Day one of my new eating regime…

The Fast Diet: The Secret of Intermittent Fasting – Lose Weight, Stay Healthy, Live Longer by Dr Michael Mosley and Mimi Spencer.

They say when you go on a diet, let everyone know then it’s harder to cheat. So here it is:

I’ve started ‘The Fast Diet’ today!

I lost a stone last autumn by sensible eating, but plateaued. I stopped being so strict over Christmas and amazingly have not put that weight back on.  Now in February I’m in the right frame of mind to start being serious about losing weight again, for I still do need to lose several stone; I’ll try to do a soupçon more exercise this time too.

For those few (in the UK at least) who haven’t heard of the Fast Diet, it involves eating normally for five days a week, and fasting (actually calorie restricting) for the other two – you’re allowed 500 kcal for women, 600 for men on a fast day.  This shock puts your body into temporary and repeated fat-burning mode, and also helps reduce bad cholesterol, triglycerides and IGF-1 hormones that cause heart disease, diabetes etc.

It started off as an Horizon programme Mosley, a science broadcaster for the BBC, made for the corporation’s science strand last year.  I must admit that back then, it immediately struck a chord with me as something I could do with relative ease. It would allow me to continue to enjoy my food, and to develop healthier eating habits that don’t involve the biscuit barrel.

Many of Mosley’s science programmes for the BBC are famed for his self-experimentation. He’s swallowed cameras so we can see his whole digestive system, and done all sorts of medical experiments. He’s a very likeable and engaging presenter, early 50s, and if I’m honest I probably have a little crush on him!

So it’s inevitable that having made a programme all about the health benefits of intermittent fasting and having tried them out successfully on himself that a book should follow.  Mosley has written all the science bits and teamed up with a journalist to do the foodie stuff.

To be honest I didn’t really learn anything new from the science bits of the book, that I hadn’t already seen in the programme, but it was good to revisit them to bolster my enthusiasm for trying it out.

In the food parts, Spencer starts by explaining how you’ll feel on the diet, and how to get over the gnawing pit hunger pangs in initial weeks. Then we have suggest food plans for fast days – nutritious lower carb (but not carb-free) protein rich meals for a light breakfast and a slightly larger lunch or dinner which all sound delicious.

These sections are followed by padding testimonials from people who’ve tried the diet. (Apparently Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is currently doing it y’know).  The book is rounded off by a calorie table, which is something I’ve never had, so is vaguely useful to see small quantities of things that amount to big calories!

So was the book worth getting? 50/50 for me in terms of content.  However, I do like to understand the science behind things I’m doing, and owning the book has made me finally start the diet! You can get a lot of the information in the book from their website The Fast Diet.

I have high hopes.  I previously lost over five stone doing Atkins, but put it all back on again once I realised that a low-carb lifestyle forever was not for roast-potato-loving me.

By the way, I had 1 Oatibix for breakfast with a splash of milk and some strawberries (approx 125 kcal). Dinner will be hot smoked salmon flakes with peas, spinach and a little pasta (a diet meal from the supermarket at 400 kcal, but I won’t eat all the sauce), plus green tea whenever I want it.  Day 2 will be Thursday, and I will continue to fast Mondays and Thursdays (except for book group Mondays at the pub when I’ll do Tuesday instead). Updates via Twitter I expect.

Have you ever used a diet book to help you lose weight?
Did it work?  Do share?

* * * * *

I bought my copy. To explore further on Amazon UK, please click below:
The Fast Diet: The Secret of Intermittent Fasting – Lose Weight, Stay Healthy, Live Longer by Dr Michael Mosley and Mimi Spencer.

0 thoughts on “Day one of my new eating regime…

  1. farmlanebooks says:

    I started doing this a month ago after being impressed by the long term health benefits. I wasn’t that impressed by the book though – I agree there was a lot of padding and I felt I already knew everything in the book by having watched the Horizon programme and spent 1 hour reading about it on the web. The book might be average, but the diet is great – in one month I’ve lost half a stone and it is getting easier to fast all the time. Good luck!

  2. Teresa says:

    I’ve been tempted by this as I also think there are long-term health benefits as well as the bonus of losing some extra padding. I just eat too much and need to be more mindful about my diet plus as I’ve got older it’s all too easy to put on weight – size 8 on my wedding day…size 12 veering to 14 now…got to put a stop to it! Will be interested to see how you get on, others seem to have had great results.

    • gaskella says:

      Jackie’s been successful, so I’m hopeful. (Getting a bit hungry now though – will have to wait until nearer 7 for my dinner. Time for another cup of tea).

  3. Margaret @ BooksPlease says:

    I was wondering whether to get the book – thought it might be ‘padded’. I saw the programme, which I thought was excellent. I’m tempted to try it as I really do need to lose weight, I’ve put more on steadily since leaving work a few years ago. There was a pull-out in last week’s radio times, so I should read it and the website! Let us know how you get on!

  4. heavenali says:

    Good luck : ) it’s tough dieting I know. I lost around 8- 9 stone – between late 2009 and mid 2011. Mind you maintaining is no picnic sometimes either. I have heard of the fast diet and will be interested to know how you get on – can’t help but being fascinated by diets and dieting still. I must say when I first heard of it – I thought oh no not for me – but I live to be persuaded differently.

    • gaskella says:

      I did feel Atkins was a swizz in the end, as there’s this maintenance section where you reintroduce a few carbs – but it doesn’t work. You can eat normally on this – just less on fast days,.

  5. geraniumcat says:

    We (me, husband and one son) have been doing it for about 3 months now, even over Christmas, which really wasn’t too bad, we just swap one of the fast days if it clashes with a feast day. On the fast days we have a large salad in the evening, or maybe a light soup and salad when the weather is really cold. We all enjoy it and have found that our fruit consumption has gone up enormously. I agree with Jackie that it gets easier as you go on, but compared to diets it’s really not too hard to begin with. Good luck with it!

    • gaskella says:

      I didn’t find my first fast day hard at all. Actually feeling hungrier today after eating a good lunch funnily – mustn’t overdo in in compensation. I’m glad it’s working for you and your family. I like the flexibility too.

  6. Sophia says:

    I saw this too and was fascinated by the documentary – it seemed to make a lot of sense. I shall be very interested to see how you get on, do give us plenty of updates!

  7. sakura says:

    Good luck Annabel. I’ve seen a couple of Moseley’s programmes which were really interesting and informative. I don’t think I’ve seen the fasting gone though but I’m curious. I’ve just started trying to change my diet (cutting down on sugars and processed stuff) and increasing my exercise so I may take a look at this book. It’s also encouraging to see that so many people have been successful!

    • gaskella says:

      I’m into my third week now – the fasting is fine – but I’m not losing any weight yet! Too many biscuits on the other days – note to self – must NOT eat biscuits ever. Fingers crossed.

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