“Let me have men about me that are fat,
Sleek-headed men and such as sleep a-nights.
Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look.
He thinks too much. Such men are dangerous” (Julius Caesar 1.2.8)
I have long practised the art of fasting; for the weight control benefits sure – but also for the health and mental wellbeing that it affords. On the latter it is much more than mere wellbeing by the way. Fasting enables an extraordinary boost in mental acuity. With no doubt whatsoever, I am at my sharpest and most capable when fasted for about 20 hours or more. Thus I prepare for stressful or challenging situations – by not eating for a long period in advance.
Reading “The Complete Guide to Fasting” was a hugely enjoyable experience. While doing so the above quote from Julius Caesar sprang into my mind. Caesar sees the danger in Cassius, his intellect honed from lack of overfeeding. Deep down might we all like to be Cassius? Perhaps not the dangerous piece. But certainly the lean and sharp-minded aspects. How do we achieve this state of body and mind? How do we reverse metabolic disease and poor health status? Is it just by old-fashioned calorie-counting, and perhaps getting your macros right (i.e. healthy LCHF)?
I don’t think so. I rather agree with Jason and Jimmy’s premise in this book. The ‘diet-and-exercise’ and ‘eat at regular intervals’ advice has been trotted out for the past 50 years. But the dietary elements (and eating patterns encouraged) flew in the face of evolutionary evidence. With high carbohydrate and regular ‘grainy snacks’, we have spawned an enormous diabetes epidemic (over half of adult Americans are now pre-diabetic or diabetic). The modern population is indeed in a difficult place. It will require a return to evolutionary principles to set us free.
The book lays out all aspects of Fasting’s ancient practice, explaining the science behind the many benefits. It starts off by contrasting the terms ‘starvation’ and ‘fasting’. The former is forced on a person, the latter is by choice. There is an enormous difference. You will however hear people deceitfully use the term ‘starvation’ in order to attack the practice of fasting. Ignore these idiots. We see that fasting essentially switches the fuel source from what you put in your mouth, to what you carry around your middle. The biochemistry is beautiful – elegantly switching to ancient processes of bodyfat oxidation, both healthy and entirely appropriate. Many other biochemical benefits are triggered by fasting, including the positive boost in Human Growth Hormone (HGH). This has a key role in preserving muscle and leads to many other parallel benefits for longevity.
Chapter two covers the fascinating historical background of the practice itself. All religions have fasted in various ways. Nearly all cultures have valued its benefits. Over the past few decades, however, our western industrialised society has consistently undermined the ancient practice. Why is this? Well, the food, advertising and other industries have a huge stake in the consumer society. They care little of the threat from ‘reduce your calories’ (they are well aware that this jaded junk-advice doesn’t work for long). The concept of deploying ancestral wisdom is another matter entirely. To have fasting become a valued and common pursuit…is quite a frightening spectre to the money men. And so it must be rubbished and dismissed as ‘unhealthy and dangerous’. In chapter three we get an entertaining run-through of all the myths that have been crafted to protect the profits. We also get a super summary of the truth that belies every single myth. I was reminded of the cholesterol myths we have suffered for so long – the same ruinous rulebook has been applied to fasting. We have been made fools of for decades – but now it is time to wake the hell up.
Chapters four brings us on a journey that is as convincing as it is captivating. Have you any idea of the sheer diversity and magnitude of fasting’s advantages? You certainly will after these chapters – and want to start getting hold of them for yourself! What emerges is a picture in stark contrast to what we’ve been told for generations. With fasting the bad gets minimised, the good gets better – across a dizzying array of advantages you can create for yourself. All are lined up like in an ammo belt: Simple, Free, Convenient, Pleasure-Enabling, Powerful, Flexible, …and it works with ANY chosen diet. Explained too is fasting as one of the most powerful tools in the box; it can deal with challenges that are resistant to LCHF and many other approaches – challenges which quail in the face of fasting. It is that powerful. You are free to wield this tool for yourself…after internalising the content of this book.
The next chapters bring us through the profound problems of weight-loss and type 2 diabetes. You guessed it – the power of fasting comes into its own here. Peppered throughout the text are real-life affidavits from Jason’s practice which illustrate what can be achieved. As always, the supporting science is referred to and explained – without slowing the pace with heavy or boring detail. We get to see the enormous benefits which fasting can deliver against Alzheimer’s, Heart Disease and many other modern inflammatory conditions. As mentioned I have been fasting for many years now, and have strong thoughts on the ways in which hunger can be mastered with the right approaches; in chapter nine we get a superb summary of how to do this. Importantly, there are explanations of the mechanisms behind detrimental feelings of hunger – and how they can be sidestepped gracefully. I love it.
Time is pressing so here I will wrap up. There is a comprehensive Section 2 which gives all the protocols for successfully implementing a range of fasting regimes. All common variants are covered carefully, to enable all types of fasting. With this section you can become an expert in the art. You’ll never look back. The final section 3 has a range of delicious recipes, for the times when you are not indulging in the mind and body-enhancing attributes of the ancient remedy.
Get this book, and you too can be a kind of Cassius; lean, focussed and sharp-witted. But without the dangerous streak maybe…unless you like that sort of thing !
The book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Complete-Guide-Fasting-Jason-Fung/dp/1628600012/ref=sr_1_1/256-8433904-0165728?ie=UTF8&qid=1478264147&sr=8-1&keywords=complete+guide+to+fasting
..and see my video chat with Jason on the fasting topic here:
Part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kU5bc3Fja34
Part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6QyQ2svKns
…and don’t forget to subscribe for free at www.thefatemperor.com/subscribe ;-)
Note: the Cassius analogy of course applies equally to male or female participants – no sexism on this site !