This is a response to this article by Dr. Jason Fung:
First let me start by saying Fung is a Kidney Doctor. Not a weight loss doctor. He developed all of his ideas like everyone else on the internet. By Googling.
Of course you can starve some weight off people. Of course if you don’t eat your insulin levels will drop and you won’t need to take exogenous insulin if you are diabetic. This is all common sense to the nth degree.
What is well known is that as you do any calorie restricted diet you lose less and less weight each week until you stall. Why? This is simple human physiology. Your metabolism slows to become more efficient with the energy you give it. This is to keep you alive as long as possible with less food than you should have. Not eating (fasting) is the most extreme form of caloric restriction. There is nothing less than zero calories. To think that for some reason that when you eat nothing your metabolism doesn’t slow down or that it actually speeds up is just pure idiocracy. If your metabolism didn’t slow with zero caloric intake you would rapidly burn through your body stores and start utilizing your organs for fuel. This is completely counter to anything that even remotely resembles common sense and the fact that anyone thinks this nonsense could be true simply boggles my mind.
Now on to the article:
- He hits the nail on the head with the MCT and coconut oil as added fat and how this can cause people to stall or not lose. These are oils that do not contribute to mitochondrial biogenesis (creation of more mitochondria) and we know that mitochondria are the energy factories of the body. The more we have the more energy we make from the food we take in. This means a faster metabolism. If you are consuming large quantities of these oils of course you won’t speed up metabolism and may stall or gain. Don’t use these fats if you want to lose weight. That is why I wrote this article.
- Leptin – His ideas about leptin are madness. He says if you eat fructose you will overstimulate leptin and get leptin resistance and leptin resistance causes us to get fat. Sure. Fruit is full of fructose. Find me a fat fruitarian. They are pretty damn rare. I eat a metric ton of fat and my leptin levels are almost non existent every time I get tested.
- Fat absorption. He kind of knows a bit about this but he is very basic in his explanation or understanding. One of the two. Fat does not get absorbed in the intestine as chylomicrons. Some fats, like MCT and a large portion of coconut oil, get directly absorbed into the intestinal wall and go right to the liver where they must be used for energy directly or converted to ketones. This is because they are short chain fatty acids and can bypass the normal absorption. This is an issue for weight loss as it represents an excess energy crisis. Longer chain fatty acids, like the majority of other fats, get packaged into chylomicrons which are a form of LDL or lipoprotein carrier that takes them into the lymphatic system and then to fat cells. None of this is really all that relevant anyway except the differentiation of the absorption directly by MCT/short chain fatty acids.
- Leptin resistance causing fat not to get burned or not increasing metabolism. Nonsense. Leptin resistance is just a theory. There is no conclusive evidence that it exists at all. If it did, then theoretically, it would act like insulin resistance. Lets look at insulin resistance and how it works.
- Cells do not respond to the normal amount because they are “resistant” so the pancreas makes more and more to try ad clear the blood glucose. Eventually the signal is strong enough and the blood cleared but because there was so much insulin, the insulin resistant person sees a massive drop and they go hypoglycaemic.
- If it was true that leptin resistance is causing metabolism not to rise then the same would happen right? Leptin would build up and build up until the cells finally do respond and you would have a huge jump in metabolism just as in the case of insulin resistance causing hypoglycaemia. Completely asinine to think this is the case.
- If you eat the proper fats then metabolism will increase through the mechanisms of mitochondrial biogenesis which I have detailed in the link above. Hormones explain part of the issue but they are not the only art of the equation.
- Treat Obesity, not nutrient deficiency. This statement alone should be enough to make anyone run for the hills. If you are obese don’t worry about nutrient deficiency? What the actual fuck did I just read? Often obese people are the most in danger of nutrient deficiency. This should be the one statement alone that makes anyone run for their lives away from anything Fung has to say.
Jason Fung constantly says he has nothing to gain from fasting yet he makes a living by selling fasting. Clinics that focus on fasting. Online coaching for fasting. Books on fasting. I recently saw him endorsing a “fasting tea”. How is this not making anything from fasting? Of course he is trying to sell you something and frankly it is false bill of goods. The fact that he says don’t worry about nutrients makes me furious. Great, you’ve treated obesity but now you have severe malnourishment. Great.
You don’t have to starve yourself to treat obesity. This was known in 1953. Alfred Pennington was far ahead of his time and saw first hand that caloric restriction didn’t work because of the fact that it lowered metabolic rate. He saw that you could keep people eating very high calorie as long as you restricted carbs but kept fat high and that this would allow for much easier weight loss without a reduction of metabolic rate.
Fasting will eventually die off. People will see how damaging it is to the metabolism and how, like every other calorie restricted diet, any loss of weight during a fast will quickly return when you eat again. Like calorie restriction the only way to keep weight off or moving in the right direction is by constantly upping the ante and fasting longer and longer. Eventually this becomes a losing battle as you have to eat sometime.
I just hope we figure it out sooner than later before we make the current problem with people not able to lose weight even worse.
If you want to get your Ketogenic Diet back to a place of Common Sense and learn how to heal your metabolism you can get personalized coaching from Coach Jack.
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