Is the programme right for me?
There is really no definitive answer to this question as everyone participating in the programme is different in so many ways (weights, sugars, exercise, medications, ages etc.). Having said that, the core objectives of this program are to:
- Lose weight
- Reduce blood sugars
The programme not only helps making food choices easier but it does provide that critical support through the forum where colleagues can support each other and members can ask questions of our health professionals which include sports scientists, nurse practitioners, doctors and health coaches.
Please note if you have certain medical conditions, are pregnant, breastfeeding or underweight, you should not do the diet. Please see ‘Is there any reason I should not do this diet’ for further information.
Who should AVOID a low calorie diet or fasting?
You SHOULD NOT do a low calorie / fasting diet if you are:
- Underweight and/or have a history of an eating disorder – for more information see https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/eating-disorders/
- Under 18 years of age
- Pregnant or breastfeeding
- Diagnosed with a significant psychiatric disorder – for more information see https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/mental-health-helplines/
- Frail or recovering from surgery
- Under active investigation or treatment or have a significant medical condition affecting ability to comply with diet and / or
- A Type 1 diabetic and those with other, rarer forms, like pancreatic or monogenic diabetes who will not respond in the same way to weight loss.
- Unwell or have a fever
You should also confirm with your doctor that you really are a type 2 diabetic as there are other rarer forms of diabetes that will not respond in the same way to weight loss.
Use CAUTION doing a low calorie / fasting diet & DISCUSS WITH DOCTOR if any of the following apply:
- On certain medications
- On insulin – detailed assessment & education by health professional to plan a suitable reduction in medication/insulin to to avoid a potentially dangerous drop in blood sugar (hypo).
- Those who have a significant underlying medical condition should speak to their doctor first, as they would before embarking on any weight-loss regime.
- If you have type 2 diabetes and are on medication, it will be necessary to adjust your medication. It may need to be reduced or stopped as blood sugars improve and to avoid hypos.
- If you are on blood pressure medication this may need to be reduced or stopped as blood pressure improves.
- If you are on diabetic medication with hypoglycaemia unawareness, so you cannot tell if you have a ‘hypo’ when your sugar level drops
- If you have moderate or severe retinopathy you will need extra screening within 6 months (as retinopathy can sometimes get worse when blood sugar improves)
- Those with a significant psychiatric history in the past
- If you are taking other medications, eg Warfarin, discuss them with your doctor first.
- People with epilepsy (though there is some evidence that diet can improve epilepsy)
- Pregnancy. Clearly avoiding fasting/low calorie diets is wise, however if there is a risk of (or previous history of) Gestational diabetes, The Blood Sugar Way of Life might be a suitable alternative.
Please read this handout (pdf) for additional information.
As the Med Style Way of Life is less challenging to do and simply involves a Med-style low carb diet, following discussion with your doctor, this may be a suitable alternative as it does not involve fasting.
For additional information to help the discussion with your doctor – please download this letter.
Should I discuss this with my doctor?
As with all diets, we recommend you discuss it with your doctor as they will be able to advise you on how to manage any medical conditions and you should always follow their advice. They can also help with any monitoring or tests to see how you are progressing.
For additional information to support the conversation – please share this letter with your doctor to explain the implications of the diet.
What is included in the 12-week online programme?
Our comprehensive 12-week programme costs £99.00 (AUD 175.00) and includes:
- Weekly meal plans for one or two people (that you can tailor)
- Printable recipes and shopping lists
- Access to The Very Fast 800, The New 5:2 and the Med Style diet plans
- Exercise plans for beginner, intermediate and advanced levels
- A tracker to measure weight loss, activity and blood sugars
- 250+ recipes (with more delicious recipes being added on a regular basis)
- Mindfulness meditations
- Core learning content, plus access to exclusive articles
- Support tools for liaising with your usual treating doctor
Most importantly, access to a community forum so you can chat with your fellow members and/or ask our friendly online health professionals for support.
How much does the programme cost?
Our comprehensive programme is based on the latest science and takes an evidence-based approach to healthy living focusing on nutrition, behavioural change and sustainable lifestyle.
The online programme teaches our members the benefits of a low carb Mediterranean-style diet (so it becomes a way of eating for life).
The cost of the online programme is £99.00 (AUD$175.00)*
At the end of your course you can consider joining the monthly subscription service (£10/AUD$18 per month), with continued access to all content, as well as support from the online forum.
* To find out how much this equates to in your local currency, please use a currency conversion calculator, like this one.
When does the 12-week online programme start?
The programme is a guided course and starts straight away however, the first week is an orientation week to give you time to prepare. If you sign up on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday (before 12 midnight UTC), your orientation week will begin straight away and your Week 1 will start the Monday after. If you signed up on a Thursday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday, your orientation week will still start straight away, but your Week 1 won’t be available until the following Monday (so that you actually have some time to complete the orientation week).
Can I restart the 12-week online programme after I start?
As the programme is guided, you are unable to pause or restart the course. You can switch back to previous weeks. You also have a few weeks access at the end of the course to allow you to catch up on any missed content.
What results am I likely to experience on the programme?
Results will vary across individuals however, common benefits experienced by past members include:
- To lose fat, fast – rapid, sustainable weight loss.
- For general health and to live longer – a sense of well-being and increased energy.
- For metabolic reasons – improving blood sugars, reversing and preventing type 2 diabetes, improving cholesterol profiles, reversing NAFLD, reducing coronary artery diseases, reducing the risk of dementia, reversing PCOS.
- To power up your brain – reducing cognitive decline.
- To boost your mood and motivation – a great way to reduce anxiety and depression.
- To help reduce inflammation in the body – improving conditions such as arthritis, asthma and psoriasis.
- A new relationship with food
- Reduced hunger
- Improvement in sleep
- Increased fitness
Most importantly, we like to think of the online programme as a plan for life. Our aim is to put you back in control so that when you finish the programme you can continue to make healthy, sustainable choices. Members often comment that the information provided in the online programme is invaluable and can easily be incorporated into everyday life.
What tests can I do to monitor changes?
The easy ones are to weigh yourself and measure things like your waist, chest, hips. Some weighing machines will also give you an estimate of your body fat.
You could also take a measure of your resting pulse, as this is a good predictor of future health.
Also, ask your doctor to measure HbA1C (average glucose), cholesterol and your blood pressure.
Is the Fast 800 suitable for vegetarians?
Both the online programme and the way of life are easy to do as vegetarian – as they contain lots of healthy protein and fat, for example nuts and olive oil. The 12 week online programme has an entire meal plan specifically for vegetarians as well – which will be selected for you following your assessment.
Is the Fast 800 suitable for vegans?
Sadly the Fast 800 recipes and 12-week online programme currently does not cater for vegans.
If you are not fasting, then it is possible to adapt the Mediterranean-style diet to create a vegan plan, however it will require your effort to ensure your daily protein requirements are achieved.
I have food allergies/intolerances, can I still do the programme?
The Fast 800 is based on a low-carb Mediterranean-style diet. There have been many people with certain allergies successfully complete the programme.
The forum moderators are here to help with suggestions, in addition to our general recommendations to allergies to certain nuts, dairy, gluten, seafood, eggs. We do however recommend that you join the programme prepared to invest in planning to ensure that modifications are achievable and a calorie-counting app will help to ensure that you are replacing ingredients of a similar nature and calorie value.
If you have concerns about a specific allergy please contact us.
Can I do the programme as I am Coeliac / Gluten free?
Many people who have coeliacs disease/ a gluten intolerance have successfully completed the online programme.
The great majority of the recipes are gluten free and any recipes that do contain gluten can be easily modified to become gluten free. Our team on the forum will be able to help with any questions in relation to substitutions.
Isn’t it better to lose weight slowly and steadily rather than fast?
As some of America’s leading obesity experts pointed out in a review article in the New England Journal of Medicine[iv] in 2013, the belief that slow and gradual weight loss is more effective than rapid weight loss is a myth, despite the fact that it has been repeated in text books for decades. They conclude that “more rapid and greater initial weight loss is associated with lower body weight at the end of long-term follow-up.” In other words if you want to diet successfully it can be better to lose weight fast than slow.
Losing weight fast motivates dieters to stick with their programme because they see rapid results. A very low-calorie diet also means less carbohydrates, which forces the body to burn fat more quickly.
I lost weight in the first week, but my weight loss has paused, why?
It is very usual for there to be dips and surges in your progress. The initial weight loss is very motivating however, weight loss is not linear and thus we do recommend that you continue to follow the philosophies as no doubt you will have a surge again. Also, we encourage you to review your exercise plan and increase your incidental exercise, as well as your HIIT and resistance exercises, if you have not already. We also encourage tracking other important indicators of health such as, quality of sleep, mood, energy levels, and how your clothes are fitting.
For free resources and information, please sign up to our newsletter or join our Facebook page. You are welcome to post questions to our Facebook community, however, please note this is not monitored by health professionals. If you want further support, including Fast 800 health professionals on-hand to answer your questions, you may consider joining our 12 week online programme.
Do I have to give up coffee, smoking or alcohol?
No, you don’t have to give up any of these whilst on the diet although, obviously, we would certainly advise everyone to stop smoking as soon as possible, irrespective of their blood sugars.
Coffee and alcohol are still allowed on the diet although the calories in both of these drinks needs to be included in the daily calorie limit (noting that alcohol is highly calorific). A pint of beer or large glass of wine contains 180 calories, so really best avoided or keep to the very minimum. The good news is that red wine is included in the Mediterranean Style diet, so once you finish the programme and move onto ‘the maintenance’ stage you will be able to introduce alcoholic drinks back into your diet (we go over this in more detail in the programme).
Black coffee and tea are fine although you will need to include any milks in your daily calorie count.
Can I follow the Fast 800 if I am doing heavy exercise?
Please note that 800 calorie a day is not suitable for those who are doing long endurance exercise.
If you are doing intense / endurance exercise, you will require more energy than most. You may still be able to follow the Mediterranean Style diet (without calorie restriction), however you may require extra nutrition to support your training plan.
We would advise seeing your usual health professional before starting any diet or exercise regime as they will be in the best position to advise.
Do I need a Facebook account to join the programme?
- You do not need a Facebook account to join the programme, or engage in the programme forum.
- All paid member interaction occurs on the website or via email; there is no programme content on Facebook or any other platform.
- The Fast 800 public Facebook and Instagram pages are a good place to engage with the general community interested in this lifestyle.
How long will I have access to the programme?
Are the recipes difficult?
Not at all!
We have had so many past members comment on the simplicity and deliciousness of the recipes.
The recipes are designed for your success; there are a variety of options that suit both the keen cook and the novice.
Are the calories listed for the recipes ‘per serve’ or for the entire amount produced?
The calorie count is per serve. So if a recipe says that it serves 2 and is 200 kcal, this means that the recipe will produce 2 portions, each containing 200 calories.
How does the private forum work?
- Forums are private and are for use only by paid members of the cohort.
- Your privacy is important to us and as such we aim to protect this information. We recommend you do not disclose any personal information e.g. date of birth or personal address.
- We further recommend you choose a Forum name that will protect your anonymity but you can clearly identify for yourself.
- Members are encouraged to provide your personal statistics including height, weight, waist circumference and blood results such that your cohort colleagues can share in and support your progress. Sharing this information is optional.
- Members are welcome to post as often or as little as they like. Discussion regarding any aspect of the diet, hints, tips, recipes are encouraged to support members of the forum.
- Comments made by supporting doctors and advisors are general in nature. Specific details about drug dosing and medical conditions will not be provided directly on the forum. Individual medical advice including details about medication and dosing can be supported by direct, individual “consults” with a Doctor as part of the 12 week on line support program outside of the forum, or by your usual GP.
- Doctors and trained advisors will monitor the forum regularly.
- We will not tolerate any forum comments that are in any way abusive, aggressive or derogatory . Any such postings will be removed immediately and the user’s account closed with no recourse for refund of fee paid.
- Importantly, everyone involved in this program including all Fast 800 medical team supporting the site are determined to help you achieve your blood sugar and health goals.
Can I pay with my credit card?
Yes you can. We accept Mastercard and Visa credit cards and Visa and Maestro debit cards.
You can select to pay in GBP, AUD or USD.
Can I do the programme outside the UK and Australia?
The Fast 800 is a 12-week online programme and is suitable for members anywhere in the world as long as they have stable WiFi access. The online programme is run by a global, virtual team with practitioners / operators in the UK as well as Australia. thefast800.com is the only url offering the official Fast 800 12-week online programme and this url is the same for members accessing from anywhere in the world.
We have had members complete the programme successfully from the UK and Australia as well as the USA, Canada, Europe and New Zealand.
When will the recipe book be out?
The Fast 800 Recipe Book, with over 150 delicious recipes, is now available at all good bookstores in the UK, Australia and New Zealand.