Thursday, February 21, 2008

Eat Stop Eat - Europe's Best Kept Secret?

Back when I first started writing Eat Stop Eat, I was very careful not to mistakenly put any exaggerations into my writing. Exaggerating is a simple mistake to make, especially when you are very passionate about what you are writing.

The one I was very careful to avoid was the "Fasting is so effective that it is used by millions of people in Europe", or "Fasting is so effective it is used with great success in European medical practice". Truthfully, I've read things like this on the internet, but was never able to find any true substantiation.

For those of you who remember what the bodybuilding industry was like back in the late 90's you will know exactly where I am coming from.

In the late 90's every single "new" supplement was "Europe's best kept secret", and was "So effective it is being used with great success by European Doctors".

The funny thing is, I have just learned that with fasting, this might actually be true. I received a very interesting email from a friend who lives in France who has also authored a book on the topic of fasting.

I have always been very curious as to how Europe views the concept of fasting for weight loss. In our conversation I learned that fasting is actually quite popular in many European countries.

In the email he stated that "In Germany, two million people do a week of fasting every year". He also shared that "In Russia, fasting is a recognized medical treatment, and the most popular Russian book on fasting sold 30 million copies in ten years (Goldanie by Malachov)."

I'm not sure if this is a practice of prolonged fasting, or if it is more of an Eat Stop Eat style of intermittent fasting. (I am going to try to get my hands on a translated copy of these books to learn more). Whatever the case may be, I found all of this information very interesting.

There is even a French Federation of Fasting and Walking, which I am eager to learn more about. I really like the simplicity of this concept...I can just imagine the slogan "Have you put on some weight lately? Well stop eating so much and go for a walk!"

Add in a weight training session or two and you've got my endorsement!


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Patrick McGuire said...

Hey Brad,

just thought I would add to this in a slightly different way. You knwo me and where I stand on issues that are important to me and I am pigheaded and blunt about them. So on a Faith and Fasting note...whether you do it for religious belief, personal goals or chalk this one up to a greater good think about this next time you fast.

There is a jail in Russia that has a Ministry working in it and moving with some serious power. So much so that they are fasting 1 day a week and are on a strict daily activity routine. The inmates have better behavior, moods and "compliance" since implementing the practice and the Ministry (read: inmates) have persuaded the governing slave masters to donate the savings in food and money from fasting to local poor children's programs and their families. My friend Ian just told me about this, I will find the name of the jail for you shortly.


Charlie Fields, RKC said...

When I studied abroad in France, my host-mother would often fast to lose weight. To me at the time it seemed like a really unhealthy approach, but I'm the one who gained 20 pounds that year!!