There’s no slowing down medical maverick and creator of the 5:2 diet Doctor Michael Mosley. Now with his new book Fast 800, Michael is hitting the road with a nationwide theatre tour, writes Laura Burgoine…
The TV doctor invented the iconic 5:2 diet, which involves two days a week of “fasting” on 500-600 calories, six years ago. “It was hugely popular, then I wrote a book called the 8-week Blood Sugar Diet, where you eat 800 calories a day, and now the Fast 800 brings together all the stuff I’ve learned,” Michael told the Weekender. “I’ll share what I’ve learnt about nutrition and exercise and get people to vote on fact or fiction, prove some myths wrong and hopefully take some questions from the audience.”
He describes this book as an update on the 5:2 and a further exploration of intermittent fasting. “The book goes into the science,” he said. “For diabetics and overweight people, this rapid weight loss approach is vastly superior to a slow and steady process,” Michael said. “It’s terribly motivating. You can lose 2-3kg a week. Your body switches metabolic mode and goes into fat burning mode because you’re not constantly storing sugar. You follow a low-carb, Mediterranean diet with the right mix of nutrients and enough protein. The notion that the body goes into starvation mode is complete and utter nonsense.”
Michael actually started his career as an investment banker, after studying Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford. He then went back to study medicine at London’s Royal Free hospital, qualified as a doctor and became a programme maker for the BBC, producing science and history documentaries, including Medical Mavericks, Blood and Guts, Inside Michael Mosley, Inside The Human Body, and Eat, Fast Live Longer. Michael stepped in front of the camera for the first time in Trust Me I’m A Doctor.
“It’s a busy life,” Michael said.
Now he’s expanding his career with his first ever theatre tour. “I was at the BBC for 32 years; I left in April. I spent ten years as a presenter, ten years as an executive, then I invented the 5:2 diet and started writing books,” Michael said.
As part of the live show, Michael will talk about his early years in television and programming, which involved creating the BBC documentary Pompeii: the Last Day. “I’ll be showing some of my other stuff from the telly. I’ve worked with Jeremy Clarkson, John Cleese, David Attenborough, Liz Hurley…” Michael said.
“People either know me from telly or my books,” Michael said. The doctor aims to be both entertaining and enlightening and is looking forward to interacting with audiences at the Churchill theatre.
So does Michael follow his own advice? “I stick to a Mediterranean diet,” Michael said. “My wife is a GP and she puts this diet into practice with patients. Hopefully my wife will come along to some of the events; we met at medical school and she does all the recipes for my books.”
“One of my missions in life is to tell the medical professional about this,” Michael continued. “I give talks to doctors and they’re very receptive. They’ve got to be convinced it’s worth doing. Doctors are generally reluctant to give patients dietary advice.”
Dr Michael Mosley’s Trust Fast Health UK Theatre tour is at Churchill theatre, High Street, Bromley BR1 1HA, on February 4 at 8pm. Phone: 0203 285 6000. Admission: £23-£47.50.
The Fast 800 is on sale now: