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The Complete Guide to Fasting: Heal Your Body Through Intermittent, Alternate-Day, and Extended Fasting Paperback – October 18, 2016
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From the Publisher
The Complete Guide to Fasting
By Jimmy Moore and Jason Fung
Heal Your Body Through Intermittent, Alternate-Day, and Extended Fasting.
Thousands of books have been written about the latest and greatest diets that will help people lose weight and improve health. But a key element in any successful nutritional health program is a tried-and-true method that most people haven’t thought about—yet it could be revolutionary for taking health to the next level. This ancient secret is fasting.
Fasting is not about starving oneself. When done right, it’s an incredibly effective therapeutic approach that produces amazing results regardless of diet plan. In fact, Toronto-based nephrologist Dr. Jason Fung has used a variety of fasting protocols with more than 1,000 patients, with fantastic success. In The Complete Guide to Fasting, he has teamed up with international author and veteran health podcaster Jimmy Moore to explain what fasting is really about, why it’s so important, and how to fast in a way that improves health.
Together, they make fasting as a therapeutic approach both practical and easy to understand.
About the Author
During the course of treating thousands of patients, it became clear to Dr. Fung that the epidemic of type 2 diabetes and obesity was getting worse. The prevailing dietary recommendations for reducing dietary fat and calories were clearly ineffective. In response, he founded the Intensive Dietary Management program (intensivedietarymanagement.com) to provide a unique treatment focus for type 2 diabetes and obesity that promotes simple yet effective dietary changes rather than focusing on medications.
Jimmy Moore catapulted onto the health scene in 2004 after a phenomenal 180-pound weight loss enabled him to come off prescription drugs for high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and respiratory problems. He is the energetic personality behind the uber-popular blog Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb and the host of the longest-running and top-ranked iTunes health podcast, The Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb Show, as well as Low-Carb Conversations and Keto Talk. He has interviewed well over 1,000 of the world’s top health experts and has dedicated his life to helping people get the best information possible about nutrition so they can make the right decisions for their health. He’s the international bestselling author of The Ketogenic Cookbook, Keto Clarity, and Cholesterol Clarity. Learn more about Jimmy and his work at www.livinlavidalowcarb.com.
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Every time I tell someone about this, their first response is that there is no way they could do it. Stop the excuses!!!! If you want to lose weight, get healthy and fit into those clothes that you can't fit into anymore, do this. Try it. You have absolutely nothing to lose. It truly makes your life easier and it's free to not eat. We are just not meant to eat all the time.
I am 50 years old and female. For the past 3-4 years I have been struggling with my weight (I am 15 lbs over where I should be). I thought I was doing everything right in terms of diet coupled with exercise. I would eat a low fat diet and was eating 6 small meals a day. One day, while searching the internet for clues as to why I was struggling to shake these 15 lbs, I learned about insulin resistance, prediabetes, and Syndrome X. This is when it occurred to me, maybe I am prediabetic? Maybe I have insulin resistance? Maybe my glucose levels are too high? And yet, every year, during my physical, my doctor would run the standard blood work, share my results stating "everything is normal".
Well, one day last year, I decided to run over to CVS to buy the equipment diabetics use. I checked my fasting blood sugar and the reading was over 106. I called my doctor to ask to have my glucose levels tested. My fasting glucose results were 110. And yet, she told me it wasn't anything to worry about? Really? Well maybe in the grand scheme of things 110 isn't high, but what about over time? Will my fasting glucose levels keep rising as my weight increases?
That's when I decided to take matters into my own hands. A friend introduced me to the keto diet and I decided to try it, coupled with intermittent fasting. Well, flash forward one year later and my fasting glucose levels are now 82 and I'm down 13 lbs. I managed to lower my fasting glucose levels by following a keto diet coupled with intermittent fasting.
Funny thing is, I found IF easy because I was never a fan of eating breakfast, or eating 6 small meals a day. Skipping meals is something I have always done so intermittent fasting comes naturally to me. I was never skeptical about fasting, or thought it was unhealthy. In fact, I think we eat too much food. I disagree that it's healthier to eat 6 small meals a day. I say it's better to not eat all day long.
I've been hearing and reading from skeptics who say, "Skipping meals is so unhealthy." Baloney! Says who? Who says skipping meals is unhealthy? Dr. Fung is right when he says, [and I'm paraphrasing] "The people who benefit from you eating all day long are the people who say fasting is unhealthy." Friends and family who reject my new way of eating are simply afraid of what they do not know or understand. I often hear people say to me "Oh I could never skip a meal." Sure you can. Have you ever tried?
I also hear a lot people say they are following some version of the paleo diet, claiming we should all be eating like paleolithic man. All the while eating 6 small meals throughout the day. I' am not an expert on paleolithic man, but it seems to me, paleolithic man didn't eat 6 small meals a day or eat pancakes made with coconut flower. I would bet he went days without food.
Listen, if you're struggling with your weight and/or struggling with high fasting glucose levels, buy this book, practice the different fasting methods offered in the book so that you can find the one that's right for you. I prefer to fast 16 hours every day and 22 hours on the weekend, but that's just me. Try IF. Stop eating so much food. Stop eating 6 small meals a day. Learn to listen to your body. Learn that hunger does go away, that it won't increase. You won't regret it.
Top international reviews
Books great. Arrived on time. 5 star.
Beware that the mainstream medical community does not like the intermittent fasting, low carb - healthy fat diet, but it saved my life, and I am living proof that it works.
Get the book, you won't be disappointed.
I have learned a great deal from this book.
If you want to be able to keep eating junk food and processed food, don’t try fasting - you will feel awful going from high carbs to no carbs, and if you binge on chocolate you will get a killer headache when you fast. If you are willing to eat healthier foods as you begin intermittent fasting, you will find the whole process much easier to do. I have been more than 60 pounds overweight for thirty years, I have always been a binge eater and chocoholic, but the core of my eating has always been very healthy with lots of vegetables. I find that when I eat only healthy foods, and fast between meals, I feel much more satisfied and far less hungry - which makes this plan easier and easier to do as you stick with it. Out of everything I have tried over the years to lose weight I find intermittent fasting the most sustainable to do and the easiest to work into my life. The best part is that I am losing weight and I feel great. Everything about this plan provides positive reinforcement to keep you going - you see the numbers on the scale going down, you feel more clear headed, you feel more satisfied with less food, high carb foods aren’t so appealing anymore and joint pain disappears. You can even enjoy special occasions without having to stand back while everyone else enjoys the food - intermittent fasting helps you get back on track again quickly and easily without derailing you completely.
Buy this book if you want to try intermittent fasting and buy The Obesity Code if you want to learn in much greater detail the science of weight gain and weight loss and why fasting helps. If you can only buy one of Dr. Fung’s books, I recommend this one. It will change your life!
I started fasting, I guess to lose a little weight, not that I needed to much, but had in my head that I wanted to see if I could get to the same weight I was when I was 18. I’m 6’2 and was 11st 10lb 25 years ago, 2 stone lighter.
Now, let’s forget the weight for now, let me tell you some unexpected benefits after doing 24hr fasts, then a few 72hr fasts:
Blood pressure went from 125/85 (fairly normal) to 110/70 (considered excellent at my age).
Weight within 2 months went from 13st11 to 12st5.
But the most unexpected result, I’ve been a terrible sleeper since my kids were born, 15 years ago - fasting has dramatically improved my deep sleep (shown on my watch) and length of sleep...at night when I’m fasting, I just can’t wate to get into bed, asleep within minutes and I sleep through the night...I can’t tell you how amazing this is for me. I’m guessing it’s aomething to do with sugars that made me sleep so lightly before fasting.
Next target is a 7 day fast once a month, it’s so much easier than you can imagine until you try it, for me it’s day 2 that’s always the hardest.
Now, regards the book, it’s a great guide for people wanting to learn a little more about the benefits and to be reassured about the safety of fasting. The reason I only gave 4* not 5* is because it’s a little repetitive in parts, it could have been half the length, but I guess you need to pad these things out to make it look like you’re getting something for your money.
There was very little on water fasts for 10 days or longer - just 10 pages in the whole book. This part was scrapping written with little real content or advice. Perhaps the author is scared of being sued! But the advice he does give on this subject is questionable on a few counts. The author recommends adding electrolytes likes salt and potassium, chia seeds, tea, coffee, lemon juice, bone broth. Adding electrolytes willy-nilly can mess with your system totally and is completely unnecessary for most people. Most serious places who do water fasts, even medical water fasts, do NOT add these. Unfortunately lots of uninformed people on the internet are following this craze, adding unnecessary or dangerous extras. Also adding tea, coffee and chia seeds and other things are not really giving your digestive system a complete rest either.
The author says extended water fasts are fine and easy except for the first day or two - which is not true for many. It can be very challenging. I suspect the author has never done an extended fast.
The emphasis and bias is definitely KETO and PALEO as shown by the chapters written by guest writers e.g. Robb Wolf and Mark Sisson. I believe these diets can be dangerous. Read Matt Stone and the testimonies in "12 Paleo Myths" for more on this. The few keto recipes at the end are pretty weird and show some of the craziness of this direction - 1. Avocado fries made with avocado and cup of pork rinds, anyone? or 2. Strawberry and kale salad anyone? See where extreme anti carb eating leads you .... bonkers.
As well as the guest writers who wrote probably half the book - he calls them his "Fasting All Stars" like Robb Wolf and Mark Sisson - there is quite a lot of general guff. I think the book suffers from its attempt to be all things to all men, giving random, brief summaries of a variety of diets like 5:2 and intermittent fasting which are written about elsewhere much better, and on which this book adds no new knowledge.
The book also ignores some of the dangers of intermittent fasting. Regularly not eating in the early part of the day can raise cortisol. It also mess with your circadian rhythm - the body associates the active part of the day with eating. So this messes with your sleep patterns and even insomnia. It can also lead to disordered eating.
My view is if you don't know anything about fasting and don't mind the style of long school text books, this might be helpful. If you need guidance from people re longer fasts it’s better to listen to people who have really walked the walk, Especially in fasts of 10 days or more. I recommend a book by Buchner called "Fasting". Its not perfect, but much more knowledgeable and inspirational. Or else just look around the internet - but be aware, there is lots of misinformation - so best to take your time.
I think the US suffers from an "over-medicalisation of everything" basically. There is very occasionally some good research, but it is usually overhyped and overstated, leading to extreme diets that do no one any good and are sometimes harmful. Often “health experts” are messing about with people’s health and are no more “experts” in truth than Mr Bean. Don’t believe the hype!