This Morning: Michael Mosley discusses 800 calorie diet
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Dr Michael Mosley is the expert behind a series of diets; The Very Fast 800, The 5:2, The Way of Life. He has helped thousands transform their lives by shedding the pounds. But for those struggling to stay motivated, or noticing the weight plateauing or creeping up again, he has three tips.
Michael, like so many people, love snacks, and the only way he can resist temptation is to “banish treats” from his cupboards.
He said: “There is a clear genetic component to weight gain, with studies showing that genes can influence your appetite, your food cravings and your tendency to use eating as a way to cope with stress.
“I love food and I graze, particularly when I’m stressed. That’s why I gradually gained weight during my 30s and 40s and ended up, at the age of 55, weighing nearly 14 stone.”
In 2012, Michael was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, and he’s not alone, UK diabetes figures have doubled to five million in the past 15 years.
But Michael turned his diabetes diagnosis around: “I lost 19lb rapidly through calorie restriction and intermittent fasting.”
His diabetes went into remission and as long as he keeps his weight steady, he is “confident it will stay in abeyance”.
So what are Michael’s top tips to keep a steady weight?
He explained: “Establish three new habits now and you can set yourself on an altogether healthier new path for a longer life.”
1. Don’t be scared of hunger
Michael said: “With food available on every street corner 24/7 and a multibillion-pound snack industry continually tempting us, we have all adopted a ‘grazing’ mindset to protect us from a palpable fear of hunger.
“Surrounded by temptation, we are continually adding extra calories to our daily total in the form of sticky, sweet, fatty and salty processed foods. And this calorie creep is contributing to the expansion of the national waistline.
“We also eat too much at one sitting,” he added. “But doing so means we are eating about 180 extra calories a day in snacks and up to 120 calories a day more in meals.”
2. Bodies are designed for mini fasts
Micahel said no one should be “alarmed by occasional short-term hunger” especially if the person is “fit and healthy” because their body can “survive without eating every few hours”.
He went on to explain how our ancestors would go long periods without eating.
But nowadays, the “human brain has become adept at persuading us we are hungry in almost all situations”, be it feelings of disappointment, anger or sadness, or even happiness.
The expert spoke about many situations people find themselves eating for the sake of it.
He said: “We eat when we’re bored, when we’re thirsty, when we’re around food, when we’re in company or simply when the clock tells us it’s time for a meal.”
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Michael added that most people eat “because it feels good” and this is called ‘hedonic hunger’.
“The truth is, if you are still processing your last meal, it’s highly unlikely you are experiencing true hunger,” he remarked.
He discussed hunger pangs and how they can be “disagreeable” but they are controllable.
“A pang will pass. A tummy rumble is simply a sign that the food you’ve recently eaten is being propelled through your small intestine by a series of muscle contractions called peristalsis. It is all part of the digestive process,” Michael revealed.
“Your body will thank you for forgoing snacks and extending the periods between meals. If they are not continually focusing on digestion, the various systems in your body can get on with the rest and repair that protects you against disease.
“This is particularly important at night, so it’s good to avoid eating late in the evening and to shun that pre-bed snack.”
Michael is a “big fan” of intermittent fasting, or Time Restricted Eating as he calls it.
This is where most of a day’s calories are consumed within an eight to 12-hour window.
3. Tackle grazing
Michael said: “Bad snacking habits include that end-of-day ‘reward’ glass of wine with a bowl of peanuts in front of the TV and the bucket of popcorn at the cinema.
“When you are distracted by a screen, it is easy to go on eating without noticing what you’re doing.”
Michael advises sitting at a table with no screens, music or even a book to distract you and focus on what you are eating.
He also suggests eating slowly to allow the food to break down before it reaches your digestive system, that way it will also make you feel fuller.
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