Nutrition know-all Michael Mosley has helped many shed weight with his famous plans such as the 5:2 diet.
The expert has appeared on various TV shows explaining his methods, introducing the 5:2 diet in a 2012 documentary Eat, Fast and Live Longer. The diet requires slimmers to limit calories to around 500 to 600 for two days of the week, with the remaining five of seven days routine food days.
The diet expert has also released another intermittent fasting-based diet called the Fast 800 that permits slimmers to eat around 800 calories per day. To find out whether the diet really works one WalesOnline reporter decided to give it a bash for a week, documenting the results.
Health editor Lydia Stephens explained that she gained weight over lockdown and like many others has struggled to shift it every since.
“By January 2023, my BMI was borderline obese”, she explained.
With limited energy and no motivation to exercise – becoming out of breath even on walk – Lydia decided it was time to make a change at the turn of the year, shedding just over 20lbs since.
Now her BMI is just slightly in the overweight category. And in order to boost her progress some more, she gave the Fast 800 diet a go for one week.
Before signing up, she explains that there are various questions to ask with slimmers required to pop in their height, weight and measurements.
There are several diet plans available, with Lydia opting to eat two meals per day to make up the 800 calorie limit, with a seven day plan made up for her after signing up online.
Recipes and ingredients were included on a printable shopping list, allowing the reporter to do her weekly Aldi run to stock up, with the shop costing her £49.15 at the tills.
What Lydia ate: “Cheesy scrambled eggs with pesto, one cup of tea and one cup of coffee, and spinach and turkey mince Bolognese with courgette.
“I started the day with a small coffee with a dash of full fat milk at about 10.20am. The first meal was tasty cheesy scrambled eggs. I added spinach which wasn’t part of the recipe but the plan allows you to add non-starchy vegetables to your meal. I had a cup of tea at 2pm before dinner at 5.40pm. It was turkey mince Bolognese with courgette instead of spaghetti and added parmesan. I wasn’t looking forward to this at all. I thought the courgette would be horrible on its own like that, but it was surprisingly really tasty. I did fancy something sweet afterwards but didn’t cave.”
What Lydia ate: “Apple, a handful of strawberries, Mediterranean omelette and teriyaki salmon with courgette, one cup of tea and one cup of coffee.
“I had an apple for a snack around 10am and by 12.30pm I had a strong headache and felt really hungry. The first meal was an omelette, but without any cheese. It was made up of red pepper, mushrooms, two eggs and some cannellini beans. It was bland but a quick and easy meal to have for lunch. Dinner was teriyaki salmon and courgette at 6pm. This was super easy and quick. Not that tasty or satisfying though, and I did go looking for a chocolate at around 9pm but had none in the house so managed to stay on plan.”
What Lydia ate: “Salmon, courgette, apple, mince beef salad with lettuce tomatoes and cheese, one cup of tea and one cup of coffee.
“By 8.30am on Wednesday morning I was really hungry. I really wanted a bowl of cereal (a bit of a trigger food for me), but the scales are telling me I’m already a couple of pounds down in just two days and it was a motivating factor to stay on track. I had a coffee to tie me over until lunch.
“Lunch was leftover salmon and courgette from the night before, which I had at around 11.30am. I then had an apple around 12pm as I wasn’t feeling that satisfied. Dinner at 5pm was supposed to be mince beef tacos in lettuce with tomato and cheese. I couldn’t get the lettuce to work as tacos so I just had what looked like a beef burger salad instead. The mince was super quick and easy to cook but was a very small portion. I didn’t feel that satisfied afterward and ended up eating two Oreo biscuits later.”
What Lydia ate: “Two boiled eggs with feta cheese, peppers and avocado, mince beef salad with lettuce tomatoes and cheese, raspberries, strawberries, a cup of coffee and a tea.
“I was hungry by 8am, but once again used a coffee to curb my hunger. I had my first meal of two boiled eggs, feta cheese, peppers and avocado at 11am. This was really tasty and surprisingly satisfying.
“I had a couple of berries around 4pm to tie me over until dinner at just after 5pm. I changed up my plan for my evening meal because I was in the office and knew I wouldn’t want to cook by the time I got home. So I had the leftovers from Wednesday’s beef burger style salad. I enjoyed it a lot more this time around. I ate that just after 5pm and that was it for the day.”
What Lydia ate : “Two scrambled eggs with pesto and feta cheese with spinach, bowl of granola, bar of Oreo Dairy Milk, cup of coffee and cup of tea.
“The day it all went wrong. Because I changed my meal around, what had been the plan for Thursday’s evening meal should have been Friday’s first meal. So I improvised and recreated a dish from earlier this week, but used feta instead of cheddar. I had this around 10.30am, and by 11am I was still so hungry. I don’t work Fridays so I found it hard to not think about that hunger and opt for something that was allowed on the plan (like berries or an apple). I caved and I had a very small bowl of granola at around 11am.
“I also didn’t stick to the evening meal, I was out all afternoon and starving by 4pm and had to go to a local shop to drop some parcels off. The chocolate was too tempting and I had a bar of Oreo Dairy Milk. I’m not going to look at the amount of calories that was in the bar because, in the grand scheme of things, I had eaten pretty much perfect to plan all week and I don’t want to torture myself for having one treat.”
What Lydia ate: “Cup of coffee, banana pancakes, apple, beef stir fry with peppers, mushrooms, broccoli and pak choi, small piece of cake, cup of tea.
“I started the day with a cup of coffee. The first meal of the day at 11am was super-easy pancakes made with two eggs and one banana. I have made them like this before so knew what to expect. They were OK, not delicious, but did fill me up. I would have added berries and Greek yoghurt but had none left. I had an apple around 3pm.
“I had dinner at around 6pm. It was a really nice beef stir fry, probably the most filling meal of the week with the amount of veggies I loaded in. My partner had brought home cakes from work so I had a taste of one of those too, not really because I was hungry, more so because it was too hard to resist.”
What were the results of the Fast 800 diet?
After a week trying out the diet, Lydia explains that the method does exactly what is says it will – help you lose weight fast.
Shedding an incredible 5lb in one week, the WalesOnline added that she had never lost more than 3lb over a seven day period before, being left hugely impressed by results.
She added that apart from the chocolate bar on Friday and cake on Saturday, the plan was doable as she knew what she was having for lunch and dinner each day. The ingredients were waiting in the fridge ready to cook, removing the fuss and making the diet simpler to stick to.
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