Why Write About Fasting?

The world could be said to be having several important conversations. We’ve got a conversation underway about the “obesity epidemic” and about the “diabetes epidemic” and about the number one killer in the developed world: heart disease. But fasting — going without food for awhile — is rarely a part of these conversations.

In newspapers, magazines, scientific papers, personal trainers, doctors, and in ordinary conversations between people, the pros and cons of diet and exercise are hotly debated, but fasting is almost never even a consideration, and if it is, it is portrayed in a negative light. Most people never mention it or even think of it. But given the research on the benefits of fasting, this is a monumental oversight.

These discussions often go into minute detail about fats and cholesterol and antioxidants, about cardio workouts and strength training and yoga, about medications and surgical interventions — but almost nothing about fasting.

We hope to change that. Fasting should be an important part of any consideration of long-term health. The intelligent use of occasional hunger can and should be given at least as much airtime as diet and exercise. It should be the subject of an avalanche of studies, it should be the topic of articles in health magazines and mainstream newspapers. It should be talked about everywhere.

The studies already done on fasting are intriguing enough to arrest any rational person’s attention. We should all be talking about fasting and investigating its many fascinating effects on the human body. Let’s get the conversation started.

Adam Khan is the author of Self-Help Stuff That Works and Cultivating Fire: How to Keep Your Motivation White Hot. Follow his podcast, The Adam Bomb.

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