Dr Michael Mosle y’s NEW FAST 800 DIET

From the cre­ator of the 5:2... 24-PAGE PULLOUT

Irish Daily Mail - - Front Page - By Dr Michael

ODD though it sounds, last year I de­cided to try pil­ing on the pounds. I didn’t go mad, but I started to put away far more toast and pasta, and in­dulged in lots of snacks. It took me sev­eral months to put on a stone (over 6kg), tak­ing me to just over 13st (my height is 5ft 11in).

Now this sounds like a pretty fool­ish thing to do, par­tic­u­larly when you con­sider that the rea­son I’d come up with the 5:2 diet in the first place was be­cause I’d been di­ag­nosed with type 2 diabetes and wanted to re­verse it with­out med­i­ca­tion. I man­aged to do so by los­ing 1st 5lb (9kg).

Put­ting most of that weight back on sent my blood sugar soar­ing back into the di­a­betic range. My waist bal­looned from 32 to 37in and I started hid­ing my new paunch with baggy shirts. My sleep was ter­ri­ble and I felt slug­gish, moody and hun­gry much of the time. I found it al­most im­pos­si­ble to pass a shop and not buy choco­late.

My wife, Clare, who is a GP, was mon­i­tor­ing my health. As the months went by, she be­came in­creas­ingly wor­ried. When she told me I was look­ing older, greyer and that I was snor­ing re­ally loudly, I knew it was time to act.

So why had I de­cided to put on weight? Well, it was partly be­cause I wanted to find out what would hap­pen when I did. But it was mainly be­cause I nor­mally only rec­om­mend health regimes that I’ve tried on my­self. And ear­lier in the year I’d put to­gether a new, hope­fully im­proved ver­sion of the 5:2 which I wanted to test.

When I came up with the orig­i­nal 5:2 diet in 2012 (where di­eters ate re­stricted calo­ries — 600 for men or 500 for women — for two days a week), in­ter­mit­tent fast­ing was a rad­i­cal idea, but one that re­ally res­onated.

The Fast Diet rapidly be­came an in­ter­na­tional best­seller, trans­lated into more than 40 lan­guages. The diet was em­braced by a wide range of peo­ple, in­clud­ing doctors, politi­cians, celebri­ties and No­bel Prize win­ners. Peo­ple found it ef­fec­tive but it was clearly not the fi­nal word.

In the six years since, there’s been a lot of new sci­en­tific re­search into in­ter­mit­tent fast­ing and weight loss. I’ve also re­ceived a tremen­dous amount of use­ful feed­back from peo­ple who’ve tried the 5:2. So I de­cided to put it all to­gether and cre­ate some­thing eas­ier and more ef­fec­tive. To test my new regime for prac­ti­cal­ity I needed to put on the weight so I could shed it again.

And you know what? The new regime is bet­ter than the orig­i­nal. That claim is based not just on my personal ex­pe­ri­ence but on lots of re­cent stud­ies. It’s why I’ve up­dated my plan in a new book, The Fast 800, which is be­ing se­ri­alised by the Ir­ish Daily Mail all next week.

There are a lot of re­fine­ments and im­prove­ments, from what you should eat to when you should eat it, but one thing that has be­come in­creas­ingly clear to me is that 800 calo­ries ap­pears to be a ‘magic’ num­ber when it comes to weight loss. Eight hun­dred calo­ries a day may not sound like much but — as you’ll see in the free 24-page magazine full of calo­rie-con­trolled recipes in­cluded in to­day’s You Magazine — if you choose the right foods then 800 calo­ries can be tasty and filling.

But isn’t 800 calo­ries a day a rapid weight loss diet, and aren’t they bad for you? Not if you do it right. In the past 12 months sev­eral im­por­tant stud­ies show that, if done prop­erly, stick­ing to 800 calo­rie days is safe and can be hugely ben­e­fi­cial.

PRO­FES­SOR Roy Tay­lor is a diabetes spe­cial­ist at New­cas­tle Uni­ver­sity, who has ap­peared on a num­ber of TV pro­grammes here, in­clud­ing Op­er­a­tion Transformation. When we first met, four years ago, he told me the main rea­son I had man­aged to knock my diabetes on the head was be­cause, by do­ing the 5:2, I had lost a sig­nif­i­cant amount of in­ter­nal fat, fast.

Los­ing weight had drained the fat out of my liver and pan­creas, restor­ing my blood sug­ars to nor­mal. He also told me that he, and a col­league, Pro­fes­sor Mike Lean of Glas­gow Uni­ver­sity, were about to put a rapid weight loss diet to the test by con­duct­ing a big study in gen­eral prac­tices.

That study, Di­rect, was pub­lished in early 2018. It showed that an 800-calo­rie-a-day diet not only led to im­pres­sive weight loss (an av­er­age of 10kg, main­tained for over a year) but also helped nearly half their pa­tients with type 2 diabetes come off med­i­ca­tion and re­store their blood sug­ars to nor­mal. The re­sults were so im­pres­sive that doctors now plan to carry out fur­ther tri­als.

An­other big ran­domised study called Dro­plet, car­ried out by Pro­fes­sor Su­san Jebb and col­leagues from Ox­ford Uni­ver­sity, also con­firmed, in late 2018, the ben­e­fits of do­ing a rapid weight loss diet based on 800 calo­ries a day, even if you don’t have diabetes. As she pointed out to me ‘the re­sults were phe­nom­e­nal, like noth­ing that has been seen in pri­mary care be­fore’.

So I de­cided to com­bine this 800 calo­rie rapid-weight-loss ap­proach with the 5:2 and test it on my­self — which is why I put the weight on.

Once I’d got prop­erly paunchy again, I started on the fast track phase (see over­leaf), stick­ing to 800 calo­ries a day and us­ing recipes sim­i­lar to those you will find in to­day’s You Magazine and in the pull-outs all next week.

I added in a new fast­ing trick, called ‘Time Re­stricted Eat­ing’ — which I also ex­plain over­leaf — and made sure I only ate food within a strict 12-hour win­dow. My plan was to fin­ish eat­ing by 8pm and then not eat any­thing un­til at least 8am the next morn­ing.

So how did I get on? Well, stick­ing to 800 calo­ries a day ev­ery day was not as chal­leng­ing as I feared it might be. Yes I was hun­gry and a bit grumpy to be­gin with, but after a few days the crav­ings and the bursts of hunger passed. Mostly.

Try­ing to fit this rapid weight­loss diet around a busy film­ing sched­ule meant I had to com­bine us­ing meal re­place­ment shakes when I was on the road with real food when I was at home.

In the first four days I lost an im­pres­sive 6lb. I knew some of that would be wa­ter be­cause I was eat­ing fewer calo­ries than nor­mal, but my blood sugar lev­els and my blood pres­sure fell very swiftly too. At times my en­ergy lev­els felt lower. But after just two weeks on 800 calo­ries a day, ev­ery day, I lost 11lb and tests showed that my blood sugar lev­els and blood pres­sure were back to nor­mal.

I de­cided this would be a good time to switch to the next phase of my new 5:2 and have two 800 calo­rie days a week, eat­ing healthily for the other five.

As an ex­per­i­ment, I tried my fast days back to back (Mon­days and

Tues­days) in a bid to in­crease the fast­ing ben­e­fit, and found that also helped.

On this part of the plan, I re­alised I had more en­ergy and also found I could push my­self harder with­out feel­ing drained. I con­tin­ued to eat calo­riecounted Mediter­ranean-style menus on my fast days and I al­lowed my­self to eat more freely on non-fast days — even en­joy­ing the odd glass of wine. It was, I have to ad­mit, sur­pris­ingly easy.

Three weeks and five days after I started, I had lost a stone, and was back to my pre­vi­ous healthy weight. My blood sugar lev­els, blood pres­sure (and ev­ery­thing else) were back to nor­mal.

So I can re­port, with my hand on my hope­fully healthy heart, that this diet is em­i­nently doable. So why not give it a go?


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