BY Katherine A. Carroll, NTP
The Complete Guide to Fasting: Heal Your Body Through Intermittent, Alternate-Day, and Extended Fasting by Jimmy Moore and Dr. Jason Fung (ISBN-10: 1628600012; 2016, paperback, 304 pages, $17.94; ISBN-13: 978-1628600018; Kindle, $9.99; and audiobook)
It is hard to get excited about fasting, but once Dr. Jason Fung, a kidney specialist in Toronto, gives the myriad of reasons why the ancient practice of fasting can prevent and even reverse incurable diseases, it is hard not to get excited – to the point of near-immediate implementation of fasting (which I did). This book is so compelling, I imagine you will too.
Reduction of insulin is one of fasting’s goals and it is called into action with every bite. Historically, we have not eaten 3-6 meals a day. We feast and we fast in the cycle of life.
What engaged my interest is the ease with which fasting is presented in Fung’s work. Intermittent fasting can be as simple as missing one meal, or stopping eating at 6 p.m. and resuming the following day at the same hour. Since you’re sleeping during much of this time, it is relatively easy. Some modified fasts allow bone broth or fat. The sky’s the limit on variations from there, all of which are covered. Fasting is the most powerful healing therapy with references dating back thousands of years and practiced in every major spiritual tradition.
Type-2 Diabetes is rising. With the cascade of blindness, amputation, heart disease, and more, it is true health insurance to understand clearly (and Dr. Fung is clear to the point of too much repetition) how to avoid this fate by fasting. Jimmy Moore, bestselling author, collaborates on this comprehensive and motivating book. There is heavy emphasis on combining fasting with low-carbohydrate, moderate protein, high-fat (LCHF) dietary patterns to reduce high insulin levels or regulate insulin to overcome insulin resistance by getting into nutritional ketosis (burning fat vs. sugar).
There is much to be excited about in The Complete Guide to Fasting. Who doesn’t need to:
- Enhance immunity, prevent and reverse disease, and get off all medications
- break addictions, shed a few pounds, overcome obesity, or avoid Bariatric surgery
- backwards age, extend longevity, and prevent Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, and increase mental clarity, spiritual acuity, and energy,
The book even includes recipes for healthy eating once the fast is broken. Dr. Fung discusses circadian rhythms and shows why meals after 7:30 p.m., when insulin is peaking, cause weight gain. He proves that obesity is a hormonal rather than a mere caloric imbalance. Fung notes an interesting observation: The famous Mediterranean Diet (MeDi) has some little-discussed aspects. This demographic eats their largest meal at mid-day thus avoiding the weight gain of late-diners. Additionally, their spiritual heritage encourages fasting. Both these elements certainly bear on the incredible success of the MeDi.
Fung has done a remarkable job making fasting user-friendly in a fast-paced lifestyle with his use of studies, charts, and graphs, and listing his resources at the end of each short chapter. He breaks myths such as loss of muscle mass during fasting and reveals how utterly stupid Type-2 Diabetes insulin use is. All food creates an increase in insulin production, even protein. If too much insulin is the problem or insulin resistance, the easy solution is to stop calling insulin into action by fasting. That knowledge is worth the price of the book alone and can cure people.
The book is full of stories told firsthand by “Fasting All Stars,” authors, celebrities, coaches, and leaders who cured their own illness (one had Type-2 Diabetes for 20 years and was using increasing amounts of insulin – off every medicine and insulin in two weeks!) and tips and question-answering. Nothing seemingly has been missed; however, with my Nutritional Therapy background I expected a discussion about detoxification; Fung should have explained what happens to toxins on a water-fast, particularly if the bowel is sluggish. Sadly, bowel and liver support are not discussed. Fung and I disagree on bowel frequency as well. Also, he shuns stevia, including it with artificial sweeteners. Yet with these few faults, it is still a powerful, life- and health-changing book and one highly recommended for healthcare professionals and lay people alike.
The Complete Guide to Fasting teaches the ancient history of fasting as well as wartime observations of healing through (involuntary) fasting. The history of Type-1 and Type-2 Diabetes and researchers impacting those diseases through medicine and fasting are also covered. Historic eating patterns are analyzed and corresponding rates of disease. Dr. Fung has undertaken a comprehensive work and imparts the massive amount of information in an interesting, compelling way.
Co-author Moore says, and I completely agree, “But fasting can become one of the most practical tools that can empower you to take back control of your own health. That’s a goal we should all be striving for!” This book belongs in every library and I’m giving a copy to healthcare professionals I know. The Complete Guide to Fasting is that important.