Book review: Obesity Code by Dr. Jason Fung (@drjasonfung)

Book review: Obesity Code by Dr. Jason Fung (@drjasonfung)

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I’ve been following Dr. Jason Fung for a while now and really enjoyed a few of his appearances on the Low Carb MD podcast. For those who don’t know him, he’s an MD who’s one of the leaders of the fasting movement. And he’s featured on the recent documentary Fat Fiction on Amazon (check it out!). Did I mention he’s Canadian, from Toronto?

The basis of the book is that weight loss is not about calories but rather about hormones. He opens up with a recent recap of the current obesity clinic then goes into the physiology of fat. Then makes some great points on genetics, exercise and Big Food, along with tons of theory and science.

Some great tips I got from the book:

  • It’s all about satiety! When you’re full, hormones get regulated and changes the way your body operates. And fill up with the right stuff (proteins and healthy fats) will keep you full for a while.
  • No snacks! Snacking is bad because it takes away from your body’s ability to digest and repair. It also doesn’t help that most snacks are full of processed crap.
  • Calories in/out doesn’t work! The model has now been proven false on a few fronts. And not all calories are equal. You can’t outrun a bad diet. And heaven knows I tried that route many times!
  • Fasting is safe! All about baby steps (don’t go on a 5-day fast out of the gate) but fasting has been around for thousands of years all around the world so it’s pretty tried and tested. My recent 18/6 fasts has been great and I’ve seen some fun results (down 8 pounds in 3.5 weeks)
  • Weight loss is social! It’s really hard to lose weight if your partner/friends/family is eating crap. Having an accountability buddy also helps when you’re starting out. And socioeconomic conditions don’t help some of us…
  • Sustainability! Your body is smarter than you give it credit for and it doesn’t like to stray away from your set point very much. You need to trick it and use your physiology to your advantage to keep the weight off for the long haul.
  • All about hormones! Going back to the beginning, if you’re full on the good stuff, you will not want or eat the bad stuff. It takes a while to reprogram the brain (more so than the body I think) but it’s worth it if you want to do it for life!

This book is dense with science but Dr. Fung makes it very accessible to people without PhD’s. There are tons of scientific references at the end but the bulk of the book is about 250 pages with tons of examples from everyday life.

All that to say, the book is incredible. It really does a great job of debunking a lot of weight loss myths and providing concrete tips to get you started. I really enjoyed it and started using some of the concepts right away!

P.S. The foreword is by none other than Tim Noakes, which is pretty cool to begin with.

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