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Who Made Britain Fat? By Dr. Michael Mosley Airs On Wednesday 9th March On C4 At 9 pm

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Obesity rates are soaring, worldwide, but the UK is worse than most, where we have the second-highest rates of obesity in Europe (behind Malta).

And this really does matter – it can lead to high rates of obesity-related cancers, such as breast cancer,  as well as other life-shortening diseases including type 2 diabetes rates of which have more than doubled in the last twenty years. 

With convenience food manufacturers bringing in hefty profits from clever marketing techniques, it’s now thought that 65% of the average calories of someone in the UK is made up of ultra-processed foods.

Eating well and achieving a healthy weight is about far more than how you look. It’s about improving your mental wellbeing, protecting your brain and avoiding the development of chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Our answer is a Mediterranean-style diet, proven by science to be one of the healthiest in the world, while being satisfying and delicious.

A 2019 randomised controlled trial took 20 healthy adults and split them into two groups; the first group followed a diet of ultra-processed foods for two weeks, followed by two weeks of unprocessed foods and the second group did the opposite.2 

The meals provided to both groups were matched in terms of calories, energy density, macronutrients, sugar, sodium, and fibre and each volunteer was advised to eat as much, or as little, as they wanted.

Interestingly, calorie intake was significantly higher (up to 500 calories) on days when the participants were given ultra-processed foods and on average, the subjects gained up to 0.9kg on an ultra-processed diet and lost up to 0.9kg eating an unprocessed diet, over the course of the two weeks. The conclusion from this study was that limiting the intake of ultra-processed foods may help to prevent, and treat, obesity.

The availability, and low price, of modern-day industrially processed foods, is most commonly the reason so many suffer from type 2 diabetes, joint problems, sleep apnoea and so much more.

Not only this, visceral fat puts heavy strain on organs and if it’s not combated, can lead to very dangerous consequences.

A Mediterranean-style diet can change this without feeling like a diet you commonly want to break away from. Scientific studies have found that this diet has the potential to:

  • Help you lose weight and lower levels of LDL cholesterol
  • Reverse, or reduce your risk of, type 2 diabetes
  • Reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s
  • Prevent heart disease and stroke

Notably, sitting down to enjoy food, eating slowly and away from any distractions is also important as it allows you to recognise when you’re full.

Processed foods high in salt and sugar go down very quickly and it’s theorised that, as a result, this gives us less awareness of when we’re full. Have you ever noticed that fullness comes on very quickly when digging into a takeaway?

Mindful eating may be the answer and you might find that you’ll enjoy the experience of eating food more.

The Fast 800 Online Programme has a mindfulness library, along with 12 weeks of educational content with useful advice on mindful eating, emotional eating and how to know whether you’re genuinely hungry or not.

So how can The Fast 800 help?: Rapid Weight Loss

The Fast 800 has two variations of its approach designed for rapid weight loss, suiting those with plenty of motivation and lots of weight to lose (typically those considered overweight or obese based on their BMI).

This rapid weight loss approach is safe to follow but recommended only for up to 12 weeks or until you reach a healthy BMI – whichever comes first.

What is: The Very Fast 800

About 800 calories a day 

Moderately low-carb, Mediterranean-style food developed by our in-house nutritionist (vegetarian and non-vegetarian)

Eating two or three meals per day, whichever best suits your lifestyle. Read more about the benefits of two meals a day here.

Up to 12 weeks before transitioning to a longer-term approach

What is: The Fast 800 Keto

Between 800-1000 calories a day

Very low carb, protein-rich meals, developed by our in-house nutritionist

Slightly more challenging to stick to than The Very Fast 800, but may result in accelerated weight loss

Up to 12 weeks before transitioning to a longer-term approach

The Fast 800 bases all its products and advice on the latest scientific research in nutrition, fitness and wellbeing and turning it into practical advice that works in the real world.  

Its week-by-week, mentored and peer-supported programme for weight loss, enables to achieve results they never thought possible.   For more information, visit

A 12-week programme – do-able in your own – costs £99 and includes:

  • Gut-friendly, foods to support your immune system, calorie-counted and based on Med-style food
  • An online personal assessment to determine the right level of fasting for you
  • A flexible meal planner and automated shopping lists to keep your plan simple
  • More than 300 easy-to-make and “taste great” recipes
  • Loads and loads of support on how to adapt your routine, especially at a time of COVID-19
  • Guided exercise programmes you can do at home, and without equipment
  • Online support from our team of Health Coaches, on hand for advice, support and motivation
  • A lively and inspirational cohort of members united by the goal to improve their health
  • Weekly educational articles and videos, so that you are empowered to make these changes for life!