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There are many ways to lose weight from counting point to micro-managing carbs. But almost all of them involve eating less calories on a daily basis. The result - you lose weight but let's face it the prospect of eating less every day gets old. And in many cases weight that is shed is quickly put back on.
Enter Dr. Michael Mosley with "The Fast Diet". Dr. Mosley a science researcher, investigated how fasting can result in enormous benefits such as increased longevity, lower blood pressure, improved cholesterol and much more. He presented his findings in the British television BBC special documentary "Horizon: Eat, Fast and Live Longer".
Instead of a pure fast Dr. Mosley found that you could enjoy many benefits from eating a reduced calorie diet just 2 days a week and eating normally the other 5. For women about 500 calories and for men about 600 on the 2 lower calorie days. Based on the documentary thousands of British people tried eating this way and found it to be fast, effective and much easier than a traditional diet.
In the book, "The Fast Diet", Dr. Mosley presents the science behind how and why the diet works. His co-author Mini Spencer shares menu plans and tips to make the plan user friendly. The book also includes color photographs so you get a feel for what a low calorie day looks like. And there are inspirational accounts from people who are using the diet, losing weight and enjoying greater health and renewed vitality.
A typical 500 calorie day on the plan might include a small apple, small mango and small boiled egg (223 calories) for breakfast and a tuna, bean and garlic salad for dinner (267 calories). Or you could spread your calories between lunch and dinner or eat them at one main meal. The plan is very flexible.Read more ›
I read this book very carefully, since I was VERY skeptical. I had been adhering to the "Eat 5 or 6 small meals" hype so that I could keep my metabolism in fat burning mode. I see now that that's as big a crock as the whole low fat diet scam of the 90s where I ate disgusting Snackwells cookies and other low fat/high sugar processed junk thinking I was doing myself a favor.
But this book completely convinced me that your body doesn't go into the dreaded starvation mode until you have fasted for days or maybe even weeks. Certainly not after one day of low calorie eating. It's just the opposite. A little hunger puts you into fat-burning mode. And I can tell it's working. I've lost 7 of my EXTREMELY stubborn 15 pounds that I've been trying to lose, in just 3 weeks, and it's not just water weight. My measurements are smaller and people are asking me what my secret is! I have more energy on both fast and feast days, and my stamina us up. My exercise instructor said she was amazed at how much stronger I seem lately.
Because of my new understanding of how hunger affects the body, on my feast days I don't feel like I have to rush to eat right when I'm hungry. I actually like to wait until I have a nice big appetite. The food tastes better, and since I'm only eating 3 times a day I can really enjoy that bigger meal. It fulfills me much more than those diet-y little meals I was eating before. I think that's why I always used to fall off the healthy wagon. I was never really satisfied. Also, I don't stuff my face the way I would before if I got too hungry. Before if I happened to get really hungry, I'd pig out, thinking that I deserved to really go crazy since I hadn't eaten all day. Now I just see getting good and hungry as natural, and then I eat a reasonable amount.Read more ›
The 5:2 diet plan is pretty simple, two days a week you keep your calories to a minuscule 500/600 per day and the rest of the week eat normally. The author claims that a) you will lose weight and b) it will dramatically improve your long term health.
Let me address the first part. I have been trying the diet for a couple of weeks and it has been working for me. I am one of those people that has that stubborn last 10-15 pounds to lose and I have made more progress, down about 8 lbs since trying the diet. I find the diet really easy to follow, basically 2 days a week I watch what I eat and keep to the 600 calories. On those days, I drink more coffee and tea then usual to keep myself from eating, but once resigned to a fast day, basically you just have to make it through the day. I pick Mondays because they stink anyhow and one other day. Oddly, once you get used to it, the fasting is really no big deal. I get hungry a couple times a day and it is amazing a cup of green tea and the hunger goes away. While 600 calories is not a lot, it is enough to function, work and workout without any difficulties.
I do truly believe that this plan will work for me long term as I consider it more of a strategy then a diet. (The strategy concept was in the book.) Basically, I need to cut my calories down and was not very good at knocking off 500 calories a day for a week by eating slightly less. So this I think will work for me. (I will circle back in a month with a weight update.)
Moving to the book. I have two issues with the book. The plan is so blazingly simple (which may be part of its appeal) that you really don't need a book. Cut your calories to 500/600 per day twice a week and that is what you do. Once you get your goal weight go to one day a week.Read more ›