When I tell people that I am doing a regiment of fasting to improve my health (Intermittent Fasting combined with longer-term fasts), many people are shocked, scared, etc. I have people regularly tell me that I am going to die from fasting and such things. Truth is, people have been fasting for various reasons for many centuries. The most common reason for people fasting is for religious reasons. But, through the centuries people have fasted also for medical reasons, and a popular reason is also to gain mental clarity and to improve the thought process.
One thing that a number of people have said to me (a surprising number) is this:
Instead of fasting, why don’t you have bariatric surgery?
Bariatric surgery is also known as a gastric bypass, gastric banding, stomach stapling, and other names. This is a process where they open you up, go in and reduce the size of your stomach, so that you cannot eat too much. If you overeat after having bariatric surgery you will get sick. You will throw up and experience other problems from overeating.
Fasting is basically the same as having Bariatric Surgery, but without the need to go under the knife. You are subjecting yourself to the same limitations… not eating much or anything. And you are doing this without the need to have surgery, something which can go bad and end up with the death of the patient even if it is a simple surgery. The anesthesia itself can be dangerous. Now, if surgery is necessary, like when I had my heart bypass surgery last year, then the risk of the surgery is worth it because without the surgery you will die. But, if there are other methods available that will have an equal or better effect without the need for any surgery at all, why not choose the safer option?
For the people who are constantly telling me that I am going to die because of fasting, what about those who have had a gastric bypass (or whatever name you choose for it)? Will they die too? In fact, many people who have warned me of my impending death are the same ones who have suggested that I have gastric bypass! If you think about it, they are both the same or at least very similar. Whichever you choose, you just don’t eat much. So, how is one more dangerous than the other?
In fact, Dr. Jason Fung, whom I have talked about many times on this website, and is an advocate of fasting for health purposes, has said many times that fasting is the same as gastric bypass surgery without the need for surgery.
So, if you believe that the surgery is safe and effective, how can you believe that fasting is dangerous?
Think about this… if you have gastric bypass, and then there is some reason that you NEED to eat a larger amount, you cannot do it, because you will get sick. If you have been fasting and that same need arises, you can just eat.
In 2016 when I had my heart bypass, I would have died if I had not had the surgery. After having the surgery, I gained a lot of respect for that knife. I believe that if a disease can be cured without using a knife to cut into my body that is much safer and preferable to having a team invade my body by cutting into me. While I respect that knife, I am happy to have surgery to save my life. But, there is nothing wrong with looking for alternatives that accomplish the same goal and are less dangerous!
So far, fasting has done a lot of beneficial things for me. I feel great. I’ve been fasting for about 2 1/2 months now and have suffered no ill effects from it. I am much healthier than I was 2 or 3 months ago too!
Ok I wished I have known alot more about the benefits of fasting before I had my Gastric By Pass…and no you will not do harm to Yourself with fasting…as long as you focus on 64oz of fluids a day and 60-70 grams of protein a day..that is my fasting..I think everyone used to fast to get off the few pounds everyone gains every year.
I think what you say is very true, James, and it aligns perfectly with my experience. No harm being done, I feel great, and my body is healing many ailments because of fasting!
Amen… several years I shared with you my weight lost surgery..and it was and is a good tool for myself…but it isn’t the only way…I miss eating in the Philippines…I could just buy what I needed rather be sold a package of Carbs Carbs!!
Plenty of carbs in the Philippines too… 😉
Very true Bob thats why its not that easy to fast whn u live in PH
It’s actually not that hard too fast.
yes Bob Martin there are plenty of Carbs in the Philippines, just there most places if you eat out have the items priced not the meal priced like here in the usa. ordering a steak or a baked chicken meal with out the bread, drink, and other bad carbs can be pretty hard. when I was there in the philippines last it was easy to walk up buy a bowl or item of protein and stay on my nutritional lifestyle.
Lol i think its stl hard in the beginning especially if ur living and cooking fr other family members
oh Bob, my wife follows my comments and she saw your picture, she came to me and asked if you did the surgery, told her no you are just fasting, she said you are looking good, so keep up the good work.
Thank you so much James. I appreciate that.
As you said Bob, Bariatric surgery is not always an easy time and yes people have died. I did anesthesia at a Bariatric Center of Excellence for three years and I recall a patient (not mine) died after surgery from complications of the surgery not the anesthesia. There are several surgical procedures to choose from, not just several names for the same procedure but I choose fasting and I know very good bariatric Surgeons and the best for anesthesia.
Hi Jeff – Thanks for your input. Coming from a doctor, it means a lot and carried a lot of weight.
Thanks Bob, anytime.
After working in Health Care as a Clinical Engineer and Having to have 5 surgeries, 3 of which were for Cancer I agree with Bob. Do anything you can not to go under the knife. But if it is life or death always go for life. Fasting if done right is safe, but surgery is never safe as no one can tell how the body is going to react to what is being done plus remember doctors do their best but they are human, mistakes happen. Coupled with the fact that if you have a major surgery it takes time for your body to heal. It took me 3 to 4 years to heal from my cancer surgeries. They are not fun, nor easy.
Well said, Luke!
Luke Tynan many of us who have done the surgery felt it was life and death…
I don’t think that conflicts with what Luke said. He said that if you feel a surgery is life or death you should do it. You felt it was life or death so you did it. Where is the conflict in that?