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Flat tummies, five-and-a-half stone lost in a year and transformed health: The most inspiring Fast Diet success stories ever
By Dr Michael Mosley for the Daily Mail 23:12 BST 06 Jan 2015, updated 01:54 BST 08 Jan 2015
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- Fast Diet means you only worry about what you're eating two days a week
- On the other five days you can enjoy delicious meals without feeling guilty
- Many people have lost huge amounts of weight and transformed their lives on the diet
One of the most appealing aspects of the Fast Diet is that you have to worry about what you’re eating on only two days a week.
On the other five days, you can enjoy delicious meals, a glass or two of wine and other treats without feeling guilty.
It seems almost too good to be true, but trimming your calorie intake to a quarter of recommended levels (to 500 calories for women and 600 for men) for just two days is powerful enough to completely change your body and dramatically improve your health, too.
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And as one of the most popular diets with men, it’s perfect for couples to do together.
All this week, the Daily Mail is giving you all the information you need to know about the Fast Diet.
Today, we turn the spotlight on the many success stories: the people who have lost huge amounts of weight and transformed their lives through the Fast Diet.
For those who are just too busy to cook on a fast day, we also bring you a selection of healthy calorie-counted ready meals to pop in your fridge or freezer.
I lost five and a half stone in just a year
Tanya Emmons, 42, was a size 22 when she began the Fast Diet two years ago. She’s now a size 14. She works as a manager in social care and lives near Newbury, Berks, with her husband David, 45, and sons Charlie, 14, and Ben, 12. Tanya says:
Two years ago, I thought I’d be wearing outsized clothes for the rest of my life. If you’d told me I’d be entering a 10k run, or jogging around the park with my sons, I just wouldn’t have believed you.
Until my youngest was born, I’d hovered between a size 14 and a 16, but then I got into the habit of not thinking about what I was eating. I loved food, so it was easier to avoid looking in mirrors than deny myself something.
But when I reached 40, gallstones became a problem. My GP told me they are the curse of being the three Fs — fat, forty and female: the perfect description of me. Worse, when I had surgery to remove my gall bladder, because of my size — I was 17½ st — I needed a specialist anaesthetist.
My GP said I was ‘grossly obese’ and referred me to a dietitian — but I’d tried numerous diets in the past and found them just a time-consuming hassle that denied me the foods I enjoyed.
Then, just before Christmas 2012, a friend told me her father-in-law had lost 3st by fasting for two days a week. It sounded almost too good to be true.
But I read Michael Mosley’s book, and then on January 7, 2013, I ate absolutely nothing all day. That was the only way I thought I’d be able to do it.
In fact, fasting was surprisingly easy. I did the same thing two days later. I wasn’t miserable or grumpy, and my brain was buzzing. It was amazing. The bonus was that I stopped wanting to eat so much on non-fast days. The fasting helped me listen to my body and recognise proper hunger — something I’d never experienced before — and I found myself eating far, far less.
Very quickly the weight started to fall off, and by the end of the first week I’d lost 6 lb. In the second week I lost a further 4 lb, and by the end of the fourth week I was a whole stone lighter. By the end of April, the second stone had gone. As I lost weight, I felt more energised. I hadn’t exercised since secondary school but a friend and I started walking in the evenings. I also booked myself on a course of Pilates and kettlebell classes.
I’d heard that you can burn more fat if you exercise on fast days, so I timed my fasts to coincide with the classes. By December 2013, I was 12 st and slipping into size-14 trousers.
Now I run 5k twice a week and I’m planning to do a 10k next year. I love the fact that I keep surprising myself with what I can achieve. The sky’s the limit.
Now I’m stable at 12 st, I still fast twice a week. It’s part of my lifestyle now. I fast to have a fitter body and a healthier future.
David and the boys have been so encouraging and are so proud of me.
My tummy's flat for the first time in my life
Linda Christie, 65, who is divorced and lives in Ashford, Kent, lost three stone in six months, dropping from a size 16 to a size 10. Linda says:
When you reach 60, your health comes into sharp focus. I’m hoping to be fit and active for another 40 years so I can keep up with my two grandsons (now aged three and 19 months), not be an ailing old lady.
In 2012, saw Dr Mosley on TV talking about a diet plan that promised health and longevity, and I was naturally keen to try it.
My weight had hovered around 12 st for years (I’m 5ft 7in). I wasn’t massively overweight, but I was aware that the extra pounds were impacting on my health. My knees were painful and it was hard to bend to put my shoes on.
My willpower is dreadful so the first few fast days on the 5:2 were difficult, but once I’d started losing about 2 lb a week it gave me the determination to carry on. I look after my grandsons two or three days a week, so fasted on Tuesdays and Thursdays when I wasn’t looking after them.
I’d skip breakfast, have a bowl of soup for lunch and perhaps another bowl in the evening, with extra vegetables thrown in.
Sometimes I’d do a third fast day on a Saturday, too, but never on a Sunday. I always have doughnuts at church on Sunday morning, and millionaire’s shortbread at our choir rehearsals in the evening. I wasn’t going to miss that!
That’s why I love 5:2. On any other diet you’d be miserable every day of the week, but this plan fits around real life, Christmas and holidays.
After six months on the Fast Diet, never mind being a size 12 — which is what I’d been aiming for — I was able to buy size 10 skinny jeans. I was thrilled!
Once I reached 9st 4lb I switched to just fasting on Tuesdays. I’m an old hand at it now. I’ll skip breakfast and lunch, and then have a Marks & Spencer ready meal with extra vegetables in the evening.
And that’s it! The rest of the time I eat normally.
Friends have commented on my new body shape and my boundless energy.
Many say: ‘Oh I could never starve myself’ — but I genuinely look forward to my fast days now.
Being occasionally hungry is a small price to pay for the chance of a longer, healthier life.
My stomach is properly flat for the first time in my adult life, and I’ve even taken up running. I did the NHS Couch-to-5K plan and run around three miles three times a week.
Once a week, I run two miles to the local cinema, watch a film, then jog home. Not bad for 65!
Fasting has completely transformed my health
Terri Durrant, 56, a swimming teacher, has lost two stone and dramatically improved her health. She lives in Guildford, Surrey, with her husband Andrew, 61, who runs a hair and beauty salon. Terri says:
Before I went on the Fast Diet, I had all sorts of health problems. When I was younger I swam for Great Britain, but all that exercise took its toll on my body and I developed back and knee problems.
Then, at the age of 40, my weight ballooned to nearly 14st (I’m 5ft 5in tall), and five years ago I had to have a full knee replacement. That put me out of action for months and made it incredibly difficult to lose the weight, even though I tried various diets.
Last year I got shingles, which was another setback. I started 2014 feeling extremely unhealthy and unfit.
A friend recommended the Fast Diet and I decided to give it a try. I weighed nearly 13 st when I started, but picked Tuesdays and Thursdays as my fast days.
Slowly and steadily, the pounds disappeared. It took me three months to lose half a stone, but by the six-month mark I had lost over a stone, and now I’m 10st 8lb. I’ve gone from being uncomfortable in size 16-18 clothes, to size 12-14s hanging off me. It’s incredible!
But the best bit is the impact on my health. We have eight dogs that I like to show, which means running around the show ring — and I’m much faster now than I used to be!
As a swimming teacher, I work with children, and in the winter I usually pick up every bug around. I’d normally have bronchitis or chest problems by now, but not this year.
For the moment I’m sticking with my two fast days a week because I hanker after hitting 9 st, which was my weight when I was 18.
But it’ll be a balance — I don’t want to end up looking too haggard.
When I fast, I usually have two small meals — one at 2pm and one when I get home from work at about 9pm — and I drink loads of water all day. I like to stick to a set routine, and I’ve discovered that I can be really very focused.
On non-diet days, I am more disciplined than I used to be, but I love the fact that I can still have a bar of chocolate or a packet of crisps if I want to. We went on holiday to Sweden recently, and I ate and drank exactly what I wanted — but I still didn’t gain any weight.
How it works: Fasting when you have no time to cook
Look for meals with a high vegetable content, healthy low-fat protein and slow-burn carbo-hydrates (root vegetables, brown rice, quinoa). Avoid pasta and potato dishes, which tend to have a high GI (glycaemic index), meaning they won’t keep you feeling full for long.
Check the portion size and count the calories (if it says ‘serves two’, only serve yourself half!).
Supplement your ready meal with half a bag of spinach or rocket. You’ll boost your nutrient intake without adding too many calories.
Fast meals when you’re in a hurry
When you just haven’t got time to count calories or cook, pick from the following ready meals, which are widely available nationwide.
Tesco porridge pots, 79p, 209 calories
Oat So Simple porridge pot, 99p, 190 calories
Kellogg’s Special K blueberry & cranberry multi-grain porridge, 99p, 193 calories
Pret a Manger bircher muesli, £1.89 (takeaway), 302 calories
Pret a Manger five-grain porridge, £2.65, 204 calories
Rachel’s organic low-fat vanilla breakfast pot yoghurt (with granola), 99p, 169 calories
Pret a Manger tuna nicoise salad, £3.99, 174 calories
Pret a Manger chicken, broccoli and brown rice soup, £3.25, 126 calories
Pret a Manger egg and spinach protein pot, £1.50, 103 calories
Pret a Manger lentil and quinoa soup, £3.25, 199 calories
Pret a Manger miso soup, £1.50, 30 calories
Pret a Manger veggie sushi protein pot, £2.25, 149 calories
Tesco tomato, veg and lentil soup pot, £1.50, 173 calories
Sainsbury’s classic salad bowl, £2, 208 calories
Sainsbury’s Greek salad bowl, £2.50, 174 calories
Sainsbury’s Taste The Difference Moroccan style salad bowl, £2.50, 208 calories
Waitrose chunky vegetable soup, £1.99, 131 calories (half-pack)
Waitrose Love Life Cuban pork soup, £2.49, 155 calories (half-pot)
Waitrose Bombay spiced cauliflower soup bowl, £1.80, 220 calories
New Covent Garden Soup Goan spiced chicken and lentils, £2, 132 calories (half-pack)
Innocent Thai coconut curry vegetable pot, £3.90, 277 calories
Tesco Healthy Living tomato and basil chicken, £2.50, 154 calories (half-pack)
Sainsbury’s Be Good To Yourself minced beef casserole, £3, 305 calories
Sainsbury’s My Goodness! spicy pulled pork and sweet potato mash, £3, 299 calories
Sainsbury’s My Goodness! Thai Green Chicken Curry with rice, £3.50, 362 calories
Birds Eye Inspirations cod fillets in tomato and rosemary sauce, £4, 195 calories (half-pack)
Birds Eye Inspirations pink salmon fillets in lemon and dill sauce, £4, 225 calories (half-pack)
Tesco Healthy Living chicken tikka masala, 90p, 340 calories
WeightWatchers chicken and lemon risotto, £2, 307 calories
Cook Moroccan spiced lamb tagine, £4.99, 307 calories
Cook chicken chow mein family meal, £10 (four portions), 319 calories per portion.
Health Warning: The Fast Diet is not recommended for under-18s, pregnant or breastfeeding women, people with type 1 or insulin dependent type 2 diabetes, or those with an eating disorder. If you have any health concerns or are on prescribed medication, check with your GP before starting any diet.
Extracted by Louise Atkinson from The Fast Diet: Revised And Updated: Lose Weight, Stay Healthy, Live Longer by Dr Michael Mosley & Mimi Spencer (Short Books, £7.99).
Weight Loss Stories – Amanda Lost 95 Pounds in 12 Months
Family Status: Married (newlywed)
Hometown: Wheeling, Illinois
Pounds or Inches Lost: I lost 95 pounds!
Starting Weight: 240 pounds
Current Weight: 145 pounds
When did you become unhappy with your weight?
What made you decide to lose weight?
What were the most important changes you made to lose weight?
What was most challenging about losing weight?
How long did it take you to start to see results?
How long did it take for you to reach your current weight?
How long have you maintained your weight loss and how do you do it?
How has your life changed now that you’ve lost weight?
How did ShapeFit help you reach your weight loss goals?
Weight loss tip #2:
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Weight loss tip #5:
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Weight Loss Stories – Michael Lost 188 Pounds and 18 Inches
Weight Loss Stories – Marie Lost 65 Pounds and 10 Sizes
Weight Loss Stories – Michelle Parker Lost 120 Pounds
This story is simply amazing. I feel like you’re telling MY story, except my book is only half full! I needed inspiration so thank you for sharing!
I’m a mother of four and was 165 pounds but now I’m 220 pounds and hate the way I look. I wish I was around 145 pounds. Congrats to everyone who lost the weight!
You ladies all look great and congrats on your weight loss! I am currently in the progress of losing weight, down 20 pounds and want to lose a total of 60 pounds. Do any of you ladies find that loose skin is an issue? I am afraid that all my weight being carried in my stomach will leave me with an abundance of excess skin.
Hi Sara – Having loose skin after weight loss comes down to several factors (age, elasticity, genetics, total weight loss). With 60 pounds of weight loss, there is a good chance you will not have much excess skin, if any. If your stomach looks good now after losing the initial 20 pounds then you will probably be fine.
Success Story: Emma
Emma Now: I have realised that this diet is not a flash in the pan thing, it represents the way I should eat and live for the rest of my life.
Emma Now: I feel fit and motivated and very positive about achieving my interim goal and my long term wedding weight loss goal!пїЅ
Emma Before: I am naturally quite an outgoing and sociable person, but my weight can sometimes undermine this entirely.
Emma Before: The heaviest I have ever been was last Summer when I weighed in at 88kg (I think that's about 14 stone)
I have tried most of the popular diets on the market over the past 14 years: Rosemary Conley; Weight Watchers; a version of the Atkins; blood group diet; anti-candida diet; Little Black Dress diet; cabbage soup diet; cucumber and cottage cheese diet; I am currently using the GI diet books in conjunction with WLR.
Have you Dieted Before and Regained the Weight?
YES!! Unfortunately this is the embarrassing story of my life. My friends (who are spread to the four corners of the globe) never know how to expect me when we meet, as my size changes so frequently!
My weight has yo-yo'd crazily over the past decade, going from 78kg to 63kg in the space of 4 months, then back up to 72kg, down again to mid-60s etc etc. The heaviest I have ever been was last Summer when I weighed in at 88kg (I think that's about 14 stone), and yet only 18 months ago I weighed 70kg.
Worryingly, the weight gain is getting greater each time I have an upward spiral.
How Being Overweight has Affected you…
My weight unfortunately is a great determiner in my life and can dictate whether I am happy or sad, sociable or reclusive, snappy or easy going and so on.
There is a direct link between my weight (and my perception of my weight) and those periods of my life where I did a lot and achieved a lot (when I was "thin") and those times where my relationships with family, friends and my boyfriend suffered and I did very little (when I was "fat").
I am naturally quite an outgoing and sociable person, but my weight can sometimes undermine this entirely. Although I do not think I have noticed peoples' perceptions of me changing according to my size, I would say that their attitudes change based upon mine, as who wants to talk to someone who obviously feels uncomfortable talking to them?
When I was at university there were occasions when I would get up and feel so terribly fat (even though at that time I was not), that I would walk the 25mins to campus and be so distraught about my size I would have to walk home again. I still have bad days but they do not affect me in the same way as they used to.
I would never avoid work because of it, but I do not feel comfortable going out at the weekend to pubs or bars where I have to stand up, as I feel conspicuously large in a sea of skinny girls, and I cannot wear short skirts or hipster jeans which might make me "blend in" because then I'd be the "fat girl in the tight clothes". So we socialise with our friends at dinner parties and by going to restaurants mostly. I have not been dancing (I love RnB music) for years, and that is something I really miss.
Motivation to Diet
My motivation to lose weight this time is that I am tired of feeling different to everyone else. I am 30 this year and do not want to let life pass me by. I want to get married to my lovely, understanding, and infinitely patient fiancé in May and be proud to be the centre of attention with him, to accept the compliments without negating them, to have my wedding pictures taken and to cherish the memories of a happy day - not look back on it with regrets.
Discovering Weight Loss Resources
My best friend's Mum came across an article in a health magazine about 3 years ago and passed on the web address to me.
I was a bit sceptical at first about an on-line dieting service, but quickly realised that it was and is the best tool for anybody who is serious about losing weight. Had I not been so caught up in fad dieting over the past 3 years, with the promise of immediate results, I probably would have lost weight and kept it off with WLR.
How Weight Loss Resources Helps
It is very easy to underestimate the amount of food you eat, and before coming back to using WLR regularly last September, my portion sizes had gotten very big!
I love cheese and pasta (and the accompanying red wine) and now realise that I was probably eating nearly a day's calories in one evening meal. every evening!
It is really helpful to be able to plan out my week's food and exercise using the food and exercise diaries. I now measure my food quantities and my portions are consequently much smaller.
I no longer feel bloated after eating, nor am I hungry during the day and forced to snack on rubbish, as my snacks are planned in! I can allow for occasional nights off with friends by upping my exercise and looking at the week's plan rather than the day's plan to see how many calories I have "banked".
I would say the other great advantage of using WLR, which you could not achieve by simple calorie counting, is the information and support you can get from it. The message boards are great.
If you are feeling that you are losing the plot, you just post a message asking for help and when you next log on, there are guaranteed to be many messages waiting for you to help get you through!
Family and friends can provide a lot of support but they are bound to get a bit bored of it (especially when it's been ongoing for years!) but with the number of people using WLR there is always someone there with fresh ideas and encouragement who's really keen to help - and keen to congratulate your losses too! I cannot recommend this aspect of WLR enough!
Although I am applying the principals of the GI Diet to my eating, I know it is the guidance of WLR which is helping me lose weight and encouraging me to exercise - when you can see a direct correlation between how much you work out and how much you can eat, believe me, you work out more!! I feel fit and motivated and very positive about achieving my interim goal and my long term wedding weight loss goal! I am also positive that, this time, the way I view food, exercise and my health has changed for good. I have realised that this diet is not a flash in the pan thing, it represents the way I should eat and live for the rest of my life.
Emma's Dieting Tips
I have several tips for other dieters:
- Exercise as much as you can, in whatever form, as it's good for your heart, a morale booster, and helps shed the pounds - join a club if you don't think you'll keep going by yourself. I joined a running club last year and I'm still going, which for me is great!
WLR's tools can help you get slim for a wedding and for life, because they really put you in control of your diet. Try them free for 24 hours
* Note: The success stories published on Weight Loss Resources are written by WLR members, past and present, telling their own stories in their own words. As you will see if you read more than one or two of them, everyone's story is different and they have reached their success from a variety of starting points and lost weight at varying rates. Individual results may vary.
WLR's tools can help you get slim for a wedding and for life, because they really put you in control of your diet. Try them free for 24 hours
11.11.2017 4:32 pm Updated by Admin
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