Dr Michael Mosley is the man behind The Fast 800, a series of diet and weight loss programmes. Over the years, he has helped millions lose weight and now he has shared his five most important tips for anyone looking to do the same before Christmas.
“Your body is like a hybrid car – it runs on two main energy sources, sugar and fat,” Dr Michael said.
“The Keto diet, and intermittent fasting, encourages your body to flip from one to the other, burning through your fat stores and restoring your body to health.”
1. What is the Keto diet?
“The Keto diet [is] where you eat low carb, high fat and high protein foods,” Dr Michael explained. “[It] is designed to switch the body from burning sugar to burning fat – by prompting mild ketosis.
“Ketosis occurs when the body uses fat as its main fuel.
“With time restricted eating, you induce a state of mild ketosis, and that seems to produce some widespread benefits including stabilising blood sugar levels and weight loss.”
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2. Swapping white bread and pasta for fibrous carbs like chickpeas and wholegrains
Michael said: “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.
“The trick is not to cut carbs completely, but rather to be choosy about the ones you regularly eat.
“White bread, white pasta, potatoes and sugars including maple syrup and agave nectar are easily digestible carbohydrates, meaning they are rapidly absorbed by the body, creating a big spike in your blood-sugar levels.
“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 of fibrous carbs to include in your diet are vegetables, legumes – such as chickpeas and lentils – and wholegrains like barley, oats, buckwheat, and rye.
As for why you should eat protein at the first meal of the day, Dr Michael said it will help you feel fuller for longer.
“After a protein meal, levels of a chemical called tyrosine – a building-block for dopamine – rise inside the brain.
“By increasing its own dopamine supply as the next meal approaches, the brain experiences a much weaker dopamine ’hit’ from high-calorie food.”
This doesn’t mean you have to eat breakfast early in the day as a midday ‘breakfast’ helps to extend the period of non-eating and so draws down the full benefits of fasting.
“But what it does mean is that when you do break your fast, eating a higher-protein meal will help to stave off sugar cravings later on,” Dr Michael added.
There are a variety of protein sources you can eat first thing – nuts and seeds, eggs, diary, quinoa-based foods.
4. Don’t avoid fat
“Fat is of three macronutrients which our bodies need to survive,” Dr Michael explained.
“Fat from the food we eat aids growth, healthy skin, vitamin absorption and regulation of bodily functions.”
Good fats do contain more calories, but they also “curb the appetite by slowing the rate at which your stomach empties”, therefore, delaying the point at which it sends signals to the brain for more food.
Dr Michael suggests: “To feel fuller for longer, select olive oil, nuts, oily fish and (in moderation) full-fat dairy products.
“In contrast, eating ‘diet’ foods like fat-free crisps or biscuits can lead to overeating, because they leave the body wanting more.”
5. Eat lots of green and colourful vegetables
Dr Michael advises “dark-green leafy vegetables such as spinach, broccoli and kale,” should be included in your diet.
They supply key vitamins and minerals and also fight inflammation, which is a known cause of disease and low mood as well as an obstacle to weight loss.
“Most vegetables are also very low in calories (especially the dark leafy greens), so you can essentially count these as a ‘free food,’” he told ghp-news.com