The truth about rapid weight loss
We all know that carrying excess weight, particularly around the waist, is bad for our long term health. But the COVID-19 crisis has brought home some of the immediate risks as well. We know that people who are overweight have roughly a 30% increased risk of ending up in intensive care if they get infected, and if you are obese the risk doubles. We also know that being a healthy weight will give you the best shot at the COVID-19 vaccine working for you once it is available.
So I recently made a 3 part series for Channel 4 called “Lose a Stone in 21 Days” (a stone is 6.6kg) to help 5 overweight Brits kickstart their weight loss journey to achieve better health. Like many, their eating habits took a nose dive through the COVID-19 lockdown in 2020, but a short stint of rapid weight loss soon got them back on track.
Although they were quite young (age range 30 to 50) when we tested their blood we found they already, unknowingly, had some concerning health risk markers. Katie, a 34 year old teacher and mother of 2, was prediabetic, while Curtis, a 30 year old foreign language teacher, had worryingly high cholesterol and blood pressure. He was also snoring loudly and sleeping badly. If you have too much fat, particularly around the gut, then losing weight, is one of the most effective things you can do to not only improve your sleep, digestion and energy, but also to reduce your risk of serious illness.
Although each of the five people I’ve been working with had bespoke eating and lifestyle plans, all of them were designed using the basic principles of The Very Fast 800 approach to The Fast 800 diet. That is, each of them ate about 800-calories per day of moderately low-carbohydrate, Mediterranean-style food. Each of them exercised using a combination of HIIT and resistance workouts. And each of them practised time-restricted eating. This is considered a rapid weight loss approach, and it isn’t as scary as you might initially think.