Hi and happy new year! Michael has asked me to post this – we thought you’d be interested in what is going on at the moment.
Couple of big things I would like to tell you about at the start of 2019. My new book, The Fast 800, is out and as it says on the cover, it is about “How to combine rapid weight loss and intermittent fasting for long-term health”. It’s an update of the Fast Diet, which I wrote with Mimi Spencer, 6 years ago, but also includes lots of new stuff. More on that below.
Michael Mosley’s 2019 Live Theatre Tour!
In February and March of this year (ie in a few weeks time) I begin my first ever theatre tour in the UK. 38 theatres across the UK in 60 nights. From Southend to Inverness, Ipswich (where I will be on my birthday, on 22nd March) to Cardiff etc etc
I will be talking about my career in TV, including working with John Cleese, David Attenborough and Jeremy Clarkson, but mainly about all the best ways to lose weight, get fit and reduce stress that I’ve learnt down the years. I will be showing clips from my programmes, signing books and taking questions, so do come along if you can. I look forward to meeting you.
The Fast 800
2018 was a fascinating year from the point of weight loss research.
In February Prof Roy Taylor and Prof Mike Lean published the results of a big, rapid weight loss study called DIRECT carried out in the UK. 298 patients with type 2 diabetes were randomly allocated to either an 800-calorie-a-day diet, made up largely of meal replacement shakes, or to following the best conventional advice and support. The patients were then followed for at least a year. When the results were published in The Lancet, in February 2018, they were astonishing:
• Those on the 800-calorie diet had lost an average of 10kg (22lbs), compared to 1kg in the control group.
• A quarter of those on the 800-calorie diet had lost more than 15kg (33lbs). None of those in the control group managed this.
• Nearly half of the 800-calorie group managed to bring their blood sugars back down to normal, despite coming off all their diabetes drugs. The more weight they lost, the higher their chance of bringing their pancreas back to life.
Hot on the heels of DIRECT came another 800-calorie a day rapid weight loss trial, this time carried out by researchers at Oxford University. For this trial, called DROPLET, 278 overweight or obese adults were either assigned to a regimen where they got 800 calories a day in the form of meal replacement soups and shakes, or put on a standard slow and steady diet programme.
Those on the meal replacement regimen were asked to stick to it for eight weeks, before gradually switching to eating real food. They also got behavioural support throughout.
At the end of a year the group on the rapid weight loss diet had lost an average of 10.7kg (nearly 24lbs), while those on the standard dieting group had lost 3kg.
Susan Jebb, professor of diet and population health at Oxford University and the lead researcher, was delighted by the results. ‘It’s phenomenal – extraordinary – like nothing we’ve seen in primary care before.’
She thinks one of the reasons that the rapid weight loss group did so well is because rapid weight loss is very motivating: ‘The excitement gets them through the first few difficult weeks… We need to capitalise on all that enthusiasm that people have at the beginning to really lose weight and get off as much weight as they possibly can.’
Like other weight loss specialists I spoke to, she said that science did not support the often-repeated claims that people’s metabolic rates will crash, never to recover, or that people who lose weight fast put it on even faster. Instead she said studies consistently show that early weight loss predicts long-term weight loss.
The new 5:2
Lots of new research about the effectiveness of the 5:2 programme were published in 2018. The biggest and longest was a study from Australia where 140 people were randomly allocated to 5:2 or a standard diet and followed for over a year. The 5:2 group lost and kept off an average of more than 7kg (nearly 15lbs), and the top third lost and kept off an average of 12.5kg (nearly 28lbs)
In the light of new research I’ve also modified the 5:2, upping the daily calories to 800 a day on your fasting days. This seems to be low enough to give you the metabolic advantages (weight loss, reduced insulin levels, reduced blood sugars, reduced blood pressure and inflammation) but high enough to be more satiating. Let me know how you get on.
The Fast 800 programme
Following lots of requests for support from people following the diet, we’ve launched an online programme for people who want to lose weight but feel they need a bit of extra help.. It’s a Doctor-led service that has been launched in parallel with The Fast 800 book. There are lots of daily menus, weekly recipes and a detailed exercise programme. Also plenty of professional support. It costs just over £8 a week and the initial feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. Go to thefast800.com for more info.