Welcome to The Fast Diet › The official Fast forums › Welcome to The Fast Diet and Exercise forums › January 2019 update from Michael
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14 Jan 19
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.
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!
15 Jan 19
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.
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!
17 Jan 19
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!
19 Jan 19
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!
Dr. Mosley, I should have added I will be 66 years old this year, yet I am now losing at the same rate as in my 20’s…and on 800 calories twice a week! I think this is because although I don’t follow your Med diet, my own plan is close enough, limiting sugar and focusing on fiber too. I agree with what you say in your book, that you just shouldn’t go beserk 5 days a week. Those days matter too. I think that is why the new 800 cals works so well. Please tour the U.S. too!
20 Jan 19
How much water should be drunk during a fast day
If we do the 800 kcal a day diet my worry is when we retun to eating more kcal will our metabolisms slow and weight increase? Will there also be a rebound increase in appetite ie fighting against the set point?
21 Jan 19
It depends on how much you weigh. The recommendation is for half an ounce (14.7ml) to one ounce (29.5ml) per ounce of body weight. Baring in mind that more active people may find themselves drinking more. Also, tea, coffee, other drinks and our food also contain fluid.
Interestingly, you can overdose on water (water intoxication). The kidneys are capable of excreting up to 7 gallons (28 liters) of fluid per day. However, they cannot excrete more than 1 liter per hour. Recommendations are to not consume more than 27-33 ounces (0.8-1.0 liters) per hour- remembering that other fluids and food count here too.
On a personal note. I really don’t like drinking water- I am a coffee addict. However, I have discovered that I love drinking sparkling water and somehow now manage to enjoy my daily water quota. PS-I bought a soda stream when I noticed that shop bought sparkling water has a hefty amount of salt added!
The set point theory has not been proved, and it is likely it isn’t true at all. Instead it seems that many people put weight back on after weight loss because they go back to their old habits.
Losing weight rapidly helps people with their motivation, so that is to the good.
However, if you are worried about it, skip straight to doing 5:2. If you can make it sustainable you can do it for the rest of your life (that is what I am doing).
Good luck with it.
22 Jan 19
When I started 5:2 in April, 2016, drinking a good slug of water when ever a pang of hunger struck saved me. Very often, we can be thirsty rather than hungry. A glass of water can make you feel as if you’ve something in your stomach.
I fully agree with Cinque that rapid weight loss can be difficult to maintain. 5:2 teaches new habits and sort of re-educates the body. I cannot eat either as much or the type of food I did previously.
25 Jan 19
Hi my first post but I’ve been doing 5:2 since May 14th 2018. I’m a 53 year old women and as of today have lost almost 70lbs. I love this W.O.E. Now that I just read about the Fast 800 I think that might be a great way for me to maintain. I’m excited to try this.
Just started doing the Fast800 on my own, only I am doing it as a rapid weight loss plan. I read that I could do 800 calories for two or three weeks as a motivator and then continue 5:2, as I’ve been doing for a year now. I am not at all hungry, so this seems to work for me, as long as I don’t drink wine!! I already also eat inside the 16:8 window, which works well for me. Hopefully, all of this will lead to a lifetime habit of healthy eating. I am so glad, Dr. Mosley, to have found this WOL and website.
26 Jan 19
Thank you Dr Mosley for an interesting and informative read. It is good to see that some of the health benefits attributed to intermittent fasting, besides weight loss, have now been established through rigorous scientific studies. That is reassuring, and encourages me to continue with this way of eating.
A bit about me: I’m a 58 year old female, 5’7.5″ and started 5:2 about 14 months ago, when I was about 200lb. I just followed the recommendations in the original book, without any major modifications to my usual diet or eating times/ patterns. I have been experimenting more with recipes though, so my diet now more closely resembles a Mediterranean diet – but it’s a long way from perfect! It took me 11 months to shed 50lb, or put another way, 25% of my body weight, to reach my target of 150lb. In the beginning I was losing about 2lb per week, but this soon tailed off to average 1lb per week. I feel and look better, and my recent NHS health check was green (healthy) across the board. Since reaching my target, I have been aiming for 800 calories on fast days, and have been fasting, on average, about once per week (allowing for holidays and a recent heavy cold).
Some of the findings in ‘the fast 800’ surprised me, for example, that rapid weight loss is a good thing- I’d always thought ‘slow and steady’ was the best way to lose weight (that’s how I did it). It’s also interesting to see that time-restricted eating has been proved to be beneficial. This is something I will be trying out from now on.
What I would really like to know now is, how to convince a sceptical world that this method really works? As has been expressed in the book, I too find it extremely frustrating that there seems to be an unwillingness to take this new research seriously – I guess because there’s no money to be made from it. I have spoken to a few medical people recently and told them about my success. They have all offered their congratulations and some have asked questions from a personal perspective (I guess because they are interested in trying it for themselves), but beyond that I wouldn’t know how to engage them. I suggested to the nurse conducting my health check that I could talk to the GPs in my surgery about 5:2, but this was not followed up (I guess they are just too busy). If I look to my GP’s website for weight loss advice, I’m directed towards the well-known commercial companies that hold classes in my area. I wish I knew how to spread the word! I’m willing to speak if anyone is willing to listen!
4 Feb 19
After starting the Fast 800 in early Jan, I managed to lose 8.5lbs in 3 weeks.
I dont have a load of weight to lose and my TDEE isnt very high, but I wanted to just say that it really does work!
Im about to switch to the 5:2, or a variation of it, and look forward to more weight loss, albeit slower.
The thing that makes this work, even though its an increase of 300 cals on fast days, is the restricted eating window and the emphasis on Mediterranean type foods with low carbs/sugar.
If you just restrict your intake to 800 cals but eat mainly carbs and processed food, I dont think it will work the same.
My only issue sometimes is to get as much protein as I need per day, as I dont eat meat! However, I am getting more creative with eggs!
5 Feb 19
Hi,Do Ketones affect the brain in a negative way.I am 3 weeks into the Fast800 have lost 8Kg from 90Kg,however have a problem with blurring vision/dizziness mainly after getting up from sitting position or lying after exercising I normally surf and sup (stand up paddleboard)but being cautious at the moment pluss bike swim stretch so a fair bit really for someone with two hip transplants and one knee transplant. due to complications from exercising post knee op last year I stopped pretty much everything and put on 6kg from 86Kg.I had a history of high blood pressure so on pills for that, went to see doctor thinking that may need to reduce pills as I have lost weight and my B/P is down from average 140/76 to 122/67 and causing the problems. He told me it was the ketones that were affecting my brain and I needed to eat more, the problem came again one day after I had done an 18hr fast so perhaps he is onto it but I hav,nt noticed this effect in any stuff iv read so far.He also wants me to see a nutritionist but im not keen as fear they maybe too old school in their outlook and set me back.I stand at 168cm (5.5ft) my BMR is 1601 my average (moderate/very active) tdee 2165 im 62yrs,has anyone else come up with any problems such as mine.Cheers Gus.
8 Feb 19
Hello all and Dr Moseley
I am back again after religiously adopting 5:2 lifestyle which was successful and resulted in my weight dropping to a healthy 124lbs for my height. OH was diagnosed with colorectal cancer last August and everything went out the window. (I now understand what comfort eating means – the results being my weight shooting up to 138lbs) Size 12’s now really tight but determined not to buy larger sizes. After a successful major operation before Christmas OH now firmly on the road to recovery.
Dr Moseley I bought your Fast800 book in January and couldn’t put it down. After 2 weeks following your regime I am down 4 lbs working within TRE of 14/10. It’s great to be back to healthy eating again, and am looking forward to being back down to my previous weight and the 5:2 fasting protocol. Thank you so much for all your research and time involved, and may your good work spread far and wide.
9 Feb 19
I started on the 5:2 diet in October 2016 and I lost 10kg in 8 months. I am pleased with this because, when I stray a bit from the diet, I do not put much weight back on – at least not so far (touch wood)!
What is tricky right now is that my blood pressure (BP) has come down so much that I feel dizzy quite frequently. After decades of taking BP tablets for high BP, my GP has finally acted by taking me off one BP medication (Zanidip) and I am measuring my BP every 2nd day. It’s still on the low side and I still get some dizzy spells. Hopefully, my GP will take me off the other BP tablets (Micardis) soon. Then I’ll be free of BP tablets for the first time for 40 years! Thank you 5:2.
Being an old researcher myself, I am wondering if there’s been any research done on the precise relationship between the 5:2 diet and blood pressure? Perhaps Michael could elaborate on this relationship?
9 Mar 19
2nd FD on 5:2 at age 75. Am participating for health benefits, though weight loss is important too. What is the control day? Can’t find explanation in any comments.
11 Mar 19
A controlled day isn’t part of the original program.
Some people choose to do some of their NFDs (non fast days) as controlled days. This is where we aim to eat fewer calories than our TDEE. Some people can lose weight easily on 5:2 without this but others struggle. I struggled because I have quite a low TDEE so I had to be quite careful with my eating on NFDs too if I wanted a steady rate of weight loss.
If you are doing 5:2 mostly for health benefits then the controlled days should not be necessary.
Started today and reading the book. If I fast on a Tuesday and a Friday (easiest days for me) do I have to stop eating a certain time the day before and when should I start on a fasting day? I feel stuck Many thanks
Started 5:2 a week ago. I have a pretty comprehensive exercise program on Tues. & Thur. afternoons. Which would be the best days for me to fast while accommodating the exercise program?
12 Mar 19
Just work on what’s easiest for you. I found that my tai chi day was a good fast day as I was kept busy.
As for finishing eating the day before, not too important if you keep FD eating to within eight hours. I do that as a norm now, unless on holiday with a breakfast included, then I skip lunch.
Many thanks for this is a great help. I have incorporated the 16:8 as well just because of force of habit throughout the week. Is this still okay to do this: FD 9on a Tuesday and Thursday and my other 5 Fay’s I don’t start eating until 12pm next day as I stopped eating at 8pm the night before.
Sounds fine, Loretta. The secret is to keep busy on a FD. I found that my appetite soon reduced, anyway. I could never eat one of the huge slices of cake we see in cafes any more.
20 Mar 19
Hi – I have just start the 5/2 diet. I have high hopes of results having read The Fast Diet book. I would appreciate support as it must help in the initial weeks. Do the fasting days always have to be the same? My weekly routine can vary.
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