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The Fast 800 - Book Review

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by KJ (subscribe)
Published February 25th 2019
The creator of the 5:2 diet returns with new tips and advice

Michael Mosley is a doctor, author, and journalist, well-known for promoting the health benefits of fasting and calorie restriction. His recently released book, The Fast 800 features a new diet and lifestyle plan, aimed at assisting with weight-loss and improving a number of health conditions.

The book is 288 pages long and contains 8 chapters, followed by a section containing recipes by Dr Clare Bailey. It begins with background information about Dr Mosley's previous books (The Fast Diet and The 8-Week Blood Sugar Diet).

Dr Mosley explains that The Fast 800 is an updated combination of the plans:

"...six years on, I have decided to completely update my first two books and to combine the best elements of the latest research in one easy-to-follow programme." (pg. 11)

I found The Fast 800 to be quite similar to Dr Mosley's previous plans, as all are low calorie, however, there are a couple of differences this time around:

800 calories is the "magic number"
Readers are advised to initially stick to 800 calories (3,347 Kilojoules) per day for a length of time, before moving onto a 5:2 style of eating, where they can consume 800 calories on fasting days (instead of 500/600).
Time-Restricted Eating
Dr Mosley believes that readers should aim to eat within a 12-hour window (eg. between 9am-9pm), and can move to a smaller window of 10 or 8 hours if it's not too difficult for them.
Shakes are allowed
While Dr Mosley believes that real, unprocessed food is best, he has found that low-calorie meal-replacement shakes (around 200 calories) can be useful for people following the diet, as they are filling and are an easy option that doesn't require any meal planning/cooking.

There are also a number of extra tips, such as following a Mediterranean style of eating and aiming to eat your last meal of the day at least 3 hours before you go to bed.

Michael Mosley, Fast 800, Fast Diet, 5:2, Mediterranean diet, fasting, intermittant fasting, book review, low calorie, low carbohydrate, calorie restriction, 800 calories,
Dr Mosley recommends that readers follow a Mediterranean style eating plan by including tomatoes, feta cheese, zucchini, and olive oil (Image by Engin_Akyurt on Pixabay)

The science behind it
For those interested in why the plan is effective, the book contains information about scientific studies and current research on fasting and low-calorie diets. Dr Mosley also includes a section at the back of the book explaining the different types of scientific studies (and their limitations), and the book is written in a very conversational style, so it's all very clear and easy to understand.

Exercise and lifestyle factors
While the book is mainly focused on diet, chapter 5 contains some information on exercise, including walking, High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), strength training, and tips on ways to incorporate more activity into your life.

Michael Mosley, Fast 800, Fast Diet, 5:2, Mediterranean diet, fasting, intermittent fasting, book review, low calorie, low carbohydrate, calorie restriction, 800 calories, HIIT, high intensity interval training, exercise,
Dr Mosley includes some tips on incorporating exercise into your life (Image by MabelAmber on Pixabay)

Chapter 6 is all about stress - how it can cause hunger, and ways to overcome it - while chapter 7 explains how to get started on The Fast 800 diet plan.

This chapter includes:
What to stock in your pantry
How to measure your progress
How to deal with cravings
What to expect at each stage of the plan

Michael Mosley, Fast 800, Fast Diet, 5:2, Mediterranean diet, fasting, intermittant fasting, book review, low calorie, low carbohydrate, calorie restriction, 800 calories, Water,
Readers are encouraged to drink plenty of water when following the plan (Image by rawpixel on Pixabay)

Pages 170-254 contain a range of low calorie, low carbohydrate recipes.

Recipes include:
Tumeric Roasted Cauliflower with Dhal (page. 232)
Vegan Rogan Josh (page 230)
Prawn Korma with Coconut Cauli Rice (Page. 228)
Minced Pork and Snow Pea Stir-Fry with Noodles (page. 190)
Porridge with Pistachio and Chia (page 174)
Banana and Cranberry Lunchbox Bars (page. 248)

Other recipes are also available on the official website.

Zoodles, Zucchini Noodles, Spiralised, Fast 800 diet, Recipes, Michael Mosley, Michael Mosely,
Dr Mosley recommends substituting noodles and rice for low-calorie options, such as 'Zoodles' and cauliflower rice (Image by MootikaLLC at Pixabay)

The book is very similar to The 8-Week Blood Sugar Diet, so if you've already read that book, it is probably not worth purchasing this one as well (perhaps just borrow it from the library).

If you're new to Michael Mosley, then I'd definitely recommend the book, especially you're interested in losing weight, or have a condition such as pre-diabetes or Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD).

The recipes are quite limited, so if you're more interested in the food than the science behind the diet, then I'd recommend waiting for the soon-to-be-released recipe book (or getting your hands on The 8-Week Blood Sugar Diet Recipe Book which is full of low-calorie recipes which are suitable for The Fast 800 diet).
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Why? To lose weight, and achieve good health.
When: Any time
Where: The book is available from book stores (online and in-store), and there is also an online program available.
Cost: RRP $29.99
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