The Obesity Code

I read The Obesity Code by Dr. Jason Fung. Since reading the book, I’ve been following an 18:6 fasting, where I eat between 9a-3p and fast all other hours, every day.

Typically, people start their fasts post dinner and skip breakfast. I skip dinner instead. I like this fasting schedule because it allows me to eat during my work hours, where I feel like munching, drinking chai, etc.

I use the app Zero’ to track my fasts. To incentivize myself, every hour I fast I give myself $1 (in CashApp), which I can then use to purchase whatever. CashApp gives you a free Visa debit card, so you can use it anywhere.

Here’re my summary of the book, the parts I remembered. I skipped over most of the parts which showcase why other diets don’t work.

Weight Thermostat

Your body has a weight thermostat. It’s set to some number, but tends to increase over time.

Any short term diet would show some initial weight loss, but over time, the weight comes back to what it was set to.

You might have seen this in action, when you travel, end up eating a lot, gain some extra pounds, but when you’re back at home, that extra weight is lost quickly. That is the thermostat doing it’s job.

It’s not Calories. It’s Insulin.

People have been advertising, move more, eat less” philosophy for a while. But, none of those diets work in the long run. It’s not the calories that cause weight gain. It’s insulin.

It’s been demonstrated that by injecting insulin in rats, they can be made to gain weight, fast. Obese people have higher baseline insulin levels. Consistently high insulin levels causes the body to become insulin resistant. The normal insulin amounts then no longer cause the desired effect. You need even more insulin to convert food to glycogen. More insulin = more resistance. More resistance = more insulin. And the cycle continues.

Break the Cycle by Fasting

The way to break the cycle is to bring insulin levels down. By fasting. See, insulin levels increase every time you eat, and then go down during periods of fasting. The longer you fast, the lower those insulin levels are going to be.

Fasting has been a common practise for ages. Every major religion has fasting as part of their practise.

It’s also important to understand what you’re eating. Highly processed foods which are quick to digest and are made in factories are not good for health. As a rule of thumb, it’s better to stick with foods which you can make at home.

Similarly, vegetable oils are highly processed with many complex industrial levels steps required for extraction. Avoid these. Olive Oil or Ghee is better because it can be made right at home.

June 27, 2022