Our Approaches

The Fast 800 is flexible. All three approaches follow the principles of a moderately low-carb, Mediterranean-style diet. You can switch easily between each approach as your needs change – some people start with The Very Fast 800 if they have a significant amount of weight to lose, or to kick start weight loss, while others start with The New 5:2 or The Way of Life for gradual weight loss or to improve their overall health.

Flexibility and finding what works for you are pivotal in maintaining a long-term, sustainable lifestyle. The Fast 800 is designed to complement your life and any event, holiday or challenge that comes with it.

WAY OF LIFE : a healthy Mediterranean-style DIET

What is it?

The Way of Life approach is a nutritionally-balanced guide to eating a healthy Mediterranean-style diet for life.

Based on the diet that has been enjoyed for centuries by people living in and around Southern Europe, it is free from added sugar and refined carbohydrates, and instead uses delicious ingredients that will keep your blood sugars in balance and promote good health.

Who is it for?

For most people, it is safe to continue with The New 5:2 diet long-term and many people find that this is an excellent way to stay healthy.

Other people prefer the freedom of The Way of Life approach, which doesn’t involve calorie counting, just sensible portions. To safeguard against a return to previous habits, the online programme guides you through The Way of Life, giving you support with meal planning, staying fit and coping mentally with the tougher times. You can stay motivated with the help of our busy online community, where you share tips and tricks with others who, like you, have managed to achieve successful weight loss.

How it works

Eating a Mediterranean Diet, which is full of fibre, protein and healthy fats is a sustainable and enjoyable approach to everyday food. Scientific research has shown this to be one of the healthiest diets on the planet. It is based on less processed foods and incorporates a wholefood approach without cutting out any specific foods groups giving you a lot of food freedom. 

  • The lower carb nature of this approach has been shown to improve your insulin response.
  • The high fibre content helps build a healthy gut microbiome.
  • The high micronutrient content reduces risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

How to do it

By using our meal plans on the online programme, you can plan for, shop and prepare the week’s food with minimal fuss. Our recipes are designed to be low in effort and high in flavour, and can often be prepared in double quantities to be packed up the next day for a lunch on the go.

If you’re really pressed for time, or are going to be out and about for the day and don’t wish to succumb into highly processed convenience foods, The Fast 800 Shakes are designed to work within The Way of Life as a convenience option.

You may also wish to integrate Time-Restricted Eating (TRE), which involves eating within a window of time and fasting outside of that window. Pioneered by Dr Satchin Panda of the world-renowned Salk Institute in San Diego, TRE allows you to capture the benefits of fasting without restricting the amount of food that you eat.

Instead of limiting your calories, TRE limits the period during which you eat to 12, 10 or 8 hours, including overnight sleep-time. This allows the body sufficient “down time” from the work of metabolising food to engage deep-level tissue repair processes, especially the clearance of non-optimal cells, also known as “autophagy”.

The good news is that the longer you stick to this maintenance phase, the easier and more natural it becomes. Behaviour change is linked to reward, and the rich Mediterranean-style diet is flavourful while also nutritious.

For long-term metabolic health management, The Fast 800 approaches should also be combined with regular, short sessions of high intensity interval training (HIIT) and resistance exercise, alongside mindfulness practice.

The Evidence

Since the 1970s, scientific evidence displaying the wide-ranging benefits of the Mediterranean-style diet has accumulated. One of the most wide-ranging and in-depth studies, conducted in 2008 by the University of Florence, reviewed the findings of 12 studies, together following 1.5m people. (6) It found that those following a Mediterranean diet were 9% less likely to die young, and also less likely overall to die of heart disease, stroke or cancer. They were also less likely to develop Parkinson’s disease or Alzheimer’s.

Another study showcasing the benefits of the Mediterranean diet is the PREDIMED study. The PREDIMED study involved a large randomised trial of 7,447 individuals, who were at high risk of cardiovascular disease (7). Participants were randomised to a Mediterranean diet supplemented with either nuts or extra virgin olive oil, or to a low-fat control group. The effects of the diet after more than 5 years’ observation were then investigated.

A large number of papers have been published on this trial, and the key results are:

  • A Mediterranean diet was shown to reduce the risk of a major cardiac event by 30% in the trial cohort;
  • The Mediterranean + nuts diet was associated with a 13.7% reduction in prevalence of metabolic syndrome;
  • Oxidised cholesterol levels, along with several other heart disease risk factors, reduced significantly in the groups on the Mediterranean diet;
  • The Mediterranean diet reduced the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 52%;
  • The Mediterranean diet had beneficial effects on various cardiovascular risk factors including blood sugar levels and blood pressure.

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