Maimonides & Metabolism: Physiology of Fat-Loss by Rabbi Yonason Herschlag ~ Book Review

Book Description: 

Get the keys to sustainable weight loss--reduce hunger, speed up metabolism, and transform your body into a fat-burning machine, with a science based approach.

Today there is a debate raging among nutritional authorities concerning the timing of breakfast. Some argue that in order to avoid sugar lows and uncontrollable hunger one should eat breakfast shortly after awakening. Others promote the extension of the nightly fast by delaying breakfast, and thereby attaining the metabolic advantages and improved insulin sensitivity of intermittent fasting.

Maimonides & Metabolism explains in depth the physiological processes that are overlooked by many mainstream nutritional authorities, such as the fact that it's better to hold off on breakfast until at least three hours after waking. A person habituated to such a late breakfast won't suffer sugar lows because the hormone cortisol is at its daily peak half an hour after waking up in the morning, and cortisol boosts blood sugar levels. In fact, since cortisol raises blood sugar (the opposite of insulin which lowers it) eating a breakfast that includes carbohydrates too early will spike blood sugar levels too much, as the high levels of cortisol won't allow the insulin to lower the blood sugar to balanced levels. High blood sugar then leads to hyperinsulinemia (too much insulin). And simultaneous high levels of cortisol and insulin cause the body to increase the number of fat cells. Hyperinsulinemia also directs the body to store fat, and blocks the body from using stored fat for energy.

Maimonides & Metabolism delves into the timing of meals and exercise, habituating ourselves to the most effective strategies of daily intermittent fasting that alleviates hunger and puts us into the natural fat burning mode.

Several chapters go into great detail on macronutrients to arm dieters and dietitians with the understanding needed for sustainable fat-loss.

It includes hundreds of cutting edge studies backing up the recommendations of Maimonides and the Talmud, as well as the best proven short-term and long-term dieting methods for fat-loss and improved health. It also includes 16 charts, 14 graphs/diagrams/pictures, 358 footnote references, a glossary and bibliography.

Health professionals are hailing it THE Health Bible, recommending this book to their colleagues and patients for its amazing array of insights and solutions.

Purchase a copy on Amazon

About the Author:
Rabbi Herschlag is the founder and CEO of Maimonides Health & Fitness Center in Beitar Illit (near Jerusalem), Israel. The center provides strength and fitness programs as well as nutritional and weight loss counseling. A world renowned religious scribe and Talmudic scholar, his interest in exercise and nutrition intensified after several injuries and middle age led to his waistline and CVD risk marker parameters going out of control. At age 52 he is a competitive weight lifter, dead-lifting 500 pounds, and an expert certified personal fitness trainer. He studied nutrition and physiology in the prestigious Wingate Institute of Jerusalem. His primary focus is researching physiology and endocrinology in the Maimonides Health & Fitness Center. Combining this research with the diet recommendations of Maimonides and the Talmud has led to the discovery of amazing unique scientific breakthroughs in weight loss.


I have been reading tons of books and websites over the past year to learn more about losing fat and gaining muscle. This book hits the nail on the head. It has everything one needs to read about to learn more about the science behind fat loss not weight loss. One shouldn't want to just lose "weight". I know we all at one time or another decide it's time to diet and lose weight but what are we really doing to our bodies when we cut calories and slim down? Over the past year I have learned to not go by the scale. My Dr. is a very smart man and I really respect his opinions. He told me I shouldn't worry about what the weight on the scales say instead I should eat clean, exercise and look at how my clothes are fitting. Losing fat and gaining muscle means our waistline will trim down along with the rest of our body. Just because you lose weight doesn't mean you are healthy.

Rabbi Herschlag has really done his research with this book. It is a no non sense look at our bodies and how the produce different hormones and turn our food into fuel/energy. Yes, this book is very technical but I believe if you take it slow and read it a couple times it is very easy to learn the process of eating well, exercising and being healthy. It is an individual plan, not everyone can follow the same diet. I love that at the end of this book Rabbi Herschlag says that is is an needs to be an individual plan as we are all different with different conditions and circumstances. Rabbi Herschlag has explained how Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon from 900 years ago, was a Talmudist, codifer of Jewish law, physician, philosopher and communal leader. A very brilliant man from what I have read. He believed by eating a late breakfast and early dinner (what a lot of people call today intermittent fasting) exercising before every meal can help one lose fat and gain lean muscle.  Working with eating when our hormones can process the food into the right fuel and not store it as fat is a science but once one figures it out for their own body along with a physician help you will be on the path of great fat lose.

Rabbi Herschlag breaks his book into four parts - Part 1: The Paradox: How Restricting Calories Makes Some People Fatter, Part 2: The Metabolic Syndrome, Part 3: Macronutrients, and Part 4: Comparative Study of Popular Diets. I have tried over the past year to learn more about macronutrients and have struggled this book helped me figure out what they are and how to apply them to my eating habits. Learn how to tell which carbs are fast or slow burning and what the effects of sugars, starches and fiber.

We have all heard of fad diets and I am sure a lot of people have tried more than one. Rabbi Herschlag goes into comparing these diets giving pros and cons for each.

I have really enjoyed this book as Rabbi Herschlag has talked about many points that I am a firm believer of. I also feel that people years ago had the right mind frame and we have lost that along the years, adding more and more unhealthy processed foods into our diets along with lack of movement and exercise. I know some people might be freighted by "exercising" before eating but the Rabbi didn't mean a intense cardio or weight lifting session he means a brisk walk or climbs some stairs, do a little jog on the spot or some jumping jacks. Something to increase your heart rate and get your body moving inside.

I give this book a 5 out of 5 stars. I have read through it fully once, reread some chapters and gasp... think I will pull out a highlighter and take notes!

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~*Disclaimer: I received the above book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own.*~


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