The hormone insulin is the key driver of obesity. That is what the book “The Obesity Code” written by Jason Fung, MD, a nephrologist (kidney specialist) and founder of Intensive Dietary Management in Toronto, Ontario, says.
The focus is on not “what to eat” rather “when to eat” like,
- Don’t snack – “a healthy snack is one of the greatest weight-loss deceptions.” All day grazing leads to constant insulin response stimulation and excess fat storage.
- Make breakfast optional – it’s a myth that we need to eat a hearty breakfast to ensure eating less the rest of the day.
- Opt for Intermitted Fasting to create periods of very low insulin.
According to The Obesity Code diet, as food intake goes to zero, the body switches energy inputs from food to stored food (fat). This strategy significantly increases the availability of “food” which is matched by an increase in energy expenditure. Studies conducted have found that eating a single meal per day led to significantly more weight loss with no evidence of muscle loss as compared to eating three meals per day, despite the same caloric intake.
Two types of fasting protocols have been suggested:
- 24-hour alternate daily fasting protocol: on fasting days, skip breakfast and lunch and have a light dinner; and eat smart on non-fasting days
- 36-hour alternate daily fasting protocol: on fasting days, skip breakfast, lunch and dinner; and eat smart on non-fasting days
For both protocols, snacking is prohibited, and it’s important to stay well hydrated with water, green tea, and coffee. Dr. Fung also suggests homemade, salted bone broth in place of lunch on fasting days to maintain sodium levels.
The diet highlights what to eat & when to eat along with role of one important factor: sleep pattern that affects insulin levels. Not only does sleep affect insulin sensitivity, it also affects our ability to self-control, and desire for carbohydrate foods (increased grehlin levels, which is a hormone responsible for hunger signaling).
Is this Diet Safe to Follow?
- Ok for a short period, as a method of healing the pancreas and boosting the metabolism. Should not be followed for more than a month.
- Women who are pregnant or nursing should never attempt intermittent fasting. Parents shouldn’t have their small children use the program either, even if they are overweight.
- People with diabetes must be especially careful if they try The Obesity Code too since it could make their blood sugar level too low.
Think twice before you go for this dietary weight loss option.