You want to lose weight and you want to achieve your goal fast. What to do? For more and more dieters with that question, intermittent fasting has become the solution. Now Dr. Michael Mosley, the creator of the best-selling "The FastDiet: Lose Weight, Stay Healthy, and Live Longer with the Simple Secret of Intermittent Fasting" (click for book details), is explaining why and how his weight loss plan works in a recent interview with the "diet detective" Charles Platkin.
Author Dr. Mosley explained that he developed his diet when "my doctor told me that my blood tests had revealed that I was a diabetic with a cholesterol level that was also far too high and would also require medication. This was a nasty shock, particularly as my father had died in his early 70s of complications of diabetes. I am 5 feet 11 inches and about 186 pounds, so I was not hugely overweight. I also eat quite well and am reasonably active."
Seeking options, he "came across researchers in the U.S. and the U.K. looking at intermittent fasting. The idea is that instead of cutting your calories every day you cut your calories every other day, or perhaps only twice a week."
And so Dr. Mosley tried various forms of this approach before developing his definitive diet. "I tried different forms of intermittent fasting before settling on a version that I felt I could stick to. This consists of cutting your calories by one-fourth for two days a week. On a Monday and a Thursday I would eat just 600 calories a day. For the other five days a week I would eat normally. I called this the 5:2 Fast Diet."
The result: He shed 19 pounds of pure fat over three months; his blood levels returned to normal, and he realized that the plan he had developed was both simple and successful.
"Many people find it easier than standard dieting because instead of being on a diet seven days a week you are only dieting for two days. People say they can exercise their willpower and resist pizza today if they know they can have it tomorrow," says Dr. Mosley.
Moreover, he contends that "on a physical level this pattern of eating seems to better mimic the way our remote ancestors would have eaten, i.e., feast and famine. Our bodies only get on with essential spring cleaning, getting rid of old and broken down cells, when we don’t have food in our system. That’s why eating lots of small meals a day is not a good idea."
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