Anyone who has struggled to lose a few pounds might be sceptical that you can enjoy smashed avocado, fried halloumi, kedgeree, or a chorizo omelette for brunch each day and still lose up to 2kg a week.
But on my new Fast 800 keto plan, you absolutely can.
That’s because, by keeping a close track on the latest research, and liaising with top nutritional scientists, I have fine-tuned my approach to weight loss. I have created a clever three-stage process which promises rapid results and sustained slenderness, while eating good quantities of real food.
If you want to lose quite a few pounds rapidly (which studies have found to be highly motivating and the best way to tackle type 2 diabetes), why not skip breakfast and start your day with one of these substantial brunches at midday?
Dr Michael Mosley has combined the best elements of both his Fast 800 and 5:2 diets to turbo-charge your weight loss. In an exclusive extract from his wife Dr Clare Bailey’s new book he reveals all (pictured together)
There’s compelling science behind the health and weight-loss benefits of ‘time restricted eating’ (which means crunching your meals into a 12, ten or even eight-hour window).
Combine this with restricting calories to 800-900 a day to mimic fasting and you end up with an extremely healthy, but powerfully effective weight-loss plan. It encourages the body to go into ketosis, a natural state where you burn fat for fuel.
Breaking your nightly fast with one of these healthy, protein-rich dishes will also keep hunger at bay for longer. And you can follow that with an evening meal of piri-piri chicken, turkey burgers or sausage casserole and you can — if you follow the rules carefully — still find room for a chocolate peanut butter cookie, as long as you keep to a daily intake of 800-900 calories.
The science of weight loss has moved on a lot since the days of cabbage soup, lemon juice, social isolation and boring abstinence.
What’s so impressive about the recipes created by my wife, Dr Clare Bailey, working closely with Kathryn Bruton, is that they have been carefully calibrated to meet the requirements of my weight-loss plan.
All are based on the proven super-healthy principles of the Mediterranean diet.
They are high in protein (known to keep your muscles strong and to keep hunger at bay), low in carbohydrates (so your body can easily hit a turbo-charged fat-burning keto button) and carefully calorie counted, too.
For a slow-but-steady route to weight loss, intersperse your 800-900 calorie ‘fast days’ with more relaxed ‘non-fast’ days (following a 5:2 or 3:4 pattern of intermittent fasting). You can still use these recipes, but increase the portion sizes and add healthy carbs such as wholegrain bread or noodles, brown rice or starchy veg.
Find recipe videos and tips on Instagram #drclarebailey
MEDICAL NOTE: Rapid weight loss does not suit everyone. If you are frail, have a significant underlying medical condition, are on insulin, have type 2 diabetes and are on medication, are on blood pressure medication, have moderate or severe retinopathy, or have epilepsy or gallstones, or are pregnant or breastfeeding, please talk to your doctor before going on this diet. It is not suitable for teenagers, people with a history of an eating disorder, a psychiatric illness, or if unwell, underweight or doing endurance exercise.
Extracted by Louise Atkinson from The Fast 800 Keto Recipe Book by Dr Clare Bailey, Kathryn Bruton and Dr Michael Mosley, published by Short Books @ £18.99
Join the Fast 800 online programme with your free trial today at thefast800.com
CHICKEN AND EGG NOODLE SOUP
Few things are as comforting and satisfying as a bowl of chicken soup. These ‘egg noodles’ are made simply by cooking whisked eggs, as you would a pancake, then slicing them into thin noodles.
Prep 5 mins; Cook 15 mins; Per Serving 253 cals; Protein 38.3g; Carbs 0.5g
- 1 chicken stock cube
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 medium free-range eggs
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 30g fresh spinach or cooked greens
- 200g cooked chicken, diced
- 10g fresh coriander or parsley, roughly chopped
Place the stock cube, garlic and 500ml water in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low.
Meanwhile, whisk the eggs and add a pinch of salt and some freshly ground black pepper.
Heat the olive oil in a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and pour in the eggs. Swirl them around to cover the bottom of the pan as you would with a pancake, then cook for 1–2 minutes, or until they are set. Transfer the egg ‘pancake’ to a clean surface, roll up and slice into thin noodles.
Add the spinach and chicken to the stock in the saucepan and simmer for 2–3 minutes.
Divide the egg ‘noodles’ between two bowls and pour over the chicken broth. Garnish with fresh coriander or parsley to serve.
A few drops of sriracha would be lovely in this broth if you like a bit of heat.
Add wholemeal noodles and/or edamame beans.
This is one of Michael’s go-to omelettes, which he cooks to perfection. It has fabulous Spanish flavours, is high in protein and easy to make. It’s even better topped with fermented veg, like sauerkraut. This adds a delicious sweet, salty and tangy flavour, and is so beneficial to your health that you don’t need to count the calories.
Under 300 calories
Prep 5 mins; Cook 5-7 mins; Per Serving 269 cals; Protein 19.4g; Carbs 2.8g
- ½ tbsp olive oil
- ½ small onion, peeled and finely diced
- 4 medium free-range eggs
- 3 cm piece cured chorizo, sliced and quartered
- 30 g Cheddar, grated
- 60 g cooked or leftover greens
- ½ tsp chilli flakes (optional)
Place a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Add the oil and onion and sweat for 2 minutes.
Crack the eggs into a small bowl and whisk with a fork. Season well with freshly ground black pepper, then pour over the onion. Leave for 30 seconds to start to set, then use a spatula or wooden spoon to pull the egg into the centre of the pan, allowing the runny mixture to flow out into the empty space. Do this 4 or 5 times, working quite quickly.
When the omelette has started to set, add the chorizo, cheese and greens. Cook for another 2 minutes, then scatter over the chill flakes, if using. Fold one half of the omelette over the other and slide on to a plate to serve.
SARDINES WITH ROAST PEPPERS
This is sunshine on a plate, full of deliciously satisfying Mediterranean flavours and bursting with healthy omega-3. It serves one but can easily be scaled up.
Prep 5 mins; ; Per Serving 351 cals; Protein 24.3g; Carbs 11.7g
- 100 g roasted red peppers from a jar, finely chopped
- 100 g cucumber, finely chopped
- 30 g pitted black olives, roughly chopped
- 5 g flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
- 1½ tsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 x 95 g tin sardines in olive oil, drained
Mix the roasted red peppers, cucumber, black olives, parsley and 1 teaspoon of the balsamic vinegar together in a bowl. Season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Remove the sardines from the tin and serve them on top of the salad.
Drizzle the remaining balsamic all over, check the seasoning and serve.
SCRAMBLED EGGS WITH HARISSA SAUTÉED KALE AND SOY ROASTED SEEDS
If you don’t have soy roasted seeds to hand, simply scatter 1 tablespoon pumpkin or sunflower seeds over the top and season with a sprinkle of salt. To enhance the flavour, toast the seeds first in a pan until golden.
Under 300 calories
Prep 2-3 mins; Cook 7 mins; Per Serving 249 cals; Protein 20.1g ;Carbs 2.9g
- 100g curly kale, sliced
- 1 tsp olive oil
- ½ tbsp harissa paste
- 2 tbsp full-fat Greek yoghurt
- 1 portion scrambled eggs
- 1 tbsp soy roasted seeds
Place the kale and olive oil in a medium pan with a lid, season with freshly ground black pepper and cook gently for 2–3 minutes, stirring once or twice.
Remove from the heat and stir in the harissa and yoghurt.
Cook the scrambled eggs.
Serve the eggs with the kale and some soy roasted seeds sprinkled over the top.
SOY ROASTED SEEDS
These savoury toasted seeds make a wonderful garnish for soups, salads, traybakes or even scrambled eggs, adding a healthy boost of fibre and nutrients.
Under 100 calories
Prep 1-2 mins; Cook 5-7 mins; Per Serving 77 cals; Protein 3.3g; Carbs 2.3g
- 100g pumpkin and sunflower seed mix (8 tablespoons)
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
Preheat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6 and line a baking tray with baking parchment.
Mix the seeds and soy sauce together in a bowl until the seeds are thoroughly coated.
Spread the seeds out on to the prepared tray and roast in the oven for 5–7 minutes.
Store in the fridge in an airtight jar. Serve 1 tablespoon per person.
You can use any seeds, but reduce the cooking time if using small ones, such as sesame or linseeds.
You simply won’t notice that the starchy rice has been replaced by nutritious, low-carb cauli-rice in this dish. It can be eaten hot or at room temperature. You could add steamed greens for a bit of colour and bite.
Under 500 calories
Prep 20 mins; Cook 20 mins; Per Serving 473 cals; Protein 40.3g; Carbs 27.4g
- 2 medium free-range eggs
- 1 medium onion, peeled, ½ diced and ½ sliced into rings
- 1½ tbsp olive oil 1 tsp curry powder
- 2 bay leaves (optional)
- 2 skinless smoked haddock fillets (approx. 120g each)
- 200ml full-fat milk
- 25g raisins
- ¼ large cauliflower, grated
- 1 small courgette, finely sliced
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- Generous bunch flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
- 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
Place a small saucepan filled with water over a high heat and bring to the boil. Add the eggs and cook for 5 minutes (for runny yolks). Cool under cold running water, then gently tap the eggs all over and carefully remove the shells. Set aside.
Place the onion rings and the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat and fry until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Add the diced onion to the pan and fry gently over a low heat for about 2 minutes.
Stir in the curry powder, bay leaves, if using, and fish, then pour in the milk to cover. Bring to a simmer. Add the raisins, grated cauliflower, courgette and chia seeds, cover and simmer for 5 minutes, until the fish is cooked through.
Remove and discard the bay leaves, and stir in the parsley and lemon juice. Gently break up the cooked fish and season generously with freshly ground black pepper. Serve with the eggs halved and placed on top, and the whole dish sprinkled with the onion rings.
If you can’t find skinless haddock fillets, simply remove the skin before cooking.
Scatter with toasted flaked almonds and add a dollop of butter while it is still hot.
PINK CAULI RISOTTO WITH HALLOUMI AND SPINACH
This super-quick yet lusciously creamy risotto swaps starchy risotto rice for cauli-rice. The trick here is that we use chia seeds to help thicken the sauce and create a smooth, silky texture. The beetroot adds a gorgeous pink colour — and can help reduce blood pressure and fight inflammation.
Under 450 calories
Prep 10 mins; Cook 8-10 mins; Per Serving 427cals; Protein 24.4g; Carbs 16.6g
- 1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 100g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 100g halloumi, diced
- 250g cauli-rice (see tip)
- 200ml vegetable stock (made using ½ veg stock cube)
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- 100g frozen spinach, defrosted
- 25g Parmesan, grated
- 1 tbsp crème fraîche
- 50g cooked beetroot, peeled and diced
- Juice of ½ lemon
Place the onion, mushrooms and oil in a saucepan and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the halloumi and fry for 2 minutes more, or until the halloumi starts to take on some colour.
Stir in the cauliflower rice, stock and chia seeds and cook, stirring often, for 3–4 minutes, until some of the stock has reduced and thickened slightly.
Stir in the spinach, Parmesan and crème fraîche, and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Fold in the beetroot, squeeze over the lemon juice and serve immediately.
Make cauli-rice by grating or quickly blitzing half a cauliflower, or buy it ready made from the supermarket freezer cabinet.
Add a protein top-up of your choice, such as toasted seeds, edamame or diced ham or chorizo.
ROASTED PEPPER AND CAULIFLOWER TORTILLA WITH PRAWNS AND AIOLI
Spanish tortillas are traditionally made with starchy potato, but this version cleverly substitutes cauliflower, which is super low in carbs and high in nutrients. Serve with a leafy salad.
Under 450 calories
Prep 10 mins; Cook 15 mins; Per Serving 438cals; Protein 30.3g; Carbs 7.2g
- 1½ tbsp olive oil
- 1⁄8 small cauliflower (about 250g), cut into slices about 2mm, or as thin as you can (include the stalk)
- 1 roasted red pepper from a jar (about 70g), roughly chopped
- ½ tsp paprika
- 150g cooked and peeled prawns
- 4 medium free-range eggs, whisked
For the aioli
- 2 tbsp full-fat mayonnaise
- 2 tbsp full-fat Greek yoghurt
- 1 tsp garlic granules
Start by making the aioli: mix the mayo, yoghurt and garlic together in a small bowl and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Place the olive oil in a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat, add the cauliflower and fry for 8-10 minutes, until starting to soften and take on some colour.
Add the roasted red pepper, paprika and prawns and warm through for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour in the eggs, spread them out evenly and season. Cook for 3 – 4 minutes or until the egg is set.
Serve with a spoonful of aioli.
EASY CAULI-STEAK PIZZA
All the flavour of a good pizza with a fraction of the calories and carbs
Under 500 calories
Prep 15 mins; Cook 20 mins; Per Serving 408cals; Protein 21.4g; Carbs 19.9g
- 1 large cauliflower
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 tbsp tomato puree
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 75 g grated mozzarella
- 30 g sliced pepperoni or chorizo
Preheat the oven to 190c/fan 170 c/gas 5 and line a baking tray with baking parchment.
Cut the cauliflower into two slices, 1.5 cm thick, through the centre, keeping the core intact, to create two whole pieces, or ‘steaks’.
Place the cauliflower steaks on the prepared baking tray and brush with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil.
Roast in the oven for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, mix the tomato puree, garlic, oregano and remaining olive oil in a small bowl. Season with a pinch of salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper.
Remove the steaks from the oven and spread the tomato mixture over them.
Scatter the mozzarella all over and place the pepperoni or chorizo on top. Return to the oven for the final 10 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbling and the pepperoni crisp.
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The Fast 800 Keto diet by Dr Michael Mosley and Dr Clare Bailey
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