Dr Michael Mosley has helped thousands of people lose weight and change their eating habits. Having successfully followed the original 5:2 diet many years ago, I decided to give the New 5:2 plan a go for four weeks. Here’s how I got on.
The New 5:2 plan is regular intermittent fasting “for an effective, gradual way to lose weight and keep it off long term”.
It involves consuming only 800 calories two days a week, and a moderately low-carb Mediterranean-style diet is followed the other five days a week.
The Fast 800 website
When you sign up, you answer several rounds of questions about your goals and lifestyle habits, and a diet plan is generated. Due to the small amount of weight, I wanted to lose, the website chose the New Way of Life programme for me to follow, which would see a healthy weight loss of 0.5-1lb a week for 12 weeks.
I overrode this programme choice and chose the New 5:2 diet.
From there, you can track your progress, plan next week’s meals and even create a shopping list for the ingredients you need.
There is also a section on exercise, with detailed sessions and videos to guide you.
Many people give up on diets due to lack of support, but The Fast 800 has you covered with the Community tab where you can connect with fellow members, and join groups.
Fast 800 Shakes
I was sent a variety of protein shakes and meal replacement shakes for calorie-controlled convenience, as well as energy capsules, omega 3 and multivitamins.
The shakes are a great idea, especially for anyone who doesn’t have time to cook a high-protein, low-calorie meal or snack.
I tried several flavours of both the protein and meal replacement shakes; coconut, chocolate, strawberry, vanilla and coffee to name a few, with water as instructed and with milk, but struggled to find a flavour I could enjoy regularly.
The texture of the shakes was also unusual, personally, I found them really gritty, with a strong metallic aftertaste. Fast 800 says the texture is because they use “real food/natural ingredients” and the texture is “important because one of the things that we tend to miss out on with meal replacements is natural fibre”.
I was then sent the new salted caramel protein shake flavour, and it was by far the nicest flavour from the selection – it contained 194 calories, 21.6 of protein, and 6.7g of fibre.
The salted caramel shake was also really smooth after it had been thoroughly shaken – and the stainless steel shaker was also great at keeping the shake cold for several hours if necessary.
I drank the shakes both on fasting days and non-fasting days and found they filled me up quickly, and that feeling lasted for several hours.
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On the days I ate 800 calories, I really noticed a change in my mood and believe this was down to both a lack of food and as well as thinking about the food I could eat. I experienced some hunger pangs, but these passed after drinking a glass of water or herbal tea.
Dr Michael recommends “exercise snacking” or regular HIIT sessions – of which there are several on the website to explore and try.
As someone who exercises regularly, I struggled on the fasting days not to go to the gym and distract myself from thinking about my next meal or wanting to eat. Due to the limited calories you consume on fasting days, it’s not recommended to undertake strenuous exercise.
The New 5:2 diet is really easy to follow; so many people struggle with diets that are calorie restricted, but because there are only two days a week of eating 800 calories, it was easy to shift your mindset and push through, knowing the following day you could consume around 1600 calories of tasty, nutritional, Mediterranean-style meals.
In the end, I lost three pounds in four weeks by following the New 5:2 diet plan, so I’d recommend it for anyone looking for quick weight loss, or anyone wanting to overhaul their lifestyle and adopt a healthier way of living and eating.
The Fast 800 offers a seven day free trial; you can cancel any time, and no payment is taken until the free trial ends. The website is currently offering a 12 week deal for £199 which includes online assessments to tailor your journey, 18 meal plans, 599 recipes, shopping lists, home workout videos and group support.
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