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The Three Stages Of Fasting – According To The Fast 800’s Dr Michael Mosley

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We know there has never been a better time to ensure you’re not carrying excess weight.  It been proven that people who are classed as obese are at greater risk of dying if they get Covid-19. 

As the government wages war on obesity, intermittent fasting is becoming the ‘go to’ method for thousands. 

With a second wave looking imminent, losing weight will boost your chances of recovery; rapid weight loss via The Fast 800 has been shown to be a powerfully effective way of going about it.

Two of the most common myths about fasting is that you will have to deprive yourself of your favourite foods in order to maintain a healthy weight and that you will remain in a permanent state of hunger – neither are true!

One of the great things about The Fast 800 is its flexibility – you can tailor this diet to suit your needs, goals and motivation.

There are three key stages to this diet: The Very Fast 800, The New 5:2 and The Way of Life.  Each stage is designed to fit your desired agenda. 

All of the stages are fluid and you might find that you drift naturally between stages, depending on your personal circumstances and goals.

If you’re looking to embark on a weight loss journey, then you would start with:

The VERY Fast 800 – for rapid weight loss .

What is The VERY Fast 800?

The rapid weight loss stage of the diet involves eating 800 calories a day. If you decide this approach is for you, we recommend that you stay on this stage for a minimum of 2 weeks, though you can stay on the plan for up to 12 weeks depending on your goals and how much weight you have to lose.  

To most people 800 calories doesn’t sound like a lot, and that is why we have based the 800 calorie a day meal plans in the online programme on delicious Mediterranean style diet recipes, which are designed to keep you feeling full and satiated.

Who is it for?

The Very Fast 800 involves rapid weight loss. It is also a highly effective way to bring down raised blood sugars (i.e. pre-diabetic or type 2 diabetic).

Over the past few years major studies have shown that following an 800 calorie a day diet is much more effective than going ‘slow and steady’, with typical weight loss of around 10kg over eight weeks. 

Rapid weight loss is also the best proven way to reverse type 2 diabetes and prevent people with pre-diabetes from becoming diabetic.

Because The Very Fast 800 is an intensive approach to weight loss, it is not suited to everybody. As with any diet, you should speak to your usual health professional before commencing The Very Fast 800 approach, and please see our medical disclaimer for information regarding cautions and exclusions indicating who shouldn’t do the diet.

If you find that this approach isn’t for you, you can skip straight ahead to The New 5:2 plan or the Way of Life.

The NEW 5:2 – sustainable intermittent fasting

What is it?

Intermittent fasting is a highly effective way not just to lose weight, but to build a healthier, brain and body.  This is why, after you have completed The Very Fast 800 stage, we recommend The New 5:2. Instead of keeping to 800 calories per day every day, you schedule two days a week as 800-calorie ‘fasting days’, and follow a healthy Mediterranean-style diet for the rest of the week.

You can also jump straight to The New 5:2 if you find that your goals and needs are better suited to this approach.

Why it works

On your fast days, your body will enter a state of ketosis, just as it would on The Very Fast 800 phase.

You will lose visceral fat and achieve a better response to insulin. This, in turn, will make it easier for you to keep to sensible portions during the rest of the week.  Fasting for two days out of seven also gives you a chance to experience the other benefits of fasting, which include:

  • Clearing-out of old or damaged cells (apoptosis);
  • Tissue regeneration through the action of switched-on stem cells;
  • Reduction in cancer risk, through a fall in levels of a body chemical called IGF-1;
  • An increase in metabolic rate, caused by a rise in noradrenaline and human growth hormone;
  • Increased levels of Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF). In brain cells, higher levels of BDNF are linked to greater resistance to age-related damage; lower BDNF levels, by contrast, are linked to depression and Alzheimer’s;
  • Decreased inflammation, lowering the risk of an array of chronic diseases including arthritis, raised cholesterol, and atherosclerosis.

If you find that this approach isn’t for you, you can skip straight ahead to the Way of Life plan.

Way of Life – the long term phase of The Fast 800

What is it?

The Way of Life phase is a structured, nutritionally-balanced guide to eating a healthy Mediterranean-style diet for life.

Who is it for?

How you maintain your results on The Fast 800 is very much a personal choice. For most people it is safe to continue with The New 5:2 diet long-term, and many people find that this is an excellent way to stay healthy.

Other people prefer to move onto the Way of Life phase, which doesn’t involve calorie counting, just portion control. To safeguard against a return to previous habits, the online programme guides you through the Way of Life phase, giving you support not just with meal and recipe planning, but with staying fit and coping

mentally with the tougher times. You can also stay motivated with the help of our busy forum, where you can share tips and tricks with others who, like you, have managed to achieve successful weight loss.

If you don’t want to try The Very Fast 800 plan or The New 5:2 plan, or find that these plans aren’t suitable for you, you can always jump straight ahead to the Way of Life phase.

Why it works?

People tend to eat the wrong foods because it feels good to do so. When you bite down into a muffin or dive into a packet of crisps, you are responding to carefully-designed cues, put in place by food manufacturers, to use food as a defence not just against hunger, but against stress.  The Mediterranean-style diet tackles this problem at its root. Based on the diet that has been enjoyed for centuries by people living in and around Southern Europe, it avoids processed foods, is free from added sugar and refined carbohydrates, and instead uses ingredients that have been scientifically proven to make you feel good:

  • Healthy fats, especially olive oil, to add flavour and keep you feeling full
  • Plenty of protein – again, for flavour and to help you remain full between meals
  • Full fat dairy products (in moderation), including cheese
  • Probiotics, to promote feel-good gut flora
  • Omega-3 oils, to benefit mood and memory
  • Fresh fruit and vegetables for their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects

A 12-week programme on costs £99 and includes:

·  Meal plans for The Very Fast 800, The New 5:2 and Med-style diets, with vegetarian options

·  Three calorie-counted meals per day based on healthy, gut-friendly Mediterranean-style food

·  Over 400 tasty and easy-to-make recipes unique to the online programme

·  Shopping lists – just print and go, or use the list to help with your online grocery shop

·  Guided exercise plans – all suited to the home, no equipment necessary

·  Lots of tips and support on how to adapt your routine

·  Health Coaches on hand for advice, support and motivation

·  A lively and inspirational cohort of members, united by a common goal to improve health

·  Weekly motivational articles and videos, so you can make these changes for life!

For more information, visit

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