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The Fast Diet: The Simple Secret of Intermittent Fasting: Lose Weight, Stay Healthy, Live Longer

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  8,291 ratings  ·  553 reviews
The #1 New York Times bestseller!
Is it possible to eat normally, five days a week, and become slimmer and healthier as a result?

Simple answer: yes. You just limit your calorie intake for two nonconsecutive days each week—500 calories for women, 600 for men. You’ll lose weight quickly and effortlessly with the FastDiet.

Scientific trials of intermittent fasters have shown th
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published February 26th 2013 by Atria Books (first published 2013)
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Josie Absolutely. Loved reading about the health benefits of this diet and it's so easy to do. You don't have to be on a constant diet - only 2 days a week…moreAbsolutely. Loved reading about the health benefits of this diet and it's so easy to do. You don't have to be on a constant diet - only 2 days a week which anyone can do. I lose a pound each day I do it, so will do it a few weeks before holidays etc.(less)

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3.71  · 
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 ·  8,291 ratings  ·  553 reviews

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Jan 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
The first, and probably last, diet book I'll ever read. Most diets don't work, or when they do the loss is only temporary. We all know that. So why did I bother to read this? And why am I persuaded that it might be a different and important new approach to health and well-being?

I was given this book by my parents-in-law who had found it very helpful. Another friend has also successfully followed the 5:2 approach for about six months. I was curious because, as a man in his early fifties who eats
Jul 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't normally write reviews about health/diet books but the ideas in this book have really worked much better than I expected. I started the diet about two months ago and I have dropped about 30 lbs. When I started I was 207 lbs (I tend to fluctuate between 205 and 215), my dream weight was 180 lbs, and today I weighed in at 176.1 lbs on the gym scale.

Now I must confess that I tweaked the system to speed up the weight loss. First, on the fast days I only eat between 50 to 200 calories (not th
Apr 08, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I watched the Horizon program last year and started the 5:2 soon after. I felt the benefits (lost just under 13lb, had clearer skin etc) but decided to give myself a week off over Christmas. I had started to get headaches on my fast days but instead of drinking more water (which I have never been good at), I gave in. The week turned into 3 months and whilst my weight is not back to where it was before, it was creeping up. I bought Dr Mosley's book just after Christmas and have finally got around ...more
Mar 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is more than a diet, and you can easily start it after reading the first few pages. The book describes intermittent fasting, and it describes in full detail the beneficial effects it can have on your body. What drew most of my attention was improved brain function. After trying it a while I discovered it really works. I sleep better and I can concentrate more at work. After my last blood work, the doctor said my blood was completely normal other than my cholesterol being too low. He cut my ...more
May 24, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: weight-loss-diet
The diet and book are both based on personal experiences of doctor and science journalist, Michael Mosley. He produced a BBC documentary titled Eat, Fast and Live Longer, which prompted our interest in the diet. The diet is relatively easy to follow and effective. Unfortunately, the book makes it sound much more complicated than it is. (Short review: skip the book; watch the documentary).

The premise of the diet is that fasting 2 days a week creates multiple health benefits: weight loss, reduced
Elyse Walters
Oct 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is another Book that I have read, and I own. It's part of my library collection of health, diet, and cookbooks that I've collected over the years starting back when I was a Kinesiolgy major in college with a minor in nutrition.

The book was recommended to me today..

I agree with the philosophy and practices in this book. Makes good sense. I've followed it many times.
I've also had days of eating ice cream and or carrot cake too..,
So don't kid yourself - no saint here!
However we really do ea
Apr 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
My weight can go up and down and over the last 18 months I managed to put on 2 stone, despite exercising regularly during term time, sometimes running up to 33k a week. Though I know it’s what I eat that has got me this way.

I have also been sluggish and my skin (and scalp) has broken out in spots and I have tried every lotion and potion (even changing my contraception). Feeling that I needed to do more, I deep down knew it was what I was eating and a proper diet would help.

Having allergies to Wh
Sep 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I'm a total convert to intermittent fasting. I can't really call it a diet. It's more like a lifestyle change. I plan to do it for the rest of my life. I started it seven weeks ago and have dropped 6+ pounds. In that time I've eaten goodies like molten chocolate cake, cheesecake, apple crisp, & my favorite burger & fries, to name a few. (Those weren't the norm, I mostly chose very healthy foods, but just giving examples of things I still got to enjoy! Basically anything.)

Approaches to i
Feb 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Finally a diet I can do. Down ten lbs in two weeks and it's easy. Ridiculously easy. LOVE!
Apr 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction-read
The ironies of the library hold system. I'm reading this at the same time as The Dinner.

As all diet books, lots of anecdotal experiences, a lot of time showing scientific evidence--although in this case there has been very little done. I read an article earlier in Harpers Magazine (“Starving Your Way to Vigor: The Benefits of An Empty Stomach,” Steve Hendricks) , that had a lot more history and science in it. It will be interesting to see if there will be some scientific studies done to bolster
Jan 05, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I watched the Horizon programme during the summer and was intrigued by the concept of this approach to health and weight loss. Then I just happened to catch Michael Moseley on morning TV, talking about this book based on his findings during that programme. I came home and ordered it straight away.
The book gives a very good, jargon free explanation of why and how intermittent fasting works. It doesn't go into too much scientific stuff so is ideal for anyone to read and understand. The benefits se
With this fasting diet offering to lower the risk of various diseases, including dementia, heart disease, diabetes and cancer plus making weight loss easier it sounds too good to be true...right? But this book is well worth a read if you are interested in becoming healthier and living longer. It seems to be a simple thing to follow, and it certainly doesn't seem like the usual conventional diets or fad diets destined to fail.

Tested by various medical people as something which works, I will give
Andee Marley
Jun 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Starting today ! I watched this documentary a couple months ago and have thought about it off and on since. My fiancé brought home the book from the library and the reasons to start are overwhelming. In fact, the book was prompted by the popularity of the program. We are both TOFI (Thin on the outside and fat on the inside) , or skinny fat, or tiny with round bellies, or lucky trolls; anyways, READ THIS BOOK!
Feb 05, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting read, a diet where you can not only lose weight , but improve health at the same time. Found it motivating, and intend to give it a try.
Mar 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Very much like the Horizon program on BBC or also shown on PBS here in the U.S.. I saw it about a year ago. I like the idea of this, just got to stick to it. It is a non-consecutive fasting program for better health and weight lost. Men get 600 calories on fast days and women get 500. Many choose Monday and Thursday but others move them around, and some do alternate day fast, ADF, which is every other day, 3 to 4 days a week. I like how he points to many studies, then we get the personal experie ...more
Jan 21, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: health
First off, I've never been on a diet in my life.

I've been a vegetarian for 25 years and eat a healthy varied diet with lots of whole grains, vegetables, dried legumes, etc. but since moving to Paris have been eating way too much in the pastry department.

Like everyone else reviewing this, I saw the BBC Horizon program "Eat, Fast and Live Longer" (search YouTube - it keeps getting posted there) and was really impressed. This book gives details of the science and recommendations on how to manage t
Matthew Shoe
May 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Interesting ideas about eating and health discussed in a sane scientific manner. No magic voodoo weight loss secrets; just simple facts about how our bodies work.

I decided I wanted to read this book after watching Michael Mosley's program on TV. The correlation between calorie restriction and lifespan is hard to ignore. The idea is that people can get most of the benefits of extreme low calorie diet by just fasting 2 days a week and eating normally the other 5. The beauty of the concept is that
Jul 16, 2014 rated it liked it
If I could lose weight from reading diet books, I would weigh seven pounds by now.

That being said, this looks like a plan I could live with and possibly even stick to given my short attention-span, my love of cooking, and my extremely limited willpower. I would give the concept 4 stars (especially if it works--I'll let you know), but the book itself, was a little info surrounded by a lot of fluff.

Worth skimming
Selina Lock
Jan 10, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
A clear, accessible summary of the current research around the science of intermittent fasting, with an emphasis on the 5:2 diet (restricted calories of 500 for women & 600 for men on two days a week). Answers frequently asked questions regarding how it might make you feel, whether you should exercise and provides suggested meal plans.

Now it's a case of putting the advice into practice...
Jul 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
It's a book about dieting so not a cuddly bedtime read but it worked for me. I saw Michael Mosley's TV show about the 5:2 diet (where you eat normally for 5 days a week and eat only 600 calories for two days a week on the other two) and got the book.

The book served to help on those hungry days, to steel my resolve and strangely not make it seem harder.

It is actually a good read as it goes into the reasoning and history of why we eat too much and why fasting is something we have only not done rec
Steven Lewis
Mar 04, 2013 rated it liked it
Three stars because it's not really a "book", just a long article cashing in on the success of the TV program. I don't mind that per se -- why can't a life-changing article be worth $11? -- but I think not being honest about that padding it out to book length with page after page of photographs of rice and beans and soups was taking the piss. However, the article that is the meat of the book makes this idea sound fascinating and I'm certainly going to give it a go.
Jun 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013
Not just a diet. The science behind the theory is both intriguing and sound. I'm looking forward to trying this approach to better health.
Sep 17, 2013 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: people who are interested in the concept of intermittent fasting
I've never been a fan of diets. I've seen them work in the short term, only to be discarded weeks or months later to no effect, or worse, to a greater weight gain on the rebound. I've always tried to preach to our young, impressionable girls that a person needs to eat healthy and stay active and not worry about a number on a scale. I want so much to reinforce a healthy self-image and not fill their minds with the thought that their body isn't good enough. I don't talk about my weight and I've go ...more
Jan 10, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: food, foreign, non-fiction
I heard about this book on NPR in a segment featuring a panel of fasting folk including Mosley. I got just a bit more out of this book than the radio play. (What more I got out of it was a better understanding of IGF-1 and how IF [intermittent fasting] reduces it. I further cemented some other ideas, too, like the apparent fact that usual, deleterious effects of dieting -- e.g., muscle loss -- are circumvented by IF.)

I am not the intended audience. What was not obvious before I read it but what
May 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, 2014
Intermittent Fasting for the win! The title of this book is a bit misleading, as it's not a diet so much as a strategy for calorie control and health improvement. Like so many others, my husband and I became interested in Intermittent Fasting (IF) after watching Dr Michael Mosley's Horizon/BBC programme Eat, Fast, Live Longer, and this book expands upon the information covered in that documentary. The system is simple- for two days a week, you eat 25% of your daily calories (500 for women and 60 ...more
C Joy
May 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was very enlightened about Intermittent Fasting (IF) and it made me re-evaluated my eating habits and lifestyle.

I have been hearing positive things about IF and this book was backed by a lot of scientific research, data, and evidence; the authors definitely know what they're talking about because they themselves are currently practicing this.

There's a very helpful guide on the calorie counts of common foods, beverages, and even spices towards the end. While the book is based on scientific fact
Laurel Bradshaw
Jul 31, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, health
I'm sold on the Fast Diet as a way of life, not just a diet plan. It is easy and very flexible. The book is short and to the point, and includes meal plans and a calorie counter. There really isn't any info here that can't be found free on the web, and the recipes are not very vegetarian friendly. This diet has a huge following in Great Britain, and with the US publication of this book, I think it will become very popular here also. There are forums and blogs and Facebook groups devoted to it. I ...more
Jul 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
I was feeling slightly overweight of recently (change of job, not enough work but too many biscuits and cakes to go through during work hours). I would not say that this book helped. The first 2 weeks on the treadmill shed off 5 kgs. Excess baggage gone, just like that!

What this book has done is to make me more conscious of what I put in my belly. I had never thought that only a pesky Mr Kipling's trifle bakewell could add massive 194 kcal and I need to power-walk 2 miles to get rid of that junk
Apr 24, 2013 rated it it was ok
I became fascinated by the concept of the fast diet and its healthful benefits after having seen Michael Mosley's PBS documentary on fasting. This book, which utilizes a large font and has ample white space, is both a VERY quick read and overly simplified. Other than a metric-based calorie counter and menu plans for fasting days, it adds nothing to the information found in the excellent television documentary. The twenty pages of testimonials from fast diet adherents are fluffy filler. Stick to ...more
Jan 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Convinced me now to put it into action!
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Michael Mosley (born 22 March 1957) is a British television journalist, producer and presenter who has worked for the BBC since 1985. He is probably best known as a presenter of television programmes on biology and medicine and his regular appearances on The One Show.

Born in Kolkata, India, the son of a bank director, Mosley studied philosophy, politics and economics at New College, Oxford before
“There is no reason to be alarmed by benign, occasional, short-term hunger. Given base-level good health, you will not perish. You won’t collapse in a heap and need to be rescued by the cat. Your body is designed to go without food for longish periods, even if it has lost the skill through years of grazing, picking, and snacking. Research has found that modern humans tend to mistake a whole range of emotions for hunger.6 We eat when we’re bored, when we’re thirsty, when we’re around food (when aren’t we?), when we’re with company, or simply when the clock happens to tell us it’s time for food. Most of us eat, too, just because it feels good. This is known as hedonic hunger,” 3 likes
“The reality of your life always comes out in pathology,” 2 likes
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