Life In The Fasting Lane


Jason Fung, Eve Mayer & Megan Ramos

I have always been focused on the “calories in/calories out” approach to managing my weight which has somewhat worked for me over the years.  However, I want to be better educated on what happens once food gets inside my body, so I have been I have been reading a lot lately about different approaches to eating.  The term “intermittent fasting” kept surfacing, so I decided to learn more.  I was told by a friend that Dr. Jason Fung is an expert at fasting so I picked up this book.

The premise of the book is simple.  Periodic fasting can help individuals lose and maintain weight.  Fasting has been a technique used for thousands of years so I felt comfortable that the risk of adverse medical side effects was minimal.

Many diet programs suggest that people eat three small meals a day plus snacks.  Fung says that this approach never gives the body an opportunity to rest or to reach into its fat storage.  Fung and team make fasting as simple as possible.  If you are eating frequently, you might start by eliminating snacks.  Then you can progress to waiting between 12 – 16 hours between the evening meal and the first meal the following day.  These simple techniques are enough for some people to lose and maintain weight.  Others can progress further and fast for 36 hours a few times per week.

I just started the fasting process (I am still at the 12 to 16 hour stage) and I find it to be fairly simple.  While my interest is more in giving my body a rest and the opportunity to tap into those fat cells, I am hopeful that this approach will help me better maintain my weight.  My take on the book is that it is helpful, although, it felt like they “sprinkled” the fasting ideas throughout.  Had they taken a more direct approach, the book would have been a lot shorter and I would have appreciated it more.