Weight loss: Dr Michael Mosley on benefits of fasting
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Dr Michael Mosley often shares his weight loss tips with slimmers online as well as on television. He is the creator of The Fast 800 – a diet plan that helps people lose weight quickly.
Dr Mosley told Express.co.uk that “you can lose belly fat, and you can lose it fast”.
Even the thinnest people suffer with belly fat and to lose it, it is helpful to understand it, according to the nutrition expert.
He said: “You need to understand the basics of how insulin works. Your body makes insulin after a meal in order to keep blood sugar stable.
“On your cell walls, insulin opens up glucose ports to allow sugar through – for burning in muscle, and for storage in fat. In your fat, insulin also curbs the release of fatty acids into your system.
“All well and good – as long as your insulin is working. However, as we age cell-wall insulin receptors become less sensitive.
“As a result, even after a meal, our blood is replete with glucose and fatty acids. This is a toxic brew, driving an array of bad outcomes, including rapidly-expanding belly fat.”
Because of this, belly fat can impact older people more than young people.
It can also affect women going through the menopause as a change of hormones can lead to a slower metabolism.
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It is therefore helpful for both women and men over 50 to change their diet.
Dr Mosley recommended limiting, or avoiding, two food types: sugars and carbs.
He said: “To make a serious impact on your belly fat, cutting out sugar-spikes is key. A surprising number of ‘diet’ snacks and drinks are high in sugar, and are marketed as diet foods because they happen to be low in fat.”
Therefore, Dr Mosley advised eating fewer sugary fruits such as mango, pineapple, sugary smoothies, and juices.
As for carbs, the doctor stressed that “when people cut carbs, their appetite goes down and they lose weight”.
Slimmers should “replace processed carbs like white bread, chips, and pasta with slow-release energy sources, such as brown rice or quinoa”.
Dr Mosley added: “Two things will surprise you: the amount of sugar you were consuming unawares, and the speed at which your belly fat will begin to tame itself.”
Intermittent fasting is another way dieters could begin to lose belly fat.
Dr Mosley said: “The idea that fasting ‘slows your metabolism’ is a myth. Under conditions of marked energy deficit – 800 calories per day or less – not only do you simply lose weight by eating fewer calories, but your body responds to the stress of fasting by enhancing hormone function to facilitate weight loss and burn fat for energy.
“Short-term fasting can lead to several changes in the body that make fat burning easier. This includes reduced insulin, increased growth hormone, enhanced epinephrine signalling and a small boost in metabolism.”
The nutrition expert this is supported by numerous studies, saying: “According to a 2014 review of the scientific literature, intermittent fasting can cause weight loss of three to eight percent over three to 24 weeks.
“Not only this – but people lost four to seven percent of their waist circumference as well – indicating a large loss of the harmful belly fat in the abdominal cavity, strongly linked to chronic disease.
“So, want to shift that weight round your middle? Try intermittent fasting.”
The final step to losing belly fat Dr Mosley mentioned was regular exercise.
“Research has shown the extraordinary impact that ultra-short bursts of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) can have,” he said.
“All in just a few minutes. Not only is it effective, but study after study has shown it is much easier to stick to.”
Dr Mosley added: “So, conventional diet and training regimes don’t help you to lose belly fat. And let’s face it: surrounded by junk food, dosed with snacks, and working in sedentary jobs, we live in an environment that piles it on.
“And yet more and more people are discovering that with the right lifestyle changes, they can burn it off. And most amazing? It’s not as hard as you think.”
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