January 14th 2014
Book review: The Fast Diet
January 25th 2013
Is Dr Michael Mosley's new book on the 5:2 fast diet worth a read? Hilly Janes finds out
Michael Mosley, the doctor-turned-TV documentary maker, may have lost pounds on his 5:2 diet, but his bank balance is going to be heftier now he has published a best-selling book. It recounts how he lost weight as a by-product of making a BBC Horizon documentary last summer that looked at the health benefits of intermittent fasting.
Glossies should be well up to speed. We reported on Mosley’s diet - 500-600 calories a day, two days a week - and the science supporting it in November and now nutritional therapist Vicki Edgson has come up with mouth-watering menu plans to help you eat well while you shed pounds.
So is it worth shelling out £7.99 for (a bit of a mouthful) The Fast Diet: The Simple Secret of Intermittent Fasting: Lose Weight, Stay Healthy, Live Longer (www.amazon.co.uk), which Mosley has co-written with journalist Mimi Spencer?
Yes: if you want to find out more about the fascinating scientific research behind the diet, which Mosley makes highly accessible; you’d like some encouragement, tips and answers to frequently-asked questions; plus appetising recipes. And Mosley is to be congratulated for focussing entirely on the considerable health risks of being overweight, rather than on body image.
But if you watched the programme and are already confident that you understand how the diet works, probably not. The most important thing to stress about the approach is put in a nutshell by Dr Mark Matton, a neuroscientist and dementia expert who Mosley interviewed at the US National Institute on Aging: “Regardless of whether the 600 calories is consumed in one meal, or two or three or smaller meals, you will get major health benefits.”