About Thinsulin Program
Struggling to shed pounds? Written by bariatric internist and psychiatrist brothers, the Thinsulin Program book promises to be a “breakthrough solution” that can help you lose weight and stay thin.
Instead of counting calories like a normal diet, the Thinsulin program focuses on helping you choose foods that lower your insulin levels, which they promise will help you burn fat, lose weight, and reduce your risk of developing diabetes. The program also claims to address psychological factors, so you can change the way you think about food to better manage your weight.
Taken together, the Thinsulin Program be based on three pillars:
- Focusing on insulin, not calories. For example, if you ate only 500 calories of ice cream each day, would you be able to lose weight? Almost certainly not. Why? Although you’re reducing calories, you’re not feeding your body the right type (e.g. calories that don’t spike insulin), which will cause you to pack on the pounds.
- Changing your thinking about food.
- Overcoming the weight loss plateau.
Sounds great, right? But can you really expect to lose a meaningful amount of weight with the Thinsulin program? Although it was written by two brothers in the medical field, is the Thinsulin Program scientifically proven? We’ll explore all these important questions—and many more—in this review.
How Does the Thinsulin Program Work?
As alluded to above, the Thinsulin program uses biological principles to optimize insulin, psychological principles (cognitive behavioral therapy—more about this soon) to change how you think about food, and social behavioral techniques to break your food-based bad habits.
From a nutrition standpoint, the Thinsulin Program breaks food into five different groups: sweets, grains, vegetables, fruits, and proteins. Then, to help you easily identify which of these foods you should eat and which you should avoid, the program uses a stoplight analogy:
- Red Group (don’t eat): Sweets, grains, and starchy vegetables
- Yellow Group (caution; limit to only one portion a day): Dairy, fruit, and raw nuts
- Green Group (eat all you want): Proteins and green, leafy vegetables
The Thinsulin Program uses a traffic light analogy to help you understand which foods spike your insulin levels and should be avoided, and those that drop insulin levels and help you lose weight
That’s about all we’re told on the Thinsulin Program website, which seems to leave a lot up in the air. Before we get to that though, let’s quickly learn more about the relationship between insulin and weight gain.
What Is Insulin? How Does It Affect Your Weight?
Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that helps your body utilize sugar (glucose) found in the foods you eat. Why is it so important?
The problem is that, by themselves, your cells aren’t capable of processing glucose. Instead, when your blood sugar spikes, your pancreas releases insulin, which then binds to glucose and allows it to pass through cell walls, where it can be absorbed into the bloodstream.
Ultimately, you can think of insulin as a type of “key” that grants glucose access to your cells. But how does this relate to weight loss?
Whenever you consume more calories than your body needs, it processes the glucose in your bloodstream and then stores the energy as fat for later use. As such, continuously eating foods that spike your insulin levels can lead to unwanted weight gain.
So, from this perspective, instead of physically counting the units of energy (i.e. calories) you’re consuming, as you would with most weight loss programs, the Thinsulin Program focuses instead on the broader picture and only targets foods that won’t spike insulin. Will this approach actually work?
Is the Thinsulin Program Scientifically Proven?
Although it’s well understood that insulin levels and weight management often go hand-in-hand, in the past, only those who were prediabetic tended to actively focus on optimizing their insulin levels in order to manage their weight.
However, over the past couple years, we’ve seen an influx of diet programs that take this approach (looking specifically at the body’s insulin response instead of calories) and apply it to the population as a whole. These include GOLO, the Ketogenic Diet, some Paleo Diet versions, and more.
The problem is that none of these programs (including Thinsulin) provide any clinical evidence showing that avoiding insulin-spiking foods can result in meaningful weight loss—unless you’re already prediabetic, that is.
So, while the Thinsulin’s authors, Drs. Charles Nguyen and Tu-Song Anh Nguyen, clearly have a medical background and claim to hold clinical evidence in support of their program’s efficacy, they don’t provide any to back up their claims. In fact, we’re not even told what kinds of weight loss results customers might realistically expect.
What About Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?
One more thing before we move on: Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a form of psychotherapy that involves exposing your negative or inaccurate thinking, so that you can change how you react to different situations. While CBT has been shown to be effective for addressing depression and some other disorders, it’s best conducted in several face-to-face sessions with a trained therapist.
What’s the point? Since the CBT methods used in the Thinsulin Program obviously won’t take place in a professional environment, keep it mind that it might not be as effective. And if you decide to reach out to a professional, this could greatly increase your costs (but could also increase your chances of success!).
Who Are Drs. Charles Nguyen and Tu-Song Anh Nguyen?
Prior to becoming the Medical Director at his Lorphen Medical Weight Loss Clinic, Dr. Charles T. Nguyen earned his medical degree and completed his residency at the University of California, Irvine. Since then, Dr. Nguyen has been the recipient of numerous awards, spoken at conferences, contributed to journals, and seems to maintain a mostly positive online patient reputation.
Charles’s brother, Dr. Tu Song Anh Nguyen, earned his medical degree from Loma Linda School of Medicine and completed his internal medicine residency at UCLA. Since that time, Dr. Nguyen has spent 19 years as a bariatric internist and currently works as the medical director of N.N. Medical, where he “provides medical management of weight loss with an emphasis on behavior modification.”
How Much Does the Thinsulin Program Cost? Are There Online Reviews?
The Thinsulin Program book is available online through large retailers like Amazon and Barnes and Noble, and seems to be priced around $18 (before shipping). Obviously, you refund policy will depend on where it’s purchased.
Since the Thinsulin book was released on February 9, 2016, Amazon was the only place we found any online reviews, where nine customers had given it a 4.8-star average rating. Most compliments seemed to reference the fact that the program focuses on insulin instead of weight; that it gives you the tools you need to keep the weight off for the long-term; and that everything is accessible and easy to use.
In fact, the only complaint seemed to reference the fact that tomatoes were classified as vegetables instead of fruits.
Is the Thinsulin Program Diet Book Your Next “Breakthrough”?
Even if this is your first time researching weight loss plans, a 10-second online search will show you that there are literally thousands of different options out there, each one claiming to outdo the rest in one way or another.
But here’s the thing: The vast majority of these are crash diets, which can harm your body and eventually pack on more pounds than when you started. Even among those that aren’t considered “crashes,” they might not address all the emotional and psychological aspects that can help you keep the weight off for good.
So, from this perspective, it seems positive that the Thinsulin Program isn’t promising some unrealistic weight loss results (in fact, they don’t promise anything at all). They also seem to be tackling weight loss from all the important angles.
Despite these positives, we think it’s important to keep your expectations realistic when it comes to the Thinsulin Program. Why? Ultimately, we’ll conclude with three main takeaways:
- While the Thinsulin Program book might deliver high-level information, it probably won’t be too in-depth. In fact, one Amazon reviewer claimed they read it in a day. So, if you’re looking for additional details to take you knowledge to the next level, you’ll probably have to broaden your search to other material.
- We already mentioned it once, but it’s worth repeating here: Cognitive behavioral therapy has certainly helped others lose weight and keep it off, but it’ll be most effective in a professional setting. So, for maximum results, plan on meeting with a therapist and factoring these costs into your budget.
- Despite the extensive medical background of the brother authors, they don’t provide any clinical evidence outlining how effective the Thinsulin Program is, or what kinds of results you might realistically expect.
Despite these points, we want to know if you used the Thinsulin Program. Did you lose weight, or did you end up in the same situation as all your other diets? Tell us about it in your very own review below!