Weight loss: Dr Michael Mosley on benefits of fasting

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Dr Michael Mosley has shared his diet tips for many years, and hundreds of thousands of people have successfully lost weight as a result. While many focus on diet and exercise in a bid to shed a few pounds, the creator of 5:2, the Fast 800 and Way of Life has revealed one area that may be sabotaging any weight loss efforts. 

Speaking about the Fast 800 diet, Dr Michael said: “It is based on a Mediterranean diet which is a super healthy way of eating. 

“It’s a three-stage process, which starts with rapid weight loss – that is 800 calories a day, for up to eight weeks. 

“That sounds like not much, but if you look at the menus it’s very energy-dense and also full of nutrients to keep you full. 

“In clinical trials, people have lost an average of 14kg in eight weeks following this route.” 

He continued: “At some point, I then suggest you switch over to a 5:2 approach where you eat healthily, Mediterranean style, five days a week, not counting calories. 

“But for two days a week, you cut down to 800 calories. 

“So that takes you through the next stage, and again you’ve seen a weight loss of around one to two kilos doing that. 

“And then the third stage is just healthy eating based on your Mediterranean style diet.” 

Dr Michael added: “It also incorporates exercise and stress management too. 

“So it’s a three-stage process which has proven to be spectacularly successful. 

“The idea of intermittent fasting – although it says fasting, you’re not really fasting. 

“What you’re doing is cutting your calories down to around 800 calories. 

“As well as the rapid weight loss and the 5:2 element of the diet – which is obviously important and deeply motivating because people like to lose weight fast – it’s very important that you build-up activity. 

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“I call it activity rather than exercise because most people don’t like doing exercise. 

“There’s also stress management – there are also lots of techniques I teach you about how to reduce your stress levels because when you are stressed, you sleep badly when you sleep badly, you gorge on sugary, carby junk, unfortunately,” he explained. 

“After a bad night’s sleep, people eat on average 300 calories more than normal. 

“So this is not a deprivation diet, but what it does do is switch on all sorts of mechanisms within the body which are hugely beneficial. 

“For example, it switches on something called autophagy which literally means self-eat, and this is the process when the body clears out the old junky-cells, creating space for new ones. 

“So it’s the equivalent of going on a spring clean. 

“The other thing to happen is when you do the fasting element of the diet, is that you flip the metabolic switch, and go from burning sugar as your main fuel – which most of us do most of the time – to burning fat. 

“You turn into a fat-burning monster if you like. That only happens when you have cut your calories substantially,” he told Noted. 

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