THE OBESITY CODE BY DR. JASON FUNG

SUMMARY, NOTES & LESSONS
Click Here to Find Out WHY and HOW I Selected This Book
NOTES

Chapter 1

  • if “eat less, move more” would be the solution to weight loss, we wouldn’t see any fat doctors. It would be hard to not have enough willpower to follow their own advice since their self-discipline and dedication to go through the steps of becoming a doctor can show they don’t lack that.
  • conventional advice is wrong most of the time
  • most important question to start with is “what causes it?”
  • if you know someone is alcoholic, you don’t tell him to “stop drinking alcohol”, it’s not useful since it doesn’t treat the ultimate cause which can include:
    • family history
    • excessive stress
    • addictive personality
  • until 1950 it was standard advice to lower carbs to treat obesity
  • fat became the villain because it was wrongly associated with cholesterol
  • carbs couldn’t be good (because of low fat) and bad (because they are fattening) at the same time, so the bad part was forgotten.
  • in 1977 in the US, the Dietary Goals were created. The advice was
    • raise carb consumption to 55-60% of daily calories
    • decrease fat intake to 30% of daily calories (with less than 1/3 from saturated fat)
  • the food pyramid was created and the base (meaning foods that should be eaten often) were bread, pasta and potatoes
  • AHA (American heart association) was recommending 6+ servings of bread, cereals, pasta or potatoes, that are low in fat and cholesterol
  • fruit juices / carbonated soft drinks were also recommended
  • Despite the recommendations, heart diseases did not decrease

Chapter 2

  • obesity has become a problem since the 1970’s
    • more carbs
    • more meals
    • more eating out
    • more fast-food
    • more sugar
    • more time sitting due to computers
    • more video games
    • less time moving/exercising
  • all these factors contribute to weight gain
  • nature vs. nurture: studies have shown that our parents can influence our gene of being obese, but that doesn’t explain the recent rise in obesity
  • gaining fat is our way of surviving when food is scarce or difficult to obtain
    • this does not apply in the modern society
  • in nature, we do not see obese animals
    • a fat animal is slower and less agile
    • a fat animal is easier to catch
    • being fat is a survival disadvantage
  • how many times have we seen a fat tiger or lion on TV?
  • abundant food in nature increases the number of animals, not their size
    • rat population is low when food is scarce
    • when food is abundant, rat population increases

Chapter 3

  • calorie myths
    • calories in and calories out are independent of each other
    • BMR is stable
    • intake of calories is a conscious decision
    • a calorie is a calorie
  • not all foods are broken down equally into our body
HUNGER GAMES
  • Weight loss results in increased hunger and decreased metabolism.
  • This evolutionary survival strategy has a single purpose: to make us regain the lost weight.
  • We eat too much because our own brain compels us to.

Chapter 4

  • Exercise has its limits
  • Exercise did not translate into lower rates of obesity – the reason is that the more you exercise, the less you’ll move overall in the spare time anyway.
  • EXERCISE AND WEIGHT LOSS -important percentages examples
  • COMPENSATION – when we exercise we eat more / when we exercise we move less overall

Chapter 5

  • Feltham 5800 calories per day, experimented with both fat and standard American Diet
    • Gained lean mass while overfeeding on keto
    • Gained fat when overfeeding on the standard American diet
  • Force feeding mice caused an increase in their metabolism
  • Our body is like a thermostat, it sets a FIXED set point for weight, and we will feel hungry or full, depending on that fixed set point.
  • LEPTIN – a protein produced by the fat cells (from Greek – lepto = thin)
  • In obesity, leptin is a secondary hormone.
  • Human obesity is a disease of leptin resistance.

Chapter 6

  • rust on a pipe takes time, so does obesity
  • there is no ONE reason that we gain weight, there are more
MECHANICS OF DIGESTION
  • hormones are molecules that deliver messages to a target cell
  • INSULIN acts on the insulin receptor to bring glucose into the cell
  • INSULIN is the key and fits snugly into the lock (the receptor) – the door opens and glucose enters
  • Without sufficient insulin-glucose builds up in the bloodstream
  • Genesis = creation of
  • LIVER has a limited storage space for glycogen – once it’s full, excess carbs are turned into fat -> the process of NOVO LIPOGENESIS (de novo = from new, lipogenesis = making new fat)
  • during a prolonged fast, your body can make new glucose from its fat stores, a process called gluconeogenesis (the “making of new sugar”)
    • at this point, fat is burned to release energy
  • Glycogen is like your wallet, money goes in and out constantly.
    • easily accessible
    • can hold a limited amount of money
  • FAT is like the money in your bank account
    • harder to access
    • unlimited storage space
INSULIN, BODY SET WEIGHT, AND OBESITY
  • insulin – body set weight regulator
  • Obese patients tend to have a higher fasting insulin level + exaggerated insulin response to food

Chapter 7

  • insulin causes weight gain
  • Type 1 diabetes causes weight loss because of low insulin
  • Gary Taubes – Why we get fat: and what to do about it – “we do not get fat because we overeat. We overeat because we get fat”
  • Fasting insulin and fasting leptin levels are higher in obese people
    • indicating both insulin and leptin resistance
  • LEPTIN is a satiety hormone

Chapter 8

  • CORTISOL makes you fat
  • prolonged cortisol stimulation will raise glucose levels
  • CORTISOL is the stress hormone
    • all available energy is directed toward surviving the stressful event
    • growth, digestion, and other long-term metabolic activities are temporarily restricted
    • proteins are broken down and converted to glucose (gluconeogenesis)
  • under conditions of chronic stress, glucose levels remain high
  • CORTISOL raises blood sugar
  • INSULIN decreases blood sugar
  • CORTISOL is produced by the ADRENAL GLAND
  • SLEEP DEPRIVATION increases CORTISOL

Chapter 9

  • Insulin causes obesity, but what foods cause high insulin?
  • China eats a lot of RICE but eats less SUGAR overall
  • In Kitava, high carb intake did not lead to elevated insulin.

Chapter 10

  • Oprah – had a max weight of 107kg, in 2005 she had 72.6kg
  • Insulin resistance is Lex Luthor, the hidden force behind our modern problems
  • Insulin resistance = insulin (the key) no longer fits into the receptor (the lock)
  • Antibiotic resistance – small exposure (but not enough to actually be useful) can create resistance
  • Homeostasis = Homeostasisauses resistance
  • VICIOUS CYCLES = increased dosage of anything develops resistance
  • The fat get fatter, the longer you are obese, the harder it is to eradicate
  • 1970’s – 50% of time insulin dominant during the day
  • 1990’s – 90% of time insulin dominant during the day

Chapter 11

  • diabesity
  • you can skip breakfast
  • people eat breakfast even if they are not hungry

Chapter 12

  • poverty leads to obesity
  • increased prosperity leads to higher rewarding food, because of meat and other higher quality foods
  • carbohydrates are cheaper

Chapter 13

  • childhood obesity has increased
  • the simple answer is insulin
  • we are passing our obesity to our children

Chapter 14

  • sugar is fattening
  • sugar-sweetened drinks is a huge industry
  • diabetes rose in China in 1980’s by 11560%
  • the liver acts like a balloon
    • as energy comes in, it fills up
    • as energy is needed, it deflates
  • fructose overconsumption causes fatty liver, which in turn, produces insulin resistance
  • sucrose = 50% glucose & 50% fructose
  • sucrose bad in short and long-term
  • Chinese ate rice, but they didn’t consume high amounts of SUCROSE

Chapter 15

  • artificial sweeteners may also cause harm by increasing cravings
  • small amounts of glue doesn’t kill you, but that doesn’t mean you have to eat it

Chapter 16

  • glycemic index and glycemic load
  • REFINING significantly increases the glycemic index
  • REFINING encourages overconsumption
FIBER
  • non-digestible part of food
  • FIBER
    • soluble – dissolves in water: beans, oat bran, avocado, berries
    • insoluble – does not dissolve in water: germ, beans, flax seeds, leafy vegetables and nuts
  • High-fiber foods require more chewing (which might help reduce food intake)
  • SOLUBLE FIBER absorbs water to form a gel -> increased volume
  • fiber increases satiety, reduces hunger and decreases caloric intake
  • Fiber has the ability to reduce absorption and digestion
  • soluble fiber reduces carbohydrate absorption

Chapter 17

  • protein
  • there is no essential carbohydrate
  • glycemic index diets failed because they targeted the glucose, but glucose is responsible for only 23% of the variability in the insulin response
  • if you swish sucrose or saccharin solution in your mouth and spit it out, you can still increase insulin, without ingesting it
  • the insulin response is variable depending on the source of protein
  • protein has two opposing effects
    • increases insulin secretion, which promotes weight gain
    • increases satiety which promotes weight loss
HORMONAL OBESITY THEORY
  • blood glucose accounts for 23% of insulin response
  • protein accounts for 10% of insulin response
  • The remaining 67 percent is close to the 70% contribution to obesity that seems to be inherited
  • the hormonal obesity theory provides a framework to better understand weight gain
  • all foods stimulate insulin -> all foods could be fattening
    • this is where the calorie confusion emerges
    • calories do not cause obesity, insulin does

Chapter 18

  • Fatphobia
  • Plaque in arteries develops due to injury (the wall of the artery becomes damaged resulting in inflammation)
  • If you reduce your cholesterol, your body will simply make more
  • Looking at macronutrients is a simplistic way of ignoring micronutrients, which affect our metabolism
  • Avocado was classified for a long time as a bad food due to its high fat, just to be recently classified as a superfood
  • Polyunsaturated fats
    • Omega 6 – inflammatory
    • Omega 3 – anti-inflammatory
  • Margarine was at the right place at the right time
    • Originally made from beef tallow
    • Margarine is white, but it’s dyed yellow
    • Butter was scarce after World War 2, so margarine had the chance to get in the spotlight
    • Margarine grew in popularity during a time when artificial equaled good
  • We thought we were smarter than mother nature
Trans fats
  • Go rancid faster and have a short shelf life
  • The solution was to create artificial trans fats
  • McDonald’s switched from frying in beef tallow to vegetable oils
  • Cinemas switched from frying in coconut oil to artificial trans fats
  • A 2% increase in trans fats consumption meant a 23% increase in heart disease risk
  • Denmark, Switzerland, and Iceland banned trans fats for human consumption
Saturated fat
Polyunsaturated fat – vegetable oil
Monounsaturated fat – olive oil
  • Eating fat with meals decreases glucose and insulin spikes

Chapter 19

What to eat
  • All diets work, all diets fail
  • Weight loss is a 2 step process
  • The body resists long-term weight loss
  • All diets reduce insulin
  • All diseases of the human body are multifactorial
  • Moderation is a way to fool ourselves
    • Should we moderate broccoli the same way we moderate ice-cream?
  • Sugar increases insulin both immediately and long-term because of fructose and glucose
  • Check labels – sugar is hidden in many different ingredients listed
  • SUGAR – Magical taste at almost no cost
  • Pistachios have antioxidants
  • If we were meant to graze we would be cows
  • Cereals for kids have 40% more sugar  than the ones for adults
  • If you aren’t hungry, just don’t eat breakfast

Chapter 20

When to eat
  • There is nothing new, just what has been forgotten – Marie Antoinette
  • Insulin resistance keeps our insulin high
  • High insulin keeps our body set weight high
  • We must break the insulin resistance cycle
  • To break the insulin resistance we need to keep insulin low for a period of time
  • The answer is fasting
  • Fasting is not starvation
  • Fasting is controlled
  • To eat when you are sick is to feed your sickness – Hippocrates
  • The best of all medicines is resting and fasting – Benjamin Franklin
  • The human body is well adapted for dealing with the absence of food
  • Fasting increases growth hormone
  • After a few days of fasting, our  metabolism increases, as if looking to give us energy to search for food
  • Fat is energy which we can use at a later time
  • Fasting unlike caloric restriction puts our body into a fat burning mode
  • Homeostasis – the defining characteristic of life on earth
  • Homeostasis – any stimulus will eventually be met with an adaption

Appendix

  • stress reduction
    • if excessive stress and cortisol are causing weight problems, then the answer is to reduce stress
  • sitting in front of the tv and doing nothing doesn’t help with stress as much as we think
  • stress relief is an active process
  • active processes = exercise, meditation, tai chi, yoga, massage
  • the original intent of fight-or-flight is to mobilize the body to move
  • exercise releases endorphins and improves mood
  • social connectivity is a huge stress reliever

Marie Antoinette Quote

SUMMARY & LESSONS

Overall, this is a great piece of work by Dr. Jason Fung.

The media doesn’t tell you anything about hormones most of the time.

Diets almost never talk about hormones.

It is always about calories or about what foods to eat or not to eat, without a real WHY.

This book doesn’t recommend anything specific, as much as it tries to educate.

If you read this book, you will probably cover 80% of what you need to know to filter good information and bad information the next time you read an article, a recommendation from an “expert”, or even another book.

If you know the truth, you can’t be so easily fooled by all the bad information.

Weight management hasn’t been easier than this.

For most people, this book can be a life-changer and I recommend it.

For the price of a few coffees, you get information that you can apply for the rest of your life.

It saves you money, it saves you time and it saves your health.

Can you ask for anything more?

There are no magic pills, but there are magic tools that you might have never heard of before.

This book has those magic tools that you should definitely have in your toolkit, for a lifetime.

You can also read here HOW and WHY I chose to read this book.

Benjamin Franklin quote about fasting

If there’s anything on your mind, don’t be shy, you have the comment box down below ⇩⇩⇩ Promise I won’t bite ⇩⇩⇩

Life enthusiast with a great desire to constantly perfect myself, get in better physical and mental shape, while also helping other people by sharing everything I’ve been able to learn.