Dr Jason Fung
Dr. Jason Fung, author of the Obesity Code looks at your question here:
"There’s a difference between calculated energy surplus and real energy surplus. Apparently Feltham didn’t have a large real energy surplus, as he didn’t gain more weight.
The most likely explanation to me is that his energy expenditure increased substantially during the experiment. Maybe there are other explanations? Perhaps his body also adapted by not taking up all the nutrients he ate?
I’m not surprised by the results. If you starve long term you don’t lose as much weight as simple calorie counting predicts. The body will decrease the metabolic rate. If you overeat you don’t gain that much weight. The body adapts and tries to maintain an appropriate fat mass."
i'd recommend his book. it was very thought provoking.
Dr. Jason Fung made his career out of treating people with Diabetes of both varieties.
You can also look at the work of Gary Taubes. Not a doctor, but he's made his career out of tracking dietary studies and research.
We've known for over a century that caloric restriction based diets do not work. Most people can't hold to them, some people legitimately go crazy on a CICO diet, and even among it's success stories most people still fail in the long term. CICO diets are still aggressively promoted though because they have the all the sheen of a rigorous, scientific driven diet with people proclaiming that the laws of thermodynamics still apply to your gut.
Except the human body is not a furnace, and the mechanism for weight gain is insulin. We've known that much for decades- the most common side effect of prescriptions for insulin is weight gain.
The CICO diet doesn't work. It's too simplistic, it has no long term plan to keep weight off, and for some people it is simply harmful to aggressively market that sort of diet to them.
And of course even a cursory google search will flood you with dietitians (not nutritionists! Board certified dietitians) and other researchers who all agree CICO is unwise.
For a more bite size version of all this I would direct you to this video on youtube. Sources are in the description. We've known for over 200 years that if you want to lose weight, you regulate the intake of carbs, not calories, and the hard modern science is that if you want to keep the weight off, a really simplistic, old diet- the whole food diet- is what you use.
>But the Japanese! Okinawans have the highest life expectancy in the world and eat like twigs!
Correct! But you need to appreciate that your body's weight drives it's hormones. You get hungry because you're fat, and your body actively encourages you to keep eating because you're fat. It's also worth remembering that the Japanese diet typically has very, very few refined carbs. Tons of veggies, some seafood, a salt-based sauce to make it palatable, and then they'll have about a cup, maybe two, of cooked white rice.
Dr. Fung's main point is that the body does not have a method of interpreting, measuring or counting calories in the food we eat. Instead, the body responds hormonally to what we eat & how often we eat, and that tells the body whether to store additional fat, or burn existing fat.
IMO, he doesn't COMPLETELY disregard the usefulness of tracking calories, but rather thinks it should not be the PRIMARY focus of dieting. He believes the primary focus should be keeping insulin levels low for as long as possible, which signals the body to turn to bodyfat stores for fuel (instead of using dietary glucose & glycogen stores). Fasting is the ultimate way to keep insulin levels low, and low carb dieting is the next best option.
His other main argument is that sustained CICO dieting leads the body to an excessive metabolic rate slowdown, and a subsequent weight loss plateau & weight regain. Over time with CICO, the body tries to match energy output to your reduced energy intake. You start to feel fatigued, cold, hungry, etc, as a result of the body being economical with its energy usage, & weight loss soon plateaus. With a drastically lower metabolic rate, you are primed to quit the diet & regain weight at a rapid pace.
An important point to remember - the vast majority of energy consumed by the body comes from the metabolic activities of life & NOT by exercise. Think 80-85% metabolic activity, 15-20% exercise (assuming you actually exercise intensely multiple times a week).
Honestly that's why we're all here on this subreddit, is it not? CICO helps you lose weight for 3-6 months, you plateau & quit the diet (because of diminishing returns) & you gain the weight back. Rinse & repeat, cycle off & on the same 20-30 lbs. People are here because they are looking for a different way, because CICO has worked in the short term but then failed them repeatedly in the LONG run.
Fung proposes that intermittent fasting & low carb dieting prevents the excessive metabolic rate reduction that CICO brings on. He argues that spiking insulin frequently blocks the body from efficiently using stored fat for energy; therefore when dietary energy is scarce, the body lowers the metabolic rate to conserve energy. Preventing insulin spikes allows the body to go to fat stores for energy, so the body can just take energy from dietary sources & grab other needed energy from fat stores, without the need to downregulate the metabolic rate.
With the metabolic rate not moving downward any more than necessary, you should theoretically lose fat & keep it off much easier. I'm not entirely 100% sold on that, but that's his stance. Your best bet is probably to combine all of the strategies - fasting, low carb & calorie counting - but he would probably argue that if you get the former two right then the latter isn't as critical.
Anyways, here are some actual free materials people can review if they are interested:
Main website with free articles by Dr. Jason Fung:
Other free articles by Dr. Jason Fung:
Controlling the Body’s ‘Fat Thermometer’
The (Lack of) Evidence for Caloric Restriction in Weight Loss
The Useless Concept of ‘Calories’
The Science of Why Caloric Restriction Fails
What Is The Difference Between Fasting And Caloric Restriction?
Why Fasting Succeeds Where Caloric Restriction Fails
The Obesity Code by Dr. Jason Fung
Video: Dr. Fung lecture on fasting, calories, weight loss, etc
I would listen to the audio book or read: The Obesity Code: Unlocking the Secrets of Weight Loss https://www.amazon.ca/dp/1771641258/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_LFQCCb79W9S8D
Also: The Complete Guide to Fasting: Heal Your Body Through Intermittent, Alternate-Day, and Extended Fasting https://www.amazon.ca/dp/1628600012/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_HKQCCbETJPS2D
Mutiple studies have shown calories are not the driving force for weight increase, insulin is.
A 2000 calories made up of pizza, pasta, ice cream, cake, doughnuts, chips, bread and juice, is very different than 2000 calories made by steak, chicken, veg, eggs, nuts, seeds, avacado and whole fruit.
Fibre is also a key component of weight management, most western diets do get nearly enough fibre. Fibre protects the body from sugar.
Add chia seeds and flaxseed to your meals.
guys, i just found out some really depressing news, according to a 1990-2010 double blind study with identical twins, which were separated at birth to live with different families, the children ended up similar weights, regardless of how heavy their adoptive parents are. while the exact weight is definitely affected by the environment they were raised in, the fatter of the two siblings were raised in the fatter homes, these studies more or less indicate that there is a genetic component, and my own personal research has shown that calories and exercise have less to do with weight loss than the actual things you put in your body. this being sugars and simple carbs.
diabetes has two types, one where the body cannot absorb it, type two, and one where the body does not produce enough. type one. the main symptom of type one diabetes is extreme weight loss. and several studies have shown that medication that reduces insulin levels in the blood cause weight loss. this is because insulin is a hormone that acts like a key, it unlocks your cells to absorb the readily available sugar you just consumed. but your body isn't stupid, when your insulin is up, it obviously doesn't want to be burning up the reserves. think of a coal plant, you have to decide how much coal to use, you have a reserve and a daily intake, you would want to keep a steady reserve, just in case. when a delivery comes in, you stop using the reserves, if you didn't and the intake of new coal stopped coming then you wouldn't have extra on hand, the city loses power and your fired. this is also why calorie counting is ineffective for most people, our bodies recognize that we are getting less and less energy, so it finds ways to cut energy expenditure, such as lowering body temp, blood pressure, etc... all common side affects of calorie based diets.
this makes sense when you stop assuming that our bodies are stupidly burning our reserves at the same rate as before you started the diet, think about the coal plant, if you just used the same amount of coal every day, even when the daily intake of coal is two thirds, half or even a third of normal, you're going to run out, the city loses power, you get fired. soooo... the solution is as obvious to you as it is to your body, use less coal. alternatively, one could eat a normal amount of calories, but if you avoid sugars, like fruit, candy, pastries, etc,,, and simple carbs, breads, pastas, etc... you would see some decent weight loss after about three days, once the insulin is out of your body, and some very nice weight loss after two or three weeks, i personally went on a ketosis diet called ideal protein, i then proceeded to lose 100 lbs since late september of 2018. less than six months, because it focuses on the hormonal aspect of weight loss.
my only problem with this is that HAES were kind of right, it's partly genetic and mostly hormonal, they just came to the wrong conclusion. but still, admitting fat activists to be right is fucking difficult.
for more information i found this book on amazon that explains in more depth what i'm talking about here
Most people start with 16/8, meaning eat during an 8 hour period, and abstain for 16 (including sleep). For most this means skipping breakfast and no snacking.
Another version is 20/4 sometimes called the warrior diet. All food consumed within 4 hours.
Still another is eating one large meal a day (normally dinner, although i have done lunch). OMAD. Basically 23/1.
Here are some resources i have collected that are helpful to people getting started. Good luck.
Intermittent fasting - good intro video:
Good second video (rewind if needed).
Good write up
Brad Pilon website:
Dave Asprey website:
Third video. Interview with Fung. https://youtu.be/jXXGxoNFag4
Great book - The Obesity Code (can likely get at library)
Watch the videos at the end of this post if you are interested. Dr Fung is a kidney doctor who backed into studying obesity because many many obese patients with diabetes ultimately became his patients and died in his care of kidney disease. He saught to understand why and discovered the cure for diabetes that doesn't involve bariatric surgery and used it successfully to help obese patients lose weight and wean them off insulin completely. Intermittent fasting. No calorie counting involved.
IF / OMAD is not about counting calories and had no such standards. The recommendation is to eat fresh vegetables, healthy fats, proteins, and limit carbs from sugar, wheat and other sources that are basically sugar. Because that's what makes us fat.
Calorie counting has failed a generation of dieters. Not sure the appeal of something borne by the food industry to sell surgery cereals and other products that claims to be heart healthy (and pay the American Heart Association to endorse their crap) that cost next to nothing to make that they sell to a budgy population at a huge premium in the name of healthy eating. It demonizes fat which is more than twice as calorie dense without any proof that people that eat a lot of fat ever get obese. It might sound reasonable - maybe because we've been taught it our whole lives.
One other interesting fact. Modern man (and the animals we feed) are the only animals on the planet that do not naturally maintain a healthy weight. IF gives us a powerful tool to rebuild our bodies' ability to do just that.
Fung two compartment problem video. Best video on IF i know.
Interview with Fung. He is older and more polished. End is very interesting as he discusses the medical ethics involved in having the food industry funding the medical community and cherry picking the studies they will fund.
Fung first best seller - The Obesity Code (can likely get at library). Eye opening read
Hope this is helpful. Best of luck with IF! Hope you are successful! I've done it for 6 months and been at my goal weight (goal was lowered 3 times) for over a month. I lost 54 lbs.
Good second video.
No- CICO is not a very effective model for weight loss. The "hormonal theory of weight loss" is detailed recently by Dr. Fung (both books and videos):
But this theory dates back roughly 80 or 90 years. Long-and-short is that insulin drives weight gain or loss, so if you lead a low-calorie diet which induces high insulin (or are insulin resistant), then you'll still gain weight. So it's CICO only as an approximation, insulin as an additional factor gives a better approach.
older female too here, I do keto AND fasting. Have you read https://toptalkedbooks.com/amzn/1771641258
plus, I don't eat ANYTHING sweet, or processed foods (also as a fairly sedentary older woman, I don't need all the fat of a typical keto diet)
The Obesity Code . Dude says that having lots of insulin floating around in your body makes your body turn excess energy into fat, so the solution is to let your insulin drop by going for longer periods without eating and not eating refined carbs. It's easier than it sounds, especially if you give yourself time to ease into it. Moderately relevant subreddits: /r/paleo, /r/ketorecipes, /r/intermittentfasting.