I highly recommend The Obesity Code by Jason Fung, MD, a bestseller and in line which what I too am advocating for a anyone wanting to lose weight, particularly fat. Although a 304 page book, it is easy to read and packed with information. I want to highlight some of the main points that he makes that are relevant to those wanting to lose fat. I feel it is a great support to my suggestion of intermittent fasting and ketone supplements (see my previous blogs on this topic).
Dr. Fung does a great job destroying the constantly cited theory that all you have to do in order to lose weight is decrease your calorie intake. This is ubiquitously advocated by almost all “experts”. They support this falsehood by laws of thermodynamics – if more calories are taken in than out, you will gain weight and if you take in few calories, you will lose weight. He points out a huge number of studies showing how this does not work. It sounds like it should make sense and we are constantly told that – take in less calories and you will lose weight.
Why does the calorie in and calorie out theory not work? It is because what really determines if we store the food as fat or burn/eliminate the food (and drink!!) is our insulin levels. What happens is that we have all sorts of internal hormonally regulated systems in our bodies that adjust our basal metabolic rate (how many calories are used up), how much of what we eat that we actually absorb (the rest will go out in our stools), and how much energy is converted to fat and stored.
What Dr. Fung shows very clearly is that insulin is the key hormone in deterring whether we store or use up fat. The main problem today is that because of both constant eating (this is a relatively new phenomenon that in between meals we constantly snack) and the high intake of sugars and refined foods, we end up with high insulin levels in our blood. This causes the insulin receptors in our cells to be LESS sensitive to the insulin. This causes our bodies to produce even more insulin, which we become less sensitive to over time – and the negative feedback loop continues. High insulin levels tell the body to store fat.
The way to restore our insulin sensitivity is through both intermittent fasting (I think intermittent fasting is easier with the ketone supplements) and decreasing the stimulation to produce insulin which comes from both sugars and refined foods. An intermittent fast is defined as at least 14 hours without anything that will cause insulin to be produced (so unsweetened tea or coffee and water are fine). This has absolutely been proven to work and is a lot of the rationale behind the ketogenic diets.
There are lots of studies proving that refined foods and almost all sugars will raise insulin levels. It is important to note that I am stating “raise insulin levels,” as there are items like fructose and many other sweeteners used by the food and beverage industry that raise insulin levels but not your blood sugar level. This is why using the commonly referenced “Glycemic Index” is not effective.
I know sometimes people get overwhelmed and feel there are conflicting reports and lots of experts weighting in. It is really quite simple. Work up gradually to going 14 hours between dinner and when you eat your next meal (things like water, tea, coffee with unsweetened almond/coconut milk are fine). This is even easier if you can eat a relatively early dinner – if you finish dinner by 7 pm, you just have to delay eating until 9 am. I believe ketone supplements are very helpful when delaying your eating, as they decrease your appetite (especially helpful for people like me who end up eating late, even though I would prefer not to).
To find out what ketone supplement I am using for myself click here. The supplements will also raise your ketone levels which tells your body to breakdown fat for energy. The food you eat should be as unprocessed as possible – think lots of veggies, as organic as is reasonable, as unpoisoned as possible – salmon is great, and grass fed, free range beef etc. Absolutely avoid all sodas and diet drinks (they raise insulin levels and cause weight gain). It is common sense that you want to avoid farm raised fish and mass farming, as they use lots of antibiotics/hormones etc. You don’t have to be perfect at every meal, but you want to make at least some extra effort to select healthier choices. Realize it takes time for you to get used to this new routine, so expect some slip ups – but persevere and you can expect to be much healthier for it.
Want to discuss available options for decreasing body fat? Call us at 703-406-2444 to schedule your complimentary, private consultation with me – I’d be happy to help you find the right solution for you!