Maybe you have been told that if you have T2 diabetes, you are diabetic for life. But Dr. Jason Fung knows an easy way to cure diabetes: bariatric (weight-loss) surgery.
All current kinds of bariatric surgery have this effect, and they reverse the diabetes before significant amounts of weight are lost.
So— does Dr. Jason Fung recommend we all get in line for bariatric surgery? No. The surgeries all have lifelong side effects, and in addition, over time many bariatric surgery patients adapt, they gain the weight back, and the diabetes as well. So bariatric surgery is a big risk and a big expense for something that may not last.
Dr. Jason Fung says he has a better way. He recommends intermittent fasting (and low-carbohydrate eating plans) as a way to get the results of bariatric surgery without the risks and complications.
In my experience, fasting is not so hard when I am in a state of ketosis. Dr. Jason Fung, who seemed to have had some difficulty in teaching his patients how to eat low-carb, often had his patients go direct from their normal, high-carb diets into fasting. This is harder, but if you do a fast of several days, you will get into ketosis by the third day anyway.
When Dr. Fung’s patients first fasted, and then were encouraged to eat low-carb foods, they would feel better once they were in ketosis, and they continue to feel good when they ate the suggested low-carb foods. But when they feasted on bread or french fries or donuts during their eating period, they would be kicked out of ketosis and feel less well. Most probably learned what eating low-carb meant because eating the high-carb foods had a bad effect.
Dr. Fung found that his patients had good results— they got off their diabetes meds, they had better A1c results, even non-diabetic ones, and their diabetes complications got better.
Do you have to do fasting if you are diabetic and want to control your diabetes. Other doctors such as Atkins and Bernstein never recommended fasting— though neither seemed to have a great deal of trouble with patients who couldn’t learn what low-carb meant. Atkins and Bernstein even warned against ‘skipping meals.’
I remember when Jimmy Moore had a fasting podcast— he often asked his guests if they had ever spontaneously fasted while doing keto/low-carb. Many had. If you are in ketosis which relieves your hunger and gives you more energy, sometimes it doesn’t seem to be worth bothering to make a meal.
Dr. Jason Fung is a big believer in the benefits of fasting— it doesn’t cause your metabolism to slow down, the way low-calorie dieting does. And it’s a quick way to get into ketosis and to lower your blood sugars.
One unsung reason I like fasting is that it is cheap. Going low-carb/keto often means spending more on food. Food banks rarely carry anything the low-carber can eat, other than a stray can of tuna or Spam. Institutional foods— even in rehab centers/nursing homes full of diabetics— are high in carbs and low in everything else.
Years ago I figured out that the monthly Food Stamp funds people get was not enough for them to eat three meals a day. I quickly adopted intermittent fasting, at least in the mornings, to regulate my food expenses. When I did longer fasting, I really saved.
The down side of fasting is that you can’t do it forever. At some point you to eat food. In my own experience, I find that fasting might make me hungry, especially extended fasting. And since I’ve been so good doing fasting, I might feel I deserve a carb treat— which usually leads to more carbs in my case.
Right now I’m trying to get back on track doing more fasting as a routine in my life. I’m trying to do the 30 hour fasting plan (Sample 2) from Dr. Jason Fung’s ‘The Diabetic Code.’ The advantage to this plan is that I get to eat something every day— I just skip certain meals.