Intermittent fasting, in particular the 5:2 diet, has been all the rage of late, alongside the ever growing following behind the ketogenic diet.
Created by dietician and author Dr Michael Mosley, the diet promotes rapidly reducing your calorie intake to just 500 to 600 calories, two days a week, with the goal to lose weight, and most importantly keep that weight off, quickly.
Fast forward six years from when Dr Mosley first published his book on the 5:2 eating regime and he's back, but this time with a new diet plan that he says is healthier and more achievable: The Fast 800.
WATCH: How Michael Mosley reversed his Type 2 diabetes. Story continues below...
Realising 500 to 600 calories was unrealistic for some and after extensive research and trials, Dr Mosley discovered by adding an extra two hundred calories, hence the name, but adopting a Mediterranean diet, you're still able to achieve the same results in an arguably less extreme way.
"The Fast 800 is based on a Mediterranean diet," says Dr Mosley.
"It's a super healthy way of eating – in fact the Ministry of Health here in New Zealand said it's the number one, best way to eat."
The Fast 800 is a three-stage process, starting with undertaking rapid weight loss. That's "up to 800 calories a day, for up to eight weeks."
Dr Mosley says that while this might not sound like many calories, the food on the Mediterranean diet is very energy dense – think ditching processed carbs and opting for generous portions of vegetables and legumes and servings of lean meat and eggs, so you're still left feeling full and satisfied.
During clinical trials, Dr Mosley says the average amount of weight lost by heavily overweight patients was an incredible 14kg in eight weeks.
For stage two, Dr Mosley suggests transitioning to the 5:2 approach – five days of eating without counting calories (still on a Mediterranean diet, mind) and fasting for two days at 600 calories. During the final stage exercise and stress management is introduced to help people keep the weight off.
Dr Mosley's intermittent fasting diets have been credited to helping many people lose weight, but it was his own personal weight and health problems that prompted him to look into weight loss diets in the first place. He says he knows first-hand how effective the diet is, trying it out for himself and in the process losing 10kg and reversing his own type-2 diabetes.
The New Zealand Ministry of Health recommends the Mediterranean diet as an effective diet for weight loss, stating that the diet is consistent with the Ministry's Eating and Activity Guidelines for New Zealand Adults.
"Research has shown that the traditional Mediterranean diet reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke, and improves blood sugar control in people with type-2 diabetes. "
However, they recommend speaking to your GP before undertaking any intermittent fasting diets, especially if you have insulin-dependent diabetes.
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