New book sheds light on fasting

20 Apr, 2018
New book sheds light on fasting

We’re fatter and sicker than ever before – and according to a newly released book, the answer to this modern scourge could lie in the age-old practice of fasting.

The authors of bestseller What the Fat? have teamed up again to produce What the Fast! a practical guide to intermittent fasting with a difference.

Professor Grant Schofield, Dr Caryn Zinn and chef Craig Rodger have drawn on the latest research in nutrition, biochemistry, medicine and behavioural science to develop the concept of Super-Fasting.

By combining partial fasting on a Monday and Tuesday, with a low-carb, healthy-fat lifestyle for the remainder of the week, the authors have developed an approach that makes healthy eating achievable and has the potential to enhance wellbeing.

“Breakthroughs in biology in recent years have shed light on the long-standing Eastern tradition of fasting, and have established its positive impacts on cell repair, immunity, weight loss and anti-ageing,” says Professor Grant Schofield, Director of the Human Potential Centre at AUT.

“This new evidence has allowed us to develop a new take on fasting that’s practical, and can help us live better and longer lives.”

Key among these scientific advances are discoveries in the field of autophagy – the process of cells repairing and regenerating – for which Professor Yoshinori Ohsumi was awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize in Physiology/Medicine.

Acknowledging that distilling Nobel Laureate-grade science isn’t for everyone, What the Fast! presents the latest evidence in an accessible way. The book also includes practical advice on how to Super-Fast, nutritious Super-Meal recipes and success stories from those who have adopted Super-Fasting.

“We wanted to get the latest science out to people and let them know how they can apply it safely,” says Dr Caryn Zinn, Senior Lecturer in Nutrition at AUT and a practising dietician.

“The health industry has told us to eat every two to three hours, but that’s just not needed and hinders the cell rejuvenation that fasting enables.”

By contrast, the Super-Fasting protocol developed by the team is a combination of eating and not eating that is designed to deliver the physical, mental and emotional benefits offered by fasting, while allowing maximum productivity, satisfying meals – and the occasional dietary treat.

Instead of going without entirely, What the Fast! encourages those able to fast to skip breakfast, lunch and snacking on Mondays and Tuesdays – with the inclusion of a nutritious Super-Meal in the evening.

Dinner recipes created by Michelin-trained chef Craig Rodger include dishes such as lamb, greens & pea-feta smash; salmon & green tea poke bowl; and cheesy chicken with smoky Mexican veges.

“If you really enjoy food, this is a good approach. Not only is it great for health and wellbeing, but you enjoy your meals – I eat slowly and savour them, the meals are delicious,” says Professor Schofield.

What the Fast! is a follow-up to the internationally bestselling low-carb, healthy-fat bible What the Fat?, which has sold over 30,000 copies to date in New Zealand and has been published in the United States, Australia, Canada, South Africa, China and Taiwan.

The book is available at and wherever books are sold.