Dr Michael Mosley discusses low carb meals
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Dr Mosley is the founder of The Fast 800 – a diet which helps slimmers lose weight rapidly by eating 800 calories a day. It involves fasting, time-restricted eating, and the Mediterranean diet. But Dr Mosley also often shares various tips with dieters on social media and via his podcast, including how to lose belly fat.
To lose belly fat, Dr Mosley stressed that slimmers “need to eat smart, fast smart, and train smart”.
Going to the gym five times a week won’t necessarily make belly fat budge – dieters need to understand it first, according to Dr Mosley.
He said: “To understand belly fat, you need to understand the basics of how insulin works. Your body makes insulin after a meal in order to keep blood sugar stable.
“On your cell walls, insulin opens up glucose ports to allow sugar through – for burning in muscle, and for storage in fat. In your fat, insulin also curbs the release of fatty into your system.
“All well and good – as long as your insulin is working. However, as we age, cell-wall insulin receptors become less sensitive. As a result, even after a meal, our blood is replete with glucose and fatty acids.
“This is a toxic brew, driving an array of bad outcomes, including rapidly-expanding belly fat.”
So, what steps can people put in place to lose belly fat?
Dr Mosley continued: “To make a serious impact on your belly fat, cutting out sugar-spikes is key. A surprising number of ‘diet’ snacks and drinks are high in sugar, and are marketed as diet foods because they happen to be low in fat.
“This is supported by numerous studies. When people cut carbs, their appetite goes down and they lose weight.
“Over 20 randomised controlled studies have now shown that lower-carb diets can lead to two to three times more weight loss than low-fat diets.
“So, limit your intake of any food or drink containing more than five percent sugar to no more than twice a week. This includes sweet fruits like mango and pineapple, and sugary smoothies and juices.
“Likewise, replace processed carbs like white bread, chips and pasta with slow-release energy sources, such as brown rice or quinoa.
“Two things will surprise you: the amount of sugar you were consuming unawares, and the speed at which your belly fat will begin to tame itself.”
Another way to reduce belly fat fast is to try intermittent fasting, according to Dr Mosley.
He explained: “The idea that fasting ‘slows your metabolism’ is a myth. Under conditions of marked energy deficit – 800 calories per day or less – not only do you simply lose weight by eating fewer calories, but your body responds to the stress of fasting by enhancing hormone function to facilitate weight loss and burn fat for energy.
“Short-term fasting can lead to several changes in the body that make fat burning easier. This includes reduced insulin, increased growth hormone, enhanced epinephrine signalling and a small boost in metabolism.
“According to a 2014 review of the scientific literature, intermittent fasting can cause weight loss of three to eight percent over three to 24 weeks.
“Not only this, but people lost four to seven percent of their waist circumference as well – indicating a large loss of the harmful belly fat in the abdominal cavity, strongly linked to chronic disease.”
The last step Dr Mosley highlighted was exercise.
“It is amongst the best things you can do for a long and healthy life,” he said.
The doctor continued: “While exercise alone will not help you lose the stubborn fat from round your middle, it can be crucial for helping reduce the risk of re-gaining fats, as well as lowering blood sugar levels and improving insulin sensitivity.
“How best to achieve this though? Research has shown the extraordinary impact that ultra-short bursts of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) can have. All in just a few minutes.
“Not only is it effective, but study after study has shown it is much easier to stick to.”
Dr Mosley added: “More and more people are discovering that with the right lifestyle changes, they can burn it [belly fat] off. And most amazing? It’s not as hard as you think.”
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