You all know The Great One can’t shut up about fasting. Here is someone else talking about fasting. I got some new information out of this. I’ve been considering changing my eating habits and what I learned here is going to get factored into my upcoming decisions.
Steve Hendricks web site is https://www.stevehendricks.org/
Steve Hendricks is the author of The Oldest Cure in the World: Adventures in the Art and Science of Fasting. He spends the first part of this conversation offering a thumbnail sketch of the history of extended fasting as a medical treatment. From there, we get into what emerging modern science is showing as to how prolonged fasts lasting days or even weeks can prevent and even cure a variety of diseases, from type 2 diabetes to rheumatoid arthritis. We then talk about fasting‘s effect on cancer, and how it may address mental health issues by offering a metabolic reset. If you’re an intermittent faster, you’ll be interested to hear why it is you should ideally schedule your eating window for earlier rather than later in the day. We end our conversation with how to get started with extended fasting.
From this guys web site I do get some indications he might be a bit on the woke side despite what he says about fasting. For example on his site he says that bacon and butter are not healthy. That’s just wrong buttercup.
As a point of balance, here is a review of the book from Amazon.
The reviewer calls Steve a misogynist. Steve evidently is right about some things.
I bought this book after hearing the author interviewed on the Art of Manliness podcast, and felt compelled to learn more. It is indeed a colorful jaunt through the history of fasting, but this is a confusing read. The title declares it a book on Fasting, and so it is. It’s also a manifesto on one man’s search for health, and unfortunately anyone who disagrees with his methods is apparently an ignorant, misogynistic loser. But the man’s entitled to his opinions.
This is not a how-to book. It romps through the whole of human history regarding fasting, and then pulls the rug out – no best practices, no formulas for success. Just anecdotal evidence that by the end simply slogs. Whatever scientific evidence he alludes to, by the end, just feels like confirmation bias. And also by the end I was legitimately concerned for his own personal health. By his own admission, he diets and fasts himself down to what scientific medicine (oddly, science is both the yardstick he declares should determine a concept’s validity, and also the madness that has created the whole health debacle) considered an unhealthy weight – it read like the story arch of an eating disorder. Also by his own admission, even at this low state, he’s still plagued by health concerns. Furthermore, the gold standard fasting clinics he holds up as the arbiter of all things health and longevity, peddle other interesting advice, like that vaccines cause autism. Make of it what you will.
A few other items I felt were confusing or outright glossed over:
His apparent, utter disdain of both protein and fat is simply baffling.
Hormones – at one point it seemed he argued reduced testosterone in males was a positive attribute?
Sarcopenia, especially as we age. Nary a mention, when many studies have clearly shown a reduction in all-cause mortality from increased strength and lean mass.
And in that same vein, exercise – it seems he liked to walk, but no mention of strength or endurance training, either in the historical record related to fasting, or his own personal journey. Perhaps he deemed exercise not germane to the topic of fasting, but then why include items like the constant denigration towards people of faith?
CICO – was it really the fasting or time restricted eating that helped all these people, or simply reduced body size? Perhaps it wasn’t so much all the raw vegetables, as it was the constant calorie deficit?
Caffeine and its affects fasting?
In all, I felt the takeaway was to attain a healthy body weight – get there however you can, because changing your lifestyle to improve your health is the largest mountain you’ll ever climb. The best diet is the one you can maintain indefinitely. Eat the best quality, whole foods you can afford or have access to. Even fast a few days if you want. Prioritize sleep and reduce your stress. And eat protein, for goodness sake.
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