From ancient religious practices to modern health trends, fasting has maintained a significant place in our history and culture. However, amidst the plethora of information available, it is crucial to decipher the genuine benefits of fasting and separate them from sensationalised claims.
This review delves into the book ‘Intuitive Fasting’ by Dr. Will Cole, which aims to demystify the complexities of fasting and provide a comprehensive guide to incorporating this practice into one’s lifestyle.
Dr. Will Cole is a renowned functional medicine expert who consults people worldwide.
Recognised among the top 50 functional-medicine doctors, he specialises in investigating root causes of chronic diseases and tailoring functional medicine solutions for thyroid, autoimmune, hormonal, digestive, and brain issues. He is a bestselling author of ‘Ketotarian,’ ‘The Inflammation Spectrum,’ and ‘Intuitive Fasting.’ Dr. Cole has also cohosted podcasts like Goopfellas and Keto Talk and is set to host The Art of Being Well podcast.
What is the book about?
‘Intuitive Fasting’ presents a fresh perspective on intermittent fasting, blending scientific insights with holistic nutritional views. Dr. Cole challenges traditional daily eating norms and unveils the potential health benefits of intermittent fasting.
The book underscores how the common three-meals-a-day routine, often accompanied by snacks, does not sync with our body’s natural rhythms. This misalignment can result in metabolic inflexibility, inflammation, fatigue, and chronic health issues. Dr. Cole highlights that intermittent fasting, a practice with historical roots, offers a more harmonious approach to eating.
Central to the book is the 4-Week Flexible Fasting Plan. This meticulously crafted plan steers readers through diverse intermittent fasting schedules, with each week targeting a specific health aspect. By integrating various fasting and eating patterns, readers will reset bodily functions, boost metabolism, revitalise cells and restore hormonal balance.
Table of contents
- Foreword by Gwyneth Paltrow
- Introduction: The Intuitive Fasting Manifesto
- PART ONE: THE NEW AGE OF FASTING
- Chapter 1: The Origins of Fasting and Food Freedom
- Chapter 2: Meet Metabolic Flexibility: The Secret to Intuitive Fasting
- Chapter 3: The 5 Key Benefits of Intuitive Fasting
- Chapter 4: Fasting and a High-Fat Diet-The Ultimate Duo
- PART TWO: THE 4-WEEK FLEXIBLE FASTING PLAN
- Chapter 5: Week 1: Reset
- Chapter 6: Week 2: Recharge
- Chapter 7: Week 3: Renew
- Chapter 8: Week 4: Rebalance
- PART THREE: INTUITIVE FASTING: GETTING STARTED AND BEYOND
- Chapter 9: Welcome to the Ketotarian Lifestyle
- Chapter 10: Your Intuitive Fasting Toolbox
- Chapter 11: The 4-Week Flexible Fasting Plan Quick Guide
- Chapter 12: Beyond the 4 Weeks
- PART FOUR: INTUITIVE FASTING RECIPES AND MEAL PLAN
- Chapter 13: Intuitive Fasting Manifested: The Recipes
Key takeaways from ‘Intuitive Fasting’
1Fasting is rooted in our genes
In ‘Intuitive Fasting,’ Dr. Will Cole presents a fresh perspective on fasting that challenges misconceptions and highlights its significant health benefits. The book clarifies that intermittent fasting is distinct from calorie restriction and self-punishment, focusing on the timing of eating rather than the quantity consumed. Dr. Cole explores fasting’s historical and cultural roots, revealing its role in religion, spirituality, and ancient medical practices.
The book underscores fasting’s alignment with our genetic makeup, drawing from our ancestors’ natural cycles of feast and famine. By engaging in fasting, particularly in conjunction with ketosis, the body activates crucial physiological processes such as autophagy and ketosis. These mechanisms, pivotal for well-being, have been suppressed in our modern continuous-eating lifestyle.
2Fasting stimulates ketone production leading to immense health benefits
In ‘Intuitive Fasting,’ Dr. Will Cole delves into the concept of ketosis, a metabolic state with profound health benefits. Ketosis is achieved through two primary methods: the ketogenic diet and intermittent fasting. The ketogenic diet, characterised by low carbohydrate intake and increased healthy fat consumption, prompts the body to rely on stored fats for energy, resulting in the production of ketones.
Ketosis brings forth a range of advantages, such as heightened energy levels, improved mental clarity, weight loss, reduced inflammation, and better blood pressure. By minimising reliance on glucose and optimising fat utilisation, the body enters a state of enhanced metabolic efficiency. Ketones fuel the brain, enhancing focus, concentration, and cognitive function. It also fosters cellular resilience and synaptic plasticity, bolstering brain health.
3Fasting and a high-fat diet complement each other, providing more health benefits
Dr. Cole states that fasting and a high-fat diet are the ultimate duo. This approach not only enhances the benefits of fasting but also supports metabolic flexibility and overall well-being. By advocating a high-fat, low-carb, moderate-protein intake, the Ketotarian diet mimics fasting, propelling the body into ketosis, a state characterised by fat-burning and improved brain function.
Dr. Cole also underscores the value of nutrient-rich foods, promoting plant-based fats, clean protein sources, and low-fructose fruits. Through this strategic dietary blueprint, readers can seamlessly transition into fasting periods, optimising cellular repair and renewal.
Overall rating & strengths and weaknesses, according to readers’ reviews
Backed with thorough research and evidence-based information.
Dispels common misconceptions about fasting, emphasising that intermittent fasting is about when you eat, not how much you eat.
Effectively illustrates how fasting, especially when combined with ketosis, triggers physiological mechanisms like autophagy and ketosis that rejuvenate the body.
Presents complex scientific concepts in an accessible manner.
The book’s approach to combining keto and intermittent fasting is not entirely groundbreaking, making it feel like a hybrid of existing diet and fasting concepts.
The book does not address specific health conditions, especially those that can be worsened by the keto diet and fasting.
Best quotes from ‘Intuitive Fasting’
“With the ketogenic diet, you lower blood glucose and force your body to call upon fat to fuel you without having to fast at all. Less blood sugar means less insulin, and as insulin levels fall and your body requires energy, your body releases stored fatty acids from your fat cells into the bloodstream. The ketone bodies made from these fatty acids can be used to fuel your body, just like sugar, but in a more stable and efficient way that allows you to consume far fewer carbohydrates while simultaneously increasing your energy.”
“Every single bite of food you eat either helps give your body the ingredients it needs to be its healthiest self, or sabotages it, causing metabolic inflexibility, chronic inflammation, gut health issues, blood sugar imbalance, and other health imbalances.”
“Today, fasting is studied as a potential treatment for an almost endless list of diseases and dysfunctions, including diabetes, asthma, chronic pain, metabolic syndrome (a cluster of conditions that increases a person's risk for heart disease), obesity, autoimmune diseases like lupus and multiple sclerosis (MS), and even heart disease and cancer.”
‘Intuitive Fasting’ by Dr. Will Cole offers a comprehensive and accessible exploration of the practice of intermittent fasting. The book not only dispels misconceptions surrounding fasting but also emphasises its alignment with our genetic history. Through an engaging 4-Week Flexible Fasting Plan, readers are guided towards the revitalisation of bodily functions, metabolic efficiency, and hormonal balance. The integration of a high-fat diet complements the fasting practice, triggering ketosis and its remarkable health benefits.
This book is recommended for individuals seeking to understand the processes of fasting and ketosis and embark on a balanced journey towards improved health and well-being.
Where to buy
You may purchase ‘Intuitive Fasting’ on Amazon at the best price. It is available in paperback, hardcover, audio and Kindle versions, so you may choose an option that appeals to you the most.
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