This Morning: Dr Sara talks about the benefits of intermittent fasting
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Intermittent fasting is still growing in popularity; a dieting technique hailed by the author of the Fast 800 Dr Michael Mosley. The weight loss guru suggests timed eating works well for those wanting to shed a few pounds because it “gives the body a rest” and “works better”.
Chatting to Studio 10 in 2019, Dr Mosley revealed that intermittent fasting helps people consume fewer calories during the eight hour window they’re allowed to eat.
He said that unless people are eating much more during that period, they should see results.
“The reason intermittent fasting works is because you’re giving your body a rest from food,” he explained.
“And it turns out, that’s a good idea.”
He referenced his own diet, the 5:2, where he suggested cutting calories down to around 600 on fasting days.
“Now say 800, because 800 works better,” he said, having renamed the diet the New 5:2.
The Fast 800 diet programme has been created to help the body burn fat.
“Your body runs on two different fuel systems – sugar and fat,” Dr Mosley explained.
“As your body prefers sugar, it chooses to burn the 500mg of sugar you have stored (as glycogen) before anything else.
“Cutting your food intake to 800-1,000 calories a day, based on a relatively low-carb, Mediterranean-style diet, means you will swiftly burn through the glycogen and start fat burning.”
Research published in the BMJ agreed with this theory.
Participants in one study ate 800 calories a day and lost more than three times the weight of anther control group on a different plan.
Dr Mosley recommends people introduce time restricted eating under the Fast 800 because it can extend their overnight fast by several hours.
He suggested doing this by either an earlier dinner or a later breakfast, or doing both.
“Start by having a go at 12 hours for your overnight fast, then try 14 hours,” he said.
Once a person has achieved their weight loss goal, they can enter the maintenance phase if the diet.
This is better to work around people’s busy lifestyles.
Dr Mosley explained that if they continue with a Mediterranean style of eating and keeping their diet low sugar with limited amounts of starchy carbs, they can bring their fasting down to “a weekly fast day if needed.”
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