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DR MICHAEL MOSLEY explains how sleep patterns affect the appetite

Trying to lose weight? Well, one of the things you must do if you want a slimmer and healthier body is to get enough sleep. For most people that means seven to eight hours a night.

If you try to get by on less, as many people do, then this will mess with your mood and your body’s ability to control your blood sugar levels, which can lead to over-eating.

To see what impact cutting back on sleep can have, a couple of years ago I took part in an experiment organised by Dr Eleanor Scott, who works at the University of Leeds.

We recruited a group of healthy volunteers and, under her supervision, fitted them with activity monitors and continuous glucose monitors, so we could see what was happening to their blood sugar levels.

Well, one of the things you must do if you want a slimmer and healthier body is to get enough sleep (stock image)

Then we asked our volunteers to sleep normally for two nights (so we had a baseline to work from), have two nights where they went to bed three hours later than normal, followed by two nights where they could sleep for as long as they liked.

Naturally enough, being an avid self-experimenter, I joined in. I was unpleasantly surprised by just how much my blood sugar levels rose on the days when I was sleep deprived, and how hungry that made me.

The same was true of my fellow volunteers. When we met to get our results from Dr Scott, everyone complained about having the munchies. As one volunteer put it: ‘I wanted lots of biscuits and I didn’t just have one. I’d go for ten. I wrote it down on my diary — ten custard creams.’

‘Is that unusual?’ I asked him.

‘Well, that’s certainly unusual for breakfast!’ he replied.

All of us, whether we had feasted on biscuits or managed to stick to our normal diet, saw marked increases in our blood sugar levels, to the point where some previously healthy individuals had levels you might expect to see in borderline type 2 diabetics. These problems resolved after a couple of good nights’ sleep.

So why does this happen?

Dr Scott said: ‘We know that when people are sleep-deprived, they often crave sweet foods, which could explain the custard cream cravings. We also know that if you’re awake when you’re not meant to be, you produce more of the stress hormone cortisol, and that can influence your appetite as well as your glucose levels.’

As Dr Scott pointed out, poor sleep also disrupts hunger hormones such as leptin and ghrelin. These work together to manage appetite. Leptin reduces hunger, while ghrelin promotes it. When researchers at the University of Chicago recently monitored hunger hormone levels and appetite in a group of volunteers, they saw some dramatic results.

If you try to get by on less, as many people do, then this will mess with your mood and your body¿s ability to control your blood sugar levels, which can lead to over-eating (stock image)

If you try to get by on less, as many people do, then this will mess with your mood and your body’s ability to control your blood sugar levels, which can lead to over-eating (stock image)

As part of this study, the volunteers were asked to get by on just four hours of sleep a night for six nights, followed by another six nights when they could sleep as much as they wanted.

Tests showed that when they were sleep-deprived the volunteers had 18 per cent lower leptin levels and 28 per cent higher ghrelin levels, reflected in the fact that they also reported feeling much, much hungrier. There was a particularly marked increase in their preference for sweet, salty and starchy foods.

The message is, if you want to get your hunger hormones working with you rather than against you, you must prioritise sleep.

That’s why establishing a proper sleep pattern is part of my new diet, The Fast 800. By tracking people who’ve done our online course (see thefast800.com) we’ve shown that you can lose up to a stone (6kg) in three weeks.

How it works 

Fast 500

We recommend you start with this intensive stage to kick-start your weight loss and metabolism. Limit yourself to 800 calories a day, every day, to lose up to a stone (6kg) in three weeks. Try to keep to this for at least two weeks, for up to 12 weeks.

Try to eat all your meals and drinks (apart from water) within a 12-hour ‘window’, such as 8am to 8pm.

New 5:2

If you’re nearing your target or don’t have as much weight to lose, switch to the New 5:2. Or simply start straight away on this diet if you don’t feel the fast-track regime is for you.

On the New 5:2, you will fast for two days of the week — limiting your calorie intake to 800 calories on those days (instead of the 500-600 calories we suggested with the original 5:2).

Eat normally and healthily, following low-carb, Mediterranean-style guidelines (vegetables, good-quality fats, such as olive oil and dairy, pulses, nuts and seeds, wholegrains and lean fish and meat) for the remaining five days of the week, without worrying about portion size to lose 2-4 lb (1-2kg) a week.

Maintenance

Once you’ve hit your target, stick to these general healthy-eating principles. Make sure you add a fast day regularly — it’s up to you to decide what works for you.

As I explained at the start of this series, in Weekend magazine on Saturday, the Fast 800 programme is based on nourishing low-carb, low-calorie, Mediterranean-style meals, centred around vegetables, pulses, dairy, nuts and seeds, and lean protein such as chicken and fish.

It starts with rapid weight loss, where you limit your intake to 800 calories a day every day. This is followed, after a few weeks, by switching to my intermittent fasting pattern, now known as the New 5:2 diet.

A major benefit of the 800-calorie approach is that you lose substantial amounts of weight, fast — which is highly motivating.

Importantly, it also helps you to reset your metabolism and appetite so, within a week or so, you should feel less hungry, more energetic and clearer headed — as well as lighter on the scales.

Today, we continue our exclusive Fast 800 recipe series, sharing some of the tempting and delicious suggestions for soups and shakes, created by my wife, Dr Clare Bailey.

Our soups are as tasty as they are filling. The recipes mainly serve four, so you can take one portion to work for lunch and store extra portions in the fridge for a few days or put them in the freezer. Or you could use them as part of a family meal.

Although we recommend real food first, we know that shakes can be very useful as meal replacements to help you keep on track.

They’re also very handy for anyone who works shifts, is on the go or travelling and therefore finds it hard to make sure they can get a healthy low-calorie meal.

Our nutritious shake recipes are likely to be healthier (and cheaper) than most you buy in shops or online, which tend to be high in sugars and starchy carbs.

If you don’t use dairy, we suggest adding unsweetened almond milk (which has 13 calories per 100ml), or oat milk (44 calories per 100ml)

Soups and shakes can be a very useful fast-day option when you are following the New 5:2.

All these recipes are taken from our new book, The Fast 800 Recipe Book, which is brimming with more than 130 brand new recipes, as well as health advice and tips on how to take control of your own health with the foods you eat at home.

Super seedy tomato soup 

An instant lunch or supper, with beans to make it more filling.

192 calories: An instant lunch or supper, with beans to make it more filling

192 calories: An instant lunch or supper, with beans to make it more filling

Serves 2

Per serving 192 cals l Protein 8g l Fat 7.5g l Fibre 6.5g l Carbs 20g

● 1×400g can chopped tomatoes

● ½×400g can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

● 2 spring onions, trimmed and roughly chopped

● 30g full-fat live Greek yoghurt

● 6 large basil leaves, plus extra to serve (optional)

● 1 tbsp olive oil

● 1 tbsp tomato purée

Place all the ingredients in a blender, season with sea salt and lots of ground black pepper and blitz until smooth. Transfer to a non-stick saucepan, stir in enough water to reach your preferred consistency and heat through gently.

Season to taste and pour into bowls or mugs to serve with basil leaves to garnish, if you like.

5:2 NON-FAST DAYS

Serve with a slice of wholegrain or seeded sourdough bread. Add a tablespoon of cooked diced bacon or chorizo to the soup for added flavour and protein, and a liberal drizzle of olive oil.

Four easy shakes to enjoy on the go 

MINTED AVOCADO AND CUCUMBER SHAKE

A creamy, refreshing shake. As with all the shakes here, simply place the ingredients in a blender and whizz.

Per serving 205 cals

● ½ medium avocado, stoned, peeled and quartered

● 200g cucumber, thickly sliced

● 25g young spinach leaves

● 12 fresh mint leaves

● 15g full-fat live Greek yoghurt

● 100ml cold water

A creamy, refreshing shake. As with all the shakes here, simply place the ingredients in a blender and whizz

A creamy, refreshing shake. As with all the shakes here, simply place the ingredients in a blender and whizz

ORANGE, CARROT AND CASHEW SHAKE

This makes a zingy drink with a vibrant orange colour. Make sure that your blender is sturdy enough to cope with the carrot slices.

Per serving 187 cals

● 2 medium carrots (around 170g), trimmed and sliced

● ½ medium orange, peeled and cut into chunky pieces

● 15g no-added-sugar cashew nut butter or almond butter

● 125ml cold water

This makes a zingy drink with a vibrant orange colour. Make sure that your blender is sturdy enough to cope with the carrot slices

This makes a zingy drink with a vibrant orange colour. Make sure that your blender is sturdy enough to cope with the carrot slices

  GREEN GINGER SHAKE

Crisp green apple adds fibre and sweetness to this gorgeous green shake. Use a red-skinned apple if you prefer.

Per serving 196 cals

● 1 green apple, quartered and cored

● ½ medium courgette trimmed and thickly sliced

● 8g fresh root ginger, peeled and roughly chopped

● ½ tsp ground turmeric

● 10g mixed seeds (such as sunflower, pumpkin, sesame and flax)

● 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil

● 100ml cold water

Crisp green apple adds fibre and sweetness to this gorgeous green shake. Use a red-skinned apple if you prefer

Crisp green apple adds fibre and sweetness to this gorgeous green shake. Use a red-skinned apple if you prefer

GAZPACHO-STYLE SHAKE

Lovely served cold with a few ice cubes.

Per serving 192 cals

● 100g cucumber, roughly chopped

● 2-3 ripe vine tomatoes, quartered

● ½ red pepper, deseeded and sliced

● ¼ small red onion (around 20g), peeled

● 25g full-fat live Greek yoghurt

● 10g ground almonds

● 1 tbsp tomato purée

● 1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil

● 2 tbsp cold water

● Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Gazpacho-style shake, lovely served cold with a few ice cubes

Gazpacho-style shake, lovely served cold with a few ice cubes

Spiced bean and spinach soup

Made from ingredients you can keep in your cupboards and freezer, this is a soup to power you through the day.

Made from ingredients you can keep in your cupboards and freezer, this is a soup to power you through the day

Made from ingredients you can keep in your cupboards and freezer, this is a soup to power you through the day

Serves 3

Per serving 200 cals l Protein 10.5g l Fat 5g l Fibre 9g l Carbs 22.5g

● 1 tbsp olive oil

● 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped

● 1 large garlic clove, peeled and crushed

● 1 tsp ground cumin

● 1 tbsp harissa paste

● 1×400g can chopped tomatoes

● 1×400g can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

● 1 vegetable stock cube

● 200g frozen spinach

Heat the oil in a large non-stick saucepan, add the onion and gently fry for 5 minutes, or until softened, stirring regularly. Add garlic, cumin and harissa paste and cook for a few seconds more, stirring. Tip tomatoes and cannellini beans into the pan and crumble over the stock cube. Add 500ml water and stir in frozen spinach. Bring liquid to a simmer (this may take a while as spinach thaws), then cook for 10 minutes, stirring regularly. Add a little extra water if needed. Season with sea salt and ground black pepper to serve.

COOK’S TIP

Add a finely sliced fresh chilli or ½ teaspoon crushed dried chilli flakes before serving for an extra kick. A tablespoon of tomato purée stirred in at the same time as the tomatoes brings extra richness for just an additional 5 calories per serving.

5:2 NON-FAST DAYS

Scatter diced cooked bacon in for added protein, along with a good glug of olive oil. Serve with a chunk of wholegrain bread.

Broccoli and blue cheese soup 

A rich, comforting soup that is good for the bugs in your gut, too.

A rich, comforting soup that is good for the bugs in your gut, too

A rich, comforting soup that is good for the bugs in your gut, too

Serves 4

Per serving 158 cals l Protein 8.5g l Fat 10g l Fibre 5g l Carbs 6g

● 1 tbsp olive or rapeseed oil

● 1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped

● 1 large head broccoli (around 400g), roughly chopped, including the stalk

● 1 vegetable or chicken stock cube

● 75g soft blue cheese, such as Roquefort

Heat the oil in a large non-stick saucepan, add the onion and gently fry for 5 minutes, or until softened, stirring regularly. Add the broccoli and crumble the stock cube over the top. Pour in 1 litre water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, or until the broccoli is very tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and blitz with a stick blender or cool slightly and blend in a food processor until smooth. Return to the heat, stir in most of the cheese and adjust the seasoning to taste. Warm through gently, adding a little extra water if needed, before serving with the remaining cheese crumbled on top.

COOK’S TIP

If you have odds and ends of caulifower, use these up with the broccoli — just keep to around 400g total weight.

5:2 NON-FAST DAYS

Fry 4 rashers of smoked streaky bacon in a dry pan until crisp. Break into small pieces and sprinkle on to the soup just before serving with a slice of toasted wholegrain bread — see right for my lovely seeded wholemeal loaf.

Curried chicken and lentil soup

Lentils and spinach add plenty of fibre to this soup, making it particularly filling.

Lentils and spinach add plenty of fibre to this soup, making it particularly filling

Lentils and spinach add plenty of fibre to this soup, making it particularly filling

Serves 4

Per serving 223 cals l Protein 20.5g l Fat 8g l Fibre 4.5g l Carbs 15.5g

● 1 tbsp olive or coconut oil

● 1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped

● 1 pepper, any colour, deseeded and cut into roughly 1.5cm chunks

● 2 tbsp medium curry powder

● 1×400g can chopped tomatoes

● 1 chicken stock cube

● 50g dried red split lentils

● 225g frozen spinach

● 200g cooked chicken, roughly chopped

● Lemon wedges, to serve

Heat the oil in a large non-stick saucepan, add the onion and pepper and gently fry for 5 minutes, or until softened. Stir in the curry powder and cook for a few seconds more.

Add the tomatoes and bring to the boil. Keep stirring for a couple of minutes, then crumble over the chicken stock cube and add 1 litre water. Rinse the lentils and add to the pan, along with the frozen spinach, and bring to a simmer.

Season well with sea salt and lots of ground black pepper. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring regularly.

Add the chicken pieces and cook for 8–10 minutes more, or until the lentils are soft and the spinach is completely thawed, stirring regularly. Add extra water if the soup thickens too much. Adjust the seasoning to taste and serve in deep bowls with lemon wedges for squeezing over.

COOK’S TIP

To make a vegetarian version, use a vegetable stock cube and replace the chicken with Quorn pieces. The chicken contains 178 calories per 100g, so you’ll need to adjust the calories accordingly.

5:2 NON-FAST DAYS

Top with a couple of tablespoons of toasted almonds and serve with a spoonful of full-fat live Greek yoghurt.

Seeded wholemeal bread 

A lovely loaf and slightly chewy. Store leftover slices in the freezer. An ideal recipe for a bread maker.

A lovely loaf and slightly chewy. Store leftover slices in the freezer. An ideal recipe for a bread maker

A lovely loaf and slightly chewy. Store leftover slices in the freezer. An ideal recipe for a bread maker

Serves 12

Per serving 178 cals l Protein 6.5g l Fat 4g l Fibre 4g l Carbs 27.5g

● 7g sachet dried fast-action yeast

● 425g strong wholemeal bread flour, plus 1 tbsp extra for kneading

● 100g mixed seeds

● 2 tbsp skimmed milk powder

● 1 tbsp soft light brown sugar

● 1½ tsp fine sea salt

● 1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for greasing

Mix the yeast, flour, seeds, milk powder, sugar and salt in a large bowl and make a well in the centre.

Fill a jug with 150ml just-boiled water from a kettle and top up with 200ml cold water to give a total of 350ml lukewarm water. Add the oil and pour into the flour mixture. Using a large spoon, stir to combine into a rough ball. Turn out on to a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes. The dough will be sticky, so add a little flour to the surface if necessary. Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a clean, damp tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place for 1 ½-2 hours, or until almost doubled in size.

Gather the dough and form gently into a ball. Line a baking tray with baking paper and place the dough on top. Form into a roughly 18cm round. Score three times with a sharp knife, cover with a large upturned kitchen bowl and leave to prove for 1–1½ hours, or until well risen. Preheat the oven to 220c/fan 200c/gas 7. Remove the bowl and bake for 25 minutes, or until golden brown. The base should sound hollow when tapped. Cool on a wire rack. Serve in thin slices — one serving should be around 65g.

COOK’S TIPS

This can be made very successfully in a bread maker on the wholewheat setting.

To make a homemade crispbread, cut the one or two-day-old loaf into very thin slices, each around 15g, and place on a baking tray in a preheated oven at 170c/fan 150c/gas 3. Bake for about 20 minutes or until crisp and completely dry. Store in an airtight container.

Almost instant noodle soup 

A delicious, Asian-inspired soup, which works particularly well as a lunch on the go.

A delicious, Asian-inspired soup, which works particularly well as a lunch on the go

A delicious, Asian-inspired soup, which works particularly well as a lunch on the go

Serves 2

Per serving 210 cals l Protein l 9g Fat 7g l Fibre 2.5g l Carbs 26.5g

● 50g dried wholewheat noodles or soba buckwheat noodles

● 4 tsp miso paste

● 20g fresh root ginger, peeled and finely grated

● 2 tbsp dark soy sauce

● 4-6 chestnut mushrooms, depending on size , very finely sliced

● Large handful of young spinach leaves

● 4 spring onions, trimmed and very finely sliced

● ½ tsp crushed dried chilli flakes

● 25g roasted cashew nuts, roughly chopped

● 2 large handfuls fresh coriander, leaves roughly chopped

Half fill a saucepan with water and bring to the boil. Add the noodles, return to the boil and cook for 3-4 minutes until tender, or according to the pack instructions. Pour the noodles into a sieve and rinse under cold running water. Drain well.

Divide the miso paste, ginger and soy sauce between two large heatproof jars (or other heatproof lidded containers).

Place the mushrooms on top, then add — in the following order — the cooked noodles, spinach, spring onions, chilli flakes, cashews and coriander. Cover and keep chilled. When ready to serve, add 250-300ml just-boiled water from a kettle (roughly a mug full) to each jar. The water should rise about halfway up the ingredients. Cover loosely and leave to stand for 2 minutes to allow the vegetables to soften and the noodles to heat.

Stir well, leave to stand for a further 1-2 minutes, then serve immediately.

COOK’S TIPS

The just-boiled water will warm the ingredients, but they won’t be hot, so you could give the soup a quick blast in a microwave to heat it further. Make sure your container is suitable for microwave cooking. You could also heat the soup in a pan.

Dry noodles come in different-sized bundles — do your best to keep as close to 50g as possible.

5:2 NON-FAST DAYS

Add extra protein, such as shredded cooked chicken or cubes of tofu.

Don’t bottle out of drinking!

By Dr Clare Bailey for the Daily Mail

The Fast 800 Recipe Book by Dr Clare Bailey and Justine Pattison is published by Short Books

The Fast 800 Recipe Book by Dr Clare Bailey and Justine Pattison is published by Short Books

We can’t stress enough how important it is to drink plenty of fluids when you are on this diet.

This is particularly the case during the first week or so of the Fast 800 when your body is still adapting to the diet and trying to reset your metabolism. During this period you may feel light-headed and have the odd headache, so drinking plenty of fluids will not only help you to feel fuller, but also help to combat any tiredness and keep your energy levels up.

This is especially important on fast days, when we suggest you aim for an extra 1–1.5 litres of calorie-free fluids, mainly as water.

It is best to avoid drinks with sweeteners, as they can upset the good microbes in your gut.

They are also likely to sabotage your attempts to retrain your taste buds, as sweeteners are often many times sweeter than sugar itself.

If you drink a lot of artificially sweetened drinks, you may need to reduce them over a matter of days or even weeks to avoid withdrawal and cravings. If you must use a sweetener, Stevia is probably best.

Do try some of these lovely ways to add flavour without significant calories. These drinks can be enjoyed any time and won’t interfere with fat-burning.

Be sure to drink enough 

Our first choice is always tap water, either straight from the tap or filtered.

If you’re inclined to forget to increase your fluid intake, try keeping a jug or bottles in the kitchen or on your desk at work. Aim to finish them by the end of the day. Or carry a bottle round with you.

  • Make plain water more appealing by keeping bottles in the fridge, as it tastes better cold. For extra flavour, add a few berries or slices of lemon and lime in a jug with ice. Mixing in herbs such as mint, thyme or rosemary is another refreshing idea, as are a couple of slices of cucumber or even courgette.
  • Try to avoid putting milk in your tea or coffee between meals, as this adds calories and interferes with fat-burning — although, added straight after a meal, a dash of milk is fine.
  • Create your own herbal infusions by adding boiling water to a handful of mint, thyme or sage in a cup.
  • Make your own fiery ginger tea by finely slicing about 1cm of root ginger into a mug. Fill with boiling water and allow to steep for around five minutes. Ginger is a source of magnesium, which helps with bone formation. It has been found to reduce blood pressure and can reduce inflammation — as well as being a tasty way to get you through a fasting day.
  • Avoid alcohol on fast days. Try a glass of sparkling water in a wine glass with fruit, herbs and ice or a squeeze of lime juice instead and you may find you don’t actually miss alcohol.
  • You can drink in moderation on the New 5:2, but within the government guidelines of 14 units a week. Beer, cider and lager are all high in carbohydrates so are best avoided in favour of an occasional glass of wine or even low-sugar spirits such as vodka or gin with low-calorie tonic water. Red wine also contains higher quantities of resveratrol, an antioxidant that helps protect cells from damage, so may be slightly healthier. 

The Fast 800 Recipe Book by Dr Clare Bailey and Justine Pattison is published by Short Books, £16.99. ©Parenting Matters Ltd. To order a copy for £13.60 call 0844 571 0640. P&P is free on orders over £15. Offer valid until 22 June 2019.

Safety first: The diet is unsuitable for teenagers and if you are breastfeeding, pregnant, frail, unwell, underweight, are undertaking endurance exercise, have an eating disorder, or are undergoing fertility treatment.

Consult your GP first if you have a medical condition.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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