Book Review: The Fast Diet

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I learned of The Fast Diet when a client told me about a BBC special done by Dr Mike Mosley on the health benefits of fasting. Due to my prodigious internet skills, I was unable to watch even clips of the video, so I bought the book and read it. I read a fair amount of diet books in order to answer questions from clients intelligently.

The Fast Diet is one of the more scientifically and psychologically sound diet plans I have read. The premise is simple: fasting by eating 500-600 calories 2 days per week is conducive to weight loss, an improved insulin response and reduced risk of age related diseases. If you do not have much weight to lose, fasting for a day at occasionally can still offer the same health benefits.

Intermittent fasting is based on the premise that you can give your body a ‘break’ from the constant work of digesting food and essentially reset your hormonal response. The author of the Fast Diet points out that the eating pattern they suggest mimics that of a naturally thin person. A person’s appetite can vary from day to day, so their caloric intake can vary on a daily basis, and comes to a steady average over time.

I have not tried the 2 days per week of fasting that is suggested in The Fast Diet. However, I do notice I eat less if I’m not hungry, so I am naturally inclined to fast a little, very occasionally. In addition to the rare occasions that I have little appetite, I try to eat very lightly when I take long flights, as it helps me minimize jet lag. Airport food can be so unappealing that I choose to not eat and prefer to wait for a decent meal at my destination.

The Fast Diet is well worth reading if you want to learn more about intermittent fasting and/or try a doable eating program for health benefits and weight loss. If you don’t read the book, you can always try to listen to your body and eat according to your appetite, which most likely will vary. Eating less for just one day is doable for most of us.

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