Top positive review
This book led me to permanently change my eating pattern
28 July 2018
I'm writing this review 18 months after reading the book because after this time I can conclude that it's been life-changing.
On the book itself, I'd say it was a fascinating and compelling read. Fung clearly explains quite complicated physiological mechanisms and provides evidence that I found very convincing (with one exception). 18 months on, the bits that have stuck are not the complicated issues but simply:
1 My body, and especially my liver, needs a regular rest from eating and from the constant blood insulin levels that frequent eating produces.
2 I'm probably stuck with whatever level of insulin resistance (and consequent stored fat) that developed through my adult life (I'm over 60) but I can help prevent further damage.
3 I shouldn't feel hungry when I fast intermittently (This was the life changer for me because I found it's true!).
4 Try to avoid discussing your intermittent diet regime with family and friends. They will simply go on and on with the usual uniformed diet rubbish that I used to believe myself.
The one exception in terms of evidence, was the value of cider vinegar. I wasn't convinced by Fung's evidence, so I haven't tried it.
So, how has the book changed my life? I haven't lost much weight but nor have I really tried to. I have lost about 6 pounds over 18 months but importantly this is against a history of putting on a pound or 2 every year. What I have done is put 'breakfast' back to 7pm or later every day. I only consume water or black coffee/tea up to that time. And the magic part is that I don't feel hungry even when sitting with others who are eating scrumptious meals. So, it doesn't require any willpower! If it did, I couldn't have sustained it. I still feel amazed and empowered every day when I realise that I haven't eaten for 19-21 hours and I don't feel hungry. As Fung points out its easy and its free!
In May this this year my diet was put to a pretty tough test. I cycled the North Coast 500 over 9 days. This is a challenging and hilly route, averaging about 57 miles/day. I didn't expect to stick to my fasting regime but over 15,00 miles of training in 11 weeks before the trip (60-85 mile days) I discovered that it was not a problem! I added calorie-free electrolyte replacement to my water bottles and never experienced dips in energy due to low blood sugar. With that now behind me I am as confident as I can be that I won't need or want to change my eating pattern in future.
This book gave me a basis for trying something that flew in the face of a received wisdom that had me trapped in a cycle of eating and craving, which seems to be the common experience of almost everyone I know. I would strongly recommend it as a serious contribution to better understanding of the effects of diet on insulin release and the effects of excessive insulin release on long-term health.