Okay, I admit to being a Fung fangirl. I even just bought a copy of his new book, "The Complete Guide to Fasting". It lists Jimmy Moore as a co-author which had made me a bit hesitant about buying it. However, except for a several-page intro, where Jimmy speaks briefly about his experiences and missteps with fasting, he seems to have nothing whatsoever to do with the book, the rest is all Fung. Nothing to do with Jimmy at all. How did he get the co-author credit?
Yes, I think Fung's attitude is a tad cavalier in regard to longer-term fasting. But he also does not want people to do this on your own. For self-help he recommends three options:
1) 24-hour fasts (dinner one day to dinner the next) so that you never go a day without any food.
2) 36-hour fasts (dinner on day one to breakfast on day three, with day two being fasting)
3) 42-hour fasts (similar but dinner on day one to lunch on day three, with day two being fasting)
These protocols are all very similar to diets recommended by many others - the 5:2 diet, the Fast diet, the JUDDD diet, also suggested by Michael Eades. And even on the fast days you don't completely fast - you are allowed some coconut oil and/or cream in your coffee or tea. You are encouraged to drink bone broth throughout the day (what a pity I *loathe* bone broth). So in reality you probably have several hundred calories on your fasting day.
As Fung explains it (and which resonates with me) he found it easier to tell his patients to eat *nothing* than to try to get them to limit themselves, etc.
Take the JUDDD diet for example. On the "down day" you are supposed to have 500 calories - not all that far from a Fung fasting day. But it's darn difficult - as I learned - to try to plan, prepare, measure and eat 3 teeny-tiny meals of about 150-200 calories each. Take about feeling deprivational. I agree with Fung here, I'd rather eat nothing than fiddle with those teeny meals.
His book does contain a 7-14 day fast description for severe diabetes or obesity, but he stresses it should never be undertaken without close *local* medical supervision, probably blood testing, and never to exceed 14 days for fear of re-feeding syndrome. However, while I might be considered to have "severe" symptoms I would never want to undertake such a fast. I truly feel the IF type fasting is probably better in the long run.
I've been bummed and rotten feeling ever since breaking my wrist 6 months ago and have gained nearly 20 pounds, so I'm actually trying to get back into the swing of Fung for the new year. I'm trying 24-hour fasts right now, did my first on Tuesday, and have one hour to go for my second today. I'm actually feeling better today than I have felt in six months.
The most "successful" diet I ever did was back in the mid-80's, where over the course of a year I went from 330 down to 180, and from a Plus size 3X down to a Misses size 14. I did sort of an IF plan then. I counted calories strictly and really varied them - 1900 one day, then 900, then 1400, then 2000, etc. I don't think I ever went below 900 or over 2000, but in those pre-google days I just thought it was a good way to keep my body guessing, never knowing for sure what it might be getting from day to day. And it did work.
However this was the 80s, and Jane Brody was my Goddess, so it was all VERY low fat, and I hated just about every bite, and was miserable just about every single day. I had food porn dreams,
. I told myself I would adjust, but at the end of the year. as size 14, I was more unhappy and miserable than I had been as a 3X. One day I said to myself "If this is how I have to live to be thinner I'd rather weigh 300 pounds!" And of course eventually I did.
So this time I'm trying to work on the IF again, but at least I can have super-yummy food now on the eating days! Almost my LC food I don't love.