When I reviewed Jason Fung, MD’s The Obesity Code (2016), I commented that Dr. Fung taught me how not to eat. Dr. Fung promotes fasting as a cornerstone of weight loss and overcoming obesity. He also promotes a very low carbohydrate diet that is essential for burning off excess body fat.
One of my patients, who was stuck on a weight plateau, commented that she did not fully understand fasting until she read Life in the Fasting Lane by Fung and two women who dealt successfully with obesity using fasting: Eve Mayer and Megan Ramos. Mayer is a speaker and writer who once weighed 300 pounds and had multiple health issues. Through fasting, she lost more than 100 pounds and is free of health problems. Ramos is a clinical educator who works with Fung counseling his patients. She was also obese, and through low carbohydrate nutrition and fasting, is now healthy.
Each of the authors gives a voice to this practical book. In the audible version, each narrates giving added authenticity to their messages. The two women bring the fasting process to life in ways only patients can. Their messages are inspiring and motivating.
Life in the Fasting Lane is divided into four parts. The first is an overview covering the basics of fasting with comments on food choices and hormones. Women have unique challenges when it comes to hormones, food and their carbohydrate threshold. The amount of carbs they can eat without gaining weight is lower than in men. Usually in women, this threshold is 25-30 grams daily of carbs compared with 50 grams for men.
The second part of the book covers the preparations necessary for successful fasting, including what to have at home and relationships with a spouse, family members, friends and your doctor. Even sex and pregnancy are covered.
The third part addresses different fasting plans and picking one that is best for you. Fasting is any abstinence from food longer than 12 hours. Fasting periods for successful weight loss are usually 14 hours or longer. Mayer and Ramos are both experienced in longer fasts greater than 24 hours, and reading their stories makes you realize that you can do that too.
The final part of the book covers various problems, including common symptoms that may happen during fasting and logistics for how a fasting lifestyle fits into work and a social life.
Life in the Fasting Lane excels as a book that is both practical and inspiring. I now fast with more confidence when I have some pounds to lose, and I recommend this book to patients wanting to overcome overweight and obesity. We are not biologically designed to eat three meals a day. One meal is often enough, and we can go a day safely without eating. Kudos to Fung for sharing his expertise and for bringing these women, with their stories and knowledge, to life.
Dr. Scherger is founder of Restore Health in Indian Wells, a clinic dedicated to weight loss and reversing disease. To schedule a consultation or for more information, visit www.restorehealth.me or call (760) 898.9663.