Debunking Calorie Myths | Review of The Obesity Code Book (Part 1 & 2)

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holding The Obesity Code book in hands on couch


I love to read, but I typically get bored easily, so I like to stick to mysteries, thrillers, biographies…or books that are for teenagers (*cough* To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before #noshame). I feel like I must have some sort of reading narcolepsy when it comes to books outside of my typical genres – I start reading and will fall asleep just a few pages in… until now!

Ok, maybe that sounds like something from an infomercial, but y’all… this month’s book is legit!

Have you signed up for our Hip2Keto Book Club? If not, you are seriously missing out!

obesity code book on table

For our March book club selection, Collin chose The Obesity Code by Dr. Jason Fung and tasked me with being the ringleader of this reading assignment, so I quickly dove in to see what all the hype was about. The result: I am seriously OBSESSED with this book.

Dr. Fung writes in a way that it’s like you are talking to your very smart and nerdy friend that would drop knowledge during a conversation, not some stuffy guy that gives you endless percentages and big words that have you running to Google to look up.

group of friends

Why this book is a game-changer for me…

As someone who has struggled (yes, it’s in bold because man it is a struggle) with my weight since I was a child, I’m here to tell you that the information in this book makes me feel like I’ve been given the keys to a new way of thinking… and living. To be honest, I hop on and off of the keto bandwagon often, when I stick with it then it works, but when I don’t… well you know what happens. I eat my feelings and clearly I’ve got a lot of feelings! 🤷🏻‍♀️

I lost almost 60 pounds on keto about seven years ago, shortly after that I was diagnosed with Cancer and lost even more during a two-month hospital stay. When I started treatment, my chemo cocktail (not the fun kind of cocktail, a medical one) was steroid heavy, which resulted in me packing the pounds back on and then some.

I’m obese, there’s no doubt about it according to all of the charts, it’s always a battle of trying this diet or trying that diet or fad. I’ve honestly found the most success when I’m sticking with keto (and no, I’m not just saying that because I work here 😅). With that being said, it’s hard to kick that old school mentality to the curb in regard to calories and exercise.

That’s where The Obesity Code comes in with facts to prove that your hormones, sugar, and carbohydrates are huge factors contributing to the obesity epidemic in this country. I feel like this book is really a game-changer and explains and dispels so many myths that we are often led to believe. I feel like this book is helping me to approach keto from a different mindset that sets me up to be successful in moving forward.

If you are someone struggling with your weight or you can’t figure out why you’re doing “all the right things” but still can’t lose, then please, do yourself a favor, and pick up a copy of this book.

So… let’s dive into the Week 1 reading assignment:

obesity code book with notes

Week 1

Part 1: The Epidemic – Chapters: 1, 2
Part 2: The Calorie Deception – Chapters: 3, 4, 5

As you can see from the photo above, I’ve flagged quite a lot of pages and highlighted even more so that I can refer back to the content that really drew me in. So needless to say, there’s a ton of valuable information in this book and that’s just with our week one assignment!

Our first selection covers how obesity became an epidemic, the relation of obesity to genetics, how calories in and calories out is a myth, why exercise isn’t the end all be all for weight loss, and the paradox of overfeeding. The amount of solid information in our first selection alone is worth the price of the book!

Key takeaways from The Obesity Code, Sections 1 & 2:

highlighted text in a book

I could ramble on and on (see above for endless rambling), but I thought I would share with you some of my favorite quotes from this week’s assignment.

“The abrupt increase in obesity began exactly with the officially sanctioned move toward a low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet.”

“Since hormones control both calories in and calories out, obesity is a hormonal, not a caloric disorder.”

“Assumption: Calories in and calories out are independent of each other. This assumption is a crucial mistake.”

“Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) in the US from 1990-2010 finds no association between increased calorie consumption and weight gain.”

“Reducing calories in works only if calories out remains stable. What we find instead is that a sudden reduction of calories causes a similar reduction of calories out, and no weight is lost as the body balances its energy budget.”

“Caloric reduction and portion-control strategies only make you tired and hungry. Worst of all…you regain all the weight you have lost. The portion-control caloric-reduction diet is virtually guaranteed to fail. Eating less does not result in lasting weight loss.”

“There’s a dirty little secret that nobody is willing to admit: The low fat, low-calorie diet has already been proven to fail. This is the cruel hoax. Eating less does not result in lasting weight loss. It. Just. Does. Not. Work.”

“Whether physical activity increases or decreases, it has virtually no relationship to the prevalence of obesity. Increasing exercise did not reduce obesity. It was irrelevant.”

“We are writing a final examination called Obesity 101. Diet accounts for 95% of the grade and exercise for only 5%. Yet we spend 50% of our time and energy studying exercise. It is no wonder that our current grade is F – for fat.”

woman reading obesity code book

As you can see, the information we’ve been given for decades just doesn’t add up. People are gaining weight faster than ever and the old “low fat, low cal” way of life is just not working! We all have different reasons for doing keto, many like me are doing it for weight loss, and some are like Collin who have digestive issues and find relief with a keto lifestyle.

The facts are here, keto works and is changing lives. I know that Collin and I have both found quite a few ah-ha moments while reading this book, and we hope you have too.

Collin and Erica discuss the first part of The Obesity Code in this Facebook live video! Be sure to watch it, and then let us know your key takeaways.

It’s time to dive into our week 2 assignment:

Week 2

Part 3: A New Model of Obesity – Chapters: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
Part 4: The Social Phenomenon of Obesity – Chapters: 11, 12, 13

hip2keto facebook page on macbook pro

If you’ve already finished week one, then continue on with our week two assignment which is around 88 pages. If you’re a little late to the game, no worries, just catch up when you can! Trust me, this is a must-read book!

Feel free to post your thoughts in the comment section of this post for the week one assignment, or in our exclusive Hip2Keto Facebook Group. Let us know your biggest takeaways from each week’s chapters and chat with other Hip2Keto readers to compare notes.

Still don’t have The Obesity Code book yet?

You can grab the paperback book, the Kindle version, or the Audible version of the book to join in on the fun!

About the writer:

Angela graduated with a Bachelor's Degree and has 25+ years of experience as a writer and photographer with her work being featured in US Weekly Magazine, The Los Angeles Times, People Magazine, and more.

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Comments 2

  1. Sara

    Love this book. I listened to the audiobook during my work commute and found my jaw on the floor. I also just started the intermittent fasting book by Dr. Fung. Really good!

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      SWEET! Glad to hear you have enjoyed that one too, Sara! Thanks for the suggestion!

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