Can The Fast Diet Help You Starve Your Way to Fat Loss?

By Ted

fast dietThe fast diet is the latest diet that promotes the concept of intermittent fasting as a way to lose weight and improve health.

Author, Michael Mosley, wrote the book after he investigated this method of eating for his BBC documentary Horizon: Eat, Fast, and Live Longer, which explored the health claims related to the concept of fasting a few days per week

Mosley believes that this is how humans have evolved to eat and developed under a feast or famine scenario, so therefore, our bodies still function best when this practice is utilized.

The Fast Diet Revolves Around the 5:2 Plan

The Fast Diet involves no complicated meal plans, forbidden foods lists, or special exercise routines.

Mosley says that dieters can lose weight and improve their overall health by simply eating normally 5 days per week and fasting 2 days per week.

By eating this way he was able to lose weight and improve his blood pressure, blood glucose levels, IGF-1 levels, and have more energy.

The Fasting Days

The Fast Diet restricts calories to just 500 for females and to just 600 daily for males. These calories can be split up or eaten all at once. The book includes forty 500-600 calorie meal ideas with photographs.

500-calorie-day

Picture of a typical 500 calorie meal from the book.

The Normal Eating Days

For the other 5 days, dieters simply eat normally and can enjoy all the foods they love. However, dieters can’t overeat, but have to adhere to the recommended normal calorie amounts by using the included calorie calculator.

Weight Loss and Improved Health

Beside losing about a pound a week, Michael Mosley says that dieters following The Fast Diet could experience the following heath benefits:

  • Lower blood pressure
  • Increased longevity
  • Better blood glucose levels
  • Less risk of diabetes
  • Less cancer risk
  • More energy
  • Lower IGF-1 levels (hormone believed to be responsible for aging)

Is There Research to Back This Up?

Mosley traveled throughout Europe and America to interview scientists that were conducting research on fasting as it relates to longevity and health. A couple of the studies referred to are:

  • Research performed by Professor Valter Longo, the director of the University of Southern California’s Longevity Institute.
  • Research conducted by Dr Krista Varady of the University of Illinois at Chicago. She has been testing Alternate Day Fasting on human volunteers.

However, there still isn’t enough scientific data to be entirely conclusive as to the benefits of intermittent fasting.

Intermittent Fasting Could Work

Any diet that causes dieters to consume less will most likely result in some weight loss. People who can’t follow restrictive diets may be more successful on The Fast Diet since fasting is only 2 days a week and there are no forbidden foods.

However, dieters would be wise to eat healthy on normal days to increase their weight loss efforts and increase the chances of their overall health being improved.

Have you ever tried intermittent fasting?

The Fast Diet is the best seller on Amazon at the moment.

7 Comments

  1. Melanie

    I started it three weeks ago and am losing about a kilo (approx. 2 lbs) per week. Yes, I am hungry on the fast day, but not as much now as I was in the beginning. Plus, it’s not that hard if you know that tomorrow you can eat what you like again (within reason, of course). If never lost weight that easily before and I could see myself doing this forever, if maybe a slightly higher calorie count to maintain weight.

    Reply
  2. M

    should the fasting be two days in a row, or can it be alternate it?

    Reply
    • Ted

      You can alternate it with whatever best works with your schedule/routine 🙂

      Reply
    • Melanie

      They shouldn’t be in a row. Michael Mosley explains in the book that one day on 500/600 kcal is fine, but that the body could go into starvation mode if you fast any longer, which would slow weight loss and could trigger the yo-yo effect in the future.

      Reply
  3. H

    Not a chance. I don’t eat processed foods at all but not eating for hours and I get light headed and have fainted (hypoglycemia). Also, bad migraines. Then my eyeballs start to burn and my muscles ache. Not good.
    Not for me. I do best eating small meals every few hours.

    I exercise a lot. 90 min minimum every day… Running is my love, but I do weights too in a circuit a few times a week

    Reply
    • Jim

      Agree with this. If you have any kind of hypoglycemia then fasting is not a great idea – and normally a precursor to a big binge.

      I am intrigued at the 500 Calorie meal displayed — looks like a lot more than that?

      Reply
  4. Spectra

    I routinely fast for 18-19 hours at a time. I eat “warrior style” a lot of the time, which means consuming the vast majority of my daily calories in a 3 hour time span during the day. I, surprisingly, am never hungry when I’m fasting and my blood sugar stays very even most of the time. I suspect you can’t eat like this if you eat a lot of processed/sugary foods, but I eat mostly veggies, some fruits, protein and nuts. I also exercise roughly an hour a day in addition to taking a 45 minute walk and sometimes a 15-20 minute bike ride a day. And I have no problems maintaining my weight eating like this–so I’d say it works for me.

    Reply