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VINE VOICEon 17 June 2014
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I have to start off with congratulating the marketing team at Dummies Guides on their title choice. From having read the whole book description on Amazon I knew I was ordering a book on fasting diets, but I had to read quite a way through that before the word 'fasting is used'. Looking through the reviews I can see how confusion has arose with so many people thinking they were ordering a book on fast diets i.e diets that help you lose weight quickly. It should be retitled 'fasting diets' - the current title is misleading.

The book covers four 'fasting' diet schedules - the intermittent, the 5:2 Diet, the Warrior Diet, and micro-fasting. It explains the concepts well, the benefits, the pit falls, how they can best be incorporated into our busy lives, and there is lots of good advice on eating cleanly, and the importance of exercise with some pointers on that too. All in all, fasting diets aside, it's full of the same good advice you'll find in most books of this ilk and that on it's very own will help very many people lose unwanted weight.

I tried out 2 of the fasting diets - the intermittent and micro-fasting. Both were much easier than I expected, mostly thanks to following tips in the book. Did I lose weight at all, let alone quickly? Even eating more cleanly than usual, with extra exercise? No. Maybe it's just me.

There were a couple of aspects I didn't like about the book. While I appreciate that these books must be written by someone with knowledge, and often those with knowledge will have specialities or preferences, I did not like the bias towards Paleo diet. It is not a book on the Paleo diet, it's a book on fasting, so lets stick to that and save the Paleo chat for a book on the subject. In addition, there was no evidence to back up any of the health claims especially with regards to specific diseases these eating plans will protect you from. To the best of their ability Dummies Guide's should be factual guides, not opinion and Dr. Petrucci's opinion (and her opinion appears to be that the Paleo diet is best) comes into it far too often.
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VINE VOICEon 27 April 2014
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Fasting has a long history of benefits for health (and animals instinctively stop eating when they are ill). Eating and digesting use up a lot of bodily resources and not eating frees up lots of energy the body can use in other ways - for clean up and repair. So fasting is not only good for losing weight, it's also good for your health. Calorie restriction and micro fasting (where you only eat in a small window of time during the day) are gaining scientific support. Looks magazine recently reported a diet with a daily 1400 calories with a protein packed 700 calories at breakfast a very small 200 calorie dinner, and the remaining calories in the middle, showed people lost double the weight of those eating a small breakfast and large dinner with the same amount of calories. When you eat, along with what at you eat, and how you eat are all equally important in creating a diet to lose weight. The book covers a lot of ground with information on the Paleo diet, the Warrior Diet, 5:2 dieting, intermittent fasting and much much more.

In the last 3 years I went from my lowest weight in 30 years (after a stint in the Amazon) of 60kg - up to my highest weight ever of 91.5kg. A shocking weight gain due to stress and returning to the cold and grey winters of the UK after several years living in sunnier climes. I've managed to lose 6.5kg but I'm stuck at a plateau. I'll report back in a few weeks with how I get on with fasting.
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on 19 June 2014
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
There is so much in this book, which offers advise for anyone looking to follow any sort of intermittent fasting programme. It is so much moe than 5:2, and is written in its usual easy to follow 'dummy' style.

Highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I was interested to learn more about fasting after watching BBC science programmes presented by Dr Micheal Mosley where he stated some health benefits including longer life from fasting and suggested reduced calories a couple of days a week was as good as prolonged fasts for 24 hours.

I've read several excellent Dummies books and know Wiley as a reputable publisher of scientific material so I was expecting a lot, but was disappointed by this publication.

On a positive note the book encourages healthy eating, less junk food, and taking more exercise, with key message `fast because its good for you, it may be tricky at first but you will loose weight and have many other health benefits'.

The book compares 24+ hours fasting, 5 and 2 (reduced calories for 2 days per week), microfasting (skipping breakfast) and the warrior diet (eat one meal a day) has some nice recipes for reduced calorie meals. It promotes life style change as a permanent not some thing to do for a few weeks then return to eating rubbish and sitting on the sofa. It gives hints and tips for fitting fasting into a busy life style. There is advice on exercise to promote fat but not muscle loss.

The less good bits:

The book is designed to be dipped into, not read from cover to cover however it was very repetitive, the book is written for the US market and I found the style patronising.

There was a list of diseases one might avoid through fasting, but no references to back these up. The science was written in a confusing way, I didn't learn as much as from the BBC. One of the authors Dr Kellyann is a nutritionist and not a medically qualified doctor like a G.P.

The book talks about the paleo diet, what cavemen ate, and whilst high amounts of refined carbs (sugar) are not good for you, the assumption that because our ancestors did some thing must mean it is good is not evidence that it's advisable to do today. Shall we also practice blood letting for all ills, and submerge witches to see if they float or drown?

There was a very strong emphasis on not eating. I felt if I wasn't able to fast for 24 hours after a period of practice I was a failure, in the same way I was a bad mother if I was not able to breast feed my child until puberty. I would be worried that I could become obsessional about not eating, I've managed 24 hours so I'll skip food for a few more hours, and then a few more.....

The authors claim to be independent and hence presenting various different fasting style diets, so the repetitive comments about their other publications on paleo diets was unexpected. The paleo diet is quite extreme, do I really want to exclude all the things I love, will living another 5 or 10 years but without cheese cake, pasta and fine wine be worth it?

On balance if fasting works for you that's great, if not then eating a little less, with less junk and moving more is probably a more sustainable long term life plan that the diets in the Dummies book.
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VINE VOICEon 24 May 2014
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Very pleasantly surprised indeed! I do have the original books on Fast Diets (5:2) from Dr Michael Moseley and Mimi Spencer, so had a good idea of what to expect but that book is more focussed on the 5:2 diet itself plus the reasons why to use it.

The Dummies book is far more comprehensive with all the science still provided but everything in far more detail. There are a number of different versions of Fast Diets which are looked at in detail and you can pick and choose which one might suit your mindset and lifestyle best.

With 5 main sections and those split into 3 or 4 Chapters you are able to find topics of interest relatively quickly:
Getting Started with Fast Diets (what fasting is and how it helps)
Identifying Practical Fasting Practices (general ideas and comment on fasting)
Your Launch Pad to Fasting: Your Kitchen and Recipes (stocking and recipes)
Incorporating Lifestyle Practices for Success (Exercise programmes in detail)
The Part of Tens (practical hints)

This is no 'dicky' guide where you can read it in an hour or so; there is a lot of really excellent practical help and the recipes and exercise programmes are looked at in details with many recipes and exercises.

It is in many ways a full lifestyle book with lots of good ideas and sensible suggestions. However, there is also the much needed detail in how to easily get into the Fast Diet whichever schedule you go for and stay there, with a mass amount of information in every area so you understand what the lifestyle choice is and also practically understand what food and exercise you need incorporate into your life to really make a huge difference.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Apart from the currently fashionable 5:2 diet, this book presents three other diets involving periods of fasting or calorie restriction - "intermittent fasting" (periods of 24 hours not eating, though in any one day from waking to sleeping there should be a meal), the "warrior diet" (not eating all day until a four hour period in the evening when you can eat fairly indulgently) and the "no breakfast solution" (self explanatory).

The book makes an awful lot of unsubstantiated claims about the medical benefits of fasting - the only one which seems to have any evidence is regulation of insulin-like growth factor. There is considerable discussion of combining fasting with exercise which I was hoping would be useful, but again there are many unsubstantiated claims and the advice is often impractical - it advises to take exercise at the end of the fasting period, which is not really helpful if you are doing the "no breakfast solution" for example.

It's rather repetitive and therefore padded out, and particularly annoying are the constant plugs for the authors' other books on the Paleo ("caveman") diet.

What I will say though is that this book has made me think and start to experiment with fasting, even if a lot of what is in here is not entirely applicable, useful, practical or proven.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The style is clear and friendly - this is a good read.
I'd already started fasting diets before I came to this book, and I've been interested in nutrition and exercise for some 30 years. It turns out that some of the information that I'd picked up was wrong, and some suspect - and since I learn from all the usual sources, you may have the same misconceptions as me.
Fast Diets explains WHY fast, WHAT the different fasting diets are, and HOW to prepare yourself and what to expect. It covers intermittent fasting and explains why you might choose 22 hrs, 24hrs or 36 hrs; it covers the 5:2 diet and how useful it is even though it isn't really fasting at all (but it does give some of the benefits of fasting because you still end up with reduced calorie intake); and it outlines some of the other options. It's also intensely practical - with recipes, suggested fasting regimes, examples, and what to expect.
Did I like everything about it? The constant references to "My other book, the Paleo Diet for Dummies" and "foods you can eat that are from the Paleo diet" got a bit irritating - let's face it, Paleolithic man rarely lived past 26 years old! But they weren't irritating enough to drop a star
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
While this book is packed full of useful help in attempting to loose weight - I did find the title a bit confusing. As rather than discussing "fast diets" the authors are really telling the reader about the weight loss benefits of fasting.

For example page 82 discusses the weight loss than can be achieved if two days a week are spent on a very low calorie intake.

Having said this there is loads of great advice. Chapter 6 talks about micro fasting - leaving off one meal a day - the authors suggest breakfast.. That often breakfast's food are packed full of sugar, fat etc. I had not thought of this. But looking on the packet of cereal it is true. A helpful hint here.

Towards the back of the book there are pages of recipes which help with weight loss. I have tried a couple and they are good. Enough variety to keep any family happy.

Overall this is a good book with perhaps the wrong title.

The authors state their aim from on page 1 "If you take in fewer calories than you get rid of, you will lose weight".
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Don't be mislead by the title, this book is a culmination of fasting diets, not a book of how to lose weight fast!

As a diet book officionado, I had to get this, despite owning three other books on the subject. I have to say it was nothing new to me really and I ended up skim reading through it just in case there was a chicken.... I mean golden nugget hiding in there somewhere.

A lot of decent theory though, so if you are new to fasting maybe this is the book for you, but I think I prefer 5:2 by Michael Mosley.
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VINE VOICEon 11 May 2014
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is a very helpful guide to all those diets that seem to sound good but to wade through all the information is a long process,this gives you information in easy digestible sections,the book will inform you of the problems when using or choosing any of the fast diets and there are quite a few! it gives you the advantages of the type of diet and the disadvantages with plenty of other information to go with it,i do like the for dummies books as they do seem to give you information that is useful without all the fluff,a very interesting read.
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