Authors: Michael Mosley and Mimi Spencer
The Fast Diet is the first intermittent fasting book I read in my life after a few months of me experimenting with intermittent fasting. It covered the benefits of intermittent fasting backed by research and case studies, shows you how to do it with the 5:2 method. And finally comes with a huge list of recipes and case studies by people who practice the same type of intermittent fasting.
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My Reading Notes
In intermittent fasting, there are not complicated rules to follow; the strategy us flexible, comprehensible and user-friendly. You’ll still enjoy the foods you love, most of the time. It is much more a diet remedy, it is a sustainable strategy for a healthy, long life.
It’s hard to convince others to eat less and skip meals, but the truth is, our remote ancestors did not often eat four to five meals a day. Instead, they would kill, gorge, lie around and then have to go for long periods of time without food. Our bodies and genes were forged in an environment of scarcity, punctuated by the occasional massive blow-out.
The idea that eating little and often is a ‘good thing’ has partly been driven by snack manufacturers and faddish diet books. But it has also had support from the medical establishment, as long as you don’t simply end up eating more. Unfortunately, in today’s real work that’s exactly what happens.
Intermittent fasting helps to reduce a hormone called IGF-1 that has growth-promoting effects on almost every cell in your body. It keeps your cells constantly active. You need adequate levels of IGF-1 when you are young and growing, but high levels later in life appear to lead to accelerated aging and cancer. A reduction of IGF-1 means that you’re reducing your risk of a number of age-related diseases.
During the fasted phrase in intermittent fasting, instead of expending energy on growth and sex, your body spends its precious store of energy on repair. The result is that all the little gene mechanics are ordered to start doing some of the urgent maintenance tasks that have been put off till now.
Your body is stuck in the fat-storing mode as your insulin levels are elevated due to the fact that you’re eating all the time. With a few hours of fasting, your body able to turn off the ‘fat storing’ and turn on the ‘fat burning’ mechanism, that’s how intermittent fasting helps in weight loss, and lower the risk of obesity-related diseases.
The trouble with constantly eating lots of sugary, carbohydrate-rich foods and drinks, as we increasingly do, is that this requires the release of more and more insulin to deal with the glucose surge. Up to a point, your pancreas will cope by simply pumping out even larger quantities of insulin. This leads to greater fat deposition and also increase the risk of cancer.
Intermittent fasting leads to an overall enhancement in your mood and sense of wellbeing. This may be a consequence of your brain producing increased levels of the neurotrophic factor, which will hopefully make you more cheerful, which in term should make fasting more doable.
*Please note that I only include how intermittent fasting leads to those benefits it claimed here, but not the recipes and case studies in the book. If you’re interested in learning how to start practicing the 5:2 intermittent fasting, you can read a short guide here.