Book Review – The Obesity Code

Let us have a look at a universal phenomenon which most of us, who watch their weight, go through.

Step 1 – We realise that the number on our weighing scale has shot up a bit too much. We conjure up a number in our mind which becomes our Target

Step 2 – We chalk out a scientific diet and exercise plan which shows us the path to the promised land of perfect weight and body.

Step 3 – We get going with all our gusto and begin our wonderful journey as everyday brings a small victory with a quick loss of a few kilos.

Step 4 – The initial momentum is lost and then we hit a plateau but we still manage to toil on with our regimented routine.

Step 5 – Finally we give in because the weight loss could not be sustained and we submit that promised land is nothing but a fantasy.

Step 6 – We repeat the process with every New Year resolution.

Photo by Andrew Wilus from Pexels

I have personally gone through this cycle so many times and always wondered why the inevitable always happened?

Most of us accept it as a failure to maintain the discipline with which we set out on our journey. We believe that somewhere during the course we let go of our control and gave in to our cravings. We keep going on in this vicious circle and somehow end up on an eternal weight loss mode. A mode where you are not comfortable with the number on the scale and are consciously trying to do something about it, always. But the result – Zilch.

Photo by Ella Olsson from Pexels

So when the lockdown started earlier this year I started this cycle again and this time, thanks to the sheer lack of distractions, got the scale moving in the right direction and thankfully sustained. I picked up this book called The Obesity Code just at the right time, I believe. The book in a very clear and logical manner shatters all the weight loss myths and fads we have been sold all these years. It explains the reason why our inability to sustain the weight loss is not a failure but is actually our body’s way of coping. It explains the concept of set weight which will make you realise that shedding those kilos accumulated over the years will take much more than counting mere calories.

Here are few key insights I took away from the book.

  • A diet based on calorie deficit is definitely not the answer
  • Insulin is the culprit and it is the high levels of insulin which ultimately leads to obesity
  • You cannot be stressed and lose weight. Managing your stress and therefore your cortisol levels is an important factor in any weight loss journey.
  • Fasting as a ritual will not only help you lose those kilos but elevate your health and fitness to next level.
  • Packaged food full of sucrose and fructose is directly responsible for universal weight gain phenomenon.
  • Weight loss has more to do with hormonal balance than calories

The book does not say anything with a stamp of authority but makes some conclusions which seem logical. It does not give you a sure shot way neither does it attempt to speak in binary but opens the door to new ideas which have seldom been explained to us when it comes to association between what and when we eat with our weight.

It rightly says that if everything seems so complicated then go back to your Grandma’s words advise on eating.

“Once we understand that obesity is a hormonal imbalance, we can begin to treat it. If we believe that excess calories cause obesity, then the treatment is to reduce calories. But this method has been a complete failure. However, if too much insulin causes obesity, then it becomes clear we need to lower insulin levels.”
― Jason Fung, The Obesity Code: unlocking the secrets of weight loss

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