Cotswold Life

The fast show

The sci­ence says that, when done safely, in­ter­mit­tent fast­ing can have wide reach­ing ben­e­fits

- WORDS: Health · Fasting · Lifestyle · Healthy Living · Healthy Food · Weight · Diets · Endocrine Disorders · Nutrition · Health Conditions · Michael J. Mosley · Manchester · Diabetes · Manchester University

Fast­ing has been in the news for some time now, but the prac­tice of with­hold­ing food, calo­ries and liq­uids from the body is noth­ing new – in fact the term break­fast means to ‘break the fast’. Far from be­ing the lat­est fad, re­li­gions from Mus­lims fast­ing dur­ing Ra­madan to Bud­dhists have prac­tised it for cen­turies.

Dr Michael Mosley was the man to rev­o­lu­tionise the con­cept with his 5:2 diet: five days of the week you eat nor­mally, the other two are re­stricted to 500-600 calo­ries a day, help­ing him shed weight and re­verse his type 2 di­a­betes. In his Fast 800 diet, Dr Mosley rec­om­mends fol­low­ers aim to have an overnight fast each day, where they go for 12 hours with­out eat­ing, say from 7pm–7am.

‘Cur­rent re­search shows that giv­ing our bod­ies a break from food, by in­ter­mit­tent fast­ing, can pro­vide huge health ben­e­fits,’ he says. ‘These ben­e­fits ex­tend be­yond weight loss and in­clude preven­tion of dis­ease – in­clud­ing can­cer preven­tion – and in­creased life ex­pectancy.’

In a re­view of six hu­man stud­ies that com­pared in­ter­mit­tent fast­ing with con­tin­u­ous di­et­ing, Dr Michelle Harvie of Manch­ester Univer­sity found that weight loss achieved through in­ter­mit­tent fast­ing re­sulted in greater con­ser­va­tion of mus­cle mass, a lower calo­rie in­take across the whole week, and a fall in in­sulin re­sis­tance of 24 per cent com­pared to four per cent for the con­tin­u­ous di­eters.

Nu­tri­tional ther­a­pist Tracey Harper also rec­om­mends try­ing time re­stricted eat­ing with the 16:8 diet, which com­presses

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Dr Michael Mosley is a cham­pion of fast­ing to aid weight loss
LEFT: Dr Michael Mosley is a cham­pion of fast­ing to aid weight loss
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Is fast­ing the an­swer to your weight is­sues?
ABOVE: Is fast­ing the an­swer to your weight is­sues?

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