This Morning: Dr Michael Mosley discusses vitamin D dosage
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With the easing of the UK lockdown, there has not been a better time to lose weight than now. Choosing the right diet to lose weight can be difficult, but Dr Mosley shared his expert tips, explaining how you can get into shape and lose body fat – and why you should do so too.
“Never has there been a more important time to be fit and healthy,” Dr Mosley said.
“Earlier this year the House of Commons released a research briefing that showed nearly three quarters of the UK’s population between the ages of 45 and 74 are obese or overweight. Never has there been a more pertinent time to be a healthy weight.”
Dr Mosley emphasised that “anyone carrying excess weight is at a greater risk of becoming ill if they get COVID-19”.
He said: “The more overweight you are, the lower your lung capacity so if COVID-19 attacks your lungs you are more likely to end up in intensive care.
“Being obese also means you are likely to have a less efficient immune response, and added health complications such as high blood pressure, heart disease and type two diabetes, which seriously increase your risk of COVID-19 complications.”
Dr Mosley explained that losing weight can “swiftly boost your chances of recovery” if you fall ill, and following a healthy diet is also beneficial for your immune system.
One of the best ways to keep your immune system in good shape is to “bolster your microbiome, the microbes that live in your gut”, Dr Mosley said.
To do this, Dr Mosley recommended eating a Mediterranean diet that is packed with nutrients.
He said: “The Mediterranean diet is widely seen as the healthiest, most nutrient rich diet on the planet, containing lots of vegetables, fruit, whole grains, lentils, beans, nuts, seeds, spices and olive oil, as well as some oily fish, cheese and full fat yoghurt.
“The high fibre content is a great way to supercharge your microbiome,” Dr Mosley added.
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To motivate yourself to lose weight, Dr Mosley again referred to the coronavirus, saying that beyond following Government restrictions, the best way to protect yourself from the virus is to lose weight.
“There is good evidence that getting yourself into shape – physically, mentally and metabolically – will help you safely navigate the loosening of lockdown over the next few months. What could be better motivation than that?” Dr Mosley said.
Dr Mosley recommended following his diet plan, The Fast 800, to start getting into shape and lose body fat.
He explained that The Fast 800 “uses a combination of intermittent fasting and time restricted eating, based on a healthy diet, rich in Mediterranean ingredients”.
Dr Mosley said: “Over the past few years, major studies have shown that following an 800 calorie a day diet is much more effective than going ‘slow and steady’, with typical weight loss of around 10kg over eight weeks.
“Rapid weight loss is also the best proven way to reverse type two diabetes and prevent people with pre-diabetes from becoming diabetic.”
As well as eating Meditarranean foods that are high in nutrients Dr Mosley recommended following a low-carb diet to lose weight.
He said: “Clinical trials consistently show that low-carb diets are effective for weight loss, over and above low-fat diets that once proved popular for those slimming down and watching their weight.
“Not all carbs are created equal; just as there are good fats and bad fats, there are good carbs and bad carbs.
“The trick is not to cut carbs completely, but rather to be choosy about the ones you regularly eat. If you want to try going lower-carb then white bread, white pasta, potatoes and sugars, including maple syrup and agave nectar, are best eaten sparingly, if at all.”
Dr Mosley continued: “Instead, eat carbohydrates that contain lots of fibre. Fibre reduces the blood sugar spike, provides protection against bowel cancer and feeds the ‘good’ bacteria that live in your guts. Examples include vegetables, legumes – chickpeas and lentils – and wholegrains such as barley, oats, buckwheat, and wholegrain and rye.”
In order to lose weight, Dr Mosley advised both following a healthy diet and incorporating regular exercise into your routine, but you do not need to “run for hours on end” when attempting to keep fit.
Dr Mosely said: “Many people think that to get fit they have to run for hours on end or commit to long and enduring fitness classes. I used to be of the opinion ‘the more exercise the better’, until I was introduced to High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) seven years ago while making the BBC Horizon documentary The Truth about Exercise.
“During this documentary, I committed to three lots of 20-second high intensity workouts on an exercise bike, three times a week. During this time, my insulin sensitivity improved by 24 percent.”
Dr Mosley added: “The biggest problem with exercise is compensatory eating and relaxing afterwards. People go on a treadmill for 30 minutes, burn around 120 calories, then lie around and reward themselves with a muffin. The theory with HIIT seems to be that it suppresses your appetite, so that this is less likely to happen.”
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