The challenge of the Fast 800

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  • posted by Michael (BSD Admin)
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    Starting any weight loss regime can be a bit intimidating. It involves change, and change is hard. The advantage of doing this 800 calorie diet is you can be assured that it has a proper scientific backing and that many others have been there before you. The important thing is to make sure you are in a good place, mentally, before you get going, have contacted your doctor (if you need to) and that you are ready for the first week or so to be challenging. The changes will be worth it! Best of luck! Let us know how you get on and do share any tips.

  • posted by JackieMac
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    5 days in I am finding it fairly easy. You do need to be organised with food planning for breakfast and lunch particularly. A useful tool for the book, or indeed this website would be shopping lists. It took me a while to figure out the total of everything I needed. However it was worth it as the meals I have had were tsty and filling. Thank you so very much for writing this book. I think I have finally found a way to lose weight and keep it off!

  • posted by Loobylou
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    I started a cople of days ago love the receipies do struggle as love carbs and have cheated a bit. I do exercise quite a bit so on balance I have achieved 800 calories most days. That was something I wanted to ask I am training for a half marathon on days I train I tend to eat back the calories I burn

  • posted by Arran Granny
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    There are some apps that can help. I like Nutracheck which is easy to use. However it shows calories not carbs but was a good starter. I have just got a Fitbit activity tracker that also has an app for meals but need to get to grips with it yet

  • posted by Loobylou
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    I have had a fitbit for a few years now. I prefer to use my fitness pal although I am not so keen since it was taken over by underarmour. I have more recently been using fat secret and lifesum.

  • posted by Eureka
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    Hi everyone. Am so grateful to Michael ,Prof Roy Taylor Newcastle Uni & all associated with this venture. Hav been waiting a long time for this info & support. I was diagnosed type 2 diabetic 2013. My father & mother the same but I missed all the text book signs! And I was a nurse!! I lost 28lb in 5 months after reading 5 : 2 diet & modifying it for me. BUT the stress of family illness blew the lot & now I hav to start again. I will succeed & it will be tough but I must do this for ME. I want to support others & see if I too can reverse or greatly improve my diabetes. It’s mind over matter. I mind & it does matter to me & my family. Let it matter to you all & be mindful of the good we can all do to & for ourselves. Best wishes to you all & pass on the good this info & support will do

  • posted by Loobylou
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    I don’t have type 2 diabetes but I do have a fatty liver, high cholesterol, one of my blood test was once prediabetic but after retesting it was normal. I do have ovarian cancer and have been living with cancer for the last 5 yrs. i don’t think diet can cure cancer but I just want to be the healthiest version of me that I can be. I don’t want any more illnesses

  • posted by Loobylou
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    I am a bit of a carb addict so I am expecting to struggle a bit

  • posted by allthewrongjunk
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    Hi, I’ve read the book and would really like to start this. If I’m going to plan my own meals, is there a ratio of fat/protein/carbs I should be aiming for? I’m not keen to do loads of cooking but I don’t really fancy the meal replacement shake route either so was going to rely on things like covent garden soup and ready-made bags of stir-fry veg where you can easily see the nutrition information.

    Eureka, I’m really similar, mum has type 2 diabetes; I lost a lot of weight on 5:2 and piled it all back on during family illness. I think part of the problem was that while I was eating well (i.e. protein and plenty of veg) on the fast days I never properly addressed improving my diet on the non-fast days. (And the less said about the fast day when I ate my entire allowance in Krispy Kremes the better) (2 1/4 original glazed in case you’re wondering).

    Good luck everyone and looking forward to hearing how you all get on!

  • posted by Eureka
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    Ditch the carbs! Write down what you like & what new foods you are willing to try. This is your new shopping list. Herbs & spices are fun to try. Surf the recipes & adapt to you. Try out your food on family & friends they may want lots more. Alcohol is empty calories, I Stopped drinking for 6 months & pretended tonic had gin in it! Don’t beat yourself up if you want to drink just be mindful ok. Just make & eat the filling for sandwiches not the bread. Ask restaurants to replace chips & potatoes with other veg or salad. They do. This is a change for life & if you fall off the wagon just get back on down the road.

  • posted by Katie Rose
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    I am 5 days in, and so far quite enjoying it. Am looking forward to some interesting recipes. Thank you for this site and for the book, which I have read cover to cover at least 5 times!

  • posted by Nessie
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    I am on day 8 today, and have lost 3cm off my waist and 2.8kg, so very happy so far. The first few days were tough, finding a routine. I combine it with 16:8, and even found I did 2 fasting days accidently, so happy about how things have changed. Sure, I am craving sweet things, and have already thought about Easter, lol, but its just 8 weeks, and things will get better.

    For meal planning, I found this website: https://www.eatthismuch.com/
    I normally have used MyFitnessPal, but this one has been lots easier to use, and it breaks things down.

    Regards
    Nessie

  • posted by Natalie
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    I have nearly finished week 3, having started a couple of days after Christmas, and I’ve lost 2.2 kilograms. I haven’t been perfect at all. The first couple of weeks I still had chocolate (leftover from Christmas) nearly every day, I’ve stopped that but I still have sugar in my tea (2/3 tsp), and I generally eat around 950 calories a day, I rarely manage to get it down to 800 probably because I eat larger portions of meat than I should on this plan. And I haven’t really started exercising yet. But on the up side, I’m eating tasty meals with a lot more vegetables than I used to, I’m not generally hungry and not usually eating anything between meals, and I’m drinking a lot of water. I need to tighten up my calories a bit and get walking (I write as I look outside at the downpour).

  • posted by Michael (BSD Admin)
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    Welcome to early adopters Jackiemac, Loobyloo, AranGranny, Eureka, Allthewrongjunk (great name!), Katie Rose and Nessie! Good to hear your stories. I will be following with interest. And as Eureka says ‘This is a change for life & if you fall off the wagon just get back on down the road’. All the best to you all, Michael

  • posted by Eureka
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    Hi allthewrongjunk. Knowledge is power. Find out the portion & calorie count of the foods you like. Weigh your food as on packets to really see what they mean by a portion! It’s surprising how we can blow that. Do it for a few days so you can visualise what your portions should be. Use a good app or buy & mark a calories in food book. We must take responsibility for what we eat & not leave it all to the recipe writers. Start your own recipe book & ask family & friends for their recipes that you can adapt. Stir fry is great. A little oil goes a long way & I find I don’t need so much meat. Look at cooking as a pleasure & culinary calorie challenge. Make your meals as tasty, colourful treats for you

  • posted by Cazzowary
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    I’m on Day 13 so nearly two weeks in and have so far lost 3.8 kgs (but there is a lot of me to lose). The first couple of days were hard but luckily have my mum doing it with me (she has prediabetic blood sugar) so we keep each other on track (she’s lost 3 kg). Now we’ve got a rhythm going it’s really easy and I’m not having dinner anymore- plus it makes the calorie limit easier to manage. There has been a little bit of cheating- 90% dark chocolate pieces every day and a bit of milk in cups of tea but usually manage to come in at 800 calories. And truly those cheats are amazing- you have no idea what a sweet tooth I have but it appears to have vanished or is at least satisfied with the dark chocolate! Roll on the next 6 weeks and thank you Michael for not making me worried about entering “starvation mode” if I eat this little (which actually isn’t that little with all the veggies). For the first time in a very long time I’m starting to think I can lose the weight I need to lose.

  • posted by Oscar66
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    Hello everyone!

    I’ve just started this too and have already lost a few pounds in the first week. I know that this will be mostly water, but it’s very encouraging! I’m going for a homemade vegetable soup for lunch ost days, which is very filling and is always well under 200 cals. I have recently bought a fitbit charge HR too, and although I thought it a bit of a gimmick, the app is really useful at keeping track of food (can link in with myfitnesspal if you want) and exercise.

    I am not diabetic, or even pre-diabetic, but I’m very keen on keeping it that way!

    Thanks Michael and good luck everyone – we can do it!!

  • posted by captainlynne
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    I’m diet controlled diabetic, age 65. I started this on 19th December. Since then I’ve lost 16 pounds and 7 inches from my waist. Fasting Bg was 10.9, now consistently in 5s. Bg at bedtime now in 4s or 5s.Diabetes nurse thrilled and following plan herself. I’ve even sent a copy of this book to friends in USA who want to follow this plan. Many thanks to Dr Michael and Prof Taylor for their work.

  • posted by Katie Rose
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    Can Michael perhaps explain – I can see why this diet can lower blood sugar levels to acceptable ones, whilst you are on the diet. But, does this actually CURE diabetes, or just maintain the levels IF you stay off carbs and sugar? At the end of 8 weeks, what then?

  • posted by Zellieh
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    I’ve just finished reading the book, and I like the science. I want to try it because several of my close relatives have developed diabetes and I don’t want to. I think the 800 calorie diet will be the best way to get over the sugar cravings and lose weight fast, and once I’ve lost weight and stopped craving sugar, I’m going to drop down to the maintenance diet.

    I’ve started keeping a food diary on MyFitnessPal, and exercising using Darebee’s Foundation 30-day challenge. I’m starting the 800 calorie diet on Monday, once I’ve looked at the recipes (there really aren’t enough in the book or on this website!) and found some plain and simple ones that aren’t so weird and expensive. What the fck is coconut water anyway?

    (I think if I gave this chef my budget, my kitchen equipment, and my corner shop, they’d either faint or starve! LOL)

  • posted by newmill
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    Katie- read the book. The “After the Diet” is covered. Michael suggests maintaining your new found slim line appearance / low BG with a low carb Mediterrean style diet and explodes the myths of putting the weight straight back on as 70s myths.

  • posted by allthewrongjunk
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    Thanks Eureka, that’s really helpful! My kids are pretty small and I don’t think I’m going to win them round to lamb-stuffed aubergines so I’ll be cooking separately for them for the initial 8 weeks. After that I should be able to adapt the Med-style diet into things we can all eat. Quick question: is milk supposed to be off-limits? I don’t really get that if you can have cheese. I don’t mind black coffee but black tea will be hard!

  • posted by allthewrongjunk
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    Zellieh, I know, right!? Just saw Michael Mosley debunking smoothies on Trust me I’m a Doctor so funny to see them popping up in the book! Some of the recipes look really tasty but not what I’d consider every-day eating. If you come up with any inspiring tasty but simple dishes do share them!

  • posted by Eureka
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    Hi all. I don’t drink tea or coffee but just read book again ” essential you drink at least 2 – 3 litres calorie-free fluid a day or you get constipated & headaches. I love fizzy water with lots of ice & lemon. Or plenty of fruit tea & occasional coffee ( but only a splash of milk) “. Pages 135 – 136.

    Buy the book, check the book & mark the book where it’s important info for you. This book is a tool, don’t be afraid to highlight, turn pages down or write in the margins! Make notes in the margins to help you, I do.

    250ml glass skimmed milk = 83 calories. Or 115 calories in semi- skimmed. You can see where the splash comes from. So remember to do the maths & count the calories in your daily 800 allowance if you go there. Maybe be a duck for two weeks!

    I’m going to try very hard with the diet this week, but I’m on hols for 11days after. (Husband’s big birthday). No excuse for blowing it all though as it’s buffet half board. So I can control a lot with my choices. And he’s on board with life changes too. Intend to walk lots & swim. Watch this space!

    When I return all systems go. I’ll post recipes. We’ve had big parties with coeliac & dairy intolerances to cater for too.

    I’m already in awe of the drive & commitment this group has shown. Keep it up & shine that light at the end of this tunnel

  • posted by Natalie
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    Eureka you mention skimmed/semi-skimmed milk but I’m pretty sure Michael promotes full fat dairy. And a splash in your tea/coffee isn’t many calories.

    Like many things “low fat” milk is more processed – they try to give the creamy texture that taking the cream out loses, by adding other stuff.

  • posted by Loobylou
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    I don’t think the recepies or the menu in the book are that exotic for a Mediterranean style low carb diet. The lamb in the aubergine dish is minced you could maybe change it into a lasagne style dish using the aubergine like lasagne sheets?

    I still have milk I think the broblem with skimmed or semi skimmed milk when you are on a low sugar diet is that lactose the sugar found in milk is actually higher in low fat versions.

    I don’t think Michael intended us to follow the meal plan slavishly its just a suggestion for me it includes some of my favourite foods. Its completely understandable that people would want to adapt it to suit themselves just as long as we stick to the principles it should work.

    I don’t think I will be buying coconut water either but its essentially the liguid in the middle of a coconut its quite nutrient dense.

  • posted by Loobylou
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    I vaguely remember watching the piece on smoothies. I think the problem with lots of commercially available smoothies is that they contains fruits that are really high in sugar but they are promoted as being healthy. Have you noticed that innocent have started putting veg in their smoothies?

  • posted by lisspill
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    I am really excited – 7 days in to this challenge and I have already lost 5 kilos- drinking more water has been a challenge. I am trying to make the 8 weeks easier by counting down days instead eg. Day 56 – day 55 etc.. This has helped with my head knowing that there will be an end – by this time I am hoping I have formed a habit and will continue to clean eat and revert to 5:2. At this time I am happy to keep lunch simple and the same for a couple of weeks as I have already got results. I am also trying to remind myself that food is a source of energy and I should not depend on it as a source if happiness. I am so grateful for this challenge and the support of science – thanks Michael. P.S. I have had one indulgent day so far but I have been kind to myself – all is forgiven and I have moved on ๐Ÿ™‚

  • posted by Hedds
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    Call it coincidence or fate, I had read the book cover to cover on Saturday morning already thinking if I am not already diabetic I am pre diabetic. I then recieved the post and among the usual junk mail was a letter from my GP asking me to go for a fasting blood test. I had had blood taken for other things but they had tested my blood sugar and it was a little high.
    Straight down to boots I went and bought a blood sugar monitor to check my self. This morning I had a fasting blood result of 7.2 not good. Luckily I had spent a great deal of yesterday ordering my shopping and also going to my local Holland and Barrett to buy what I needed to start the eight week challenge today.
    I am currently sitting writing with a bowl of natural yoghurt and strawberries with a tea spoon of flaxseed, sunflower and pumpkin seed mix sprinkled on top. Can’t say I love the yoghurt but I will learn to like it as my mother would say.
    I am a large lady with probably 90lbs to loose, so not only hoping for a reduction in my levels but also in weight.
    I have a doctors appointment on Friday, but I wanted to get started straight away.
    Good luck everyone
    Hedds

  • posted by Hedds
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    Hello Arran,
    I am using my fitness pal for food tracking and I have ordered a jawbone sleep and activity tracker. I can’t do much exercise at the moment as have an existing condition which is making it difficult. But hope to slowly introduce the workout Michael suggested in the book.

  • posted by Loobylou
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    Welcome Hedds and well done on making a start to change your lifestyle to a more healthier one. Is is plain yogurt you don’t like eg the sharpness or yogurts generally? If its the sharpness just mash the strawberries a little bit to release their natural juices and sweetness and mix it in with the yogurt .

    There are chair based exercises that maybe you could look into? I try to think of it as moving more and less about exercise. Its the sitting still for hours that kills us even housework counts.

  • posted by SteveT
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    Hi everyone, been on the diet one week. Starting weight 19st 6lbs and one week on 18st 9lbs plus 1.5 inches off the waist and feeling great already. Fasting bloods reduced a little but I’m not expecting a rapid reduction as I’ve been type 2 for 25 years. I’m using the “Fat Secret” app which is geared up for the UK and measures Fat, protein, carbs and cals. Found the book very inspirational as well as informative. Thanks Dr M. Determined to continue. The other thing I’ve done is opted for an eating time window of 8 hours. I only eat between 11am and 7pm giving me 16 hours fasting. It’s not for everyone but being retired it fits in with my lifestyle. Wishing all of my fellow travellers on the Fast 800 big reductions.

  • posted by Loobylou
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    I struggled a bit over the weekend as I went out for a meal but the good news is that I haven’t gained any more weight but I haven’t lost any either

  • posted by michaelmas daisy
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    Hi Zelliah,

    Some of the recipes in the book and on the website look very nice, but I agree, some of the ingredients look faddy and expensive – I bought hazelnuts instead of pine nuts for one recipe because the former cost less and taste fine. I like the plum pudding recipe too, but have never seen almond flour … unless that’s finely ground almonds as opposed to chopped almonds.

  • posted by Loobylou
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    You can use ground almonds as almond flour. Technically almond flour has some of the oils removed and you can get coconut flour online, health food stores, some of the bigger supermarkets also sell it.

    I suppose it all depends if you want to get into low carb baking. I tried the courgette and sppke muffins today but the trick with coconut flour is that absorbs loads of liquid so I think I put a bit too much in as the mixture was a bit dry and not sticky. Therefore you may find that you will have to adapt the receipes when cooking with these ingredients i definitely didn’t need 150g of coconut flour today.

    Its also much cheaper to make your own almond and coconut milk as well.

  • posted by Michael (BSD Admin)
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    To be honest for the puddings and crumbles (which are a bit of a treat really) the ground almonds should be fine to completely replace the almond flour rather than as a mixture (the flour often has the healthy oils removed in the process and is probably higher GI anyway). The texture is just a bit more chewy which I quite like. But unfortunately they do tend to be a bit more expensive.

  • posted by janet_jb
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    Hi Katy Rose
    Maybe you could look at it this way, before you had diabetes you had a predisposition to develop it. Like a lot of chronic diseases it’s a two stage process, firstly you have a predisposition, and a second trigger, usually lifestyle choices. If this diet returns you to the predisposition stage by correcting the lifestyle part, then you don’t have diabetes anymore, just as you didn’t before your diagnosis. The only difference is you now know your predisposition, and if you slip back into old ways you are at risk of developing diabetes again. (You know there is a gun in the cupboard, your choice to load it or not)
    This diet is a second chance to take you back to only being pre-disposed to diabetes, as you were for your whole life before you had diabetes. So yes, essentially a cure, but you need to remember that you are predisposed to this disease if you return to a sedentary high carb/sugar lifestyle.

  • posted by Fit_My_Jeans_Again
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    Hi everyone โ€” I started a week ago today and have lost about 5lbs so far, also, for what it’s worth, dropped from the obese BMI category to merely overweight (just!). So I feel encouraged โ€“ but already worrying about the weekend as I have to go out for at least one dinner, maybe two. These situations always trip me up and then I never get back on track, even when I’ve been quite into losing weight. Any advice? I’ve already said I’m trying to lose weight so they know…

    I’m rereading a bit of the book every evening to stay encouraged.

  • posted by captainlynne
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    Hi Fit_My_Jeans_Again. I had a business lunch last week. I had to choose menu in advance and chose beef rather than chicken, forgetting the huge Yorkshire puddings they serve. I declined to order a dessert – easier to do at that stage! When the meal was served, I pushed the mashed potato and Yorkshire pudding to one side. The selection of veg served to the table was not great – boiled potatoes, carrots, parsnips and a few shreds of leek, all in one dish! So I just went for the carrots and as much leek as I could find, thinking that the best option. If you know beforehand where you are eating, check out the menu and decide what you will eat. I’ve been doing this since 19th December, so half way through the 8 weeks and didn’t want to undo any of the progress I’d made. I was worried folk would comment about what I was not eating, but they were all too busy with their own plates to notice. Oh, and the desserts didn’t look that good anyway – certainly not worth a surge in blood sugar! Hope this helps.

  • posted by Fit_My_Jeans_Again
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    Thanks Captain! ๐Ÿ‘ฎ I think you are right โ€“ I won’t worry too much about eating more calories than usual but avoid sugary, starchy foods.

    You mustn’t have too many more weeks to go, best of luck staying with it. Do you feel a difference? Had to move up a belt hole or two yet?

  • posted by captainlynne
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    You’re welcome. We’re all in this together.

    I stuck with it over Christmas and new year, I wanted to get a good start and needed to break bad habits.

    I’ve lost 16 pounds and 7 inches off my waist. Means I’ve dropped a dress size ๐Ÿ˜ƒ. And my skirt no longer does its best to cut me in half!

    My fasting blood sugar was 10.9 when I started. Now it’s always in the 5s. At bedtime it’s either in the 4s or 5s.

    I feel so much better. More energy, joints ache less, and a ‘carbohydrate fog’ has lifted meaning my concentration is better, I can think more clearly, and am less irritable.

    All that is what’s kept me on track.

  • posted by TraceyH31
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    Hi I’ve just joined, read the article in the daily mail bought the book and started yesterday. I want to reduce my waist measurement as much as I can and lose a stone plus. I’m storing most of my fat around my middle which I know puts me at risk of certain diseases. I rarely eat bread and try not to eat carbs in the evening. Usually the only carbs I eat are my porridge oats for breakfast.
    Good luck everyone I look forward to seeing everyone’s progress!

  • posted by Tinky73
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    Hi, I have just read the book today on my kindle (going to try & find the actual book tomorrow as hard to follow it properly on the kindle) shopping list written tonight ready to do the food shop tomorrow. I don’t have diabetes but I tend to carry weight around my waist, which since hitting my 40s, seems harder to shift! I lost 4.5 stone a few years ago following the Dukan Diet (have only put on a stone since then so not too bad!) That was extremely strict & got boring after a while. I’ve dipped in & out of it since but I need a change. I’m hoping that because the Dukan was so strict, I should find this one more enjoyable. I don’t eat many carbs now, only oatmeal at breakfast. I’m looking forward to following all your progress & supporting each other along the way ๐Ÿ™‚

  • posted by Hedds
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    Morning all, it’s the start of day 4 and my fasting BG is now 5.5 having been 7.2 on Monday morning ๐Ÿค—๐Ÿค—
    I have not felt hungry since Tuesday and I am really enjoying cooking the different recipies. I’m off work at the moment due to having a flare up in my fibromyalgia so I am finding it easier to stick to the diet. Having been organised at the start has been a great help as I know that I can open my fridge and nothing is off limits.
    I have also dropped 3lbs in weight which is fab, as I am quite sedintary at the moment.
    Thanks Dr Michael Mosely for your book and website.
    Good luck everyone
    Hedds

  • posted by KayGee
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    I have only done 3 days but so far the recipes in the book have been excellent. Tried aubergine with lamb and pomegranate , foil steamed fish and the griddled chicken. Making the meals for my husband as well and he wouldn’t have guessed that they were part of a diet plan as they have been excellent and really tasty. I feel the no guilt brownies may be an acquired taste!

  • posted by TraceyH31
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    I’m on my 4th day and have already lost 3.5lbs and an inch off my waist more importantly. Haven’t felt hungry once and am really enjoying it. It certainly gives you the motivation to keep going!

  • posted by mary0101
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    I am starting tomorrow, and feeling a bit nervous. Worked out my own menu for the first week and have been shopping – loads of veg no pasta bread or spuds in any format.

  • posted by Weightogo
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    Hi
    Today is my first day. Have about 31/2 stone to lose which has got more each new regime I try. Have been trying low carb high fat but some of websites gave been so nasty to each other it was really off putting. Reading the book I can identify with a lot of what has been written, although not diabetic, it’s my personal fat distribution system that is there in black and white!
    Have had a lovely day, food delish, water glugged and emptied fridge and restocked. Fully intend to stick with it and have really enjoyed reading the posts. Good luck to all!

  • posted by Julia18togo
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    I haven’t been following this slavishly, but have lost 4kg since starting a few days before Christmas, albeit with a huge blip over New Year when I was totally floored with cold/cough/temp for 2 weeks, and consequently my self control was at a very low ebb! I am now back to exercising (mainly running) and think that will shift things faster. I had a diabetes check last year at 41 and was told all was fine, but loads of family members have type 2, going back through generations before folk were as overweight as we tend to be these days, so I was keen to do this to reduce my weight to healthy levels (at 86.6kg I am still 16.6kg more than I was in years gone by). I managed to lose 20kg 10 years ago, but put it back on when a family member was very ill. I am now older and wiser to the risks of regaining weight and determined to keep it off this time. I find the menus are not complicated – if you stick to the right weights of protein, you soon get to know you can eat a fair bit of veg, and breakfasts for me are simple with either natural yoghurt fruit and seeds or an egg on red pepper or mushroom ‘toast’.

    Some posters comment on their dislike of natural yoghurt. I find that natural yoghurt seems to cary hugely in taste across different brands. I can highly recommend Pakeeza live set natural yoghurt which I found at the orange supermarket!

  • posted by Jane H
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    I am pre diabetic harassed mother of four (although as I have actively ignored the GP requests to do the 3 months retrospective blood sugar test, am pretty certain it would confirm Type 2). I have fatty liver disease, am in the perimenopause (just started bio-identical HRT) with 5-6 stone to lose. Fabulous!

    Day 1 Friday, Day 2 – blown, new Day 1 today! I am using Cambridge Diet meal replacement shakes (is anyone else?), although for how long I am not sure as I have to get to grips with food again at some point. Where possible I follow 16:8- any other 16:8 people, do you do this all week? Or should I give it a rest once in a while?

    I am a huge fan of all things Michael Mosley and am fired up and determined but have the strongest inner saboteur. Here goes . . .

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