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1,285 of 1,312 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tough to start with - but incredible results!
I just wanted to share my experience with anyone thinking about starting on this diet.

I consider myself a yo-yo dieter. Once committed to a diet I do stick to it. The trouble for me arises at Christmas, birthdays and other special occasions. I think to myself, for the next week I will treat myself, it's only Christmas or my birthday once a year right...
Published 18 months ago by ScotsLad

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71 of 82 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Excellent principles, possibly lacking in substance.
I bought this having watched the TV show and read a few articles by Michael Mosley. I found the book to be slightly more informative, however, on the whole it retread previously visited ground from the TV show. One thing I have found useful is the meal plans with Calorie values for each; although I have since decided that I prefer one big meal in the evening as opposed to...
Published 18 months ago by MR DANILO P FUSCO


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1,285 of 1,312 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tough to start with - but incredible results!, 28 Jan 2013
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This review is from: The Fast Diet: The Secret of Intermittent Fasting - Lose Weight, Stay Healthy, Live Longer (Paperback)
I just wanted to share my experience with anyone thinking about starting on this diet.

I consider myself a yo-yo dieter. Once committed to a diet I do stick to it. The trouble for me arises at Christmas, birthdays and other special occasions. I think to myself, for the next week I will treat myself, it's only Christmas or my birthday once a year right? Wrong.

This is a trigger for me. Once I have fallen off the wagon I am in big trouble and usually put the majority of the weight back on. Kidding myself that I will start again on Monday, but never following through. Only being jolted back into action when I approach my heaviest weight. The trouble is I have been "dieting", trying to control my daily calorie intake, essentially denying myself food. What I really needed was to establish a new relationship with my food. A relationship where there is no proverbial wagon to fall off... This is exactly what the Fast Diet is.

The principle is simple: two days a week you fast, sticking to 500 calories for women or 600 calories for men, and for the other five days you eat what you like. I eat breakfast (toast and two poached eggs) and dinner (fish/chicken with plenty vegetables) on my fast days, and pretty much what I like on feed days. Initially I thought I would be tempted to over eat on feed days - but I found the opposite is true. Once you have had the determination to fast for a day, the next day you feel satisfied with smaller portions. You also don't want to undo all the effort from your fast days and that adds another motivating factor to the mix. I found myself averaging around 1,900 calories on feed days and feeling perfectly well fed.

The first few days of fasting were really tough, but I stuck with it. For me it took about six fasting days before I began to consider it easy to do. I found sipping water throughout the day, around 4-5 litres, really helped keep the hunger at bay during this settling in phase. I cannot drink black coffee or tea, so I added a little milk and tracked that in my daily calorie intake (around 15 cals per cup). I didn't experience any headaches or tiredness and I am able to walk for 1 hour on fast days no problem at all. I don't feel like I am living on the bare minimum amount of energy to stay alive.

I don't consider this method a diet. You can look at your working week and choose what days you are going to fast. I personally always fast on Mondays, and I am flexible with my second fast day depending on what is happening during that particular week. While on the diet I have woken up on what was supposed to be a fast day only to decide that I need to eat something more that 600 calories. On previous diets I would feel terrible about it, triggering a spiral of eating that gets out of control. On this diet all I do is start the fast again the next day. There is no reason to beat yourself up if you slip up on this diet.

So now - the important part, how much have I lost? Well following this diet since the Horizon programme in September I have lost well over two stone, and feel a hell of a lot better inside as well as outside.

Best 3 you will spend this year.
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1,494 of 1,572 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best diet since sliced bread!, 21 Jan 2013
By 
Mr M.R.Watkinson (Norfolk, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Fast Diet: The Secret of Intermittent Fasting - Lose Weight, Stay Healthy, Live Longer (Paperback)
The best review on here is that of Mike C from 31/12/12. So good, in fact, that I haven't bothered to buy the book! Why? Well, I saw the original Horizon, back in August, so I know the how & why of the diet; I'm a perfectly competent cook, so I don't need the recipes; the rest of it is padding to me as much as it is to Mike. Why am I here, then? Well, just in case you need any further persuasion to invest in this, I thought I'd add my two penn'orth, plus I'd like to mention a a few points that I think are particularly worth considering.

I experimented with the diet after the programme was shown, then had a very dissolute December, knowing full well that I was going to go at it full tilt in the New Year. I started on the 2nd, 19 days later, I've dropped 10 lbs with no problems, no loss of energy (I play squash vigorously, and 5-a-side when I can get a game), and no trouble sticking with the plan. So, yes it works. Absolutely.

However, the most important point to emphasise is that this not a weight loss diet. Weight loss is entirely a side effect of the real purpose of the diet, which is to prolong life. It's a milder version of Alternate Day Fasting. This is scientifically unproven as yet, but is said to reduce the chance of developing various cancers, and to help manage a variety of conditions / illnesses wide enough to include diabetes & arthritis. What tends to get the headlines is the fact that on your Fast days, you cut your calories to a quarter of the recommended. What is more significant is reducing your protein intake. This is said to force your body from "growth mode" into "repair mode" where, instead of creating new cells, the body attempts to repair damaged ones. Since cancers are essentially uncontrolled cell growth, it's obvious how this diet could help; equally, repairing damaged cells will presumably help with any number of ailments, aches & pains.

Personally, I'm no fan of calorie counting. The vast majority of people have no idea what a calorie really is or how it's measured. Therefore, my advice is don't fuss too much about the limits. For a man, you're supposed to keep the protein under 35g & the calories to no more than 600. If you stick to the protein limit & bust the calorie limit by a couple of hundred, it's not going to hurt you. It's the protein limit, I think, that is more significant in switching to repair mode. I've been varying between a 4:3 & 5:2 version of the diet, and I've probably hit 8-900 calories on half the Fast days & still shed pounds plenty quick.

Key psychological point: you don't actually feel like you're on a diet. There is no constant struggle to discipline yourself day after day after day. Five days a week, you eat normally; two days you fast. You can do two days consecutively (I was doing Sun & Mon last year), you can split them, it really doesn't matter. But it isn't difficult, on a single day, to adjust your diet, knowing full well you can eat what the heck you like the next!

As far as food goes, it's quite simple. On Fast days, cut your protein down, cut out the standard starchy staples (spuds, pasta, rice, bread). Eat plenty of non-root vegetables, along with some chicken or fish & you're pretty much there. Even if you're not much of a cook, or short on time, it doesn't take much to grab some mixed frozen veg from the freezer (beans, sprouts, casserole veg, broccoli, cauliflower, that sort of thing) & flash it in the microwave. Fresh or frozen, you can always pep things up with herbs, a sprinkling of seeds (fennel, caraway, etc), or a few splashes of soy / oyster / Worcester / Tabasco sauce. Plenty of variety there, so it doesn't get boring either.

Final trick: drink plenty; sip, sip, sip throughout the day. Now, you are allowed black coffee / tea on the diet, but I don't drink either, so I just drink water. The important thing is sip, sip, sip, though. On a fast day, I'm typically drinking 3-4 litres, which gives the system a good flush, as well! But it's not a huge glug followed by nothing for hours. Sipping throught the day keeps the hunger pangs at bay and makes it easy to stick to. And it's only for one day, remember!

For me, the diet isn't much of an adjustment. I don't east fast food or much by way of sweets / dessert, most supermarket ready meals tend to be fairly healthy anyway, and I cook a lot, freezing & re-heating a good deal of it, so there's always plenty of quick food for office days, when I'm out very early & back late. For you, it might be more of a change. If it is, though, you're likely to see even more of a benefit. Being down so many pounds already, I'm dropping the 4:3 version of the diet this week. Once I'm in the shape I want to be in, 5:2 will probably become 6:1, as Michael Mosley has done. But it's an effective diet, an easy one to follow, and one that I will probably follow for the rest of my life. Try it & see for yourself!
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345 of 380 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 months in...life changing, but in a good way :), 6 April 2013
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This review is from: The Fast Diet: The Secret of Intermittent Fasting - Lose Weight, Stay Healthy, Live Longer (Paperback)
I am (or was) a typical 43 year old bloke, I like a pint or 6 on a Friday night and the odd bottle of wine in the evening. I love food, travel and socialising. Inevitably this lead to middle age spread, as it has with all my friends of a similar age. 5"11 and 13.5 stone.

So of course I've tried diets, and stick to them quite well in the typical yo-yo fashion, only to end up even bigger 6 months later.

So 7 months ago a friend mentioned he had seen the Horizon TV program and was going on the 5:2 Fasting Diet. He said it was for the health benefits and not to lose weight (think he felt it wasn't a blokey thing to do, to go on a diet). So I watched the program and decided to join him on it.

I changed nothing else in my life, still binge drinking more than I mean to and eating out etc (some things are much harder to change in life, but I'm only human:)

To my surprise I found it very easy to stick to. I had a headache a couple of times on the first few weeks so had my doubts, but after a few months, because you feel so much better, it becomes a joy to be on. Of course there are "fast" days when your tummy rumbles in the evening after you have used your 500/600 calories, but it's not going to kill you and it's only until breakfast next day, which tastes so much better.

7 months in and I've lost just short of 2 stone. The weight loss has slowed to a almost a stop which is a relief as I was going to have to alter the diet some how as I had reached my target weight and didn't want to get too skinny (a nice problem to have). My resting heart rate has dropped considerably which is probably why the weight loss has almost stopped (my metabolism seems to have slowed). I don't get out of breath and I'm much fitter.

I can't see myself ever coming off this diet as my relationship with food is at an all time high. No guilty feeling when you have enjoyed a nice meal. Everything just tastes so much better. You know how towards the end of Christmas or Easter you just stop enjoying food because your so fed up of binging, well reverse that feeling and times it by 10. Even Bran Flakes after a fasting day tastes good. Even beer tastes better :)

There have been some poor reviews of this diet, but I think they just miss the point. The government and doctors are very good at telling us what we should be doing, but we already know what we should be doing, we just can't stick to it. We are genetically programmed to eat food when it's available. Years of natural selection have meant "survival of the fattest" during times of famine. It's not our fault, but to me this way of eating is how our bodies are designed to live. We were never designed to graze continuously very palatable and calorie dense food that is available 24/7, 365 days a year.

Well that's my rant over, to the book. It's 4 and I enjoyed reading it, it filled in some gaps. It's written by the guy who started it all for me and not one of the copy cat books. Good science in it. Buy it.

Just one more thing. Thank you Dr. Mosley. You have improved my life, and probably my life expectancy. I've two teenage daughters and I'm sure they will appreciate having me around in good health for longer. I've started walking now as I can now get up the hills, so if I see you on one of your walks, and it's not a fast day, I'll buy you a pint :)

Sean (Marske-by-the-Sea)
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent - really works, 10 Oct 2013
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Excellent way to lose weight. Been doing this for 6 weeks and regularly lose 2lb a week. find it easy to do.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It works ..., 17 Dec 2013
By 
Buzzy Bee (Preston Lancashire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Fast Diet: The Secret of Intermittent Fasting - Lose Weight, Stay Healthy, Live Longer (Paperback)
Bought this book in March. Now lost 45 pounds as of almost 9 months later. The science behind the idea is interesting and has certainly worked for me. Have now found my hunger switch again. Never going back and now down to 1 fast day just for the health benefits. You need willpower, especially early on but if you cheat you are only cheating yourself. You can always have that biscuit tomorrow!
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45 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than all the Fad diets, 12 May 2013
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This review is from: The Fast Diet: The Secret of Intermittent Fasting - Lose Weight, Stay Healthy, Live Longer (Paperback)
Easy to read
Easy to remember
Easy to put into practice
Easy to lose weight
Easy to adopt as a life syle.
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129 of 148 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read This Book, 5 Jan 2013
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This review is from: The Fast Diet: The Secret of Intermittent Fasting - Lose Weight, Stay Healthy, Live Longer (Paperback)
I have always loved Horizon as one of the best, if not the best, popular science programmes, but lately I've moved away from watching so much TV and so I missed Dr Michael Mosley's programme on high intensity exercise, and more frustratingly, was away for his "Eat, Fast, and Live Longer" programme and neglected to record it.

Luckily I found a Facebook Group trying the 5:2 diet populated (then) mainly by fellow writers and friends, which is how I found the group in the first place. At the time, Michael Mosley's Horizon programme, which I'd looked for on i-player but hadn't found, was on YouTube, so I watched it, feeling somewhat guilty about the violation of copyright. The video was removed shortly after that, which I thought was a shame but could understand. This, I felt, left a huge gap for those of us wanting to know the basis of the diet, and one which I am glad to say is filled by this book, amongst others. Better still, it arrived early.

The science seemed sound and answered a lot of questions which had occurred to me over the years. The concept is easy: eat 500kcals for 2 days out of seven, then eat ad lib the rest of the week. And the primary motivator for this regime was to improve the internal biochemistry rather than weight loss per se. That aspect is very important, because weight loss is a slow, long business and not terribly motivating day-to-day, and easily overcome by temptation - temptation which can be postponed and indulged in the next day in this "diet". Physiologically and psychologically this way of eating makes sense to me.

I ordered Mosley and Spencer's book to see what it was like, even though I don't think you actually need the book to do the "diet". Restrict kcals to 500 two days a week, eat ad lib the rest of the time - what could be simpler? I had already lost well over a stone. I didn't really need the book, but I wanted it.

It's great. The first part was pretty much a reiteration of the Horizon programme, and therefore of great value to anyone who didn't see the programme, and of value anyway because although my memory is reasonable, there were things I'd overlooked or forgotten.

The second part was Mimi's experiences, and as a female I found this interesting.

There's an emphasis on glycaemic index, which is important.

There were some menu plans for men and women, which apart from inspiring people, make it easy to do, though I haven't tried any, tending to opt for salad and lean meat or fish, or, at a pinch, a warmed up can of beans (life's too busy for faffing around).

There were anecdotes from people using the 5:2 approach.

There was a list of calorific values of basic foods.

Reassuringly, there was a list of references at the back. I doubt I'll have the time to look these up, but at least I feel the science is well researched. There was no bunkum or hocus-pocus, and no faffing around with endless supplements, no hard sell or defensive blathering (which I found irritating in Atkins' book - like he invented ketosis. I don't think so - ketosis as a weight loss strategy has been around for longer than the Atkins diet; but I digress). In short, this book is scientifically sound and does not insult the intelligence of the average reader, yet is easy to read and does not dazzle with science, or the case of some diet books, pseudoscience.

Downsides? There was mention of headaches, which several people in this FB group have commented on, but unless it was in the inspirational anecdotes (which I haven't read) there was no mention of the other problem some of us have suffered from; constipation. Perhaps nobody has had the indelicacy to mention it to Dr Mosley.

I recommend both the book and the eating approach.

I found a number of typos in the book, one of which had me puzzled, but which, for the most part, did not affect reading quality.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Watch the pounds slip effortlessly away, 29 Sep 2013
By 
M. A. Howell - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: The Fast Diet: The Secret of Intermittent Fasting - Lose Weight, Stay Healthy, Live Longer (Paperback)
Thanks to Dr Mosley and Mimi. This book sets out a simple way for people to painlessly lose weight. It boils down to not much more than having to find the willpower to miss two meals a week. I have lost 17 pounds in the six weeks I have been following it, my wife 13 pounds. Without stress. Tomorrow you can eat. Brilliant.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The perfect diet for self-indulgent foodies, 17 Dec 2013
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This review is from: The Fast Diet: The Secret of Intermittent Fasting - Lose Weight, Stay Healthy, Live Longer (Paperback)
I had basically given up on the whole idea of diets and dieting. I knew that it had been scientifically demonstrated that diets hardly ever work because eventually the body rebels and gradually weight is put back on - the 'yoyo' diet syndrome. And I like cooking and going to restaurants. Plus I am of an age and marital status that means that unlike when I was younger I was less motivated to look good - (I'm male, aged 67). So I had pretty much resigned myself to being a bit tubby for the rest of my days. When I first heard about the 5:2 diet I thought there was no way I could manage to follow it. Two days a week with scarcely any food???

However one day I thought I would read this book. I was familiar with Dr Michael Mosley on TV and liked his presentation style and the topics he covered so I thought I would look into this diet. And I was persuaded to make a start with it. That was eight months ago (April 2013). To my amazement I found that the fasting days weren't that difficult. For me, it works like this: breakfast is chopped fresh fruit and plain yoghurt. No lunch but several cups of tea with no milk or sugar during the day. Dinner is something from one of the 5:2 recipe books. There are infinite variations, as long as you stick more or less to 600 calories on those days. At first, it wasn't exactly easy, but the morning after the fast days I always felt great, pleased with my achievement and happy that I could resume normal eating again. And the pounds dropped off. Very rapidly at first, much more slowly later as I approached my ideal weight.

So now I am at or maybe slightly below my ideal weight. Also I used to have high blood pressure, but that has long since gone back to normal and my doctor has taken me off Ramipril. And I also noticed that far from wanting to compensate on non-fasting days, my stomach seems to have reduced in size and I am inclined to eat less than before, without effort or self-discipline. It is just natural. And I feel much better in myself, and my wife and I have started to go to the gym like we used to do 25 years ago! I am continuing with the 5:2 regime because I would still like to lose a couple more pounds but more importantly it guarantees that I won't put on weight over Christmas, or indeed after. I dare say at some stage I may decide to just have one fasting day a week or even none, but I know that should I become overweight again, the 5:2 solution is there.
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438 of 504 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not a diet but a way of life, 31 Dec 2012
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This review is from: The Fast Diet: The Secret of Intermittent Fasting - Lose Weight, Stay Healthy, Live Longer (Paperback)
Book arrived this morning and I spent the next few hours reading it cover to cover. I've been following this way of eating since August and lost 20 lb so far and 6 inches off my waist. It has left me feeling both physically and and mentally healthier and so far, fingers crossed, my annual winter SAD has not materialised. There's so much information on the internet about this and similar diets (I know, I've looked!) so it's great to have it all distilled in one book and I look forward to Dr Mosley's soon-to-be-launched website dedicated to 5:2. If I had the money I would buy several copies and distribute them amongst my sceptical friends. The first half deals with the science behind fasting, the second the practicalities. There is also a chapter dedicated to the findings of people like me who have been following this 'diet' since the Horizon programme. All in all a very satisfying book. I highly recommend it, especially if, like me, you've tried diet after diet and very quickly slipped back into bad habits because you've found them unsustainable. 5 days of ordinary eating, 2 days of restricted calories. It's as simple as that.
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