Health & Diet

Weight loss: Dr Michael Mosley on why fats and fibre will help you lose a stone in 21 days

Anyone who follows the latest diet trends and news will know Dr Michael Mosley, the man behind books including The 5:2 Diet and the Fast 800. The doctor and journalist is an expert on rapid weight loss, having changed his own diet in order to reverse his type 2 diabetes by taking up intermittent fasting. Mosley now has a new programme launching which promises to help you lose the weight you might have put on during the lockdown. 

Dr Mosley’s new show, Lose a Stone in 21 Days, airs on Wednesday night on Channel 4 at 9pm. 

The new programme helps a number of volunteers to lose the weight they have put on in recent months, following the news that obesity is a serious factor in how well you can recover from the coronavirus. 

Dr Mosley has teamed up with his wife, Dr Clare Bailey, in order to help people to lose weight fast. 

Dr Bailey has been a GP for more than 30 years and has experience in helping dieters to achieve their weight loss goals and improve their health, as well as writing recipe books and meal plans for Dr Mosley’s popular diets. 

Ahead of the first episode of the show, Dr Mosley appeared on Wednesday’s This Morning on ITV with Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford to discuss the diet. 

He explained that the show takes the 800 calorie diet that he made famous with his book, Fast 800, after it was proven to work in a recent study. 

Dr Bailey co-authored the research study for Oxford University, which found that those following a diet of 800 calories a day for eight weeks lost an average of 9.5kg – which is almost one and a half stone. 

Dr Mosley explained that some people lost more, and some lost less, but all of the people in study “massively improved their metabolic health”. 

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This means their blood pressure decreased, their sleep improved and even their mood improved. 

So how do you do the diet? 

The three-week diet involves eating 800 calories a day, with high protein, low-carb Mediterranean-style foods which Dr Bailey is sharing alongside the programme. 

Dr Mosley also talked through what he calls “the three Fs”, which are three factors that are crucial for those hoping to lose weight. 

The first is fluids – dieters should drink plenty of water as not only will it help you feel fuller, but for every gram of sugar you lose, you lose three grams of water. 

When you initially start to lose the weight, it’s the sugar and water that first goes – also known as “water weight” – so it’s important to drink plenty to stay hydrated. 

Fibre is the second “F” in order to help you stay full and feed the good bacteria in your gut, for an improved mood. 

The final “F” to be wary of is fat – and not for the reason you might think. 

Dr Mosley believed that the food industry’s obsession with low-fat foods (which are often full of sugar) is one of the reasons behind the country’s high obesity rates, as some fats are actually good for you. 

The expert recommended eating olive oil, nuts, oily fish and (in moderation) full-fat dairy products in order to lose and maintain their weight. 

He also warned that it’s not just about sugar being the problem – it’s a combination of fats and sugar that can make you put on weight and affect your health. 

However, Eamonn wasn’t so convinced that anyone could be happy eating only 800 calories a day – but Dr Mosley explained that the mood-boosting effects are part of how the body reacts to a healthier diet. 

Dr Mosley said they found it “tough to begin with” but that after three or four days, your stomach shrinks and you go into a fat burning mode – also known as ketosis. 

“The reality is you have a huge amount of energy stored in your body in the form of fat, which you never dip into,” explained Dr Mosley, who said it was a bit like having money in the bank – you only go there when you haven’t got money in your pocket. 

Your body initially tells you that it’s time to eat, but when it realises that you won’t be snacking or eating another meal it starts to burn fat, which helps to improve your mood. 

The doctor also added that eating junk food makes you fat, depressed and anxious as well as affecting sleep – which is why a healthy diet is so important for both physical and mental health. 

He reported that some dieters are even “almost hyper” once they change their lifestyle, thanks to the way it affects their body and mind. 

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