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Which intermittent fasting books are best?

Intermittent fasting is the practice of spending at least some period of the day in a state of fasting. Skipping breakfast is a kind of fasting, but some proponents of the practice point to the benefits of even longer fasts. It pays to talk to your doctor and read up on the science behind the phenomenon. 

Lately, there’s been an explosion of books on intermittent fasting. Of the glut of options, the New York Times bestselling “The Complete Guide to Fasting: Heal Your Body Through Intermittent, Alternate-Day, and Extended Fasting” by Dr. Jason Fung is the top choice.

What to know before you buy an intermittent fasting book

Because intermittent fasting may represent a departure from your usual schedule of eating, you’ll want to carefully source where you get your information about it. The first step is to speak to your doctor to determine if there are any health conditions that make intermittent fasting not advisable for you. Once you’ve gotten the all-clear from your personal physician, you’ll want to vet the author of any intermittent fasting books you’re considering to learn whether they are qualified to provide dietary advice. Once you have, here are a few other things to consider.

How flexible is the proposed intermittent fasting program?

Ultimately, the eating plans that are most effective are the ones that we stick to. An intermittent fasting book that recommends anything too stringent or hard to adhere to may not be effective for you. Find a book with flexible plans and a variety of options that you can choose from.

Does it work well with your food preferences?

Intermittent fasting is not necessarily about what to eat but more about when. Still, some intermittent fasting books suggest pairing fasting with certain diets or styles of eating, like keto or paleo. Before you purchase an intermittent fasting book, make sure that any nutritional plans it espouses are sound and sustainable for your eating habits and preferred diet.

Does it include recipes?

If you’re someone who likes eating plans spelled out for you, look for an intermittent fasting book that also includes recipes. If, on the other hand, you prefer to lean into the research and methods of intermittent fasting without a lot of rigid guidelines about what to eat, opt instead for a book that covers the history and science behind intermittent fasting but leaves out the recipes. If having to follow recipes lowers the odds you’ll stick to an eating plan, intermittent fasting works just fine with your own preferred diet.

What to look for in a quality intermittent fasting book

Most intermittent fasting books explain the how and why of intermittent fasting, its evolutionary underpinnings and how people successfully fast intermittently all around the world. But since intermittent fasting is about the timing of when you eat, not what you eat, you’ll also want to find the intersection between intermittent fasting and your preferred lifestyle and diet.

Credentials of the author

When it comes to your health, be sure to vet the experts you entrust it to. Intermittent fasting books on the market are written by a wide variety of people. It is recommended to stick to books by nutritionists or other healthcare professionals who base their findings on solid scientific research.

Specific plans

There are many ways to fast intermittently, some more involved than others. Whether you choose to limit food intake one day of the week or wait until later in the day to have your first meal, you may want to try a variety of options before landing on the one that works best for you while keeping your mental focus and your energy high.

Ease of integration with other intermittent fasting support

Some users report that they have more success with intermittent fasting if they get a variety of support, such as an app that reminds them when to eat or integration into social support networks. Some authors of intermittent fasting books also foster community on their websites and add notes about resources, such as apps, to their books. If this type of support is important to you, look for a book that provides it.

How much you can expect to spend on an intermittent fasting book

Most intermittent fasting books range from $15-$30. Some full-color books, with colorful food photography and a variety of options, range on the higher side.

Intermittent fasting books FAQ

What is the most effective method of intermittent fasting?

A. Reputable intermittent fasting books will lay out the options for you to discuss with your doctor or nutritionist, such as the 16:8 ratio, in which you fast for 16 hours (generally, skipping breakfast achieves this) and eat during one 8-hour window, such as noon to 8:00 p.m. So there’s no hard-and-fast rule about what method is best. What a good intermittent fasting book does is lay out the various options, as well as the research underpinning each.

Do intermittent fasting books give tips for dealing with hunger during fasting?

A. Because this is one of the biggest concerns about intermittent fasting, most reputable intermittent fasting books give some tips on how to cope with hunger pangs and cravings during your fast. If you’re concerned hunger and cravings will be a challenge to you, be sure to choose an intermittent fasting book that offers a lot of strategies for how to cope.

What’s the best intermittent fasting book to buy?

Top intermittent fasting book

The Complete Guide to Fasting: Heal Your Body Through Intermittent, Alternate-Day, and Extended Fasting

The Complete Guide to Fasting: Heal Your Body Through Intermittent, Alternate-Day, and Extended Fasting” by Dr. Jason Fung

What you need to know: This book is a favorite among readers because it doesn’t only lay out the benefits and research behind intermittent fasting, it gives tools and tips for fasting in a way that improves health without making readers feel deprived.

What you’ll love: It lays out several strategies for fasting and includes simple recipes.

What you should consider: If you want to customize intermittent fasting to your diet, such as keto or vegan, you won’t get enough detailed information here.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top intermittent fasting book for the money

Fast. Feast. Repeat: The Comprehensive Guide to Delay, Don't Deny® Intermittent Fasting—Including the 28-Day FAST Start

Fast. Feast. Repeat: The Comprehensive Guide to Delay, Don’t Deny® Intermittent Fasting—Including the 28-Day FAST Start” by Gin Stephens 

What you need to know: This book offers an easy-to-follow 28-day-start plan that can ease you into intermittent fasting.

What you’ll love: Accessible and thorough, this book quotes a wealth of studies.

What you should consider: Although the book is well-researched, the author herself is not a medical doctor.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

The Longevity Diet: Slow Aging, Fight Disease, Optimize Weight

“The Longevity Diet: Slow Aging, Fight Disease, Optimize Weight” by Valter Longo

What you need to know: Many intermittent fasting books focus on the potential for weight loss when intermittently fasting. The Longevity Diet puts more emphasis on the diet’s impact on long life and health.

What you’ll love: Many of the concepts contained in the book flow from the author’s own research at Longevity Institute at USC in Los Angeles and from the Program on Longevity and Cancer at IFOM (Molecular Oncology FIRC Institute) in Milan.

What you should consider: This book is research-heavy. If you’re looking for a reader-friendly book filled with meal plans, this is not it. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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