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I had the opportunity to read this powerful book by Dr. Jason Fung recently. I think it will be a life changing book for me (kind of on the order of the GAPS Diet in significance).
Dr. Fung’s premise is that insulin resistance is at the root of obesity, diabetes, and many other health problems in our culture. I am dealing with insulin resistance myself so that was the primary motivator for me to read this 269 page book.
The first section of the book is The Epidemic and lays out the problems with obesity in Western culture in modern times. Dr. Fung then goes on in section 2, The Calorie Deception, to blow apart the theory of the calorie and its relationship to obesity. Counting calories has not made for a thinner population, because it does not work. All calories are not equal. And when calories are decreased consistently, metabolism will also decrease and can continue indefinitely.
In section 3, Dr. Fung gives us a new model of obesity. His new model is rooted in an understanding of hormones and the two he focuses on are insulin and cortisol. He presents the research that insulin causes weight gain. Prolonged high cortisol levels will also raise glucose levels and thus insulin levels and cause weight gain as well. The bottom line here for Dr. Fung is that insulin resistance is at the root of obesity issues for most people and also responsible for the increase in type 2 diabetes.
In section 4, the focus is on the social phenomenon of obesity. Dr. Fung looks at poverty, the food industry, and childhood obesity. He connect childhood obesity to high insulin levels beginning in the womb.
In section 5, Dr. Fung analyzes what is wrong with our diet. He breaks down in detail how fructose will lead very quickly to diabetes and details where fructose can be found in most American diets. He shows how fructose is the most dangerous form of sugar that we can eat. He also addresses the diet soda delusion. He finishes out this section with chapters on fiber, protein, and fat and how important each of these nutrients are to a healthy diet and a healthy weight.
The last section is called The Solution. In here he lays out how to eat and how to fast. He has five steps to follow for eating.
- Reduce your consumption of added sugar.
- Reduce your consumption of refined grains.
- Moderate your protein consumption.
- Increase your consumption of natural fats.
- Increase your consumption of protective factors. (fiber, vinegar).
Dr. Fung also builds a strong case for intermittent fasting, specifically regular fasts of 24 to 36 hours, 2-3 days/week. He then explains how this will break insulin resistance and cause weight loss.
I found this book very helpful. I was already eating according to his five principles before I began reading the book and was stuck at weight loss plateau and at a blood sugar plateau. Since implementing the intermittent fasting I have lost weight and have seen my blood sugars lower by a few points. I found his approach makes a lot of sense and answers many questions I have had.
If you struggle with weight loss, you are likely dealing with insulin resistance. If so, this book is for you. It could change your life. Please get a copy and begin to implement the principles. And share this with others who could benefit.
Intermittent Fasting can help. Join me in my next 10 day Intermittent Fasting Challenge.