Book Review on The Complete Guide to Fasting by Jason Fung, MD with Jimmy Moore

Part One


There is a lot of information out there regarding fasting and a lot of you have expressed interest in intermittent fasting.  At a recent Institute of Functional Medicine class, they recommended this book. I read it and thought I would share a brief book review with you. 

The author starts by discussing what is fasting.  He defines it as choosing to abstain from caloric food for a set amount of time. How often we eat food has increased in the past 50 years. This increases our insulin which then increases sugar in the liver and production of fat. 

Fasting decreases insulin, burns sugar stored in liver and burns body fat. It is important to note that electrolytes do not fluctuate in short term fasts. 

I had always been taught that fasting puts you in a starvation mode and you break down muscle. The author spends a chapter discussing these myths and others about fasting. He discusses how our metabolism actually increases during fasting and how you burn sugar and fat stores and not muscle. The method for losing weight promoted by most health care professionals for many years has been move more and eat less. This has been shown to decrease your basal metabolic rate and thus often backfires resulting in gaining the weight that was lost back, plus some in many cases. 

  Some advantages of fasting are:  improving mental clarity, decreases blood glucose, decreases cancer risk, improves insulin sensitivity, increases energy, increases fat burning, lowers cholesterol, extends life, decreases inflammation, and prevents alzheimers. 

It is also simple, cheap, powerful, flexible and works with any diet.  It is great for metabolic disease and diabetes (but should be done under the close supervision of a health care professional in Type 2 diabetes).

Fasting is not appropriate for some people, including: children under 18, breastfeeding & pregnant women, and Severely malnourished or underweight people. As mentioned before if you have diabetes type 2, gout, GERD or are taking certain medications you should be closely followed by your medical provider if fasting. 

Next month we will get into part 2 of the book review and more specifics on certain types of fasting. As always let us know if you have any questions.