Doctor Jason Fung just published a terrific book titled The Obesity Code: Unlocking the Secrets of Weight Loss:
Dr. Fung’s genius excels at simple, direct explanations with clarity and humor. His analogies are often hilarious and through his humor and logic he communicates simple but important truths. The major message is that obesity is a hormonal problem. Obesity is not a disease of excess caloric intake, nor is it a disease of sedentary lifestyle. Dr. Fung cites study after study in which obese patients (young and old alike) consumed less calories and exercised more with dismal results. He reviews the medical literature on the effects of refined carbohydrates and sugar on insulin and other hormones. He explains how sustained high insulin levels cause insulin resistance and weight gain. He clearly and decisively explains how 100 calories of sugar or flour effects the human body in a manner immensely different from 100 calories of broccoli.
“Have you ever seen anyone get fat from eating too much broccoli?”
Most importantly, Dr. Fung provides the solution that has helped hundreds of his patients. The solution is elimination of refined carbohydrates and sugar in combination with intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting (consuming only water, coffee, tea, broth) for 24 -36 hours a few to several times per month helps to reset the brain’s set point for body weight. When combined with restriction of sugar and refined carbohydrate (foods made with flour) intermittent fasting presents a powerful tool to not only lose weight but to manage diabetes and prevent the many complications of obesity and diabetes.
Intermittent fasting increases the human metabolic rate, Your body actually burns more calories at rest per hour during fasting. The effects of intermittent fasting are distinctly different from what has been referred to as the “starvation response”. The “starvation response” ironically and confusingly refers to human studies that restricted (reduced) caloric intake but continued low calorie meals throughout the day. It is unfortunate that those studies coined the term “starvation response” which is a decrease in resting metabolic rate. Caloric restriction diets reduce the human metabolic rate and therein lies the cause for the failure of all caloric restriction diets.
The confusion of these two approaches and their effects on human metabolism have clouded the discussion of obesity for decades.
Dr. Fung’s communication skills can be enjoyed by reading his book and viewing his many talks on YouTube.
His book and lectures should be mandatory for every medical student, physician, nutritionist and public health official. His book’s exhaustive medical references document the science that supports his theory and his clinical solution.
So take a leap, click on the link above for his book and the links below for some of his videos which are free on-line.
I think that Dr. Fung’s book is the most important book published on this topic in the 21st Century. His work will have profound influence during the next few decades. I encourage you to enjoy his genius.
Bob Hansen MD