Dr. Jason Fung, in his book The Obesity Code, suggests that the medical profession, the diet industry, and indeed the US Government, have been guilty of doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. The classic advice for both diabetes and weight loss is eat less, move more. While some doctors are now recommending lowering carbohydrate consumption, few patients understand why, what, or how much.
Let’s continue our investigation into the underlying causes of obesity, and by extension, diabetes. Understand that not all obese people are diabetic, nor are all diabetics obese. This series is relevant to individuals who are both (or who are both obese and pre-diabetic), and whose progression from mere obesity to Type II diabetes has followed the typical path. In this post, we’ll talk about obesity and its underlying causes. Our mission is to drill down to the cause, not the symptoms, of obesity. Once we determine the cause, we can potentially understand how to treat and cure it.
Rid Yourself of Guilt
First, we must rid ourselves of the notion that obesity is a matter of lifestyle, poor self-control, not exercising enough, or eating too much. If you’ve ever been even slightly overweight, your doctor may have accused you of one or more of these judgmental phrases. If not your doctor, then your mother, father, spouse, even so-called friends may have silently or not so silently judged you. Right now, I give you permission to throw off those guilts! Because they aren’t true.
Numerous studies* have disproved all those theories of obesity. You won’t hear about them in popular magazines, and certainly not in diet programs or from your doctor. Why? Because money is at stake. If you were to learn that the most popular diet programs don’t work long term and are in fact proven to fail, then you wouldn’t pay for them. You wouldn’t buy magazines touting them. And if you were to learn the truth, you wouldn’t need to see your doctor to get prescriptions for drugs whose side effects are worse than your symptoms. It’s as simple as that.
The True Cause of Obesity
So, what is the true cause of obesity? Hormone imbalance. Everything about your body’s ability to balance energy consumption to energy expenditure is mediated by hormones. Hormones are what makes you hungry. Hormones signal you to tell you you’re full. Hormones convert available fuel to fat and vice versa.
Some years ago, the buzz-word was set point. The concept meant that your body had a certain level of fatness that it ‘wanted’ to be. That concept isn’t talked about much anymore, because it implies that no matter what you do, your body will work to return to its previous set point, possibly even a bit higher, and you are doomed. Diet programs wouldn’t sell well if the gurus admitted that because of set point the diets don’t work.
However, there is ample evidence that it wasn’t far off the mark. The same studies cited above failed to prove any previous theory of obesity, but they did prove the set point concept. And it worked both ways. Lean people who got fat during their study returned to leanness when the study was over, just as fat people who got lean returned to their previous weight or slightly higher. What then, are we obese people to do, if no diet works and we have a set point that will doom us to failure to lose fat?
The answer lies in working to rebalance those hormones and lowering the set point.
How? Read more in The Culprit Identified
*Citations are available in Dr. Fung’s book, which you can purchase on Amazon.