The Obesity Code – Book Summary

Written By Katherine O

The Obesity Code – Unlocking the secrets of weight loss

Author(s): Dr. Jason Fung

Publish Date: 2016

Difficulty Level: Medium: Great information, but be ready for some serious science

Struggling to lose weight? Or reverse obesity? If you want to understand why you gain weight and how to reverse it — this is the book for you. Don’t get what the big deal is about fasting and why reducing insulin is game-changing, this is for you.

Fung disproves the calories in calories out model of weight gain and thoughtfully explains how hormones (particularly insulin) manage our fat stores — just like they manage almost every other system in the body.

Obesity Trend Over Last Several Decades

If the Calories In – Calories Out traditional diet advice worked, why are seeing an obesity rate that just keeps getting higher and higher? Perhaps, what we were taught about what makes us fat is wrong?

The big takeaways from this book include:

  1. Our body’s methods of weight regulation have been misunderstood and this lack of understanding has contributed to the obesity epidemic we now face in the western world
  2. The Calories In Calories Out methodology doesn’t work — because, in a nutshell, we are complex biological organisms regulated by hormones vs. (as this simplified equation would require) not perfectly simplistic Newtonian physics models
  3. When it comes to weight loss, diet and exercise are NOT equal and diet plays a much bigger role in weight loss (or gain)
  4. There is a new model of understanding weight gain and the roles our hormones insulin, cortisol, and leptin play in causing us to gain or lose body fat (insulin = fat storage traffic controller (both out of and into fat cells), cortisol = causes stress induced weight gain, leptin = determines hunger thermostat’s set point)
  5. Insulin resistance is the single biggest culprit in obesity and Type II diabetes — insulin resistance is caused by chronically spiking insulin through consuming a diet high in sugar, refined carbohydrates, processed foods, and frequent meals.
  6. This same phenomenon can be reversed by essentially doing the opposite – reducing your meal frequency by fasting regularly and reducing your consumption of insulin-spiking foods

If you’re looking for something a little different, you might enjoy:

    • Life in the Fasting Lane – This book is less science and more tactical. It includes more personal stories from the three authors, Dr. Jason Fung (yup, same author), Megan Ramos PhD, and Eve Mayer. And, may be a better choice for those who want to implement fasting, but care less about hearing detailed studies results.
    • The Hungry Brain – If you enjoyed the science in this book and want to take it to the next level in terms of understanding how our brains are hijacked by our modern environment, this book is a must-read.
    • Pure White and Deadly – Not convinced sugar is that bad for us? Or need a little motivation to get off the stuff? This is a great choice to help take the sweetness out of sugar.

Publisher summary:

Everything you believe about how to lose weight is wrong. Weight gain and obesity are driven by hormones—in everyone—and only by understanding the effects of insulin and insulin resistance can we achieve lasting weight loss.

In this highly readable and provocative book, Dr. Jason Fung sets out an original, robust theory of obesity that provides startling insights into proper nutrition. In addition to his five basic steps, a set of lifelong habits that will improve your health and control your insulin levels, Dr. Fung explains how to use intermittent fasting to break the cycle of insulin resistance and reach a healthy weight—for good.


About the Author

Dr. Jason Fung is a New York Times-bestselling author whose books include The Obesity Code, The Diabetes Code, The Obesity Code Cookbook, The PCOS PlanLife in the Fasting Lane, and The Complete Guide to Fasting (co-authored with Jimmy Moore). Dr. Fung completed medical school at the University of Toronto and a fellowship in nephrology at the University of California.


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