January 2019 update from Michael

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  • Hi and happy new year! Michael has asked me to post this – we thought you’d be interested in what is going on at the moment.

    Hi all,

    Couple of big things I would like to tell you about at the start of 2019. My new book, The Fast 800, is out and as it says on the cover, it is about “How to combine rapid weight loss and intermittent fasting for long-term health”. It’s an update of the Fast Diet, which I wrote with Mimi Spencer, 6 years ago, but also includes lots of new stuff. More on that below.

    Michael Mosley’s 2019 Live Theatre Tour!

    In February and March of this year (ie in a few weeks time) I begin my first ever theatre tour in the UK. 38 theatres across the UK in 60 nights. From Southend to Inverness, Ipswich (where I will be on my birthday, on 22nd March) to Cardiff etc etc

    I will be talking about my career in TV, including working with John Cleese, David Attenborough and Jeremy Clarkson, but mainly about all the best ways to lose weight, get fit and reduce stress that I’ve learnt down the years. I will be showing clips from my programmes, signing books and taking questions, so do come along if you can. I look forward to meeting you.

    Details of my tour, which is called Trust Fast Health, are available at michaelmosley.co.uk

    The Fast 800

    2018 was a fascinating year from the point of weight loss research.

    In February Prof Roy Taylor and Prof Mike Lean published the results of a big, rapid weight loss study called DIRECT carried out in the UK. 298 patients with type 2 diabetes were randomly allocated to either an 800-calorie-a-day diet, made up largely of meal replacement shakes, or to following the best conventional advice and support. The patients were then followed for at least a year. When the results were published in The Lancet, in February 2018, they were astonishing:

    • Those on the 800-calorie diet had lost an average of 10kg (22lbs), compared to 1kg in the control group.
    • A quarter of those on the 800-calorie diet had lost more than 15kg (33lbs). None of those in the control group managed this.
    • Nearly half of the 800-calorie group managed to bring their blood sugars back down to normal, despite coming off all their diabetes drugs. The more weight they lost, the higher their chance of bringing their pancreas back to life.

    Hot on the heels of DIRECT came another 800-calorie a day rapid weight loss trial, this time carried out by researchers at Oxford University. For this trial, called DROPLET, 278 overweight or obese adults were either assigned to a regimen where they got 800 calories a day in the form of meal replacement soups and shakes, or put on a standard slow and steady diet programme.

    Those on the meal replacement regimen were asked to stick to it for eight weeks, before gradually switching to eating real food. They also got behavioural support throughout.

    At the end of a year the group on the rapid weight loss diet had lost an average of 10.7kg (nearly 24lbs), while those on the standard dieting group had lost 3kg.

    Susan Jebb, professor of diet and population health at Oxford University and the lead researcher, was delighted by the results. ‘It’s phenomenal – extraordinary – like nothing we’ve seen in primary care before.’

    She thinks one of the reasons that the rapid weight loss group did so well is because rapid weight loss is very motivating: ‘The excitement gets them through the first few difficult weeks… We need to capitalise on all that enthusiasm that people have at the beginning to really lose weight and get off as much weight as they possibly can.’

    Like other weight loss specialists I spoke to, she said that science did not support the often-repeated claims that people’s metabolic rates will crash, never to recover, or that people who lose weight fast put it on even faster. Instead she said studies consistently show that early weight loss predicts long-term weight loss.

    The new 5:2

    Lots of new research about the effectiveness of the 5:2 programme were published in 2018. The biggest and longest was a study from Australia where 140 people were randomly allocated to 5:2 or a standard diet and followed for over a year. The 5:2 group lost and kept off an average of more than 7kg (nearly 15lbs), and the top third lost and kept off an average of 12.5kg (nearly 28lbs)

    In the light of new research I’ve also modified the 5:2, upping the daily calories to 800 a day on your fasting days. This seems to be low enough to give you the metabolic advantages (weight loss, reduced insulin levels, reduced blood sugars, reduced blood pressure and inflammation) but high enough to be more satiating. Let me know how you get on.

    The Fast 800 programme

    Following lots of requests for support from people following the diet, we’ve launched an online programme for people who want to lose weight but feel they need a bit of extra help.. It’s a Doctor-led service that has been launched in parallel with The Fast 800 book. There are lots of daily menus, weekly recipes and a detailed exercise programme. Also plenty of professional support. It costs just over £8 a week and the initial feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. Go to thefast800.com for more info.

    I have successfully lost a LOT of weight on 5:2…a few more stone to go!

    This year I switched to fast800 and am coping so far!

    I would dearly love to be part of the dedicated fast800 community with recipe ideas et.c…however £8 a week is currently beyond my means…I will stay here , where at least there is a free discussion area.

    (And would have LOVED to have met you, Michael, on your tour …but unfortunately the nearest place would be Ipswich -too far for me sadly….next time perhaps????)

    I have been on the 5:2 at 500 calories since July 2018 and have lost a stone at a steady pound a week – I wasn’t particularly overweight at the start but just felt I would feel better if I could reduce my weight – I clearly had stone to shift! I am 4 pounds of my goal weight having managed a holiday and Xmas which I stabilised at the same weight for a month or so. The 800 calorie allowance sounds fabulous when I have been managing on 500! I am slightly concerned though that the weight will increase having got so used to 500! I eat healthily so it hasn’t been a big change to the core of my meals, but my indulgences are bread, cheese, crisps and wine so there has clearly been a lot less of that!

    Thanks, looking forward to reading the new book!

    I can see an 800 calorie FD working for someone doing 5:2 either for the health benefits or to maintain weight.
    Whether it works as a serious weight loss tool really depends a persons TDEE. I’m sure that for those with a TDEE over 2000 calories will still get steady weight loss with 800cal FDs. There are however plenty of people on this site with TDEEs below that and quite a few below 1600 calories (mostly women). Doing 2 x 800cal FDs would result in unbearably slow weight loss and I think would result in some people giving up because the progress was just too slow.

    Hopefully the forums will become free to access at some point 🙂

    Good points from L Joyce. I am 5’3″, so TDEE is 1440 or so. I lost two stone on 5:2 in 2016, but confess that I usually went a bit over, more like 550 cals.

    I have maintained on daily 16:8 since. Basically eating what I like – luckily I’ve lost my appetite for sugary stuff and have a considerably reduced appetite anyway. I do think OH woukd benefit from a short, sharp shock of daily 800, though. He’s procrastinated long enough.

    Hi all

    This is my first post. I started classic 5/2 back in August, and waited till now to report. IT works!
    I’m nearly 68, already very active, so exercise wasn’t enough. Age and slowing metabolism was the problem, and 5/2 has fixed it.
    I have gone from about 77 kg to around 69 kg, or around 10% of my weight- all in fat.
    I reached my goal (71 kg) a while ago, but the lifestyle change has meant that I continue to slowly reduce weight. I am currently on a varying 6/1 ish regimen, meaning that once a week I really restrict calories without counting them. I think as you get familiar, you count subconsciously… The energy boost, mental acuity and improvement in ability to exercise well- lots of HIIT are all making it very easy to maintain compliance. A very big thank you to Michael for publicising this in the first place. I am now going to have a crack at the Fast Mimicking diet, created by Dr Valter Longo, the guru who got Michael started. My new goals are much more long-term.
    I am a typical baby boomer who wants to live forever….

    Yes a good point my TDEE is 1600 so the increase from from 500 to 800 Cals on two days must have a slower impact. I am going to stick with 500 at least until my goal has been met!

    Dear Dr. Mosley,

    We are so grateful to hear from you!

    For all the naysayers out there, I am only 5’ 2”, female, and losing well on Fast 800! I do follow a low sugar, high fiber diet the rest of the time, which turned out to be easy for me. I also eat plant based, a personal, ethical decision.

    Since The Fast 800 Diet won’t be available here in the states until September, according to the Good doctor’s twitter, I ordered it from amazonUK, expedited shipping, and it arrived here in California in two days. The book is a gem and worth every penny. I refer to it often.

    Thank you Dr. Mosley for giving me a form of 5:2 that is finally sustainable.

    God bless you.

    I tend to be an emotional eater for spans of time and because of this, 1/4 TDEE fast days are essential. I’m working on finding ways of living a life of greater wisdom and poise than ‘stress response eating’ and do succeed at this too, though until I completely do that, 1/4 TDEE is an essential and winning strategy for me and I happily continue with it. I do wish I were able to see Dr. Mosley on the tour, though it doesn’t include Australian venues so I will wait for now!

    Hello Dr. Mosley,

    Thank you for changing my life! I’m now in my fifth year of practicing what I call ‘naked 5:2’, I’ve maintained my 23kg loss for the past 42 months, losing another 2kg along the way using a combination of 5:2 and 6:1.

    Until your Fast Diet, I had struggled with my weight most of my adult life. I’m 62 and now weigh 59kg. For the first time in 30 years, I weigh less than my husband. I’m a rigid adherent to the quarter TDEE fast days (in my case approx. 400 cals) and my fast days are a non-negotiable, no-excuses part of my life.

    Thank you also for providing us with the facility to support each other through these pages. It’s a vital part of the process.

    5:2 is exactly as advertised – I can eat what I want most of the time. I won’t be changing a thing! I wish you all the best with your latest book and tour.

    Please drop in again!

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