. The main culprit is elevated insulin levels. The out of control insulin levels contribute to continual feeding of your fat cells. Insulin carries excess glucose from the blood and stores it in your fat cells.
Learn How Not to Stimulate Insulin
Stimulation of excess insulin will result in excess weight. Therefore, you want to learn how to keep your insulin levels in check. Getting your insulin levels under control will result in shedding excess body weight until you reach your ideal weight.
Out of control insulin levels make you fat.
The Scourge of Elevated Insulin and Insulin Resistance
Persistently elevated insulin levels result in insulin resistance. When your muscles become resistant to insulin, they will no longer accept blood glucose. Rejection of blood glucose by your muscle cells is what forces your body to deposit the blood glucose in your fat cells.
You want to avoid insulin resistance as much as possible unless you want to remain overweight or obese and vulnerable to Type 2 diabetes.
- My weight ballooned up to a high of 275 pounds.
- I was on the border of type 2 diabetes with an A1C of 6.0.
- My cholesterol levels were near 300.
- I had a 50-inch waist.
- I had high blood pressure.
Here are some of the main culprits that cause excess insulin and insulin resistance:
Processed foods and refined carbs are significant contributors to driving insulin levels higher. Think of the following:
- Eating a whole apple
- Having apple sauce
- Drinking apple juice
You might think there is not much of a difference for your body. But there is. Look at how your body reacts to a whole food vs. processed food:
- A whole apple has a glycemic index of 36 and a glycemic load of 6¹.
- Applesauce has a glycemic index of 38 and a glycemic load of 11². Also, a serving of applesauce will have more carbohydrates than an apple.
- Apple juice has a glycemic index of 44 and a glycemic load of 12³.
- Baked apple also has a glycemic index of 44 and a higher GI of 164.
A whole apple is going to help you achieve your ideal weight, not apple juice. Apple sauce is a reasonable standby in case you have an aversion for raw apples.
A baked apple is a sweet treat once in a while and will not derail your journey to better health and fitness.
Glucose levels and insulin levels rise as you process a food, from a whole apple to apple sauce, to apple juice. Eat real food and don't eat processed foods to reach your ideal weight.
Real food is the foundation of The Obesity Code Summary. Unprocessed foods are also the pillar for losing 20 pounds in 3 months or 75 pounds in 6 months. I reached my ideal weight in 2012 because of real food and the health benefits of walking, deadlifts, squats, and pushups.
Real food vs. processed food will help you maintain your weight loss over the long term.
To Exercise or Not
Exercise to increase your energy expenditure is not necessary to lose weight according to The Obesity Code. The five pillars of weight loss, according to the Obesity Code, are:
- Reduce your consumption of added sugars
- This step alone of eliminating processed foods and added sugars will give your body relief almost immediately.
- You will likely not be sure what to eat since you most likely grew up on processed foods.
- See How to Lose 20 Pounds in 3 Months for a sample menu plan.
- Reduce your consumption of refined grains
- Eliminating grains is a challenge, especially if you live most of your life on processed bread.
- The best substitute I have found for bread to date is either Ezekiel sprouted grain muffins, sweet potatoes, beans, quinoa, and kasha. Mushrooms will also give you some of the ‘chewiness' you are missing.
- Moderate your protein intake
- Increase your consumption of natural fats like macadamia, cashews, walnuts and pistachios nuts, and olive oil
- Increase your use of fiber and vinegar
- The easiest way to increase your consumption of fiber is by including vegetables in your daily meals.
- Discover a new world by learning how to prepare satisfying salads and vegetable dishes.
- You will be more satisfied after you begin to eat more vegetables like okra, spinach, watercress, bok choy, asparagus, cauliflower, and broccoli with your meals.
- The increased fiber will keep your insulin levels low.
I include this short paragraph on resistance training because you might want more than weight loss. Although The Obesity Code does not require, you do need resistance training for body transformation in addition to weight loss.
If you want to look like an athlete, get into great shape, weight loss alone is not going to build muscle and change your body dramatically. The best and minimum practical exercises I have found for body transformation are:
These two movements, the pull of the deadlift and the push of the pushup, are beneficial for changing your body from fat to fit, faster than you might think possible.
Less Cortisol and More Sleep for Easy Weight Loss
Dr. Fung will take you on a fascinating journey of how your body reacts to not only food but sleep as well. He highlights how sleep deprivation results in higher cortisol levels.
Cortisol is a stress hormone, and the increased cortisol levels cause -- you guessed it, insulin. When you sleep too little, you increase your insulin levels. And around and around the vicious weight loss and weight gain cycle goes.
Frequently, the lifestyle of an overweight or obese person revolves around late suppers and bedtime. Of course, if you eat the majority of your food in the evening, it will be difficult to fall asleep at a reasonable hour.
Stop your evening meal by 8 pm and get to sleep by eleven, or even better, 10 pm. You will be shocked at how quickly your body will respond to more rest. Weigh yourself daily for the best results, as this small habit will help keep you on track.
Another Pillar of The Obesity Code Synopsis -- Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is an essential part of The Obesity Code Synopsis. Dr. Fung explains how intermittent fasting is not dangerous and can help reset your insulin levels.
- Eating within an 8-hour window every day
- For example, eat your meals between 11 am and 7 pm
- Or between 9 am and 5 pm
- The result is that you are fasting from food for 16 hours every day
- Dr. Fung also recommends a weekly 24 hour fast and to break your fast on a light meal like salads and some nuts.
- He also encourages simplifying your meal plan by not snacking in between meals
I did not use intermittent fasting as spelled out in The Obesity Code when I lost 75 pounds in 6 months in 2012.
However, there is no question that ‘fasting' from processed foods and frequent snacking accelerated my weight loss. While I do not think it is necessary to fast or skip breakfast, Dr. Fung presents data to support you if you want to try that approach. At the least, curtailing snacking and establishing a set pattern for your meals of the day was a great asset for me as I point out in this free guide How to Lose 20 Pounds in 3 Months.
The Obesity Code Summary
Yo-yo dieting and short term weight loss is not helping you achieve the health and fitness that you deserve. Dr. Jason Fung has made an essential contribution to fighting the obesity epidemic with his book The Obesity Code: Unlocking the Secrets of Weight Loss.
His book is a spectacular journey to understand the hormonal responses of your body. Also, studies of people, not just animal, are the basis of his evidence-based data.
The Obesity Code Summary presented here is just that, a summary. But, a review is not a substitute, especially when you can dive deeper into the scientific studies to understand why obesity is an epidemic. And what you can do to make an end.
Therefore, I highly recommend you opt for the full story and get a copy of The Obesity Code.
As helpful as this synopsis might be, do not rely on The Obesity Code summary presented here.
After three years, Dr. Jason Fung's The Obesity Code is still the number one bestseller in endocrinology and metabolism on Amazon. And that is not a surprise.