Dr Michael Mosley spoke to wellbeing expert Liz Earle about intermittent fasting and its myriad benefits for health. The creator of the Fast 800 explained the programme and how carefully selecting the times in which you eat, can make weight loss ”easier”.
Dr Michael explained to Liz during a Facebook Live: “I came across research about rapid weight loss – this became the Fast 800.
“You start off on 800-900 calories, do that for a few weeks, up to 12 weeks, then switch over to intermittent fasting, the switch over to Way of Life.
“You can also incorporate time-restricted eating into that, which makes it easier.”
Time-restricted eating is when meals are eaten within a specific time period each day, for example, only consuming calories between 8am and 4pm.
As for the impact time restricted eating has on weight loss, the expert previously revealed: “There is increasing evidence emerging to show that to get maximum benefit from your diet, you need to take care about how you time your meal.
“In one of the first human trials of time-restricted eating, carried out with the help of the University of Surrey, two groups of healthy volunteers ate the same food.
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“The group on a time-restricted eating plan, ate breakfast 90 minutes later than usual, and dinner 90 minutes earlier each day.
“They lost more body fat and saw bigger falls in blood sugar levels and cholesterol than the control group.”
Dr Michael also spoke about the benefits of a rapid weight loss diet with Liz.
He said: “Professor Roy Taylor started a big trial – 300 patients, and they were randomly allocated the Fast 800 approach or the standard weight loss. He followed them for a couple of years.
“What he found, was people doing rapid weight loss, lost far more weight and kept it off.
“What’s striking, is the group who started on rapid weight loss are so much healthier than the group who are going slow and steady.
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“This has been so impressive the results – the UK Government are rolling it out to 5000 patients.
“This was the foundation of the Fast 800 online programme,” he added.
Liz asked: “How long has the fast 800 been going and what can people typically expect to lose from it?”
Dr Michael replied: “We started five years ago and we developed it from there.
“40,000 people have done the programme so far – and we recently had it audited by the branch of the NHS and they looked at all our data and said ‘Average weight loss is around eight to nine kilograms over 12 weeks. At a year, it’s about 10 kilograms.’
“So people continue to lose weight, they don’t slip, some do but people continue to lose weight because what the Fast 800 does is it gives you all the recipes, but it gives you ongoing support.”
He added: “A hugely important part of this [weight loss] is to have support at every stage of the process; we have doctors, we have physiotherapists, we have all sorts of professionals who are there to support you when you have questions and the great thing about it being based in the UK and Australia, someone is available 24 hours a day.
“There is a big vibrant online community – who are very keen to share and are generous with their support as well.”
Dr Michael also spoke about the “exercise regime” that is available on the Fast 800.
“It’s tailored to you,” he said.
Following an initial assessment, someone taking part in the Fast 800 programme is allocated an exercise level – beginner, intermediate or advanced.
They are then guided through weekly exercise plans which consist of HIIT, resistance workouts and stretching sessions.
The Fast 800 recommend completing two HIIT sessions a week.
HIIT “is particularly good at improving the function of your heart and lungs,” Dr Michael explained.
“You also need to build muscle strength, for which we provide resistance training sessions.
“We also advise that our members complete resistance training sessions three times each week, preferably on days when you are not doing HIIT.”