Health & Diet

Dr Michael Mosley: Exercise and healthy eating ‘go hand in hand’ – but diet more important

This Morning: Michael Mosley discusses 800 calorie diet

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Michael Mosley is a TV journalist, producer, and former doctor who has worked for the BBC since 1985. He has also written a number of cookbooks, encouraging Britons to try out new recipes and eat healthier.

Dr Mosely spoke to about the easiest ways to lose weight.

He said exercise and diet are equally as important for a healthy body, but diet is most important when it comes to wanting to lose body fat.

The former doctor explained: “Whilst exercising is a great way to stay healthy and fit, it shouldn’t be substituted for healthy eating; they need to go hand in hand.

“So, go for that run, but leave the muffin alone.”

Dr Mosley went on to say that “exercise is a good way to burn calories” is “one of the most persistent myths”.

He said: “This is one of the oldest and saddest myths around. Sad because it isn’t true.

“The problem is that thanks to our evolutionary past, when food was scarce and our ancestors were active, our bodies are incredibly efficient at doing things like walking or running.

“You have to do a lot of either to burn even a small number of calories.”

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Dr Mosley recounted a study he undertook to find out “just how many calories I burn while running”.

He said: “I wore special monitoring equipment and set off at a brisk pace round the track. I wasn’t exactly threatening any Olympic records, but I was going fast enough to feel relieved when, after 10 minutes, I was told I could stop.

“It turns out I had consumed around 16 calories a minute, which meant that having run just over a mile I had burnt through a grand total of 160 calories.

“Not bad, I thought. But put it in perspective.

“A small bar of chocolate contains about 240 calories, while a chocolate muffin comes in around 500 calories.

“So, if you decide to have a muffin and a medium latte (150 calories) after your run then you are topping yourself up with 650 calories.”

Dr Mosely added that “consistent exercise” is integral to long-term health, but it can “easily be done without using expensive equipment or going to the gym”.

“When spending extended time at home, it’s easy to lose structure in your day and ultimately fall off track, however, exercise is a great way to get you feeling productive,” the former doctor said.

“Plus, starting a routine in the comfort of your home will help to reset your relationship with exercise.”

To lose weight, Dr Mosely said one of the easiest and best diets to follow is a low-carb model.

He explained: “Clinical trials consistently show that low-carb diets are effective for weight loss, over and above low-fat diets that once proved popular for those slimming down and watching their weight.

“Not all carbs are created equal; just as there are good fats and bad fats, there are good carbs and bad carbs.

“The trick is not to cut carbs completely, but rather to be choosy about the ones you regularly eat.

“If you want to try going lower-carb then white bread, white pasta, potatoes and sugars, including maple syrup and agave nectar, are best eaten sparingly, if at all.”

Dr Mosley continued: “Instead, eat carbohydrates that contain lots of fibre.

“Fibre reduces the blood sugar spike, provides protection against bowel cancer and feeds the ‘good’ bacteria that live in your guts.

“Examples include vegetables, legumes – chickpeas and lentils – and wholegrains such as barley, oats, buckwheat, and wholegrain and rye.”

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