Dr Michael Mosley gives his thoughts on popular diets of the moment, including Adele’s rumoured diet.

Dr Michael Mosley is renowned for popularising the 5:2 diet, which has revolutionised the way many people diet and create a healthy lifestyle. Here, he shares with Platinum some of his thoughts on popular diets, to help you recognise the best methods for a healthy lifestyle — as well as the ones to avoid.


“I am a big fan of flexitarianism, the idea of having a more plant-based diet while eating some meat and dairy products like milk and cheese. It is a practical compromise for someone like me who would find it hard to become a full-on vegetarian or vegan — although I do agree with the moral argument and I do think that cutting down on animal products is good for the planet.

“As with anyone contemplating become a vegetarian or vegan, someone on a flexitarian diet will need to make sure they are getting enough iron, iodine and vitamin b12, which are mainly derived from animal products.”

The Keto 2.0 (the revised classic)

Dr Michael Mosley says, “The original Keto, a very low carb diet, can be a great way to lose weight, but all the long term studies show that it is a tough diet to stick to. In studies that run for more than six months, the drop-out rate is very high.

“I would worry that because this diet is so low in carbs that you will eat very little in the way of fibre, which will have a negative impact on your microbiome, the microbes that live in your gut and are so important for your health. The Keto 2.0 allows for more carbs and emphasises the importance of eating healthier, plant based fats. But there are no long term studies yet done showing that it is any healthier or more sustainable.”

The Sirtfood diet

“The food they recommend on this diet is generally healthy but quite restrictive. And drinking lots of green juice may not be so great for either your teeth or your blood sugar levels.

“The sirtfood diet makes all sorts of claims about “supercharging weight loss” and “turning on your skinny genes” but I couldn’t find any hard proof to back up these claims. As far as I know there is no evidence that the sirtfood diet has a more beneficial effect on weight loss than any other calorie restricted diet.”

The Pegan diet

“The pegan diet is an odd combination of a paleo diet and veganism. You are allowed to eat vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, meat and fish, but you have to avoid dairy, grains and legumes. Since the latter two are extremely good for us, and for our microbiome, I would be reluctant to cut them out of my diet. I also think it would be hard to follow in the long run.”

Intermittent fasting

“I recommend intermittent fasting for anyone who needs to lose weight quickly — for example you may have type 2 diabetes which can be reversed via fasting — I reversed mine this way!”

Weight loss

Dr Michael Mosley says, “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 3-8% over 3-24 weeks. Not only this — but people lost 4-7% of their waist circumference as well — indicating a large loss of the harmful belly fat in the abdominal cavity, strongly linked to chronic disease.”

Type 2 diabetes

“Fasting to reverse type 2 diabetes has been backed by an Australian study, published in July 2018, which looked at the effect of the 5:2 diet versus a standard calorie-controlled diet on 137 overweight people with type 2 diabetes.

“The University of South Australia trial ran for just over a year, which is long for a weight-loss study. Both groups were given sample menus, met with a dietician regularly for the first few months and ate real food — a very practical test of this approach. After a year, the 5:2 diet group had lost, and kept off, 15 lb on average while the standard diet group had lost 11 lb.

“The 5:2 group also lost 40 per cent more body fat than the standard dieters, and most interestingly, their blood sugar control improved, so many were able to reduce medication.”


“In animals, intermittent fasting diet has helped test subjects go nearly two years without any detectable signs of dementia. They only really started deteriorating towards the end of their lives.  In humans, that is the equivalent of developing signs of dementia at 90 rather than 50.

“Doctors are now carrying out a similar study on people who are showing signs of early mental decline.”

: Dr Mosley created the Fast 800 digital lifestyle programme, bringing together the latest science to support what and how we eat. For more information, visit www.thefast800.com