Weight loss: Dr Michael Mosley on benefits of fasting
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Dr Michael Mosley is a huge advocate of the Mediterranean Diet and he believes it is the best diet to follow for anyone looking to lose weight and stay healthy. But to do so, it means “cutting right down” on four food groups. The diet expert explained why and what foods you should be eating instead.
Following the immense success of the 5:2 diet, Dr Michael developed it further by including a Mediterranean Diet on the five non-fasting days.
He said: “Today we have more hard evidence than ever that the 5:2 is one of the best ways to get slim and stay slim – as well as reduce your risk of illness.
“But this time there’s also a clever twist.”
The New 5:2 involes calorie-controlled dishes which have been created with no more than five main ingriedients.
Dr Michael explained why this was beneficial: “Fast Days are easier than ever to shop and prepare for.
“It’s also handy if you’re watching your wallet as well as your waistline.”
Two days away, 500 calories are consumed, the other five days a week, you won’t calorie count.
But to “get much more benefit out of intermittent fasting”, Dr Michael advises switching “to a low carbohydrate, Mediterranean-style diet both on the days when you are fasting and when you are not”.
“That means more olive oil and nuts, as well as plenty of eggs, full-fat yoghurt, oily fish and vegetables.
“Make sure you fill up on protein and veg on your fasting days. Protein is very satiating and you can eat a lot of vegetables for very few calories,” he added.
But there are four food groups you have to reduce your intake of if you want to successfully lose weight.
He explained: “Cut right down on sugar, sugary treats, drinks and desserts.
“That includes most breakfast cereals, which are usually full of sugar, as well as most commercial smoothies.
“Minimise or avoid starchy carbs – meaning the white stuff: bread, pasta, potatoes and white rice.
“Switch instead to whole grains including bulgur (cracked wheat), whole rye, wholegrain barley, wild rice and buckwheat. Brown rice is okay.
“Legumes such as lentils, kidney beans and chickpeas are healthy and filling, too,” he added.
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For anyone craving a sweet treat however, Dr Michael has created a brownie recipe which will hit the spot.
The recipe serves 20 and there are just 128 calories per serving.
Chocolate Beetroot Brownie recipe
100g coconut oil, plus extra for greasing
275g cooked beetroot, drained and cut into small chunks
Three large eggs
60g cocoa powder
100g soft pitted dates
100g wholemeal self-raising flour
One tsp ground cinnamon
One tsp bicarbonate of soda
75g plain dark chocolate (around 85 percent cocoa solids), roughly chopped
Step 1. Preheat the oven to 200C. Grease and line the base and sides of a 20cm loose-based square cake tin with non-stick baking paper.
Step 2. Place the beetroot, eggs, cocoa powder, dates and coconut oil in a food processor and blend until thoroughly combined. You can also blend the ingredients together in a bowl using a stick blender.
Step 3. Add the flour, cinnamon, a pinch of sea salt and the bicarbonate of soda and blend until well combined. Add an extra tablespoon water to loosen the mixture, if needed.
Stir in the chocolate, then spoon into the prepared tin, spreading to the sides. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until risen and just firm to the touch.
Step 4. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn out and cut into squares to serve.
Tip: If you use a pack of ready-cooked beetroot from the supermarket, make sure it doesn’t contain vinegar or spices. Otherwise, you can cook them yourself – wash the beetroot, place in a pan of water, bring to the boil and cook for 40-45 minutes, or until tender, then peel. Freeze leftover brownies in a lidded container, wrapped in foil.
The New 5:2 non fast days: To add a bit of crunch and extra protein, throw in 150g roughly chopped pecans with the chocolate. Serve after a meal with a handful of berries, a dollop of full-fat yoghurt or crème frache. (You can reheat in the microwave for a few seconds first, if you like.)
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