Michael Mosley shares the ‘most effective’ diet for menopausal women to lose weight

Liz Earle Wellbeing: Fasting discussion with Michael Mosley

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Dr Michael Mosley joined Liz Earle for a social media live chat earlier this year to discuss all things fasting, diets and weight loss. The Fast 800 creator spoke to the beauty and wellness expert about Time Restricted Eating (TRE), and the 5:2 diet. He revealed which diet was most successful for perimenopausal or menopausal women. 

Liz said: “Intermittent fasting – it’s a lot scarier and easier than it sounds, a lot of people think ‘fasting I’ve got to stop eating’.

“It’s really this TRE – time restricted eating – when you eat within a certain window. 

“You went into it as an experiment for your own health. 

“Can you talk a little about that for those that aren’t aware of that?” 

Dr Michael replied: “I did this 10 years ago, 2012, and I went for a blood test for something else, and my GP rang me up suggesting I had type 2 diabetes. 

“So I wondered at the time whether there was something I could do to cure myself of diabetes – I managed to persuade the BBC to create a documentary, and it was an exploration. 

“This is where I first came across Intermittent Fasting – I went over to the States and this is where I was introduced to it.” 

Dr Michael was told to “cut his calories down to 600-800 and do that a few days a week”. 

“It was with this inspiration that I created the 5:2 diet – cut your calories down, two days a week, and eat healthily on the other days,” the expert added. 

Around the same time, Dr Michael came across research into Time Restricted Eating which is a different form of Intermittent Fasting, where instead of cutting calories across the day, you time restrict. 

“For example you only eat between 9am and 6pm,” Dr Michael explained. “That is roughly a 14:10 pattern of eating, 14 hours of overnight fasting and 10 hours of eating.

“I did this as part of this documentary, and in the course of it, I lost 9kilos, around 1.5st (20lbs) in the course of eight weeks.” 

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While this approach to eating is beneficial for anyone with type 2 diabetes, Dr Michael also said perimenopausal women benefit from weight loss too, if they follow the 5:2 diet. 

He added: “There was also additional research I came across that had been done in Manchester, by cutting your calories a couple of days a week, and this is in women, perimenopausal women who suffer a lot – putting on weight because of hormone change. 

“And they found when they went on the 5:2 pattern, they did a randomised-controlled trial, they lost more weight, particularly around the waist.” 

“What do you think is the best approach?” Liz asked. “For me, 5:2 – I mean, I love eating! I love my food and I’m very social, so to be so restricted two days a week, I find very tricky. 

“The 5:2 is possibly not something for me. 

“Can you mix and match? Do both work equally as well? Is one better than the other?” 

Dr Michael said: “It depends on what your goal is. Is your goal is weight loss, then the 5:2 will be more effective.” 

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