Review copy was received from Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Intermittent Fasting for Beginners by Amanda Swaine
on March 17, 2020
Healthy living with intermittent fasting—for first-time fasters
Intermittent fasting is a practice of scheduling regular breaks from eating. A safe and simple approach, fasting helps you burn fat, achieve weight loss, have more energy, and feel younger. Intermittent Fasting for Beginners makes your fasting journey a breeze with proven advice, weeklong easy-to-follow meal plans for 6 types of fasts, and simple recipes using delicious whole foods.
Explore the science and history of fasting before learning about daily and weekly intermittent fasting plans. Learn about the incredible health benefits, including managing Type 2 diabetes and chronic inflammation—and get expert advice on combatting hunger, safely breaking your fast, and succeeding with fasting in the long-term.
Fasting is something I have done for medical tests, for meditation times, and for periodic cleanses, but I’ve never thought of it as something that could be done often because all those other fasts really took a great deal of effort and energy out of me. Fasting was a dirty word in my vocabulary after feeling headaches, dizzy, and weak as a result. This idea of intermittent fasting and the benefits derived from making it a lifestyle, and not just an occasional thing, sound fabulous so I was thrilled to pick up this layman’s guide that is both an easy and quick read.
Amanda Swaine starts the book by explaining how she came up with her approach to intermittent fasting, goes into the history of fasting, and then zeroes in on what intermittent fasting is along with daily and weekly types of fasting. In essence, it is fasting which takes place for 36 consecutive hours or less at a time for specific health benefits.
Next, she introduces the science behind fasting and some diets that work well with fasting. I was particularly struck with the premise that was prevalent through the whole book because I’ve been taught this in other nutrition guides, but this was the first time it really made clear sense the way it was presented here. There are two body cycles: the cycle of growth (non-fast time) when the body is burning sugar and the cycle of rest (fast time) when the body is burning fat. Both are obviously important and there are body functions that only work optimally when both cycles are in play. Most of us obviously are predominantly in the cycle of growth and our body struggles as result- indigestion, severe health issues, sleeplessness, etc.
After the science lesson, Swaine challenges the reader to thoughtfully consider what they wish to get out of their fast, what their lifestyle and body can handle (though she offers some ‘cheats’ to help the body get around its struggles like hunger pangs, headaches, dizziness, etc to get on during a fast). She presents a few different fasting models like the easiest being the 12:12 which is simply eat healthy portions three times a day during a 12 hour period and don’t eat in the other twelve hour period. This is a daily fast. Another daily is the 16:8 which is eat only during an eight hour period (ideally two meals five hours apart, at least one hour after rising and last food three hours before bed). There is also the 22:2 which is eat once in a two hour period. The weekly fasting can be the 5:2 (fasting two days of the week), the every other day fasting or something between.
The models can be modified and the faster is encouraged to work gradually into the fasting process. She gives tips for those who have never fasted and aren’t eating all that well. She explains that for fasting to become a sustainable part of the health plan that the faster should prep to fast by transitioning the daily diet (cut out all snacking) and mealtimes and then fast at the lowest level (12:12) for a month before graduating up through the levels.
The latter half of the book are meal plans and recipes for meals that match the various diets and plans. Oh and the diets mentioned are Keto, Paleo, Mediterranean, Low-carb, and Clean Eating. She offers options for vegetarian and vegans to do the fasting and meals.
When I finished reading, I had a strong can-do spirit that meant I felt I could handle this and it was something I wanted and needed to do. This would work for a lifestyle change I could keep up. I never felt talked down to nor did I get confused even in the science section. She really lays it out there so nicely it was easily understood. It truly is a sensational book for beginners to fasting. Incidentally, the presentation of this book was wonderful with color pages, charts, page formats that are easy on the eye and focus attention.
My thanks to Callisto Publishing for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
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