- Diet & Weight Loss
The Fast Diet by Michael Mosley: Will It Work for Food Addicts?
An honest review for food addicts on Dr Michael Mosley's "Fast Diet"
In 2012, Dr Michael Mosley conducted a nutritional lifestyle experiment called “Eat, Fast, Live Longer” – eating for longevity and health.
He found that intermittent fasting (eating under 500 calories for two days each week), had significant health benefits. It was found that this way of eating improved health, lowered the risk of cardiac disease, helped weight loss and increased lifespan (see the video below).
In 2013, his book “The Fast Diet” was published and is currently creating a craze. Well, I too was exceptionally fascinated by the concept of eating less than 500 calories (for women; 600 calories for men) twice a week, and for the rest of the week, eating whatever I wanted.
The Michael Mosley Fast Experiment, and the origin of The Fast Diet
What exactly is The Fast Diet?
It’s very simple and I endorse the concept, as I am a firm believer that fasting is excellent for the human body and dates back to Biblical times. It’s good to fast from a spiritual, emotional and physical point of view.
What you do, is eat less than 500 calories twice a week only (if you’re a woman. If you’re a man, eat less than 600 calories). You must not have less-than-500 calorie days on consecutive days, but that’s it. You can eat whatever you want, as long as you only consume that amount of calories for the entire day.
What does a 500 calorie day look like?
Breakfast – 1 carrot, which is 23 calories plus 1 orange (70 calories)
Lunch - 1 cup of mash with butter and milk (237 calories)
Snack – 1 apple (65 calories)
Supper - 1 cup steamed butternut, broccoli, green beans (130 calories)
Will the Fast Diet work for a food addict or binge eater?
Now, if you’re a person who relates to food in a normal way, the Fast Diet is highly recommended. It will help your body as it did Michael Mosley’s, and if you suffer with health problems, it’s most certainly going to help.
Having suffered from food addiction for years, I conducted an experiment on recovering food addicts to find out whether it would be good to advise this eating plan for a person who suffers from an overeating disorder. This is what was found:
That for recovering food addicts, The Fast Diet may not be the right solution, purely because of the way a food addict perceives food.
The minute you implement any type of food deprivation in the life of a food addict, something in the brain goes a bit haywire and suddenly, the person begins thinking of food in a bad way again (that is why a diet hardly ever works for very overweight people). In the experiment, The Fast Diet set them back in their thinking. It was vital they went back to the recommended eating plan they were on before (which is not a diet, but focuses instead more on developing self-discipline and a healthy way of relating to food).
With The Fast Diet, the food addict attempts to “make up” for the deficit calories on the days prior and preceding the 500 calorie days, which is not what they the aim should be. Also, The Fast Diet encourages obsession over calories, which is never a good idea when food addicts are attempting to recover.
Because of this, I do not recommend a person with an overeating disorder try The Fast Diet.
It may very well work for a food addict to lose weight if it can be sustained over a period of time, but we found that The Fast Diet would not in general, be a viable solution for the food addict or overeater.
However, what I would certainly recommend, is trying fasting by skipping a meal when you’re not hungry, or waiting for your tummy to grumble as a sign you need food. Or you could try juice fasting for a meal here and there, or even juice fasting twice a week, but the key is knowing that you are able to have as many glasses as you want, so long as you don’t feel over full, and as long as you are having pure fruit juices. The focus must never be on weight loss per se, but rather on developing self-control. This works for an overeater, but never a diet.