Don’t wait to lose weight: You’ll feel better and live longer – and the best place to start is my delicious Fast 800 diet

With summer nearly over it would be easy to suck in your lockdown-expanded waistline and hope no one notices what you’re hiding under a baggy jumper. 

You probably know you might look and feel better if you lost a few excess pounds, but this year there’s the added threat of Covid-19

It’s now well established that catching the virus when you are obese, or you have raised blood sugar levels, means you are far more likely to end up in intensive care with life-threatening complications – particularly if you are middle-aged.

Dr Michael Mosley shared advice for following his Fast 800 plan to lose weight fast, as it's revealed two-thirds of British adults are overweight or obese. Pictured: Michael and his wife Clare Bailey

Dr Michael Mosley shared advice for following his Fast 800 plan to lose weight fast, as it’s revealed two-thirds of British adults are overweight or obese. Pictured: Michael and his wife Clare Bailey

And there’s yet another reason to grasp the nettle: our best hope for defeating Covid-19 is a vaccine. But recent studies show that if you’re obese, a vaccine is far less likely to work than at a healthy weight. 

Too much body fat, especially around the waist, makes your immune system less efficient and less able to produce the antibodies needed to make the vaccine effective.

This is worrying because while two-thirds of British adults are overweight or obese, this rises to 78 per cent of British men and 70 per cent of British women over the age of 45 – and that also puts them at increased risk of developing serious conditions including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke and several types of cancer.

So I was keen to team up with the Daily Mail to work on a brilliant Shape Up Britain challenge to inspire the nation to take positive steps to lose weight and reduce the risk of Covid-19 complications. 

The recent pandemic has spelt out how important it is not to carry too much weight – even the prime minister, Boris Johnson, is said to have attributed his own serious struggle with the coronavirus to being overweight. So the government is pushing new measures to reduce bulging waistlines.

After nearly a decade of researching and writing about diets and weight loss, I’m convinced the easiest, most effective way to reach and stick at a healthy weight is by starting on a low-calorie, low-carbohydrate diet in the short term, before switching to intermittent fasting and then a sustainable Mediterranean-style way of eating. 

Dr Michael explained the Fast 800 plan is designed for overweight or obese people who want to lose up to a stone in just three weeks. Pictured: Crispy fish fillet with sweet quinoa

Dr Michael explained the Fast 800 plan is designed for overweight or obese people who want to lose up to a stone in just three weeks. Pictured: Crispy fish fillet with sweet quinoa 

My Fast 800 plan is designed to be super-flexible to suit anyone who is overweight or obese and wants to lose weight fast (up to a stone in just three weeks), or someone who prefers a slower approach (1-2lb a week).

A flexible weight-loss programme to suit everyone 

One of the great things about the Fast 800 is its flexibility. With the health-giving principles of the Mediterranean diet at its heart, it offers two different approaches which can be tailored to suit your lifestyle and your weight-loss goals:

  • The Very Fast 800 is the classic ‘quick fix’ for anyone with quite a bit of weight to lose or who is keen for speedy results. You simply stick to 800 calories a day spread over two or three low-carbohydrate meals, and you can stay on this plan for two to 12 weeks, depending on how much weight you want to lose.
  • The New 5:2 incorporates intermittent fasting into a plan which can slot seamlessly into your everyday life, while promising steady weight loss. You stick to 800 calories a day, spread over two or three low-carb meals, on two days each week, eating a healthy Mediterranean diet the rest of the week.

You might want to start with The Very Fast 800 and move through to The New 5:2 as you lose weight, or you can jump in to The New 5:2 from the start.

This is a real-food lifestyle plan, designed to ensure you get maximum nutrients, eating delicious meals without feeling constantly hungry. 

The recipes have been created by Dr Clare Bailey (who just happens to be my wife) and the plan is backed by robust research.

In fact, Clare recently published a study with Professor Susan Jebb and researchers from Oxford University, which showed that, using this approach, overweight and obese patients with type 2 diabetes managed to safely lose 9.5kg (1.5st) on the Fast 800 plan in just eight weeks, and also dramatically improved their blood sugar levels.

To show you just how effective it can be, we have taken two completely different communities of people from different ends of the country and set them a challenge to see how healthy they could get in just eight weeks. 

Seventeen members of a Facebook friendship group based in Rotherham in South Yorkshire and 13 neighbours who live on one road in the Devon town of Chudleigh were challenged to shape up with my Fast 800 plan. 

The participants had a range of ages and body types, as well as health issues, so were the ideal candidates to show how it was done.

Before they started, we sent them off for a raft of health measurements and checks with Bupa Health Clinics to assess their diabetes risk, blood pressure and heart disease risk. The same tests were repeated after eight weeks on the plan. 

I’m delighted to tell you that the results have been astounding – as you will see in the ‘big reveals’ in today’s paper and all next week in the Daily Mail. 

Not only have both groups who took part in our challenge lost weight – some people have lost a lot of weight. The health checks have also shown a range of potentially life-changing health improvements.

Many have said the process has been much easier than they feared, and we hope their ringing endorsements will inspire you to join our Daily Mail Shape Up Britain challenge and galvanise your determination to change the way you eat and exercise. 

Dr Michael advises those who have type 2 diabetes to talk to their GP first because rapid weight loss can impact their medication (file image)

Dr Michael advises those who have type 2 diabetes to talk to their GP first because rapid weight loss can impact their medication (file image) 

We’re confident the stories you’ll read in the paper will help you realise that if they’ve managed it, you can too!

We have outlined here how the diet plans work – you’ll find everything you need to get started right away. If you have type 2 diabetes, or are on medication, talk to your GP first as rapid weight loss will have an impact on the medication you take. 

If you’ve been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in the last six years you might qualify for the NHS diabetes-reversal scheme which works on similar principles to the Fast 800 but uses soups and shakes instead of real food. 

Taste of the Mediterranean 

The Mediterranean-style diet is free from added sugar and refined carbohydrates, with ingredients that have been scientifically proven to make you feel good, such as healthy fats like olive oil, protein (including pulses and fish) to keep you feeling full, milk and cheese, plus loads of fresh fruit and vegetables which are packed with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds.

The Fast 800 uses the fundamental principles of the Mediterranean diet by adapting them to aid weight loss. So you’ll find the recipes on the next few pages are high in protein and healthy fats (to help quell cravings), and relatively low in carbohydrates.

Just think – you could see significant improvements to your health from day one, shed that spare tyre in just a few weeks, and, in the long term, significantly reduce your risk of developing a number of serious diseases as well as Covid-19 complications as we move towards winter.

There has never been a better time to bite the bullet and make the lifestyle changes that could ensure a healthier future for you and those you love.

We’ve packed the following pages with tempting recipes – the favourites chosen time and time again by the thousands of people who have enjoyed success on the Fast 800 programme. 

You’ll find quick and easy suppers, filling lunches, and ideas for adapting menus so they can be enjoyed by the whole family. 

The recipes, many devised by my lovely wife Clare, are based on the fundamental principles of the Mediterranean-style diet – low in starchy carbohydrates, high in protein and packed with nutrients, as well as including healthy fats to keep you feeling full for longer.

Each recipe has been meticulously calorie-counted so you can incorporate it into the fast-tracked 800-calories-per-day plan, or, if you prefer the slightly slower 5:2 version of the Fast 800 plan, you can enjoy these recipes on ‘fast days’. 

On non-fast days and when you reach your weight-loss goal (or if you’re feeding the family) these recipes can be a staple of your everyday diet and enjoyed in slightly larger portions, with the optional addition of wholegrain carbohydrates such as brown rice, wholemeal bread or noodles.

There are more tasty recipes and health/weight-loss tips in the brilliant four-page pullouts every day in the paper next week as well as the personal testimonies of the volunteers who have successfully lost weight thanks to the Mail’s Shape Up Britain challenge. 

Find out how it has changed their lives, from dropping a clothes size to sleeping better and feeling more energised. As you’ll discover, a healthy diet is so much easier and more delicious to achieve than you might think. 

Why 800 calories? 

Dr Michael's wife Clare created a selection of recipes that can be incorporated into following the Fast 800 plan (file image)

Dr Michael’s wife Clare created a selection of recipes that can be incorporated into following the Fast 800 plan (file image) 

Recent studies have shown that sticking to about 800 calories per day is high enough to ensure you get all the nutrients you need for optimal health and to stop you feeling constantly hungry, but low enough to ensure rapid, safe, sustainable weight loss. 

Research shows that quick results are incredibly motivating and people who lose weight quickly are more likely to keep it off.

Rest assured you won’t run out of energy – your body has a huge supply of fuel around your tummy. 

Most of us have enough body fat to keep us going for months. It is when you really reduce your calories, particularly if on a low-carb diet, that your body switches into major fat-burning mode – starting with the fat stored around your abdominal area.

This is great news if you want to shrink your belly, and excellent news for your long-term health. 

Too much fat around your tummy causes inflammation throughout your body, which then increases your risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke, type 2 diabetes and other diseases of ageing. Losing inches around your waist can also bolster your immune system, energy levels and brain power.

Take a meal break

You can intensify the fat-burning and health benefits of Fast 800 by crunching your eating to within a 12-hour window (9am to 9pm or 10am to 10pm). This is called time-restricted eating (TRE) and there is lots of evidence that this is good for your health and weight-loss success.

Pioneering researchers such as Dr Satchin Panda of the world-renowned Salk Institute in California have discovered that by giving your body daily down-time from the work of eating and digesting, you can unlock powerful repair pathways that protect against illness, ageing and obesity.

There’s no need to fast all day – just skipping breakfast or eating your evening meal earlier is enough to extend your night-time ‘fast’. TRE gives the body ‘down-time’ from the work of metabolising food to engage deep-level tissue repair processes and the clearing out of old cells.

Visit thefast800.com

NOTE: The Fast 800 is only suitable for those who are overweight or obese. If you have any health concerns or you are taking medication, speak to your GP before embarking on the plan. 

BREAKFASTS

EGGS WITH ASPARAGUS SOLDIERS

This nutritious eggs with asparagus soldiers recipe is a perfect alternative to traditional fried breakfast options

This nutritious eggs with asparagus soldiers recipe is a perfect alternative to traditional fried breakfast options 

servings 1

Calories per serving 209

Prep time 5 minutes

Cook time 18 minutes

  • 6 asparagus spears, woody ends removed
  • 2 large free-range eggs
  • 1tsp white wine vinegar
  • 10g Parmesan, shaved
  • Sea salt and black pepper

Cook’s tip 

If asparagus is difficult to source, tenderstem broccoli (broccolini) would make a good substitute.

Place a griddle pan over a high heat. Add the asparagus and cook for approximately 5 minutes, or until the asparagus becomes tender. Meanwhile, poach the eggs.

Pour cold water into a large saucepan until about 8cm deep. Add the white wine vinegar. Bring to the boil over medium heat (with the lid on). Reduce the heat to low (the water should be simmering around the edge).

Crack 1 egg into a separate shallow bowl or mug. Using a wooden spoon, stir the water to create a whirlpool. Gently tip the egg into the water. 

Cook for 2-3 minutes for a soft yolk or 3-4 minutes for firm. Using a slotted spoon, remove the egg from the water. Repeat with the other egg. 

Lay the asparagus on a serving plate and top with the eggs and Parmesan. Season and enjoy!

BERRY & MINT COMPOTE

This delicious berry and mint compote is a refreshing breakfast dish that will satisfy any sugar cravings

This delicious berry and mint compote is a refreshing breakfast dish that will satisfy any sugar cravings 

Cook’s tip  

This can be made in advance and kept in the fridge – it’s great cold!

Servings 1

Calories per serving 275

Prep time 5 minutes

Cook time 3-5 minutes

  • 100g raspberries
  • 75g strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 100g blackberries
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Fresh mint leaves, shredded
  • 85g plain full-fat Greek yoghurt
  • ½tsp ground cinnamon
  • 10g sesame seeds

Place the berries in a small pan with the cinnamon stick and 2-3tbsp of water. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 3-5 minutes – don’t overcook or the fruits will become mushy.

Remove from the heat and stir the shredded mint leaves in. Serve warm topped with yoghurt, ground cinnamon and sesame seeds.

BIRCHER WITH CHIA 

This scrumptious bircher with chia recipe is a speedy breakfast dish that's packed with flavour

This scrumptious bircher with chia recipe is a speedy breakfast dish that’s packed with flavour 

servings

Calories per serving 363 

Prep time 5 minutes (plus refrigeration overnight) 

Cook time N/A

  • 50g whole rolled oats
  • 20g almonds, chopped
  • 20g chia seeds
  • ½tsp ground cinnamon
  • Juice of ½ a lemon
  • 200g plain full-fat Greek yoghurt
  • ½ an apple
  • 100g raspberries
  • Mint leaves, to garnish

Combine the whole rolled oats, chopped almonds, chia seeds and ground cinnamon in a bowl. Add 200ml of water and the lemon juice. Stir well, cover with clingfilm and refrigerate overnight.

When you are ready to eat it, put half the oat mixture in a bowl and top with half of the Greek yoghurt. Grate half of the apple and put it on top of the bircher, and add the raspberries and mint leaves too.

MUSHROOM & BASIL OMELETTE

This superb mushroom and basil omelette is a hearty dish that will keep you feeling full

This superb mushroom and basil omelette is a hearty dish that will keep you feeling full 

Servings

Calories per serving 275

Prep time 5 minutes 

Cook time 15 minutes

  • 2 large free-range eggs
  • Black pepper
  • 1tsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 150g button mushrooms, sliced
  • Fresh basil leaves, torn
  • 2tbsp full-fat cream cheese

In a small bowl, beat the eggs with a fork, until combined. Add a small splash of water and some black pepper. Mix again. In a non-stick frying pan, heat the oil over a medium heat. Add the mushrooms and cook for 5-8 minutes, until cooked through.

Remove the mushrooms from the pan and set aside. Add the egg mixture to the pan, ensuring that it covers the entire base. 

Leave for 1 minute, then use a spatula to gently lift the edges of the egg away from the pan and allow the uncooked egg to flow to the edge of the pan – you may need to gently tilt the pan to encourage this.

When small bubbles start to appear around the outside of the surface of the egg and it is starting to look cooked, spoon the mushrooms onto one half of the omelette and top with torn basil and the cream cheese.

Carefully fold the empty side of the omelette over the other side. Cook the omelette for another minute. Flip or slide onto a plate, and serve.

QUINOA AND BERRY PORRIDGE

This scrumptious quinoa and berry porridge is filled with nutritious ingredients

This scrumptious quinoa and berry porridge is filled with nutritious ingredients 

Servings

Calories per serving 325 

Prep time 2 minutes

Cook time 20 minutes

  • 25g quinoa, thoroughly rinsed and drained
  • ½tsp ground cinnamon
  • 15g plain full-fat Greek yoghurt
  • 50g raspberries (or other berries)
  • 10 almonds, chopped
  • Mint leaves, to garnish

Place the quinoa into a saucepan and add 250ml water and the cinnamon. Cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, over a moderate heat and bring the mixture to the boil.

Reduce the heat to a simmer and continue stirring – watch carefully to ensure that the quinoa doesn’t catch in the pan. Cook for 15 minutes, or until the water is absorbed entirely.

Take off the heat and serve in a bowl, topped with yoghurt, berries, almonds and mint leaves.

LUNCHES 

GREEN VEGETABLE SOUP 

This glorious green vegetable soup can be stored in the fridge for up to three days

This glorious green vegetable soup can be stored in the fridge for up to three days 

Cook’s tip

The leftover portion can be saved in the fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month. Defrost thoroughly before reheating until piping hot, then serve in a warm bowl.

Servings

Calories per serving 133 

Prep time 10 minutes (plus cooling time) 

Cook time 30 minutes

  • ½ tbsp extra-virgin olive oil 
  • ½ an onion, chopped
  • 1 head of broccoli (approx. 255g), chopped
  • 1 leek, chopped
  • 1 fennel bulb, chopped
  • 1 courgette (approx. 150g), chopped
  • 500ml vegetable stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Fresh parsley, chopped, to taste
  • Fresh chives, chopped, to taste
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • Herbs, for garnish (optional)

Heat the oil in a large saucepan and cook the onion until soft. Add the broccoli, leek, fennel and courgette and cover with the vegetable stock. Bring to the boil.

Once boiling, add the bay leaf and herbs. Simmer for 15 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Remove the bay leaf and set the soup aside to cool.

Using a hand-held blender or food processor, blend soup until smooth. Add water if required to adjust the consistency. 

Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with herbs, if liked. You can refrigerate half the soup (before garnishing with herbs) in an airtight container for another meal.

Simply warm through over a medium heat for 2 minutes, or until heated through.

TURKEY & BEAN BURGERS WITH SALSA & SALAD

This tasty turkey and bean burger with salsa and salad is the perfect alternative to fast food

This tasty turkey and bean burger with salsa and salad is the perfect alternative to fast food 

Servings

Calories per serving 280 

Prep time 20 minutes 

Cook time 17-20 minutes  

  • 1tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 red onion, peeled and diced (reserve half for the salsa)
  • ¹/3 x 400g tin red kidney beans, drained, rinsed
  • 250g lean minced turkey
  • Fresh coriander, chopped (reserve some for the salsa), to taste
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 gem lettuce
  • Cucumber slices

For the salsa 

  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • ½ a red pepper, deseeded and diced
  • ½tbsp apple cider vinegar

Heat half the oil in a frying pan with the cumin seeds, then add the garlic and half the onion. Cook for 3-4 minutes, until the onion starts to soften. 

Roughly mash the kidney beans in a bowl, then add the turkey, coriander and onion mix. Season with salt and pepper and mix well. Shape into 2 burgers. Chill while you make the salsa. 

For the salsa, mix the tomatoes, red pepper and remaining red onion and coriander with the vinegar and leave to stand at room temperature while you cook the burgers. 

Heat the remaining oil in the frying pan and cook the burgers for 7-8 minutes on either side, until cooked through. Serve on a bed of lettuce and cucumber, with the salsa spooned over.

COTTAGE CHEESE, CUCUMBER & SALMON LUNCH BOWL

This scrumptious cottage cheese, cucumber and salmon lunch bowl can be made in less than ten minutes

This scrumptious cottage cheese, cucumber and salmon lunch bowl can be made in less than ten minutes 

Servings

Calories per serving 231

Prep time 8 minutes 

Cook time N/A

  • 1 cucumber
  • 100g full-fat cottage cheese
  • Fresh dill, finely chopped, to taste
  • 1 spring onion, chopped (white part only)
  • ¼ of a lemon, squeezed
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • 75g smoked salmon, sliced into small strips

Peel the cucumber, slice lengthways and remove the seeds. Chop into small cubes and put into a medium-sized bowl. 

Add the cottage cheese, dill, spring onion and lemon juice, then mix well to combine. Season with sea salt and black pepper. Arrange the smoked salmon on top and serve.

TUNA SALAD

This scrumptious tuna salad is an impressive dish, packed with nutritious ingredients

This scrumptious tuna salad is an impressive dish, packed with nutritious ingredients 

Servings

Calories per serving 354 

Prep time 20 minutes 

Cook time N/A

  • 1 baby cos lettuce, washed and leaves torn
  • 2 tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • ½ a red onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 60g black olives, pitted
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • 190g tinned tuna in oil (oil reserved), flaked
  • 2tbsp red wine vinegar
  • ½ a pomegranate, seeds only
  • Fresh oregano, chopped, to taste

Place the lettuce, tomatoes, onion, carrot and pitted olives in a large bowl. Season with sea salt and black pepper, and toss to combine. Divide into two bowls. 

Add the tuna and its oil to each bowl. Dress with red wine vinegar and sprinkle with the pomegranate seeds and the oregano. Serve and enjoy.

PORTOBELLO PIZZAS 

This delicious portobello pizzas recipe is the ultimate alternative to a traditional takeaway

This delicious portobello pizzas recipe is the ultimate alternative to a traditional takeaway 

Cook’s tip 

Please be aware that mozzarella cheese contains animal rennet. You might find it difficult to find a vegetarian substitute for mozzarella, however in some cases Cheddar cheese may be appropriate as it contains similar calories and protein per 100g.

Servings

Calories per serving 321 

Prep time 7 minutes 

Cook time 6 minutes 

  • 2 portobello mushrooms
  • 1tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1tsp dried mixed herbs
  • 2tbsp tomato paste
  • 50g mozzarella cheese, grated, or vegetarian cheese
  • 30g cherry tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • Sea salt and black pepper

Wash and dry the mushrooms. Preheat the grill in the oven to a high setting. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Combine the olive oil, garlic and half the mixed herbs together in a small bowl.

Brush the bottoms of each mushroom with the oil mixture and place each mushroom, oil side down, onto the baking tray. 

Spoon the tomato paste into the mushrooms and sprinkle with the grated mozzarella and sliced cherry tomatoes. Place on the middle shelf of the oven. Grill until the cheese has melted and is golden in colour (this should take about 6 minutes).

To serve, sprinkle with the remaining mixed herbs and season with salt and pepper to taste.

DINNERS

VEGETABLE & BLACK BEAN CHILLI

This heartwarming vegetable and black bean chilli dish is perfect for sharing with dinner guests

This heartwarming vegetable and black bean chilli dish is perfect for sharing with dinner guests

Servings

Calories per serving 336

Prep time 10 minutes 

Cook time 40 minutes

  • 2tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 4 celery sticks, thinly sliced
  • 2 courgettes (approx. 300g), chopped into small pieces
  • 2 red peppers, chopped into small pieces
  • 2tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 2tsp ground cumin
  • 2 x 400g tins of black beans, drained and rinsed 
  • 2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
  • 200g plain full-fat Greek yoghurt
  • 1tsp ground sweet paprika
  • Sea salt
  • Fresh parsley, to taste

Pour the oil into a large pot and place over a medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and sauté, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, until softened.

Add the celery, courgettes and red peppers. Cook for another 5 minutes, until the vegetables are soft. Add the chilli flakes, cumin, black beans and tomatoes (with the juices). 

Bring the mixture to a boil then turn the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. You may need to add some water if the mixture thickens too quickly or starts to catch.

Meanwhile, stir together the Greek yoghurt, paprika and a pinch of sea salt in a mixing bowl. If you’re saving half of the chilli for another meal, also keep half the yoghurt for later.

Distribute the chilli between bowls, and sprinkle with fresh parsley. Top with the Greek yoghurt and serve. Any leftover chilli can be stored in a lidded container in the fridge before being garnished with parsley. 

When ready to serve, gently re-heat on the stove or in the microwave until piping hot, and serve topped with any remaining yoghurt and parsley.

TEMPEH & MUSHROOM BURGER

This delicious tempeh & mushroom burger is a great alternative to high calorie burgers

This delicious tempeh & mushroom burger is a great alternative to high calorie burgers 

Servings

Calories per serving 352

Prep time 5 minutes (plus 20 minutes optional marinating time)

Cook time 20 minutes

  • 100g tempeh (a soy product, available from supermarkets), cut into 1.5cm slices
  • 1tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 10ml tamari sauce (usually glutenfree, but always check the label)
  • ½tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 large portobello mushrooms, stems removed
  • ¼ of a baby cos (romaine) lettuce
  • ½ a tomato, sliced

Place the tempeh in a bowl and pour over ½tbsp olive oil, the tamari and vinegar. Marinate for 20 minutes (or at least 5 minutes if you are short on time).

Heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Add the tempeh and fry for 5-7 minutes, until golden on both sides. Add any leftover marinade towards the end.

Remove the tempeh from the pan and set aside. Place the mushrooms in the same pan with the remaining oil and fry for 10 minutes, until cooked, flipping halfway through. Remove them from the pan and serve the tempeh ‘burger’ with the lettuce and tomato between the two portobello ‘buns’.

BEEF STIR-FRY

Any leftovers from this juicy beef stir-fry can be stored in an air-tight container and refrigerated when cool

Any leftovers from this juicy beef stir-fry can be stored in an air-tight container and refrigerated when cool 

Cook’s tip 

To ensure this recipe is glutenfree, check the soy sauce label to make sure there are no sources of gluten. Or use wheat-free tamari sauce instead, but check the label.

Servings

Calories per serving 307

Prep time 10 minutes 

Cook time 15 minutes

  • 1tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 250g sirloin steak, cut into strips
  • 50g button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1cm root ginger, grated
  • ½tsp Chinese five spice
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
  • 1 head of broccoli, cut into small florets
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 pak choi, chopped 
  • 25ml soy sauce (see cook’s tip)
  • Sea salt and black pepper

Put half the oil in a large wok and place over a medium heat for 2 minutes. Add the strips of steak and brown them, then remove from the wok and set aside. Heat the remaining oil and add the mushrooms, ginger, five spice and crushed garlic. Cook for about 4 minutes.

Next add in the broccoli florets, red pepper and pak choi, and then cook for an additional 5 minutes. Put the steak strips back in the pan and stir in the soy sauce well, then cook for an additional 2 minutes, or until warmed through.

Place the stir-fry into serving bowls, season with sea salt and black pepper, and enjoy. Any leftover stir-fry can be stored in an airtight container and refrigerated when cooled. 

Simply re-heat on the stove or in the microwave until piping hot to enjoy for lunch the next day.

SALMON KEBABS

These splendid salmon kebabs are the perfect alternative to high calorie barbecue kebabs

These splendid salmon kebabs are the perfect alternative to high calorie barbecue kebabs 

Servings

Calories per serving 344

Prep time 20 minutes (plus soaking time for the skewers) 

Cook time 5 minutes

  • 260g salmon fillets
  • 2 lemons, juice and rind of 1, and thinly slice the other
  • 1tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • Fresh chopped chives and dill, to garnish
  • Red peppercorns, to garnish
  • 4 bamboo skewers

Soak the bamboo skewers in water and preheat the grill in your oven to a high setting. Cut the salmon into chunks and place in a bowl. 

Squeeze in the lemon juice, add the rind and oil, and coat the salmon chunks in the dressing.

Thread the salmon and the lemon slices on to the soaked skewers. Place them under a hot grill and cook for 4-5 minutes, turning occasionally and basting with the remaining marinade. Serve immediately, garnished with the herbs and peppercorns.

CHICKEN CURRY WITH CAULIFLOWER RICE 

This scrumptious chicken curry with cauliflower rice is best served with ½tbsp of soured cream and fresh coriander

This scrumptious chicken curry with cauliflower rice is best served with ½tbsp of soured cream and fresh coriander 

Servings

Calories per serving 427

Prep time 10 minutes 

Cook’s tip 

When ready to eat any leftover curry, reheat the cauliflower rice until piping hot. Gently heat the curry on the stove and stir in the remaining spinach. Serve as in the recipe above.

Cook time 25 minutes

  • 4tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 onions, peeled and diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely sliced
  • 500g skinless chicken breast, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 4 red peppers, deseeded and sliced
  • 250ml gluten-free vegetable stock (check the label)
  • 40g tomato purée
  • 4tsp ground coriander
  • 4tsp ground cumin
  • 2tsp ground turmeric
  • 4cm piece of root ginger, peeled and finely sliced
  • 1 red chilli, finely sliced
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • 200g spinach leaves
  • 2 cauliflowers (approx. 800g)
  • 2tbsp soured cream
  • Fresh coriander, to taste

Heat 2tbsp of the oil in a frying pan and sauté the onions and garlic for 3 minutes. Add the chicken and cook for 5 minutes, browning it all over. Add in the red peppers and cook for 2 minutes.

Next add the vegetable stock and tomato purée, along with the ground coriander, cumin, turmeric, ginger and chilli. Bring to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes, or until the stock has reduced and the chicken is cooked through. 

Season with sea salt and black pepper, to taste. If you want to keep any curry for another meal, it can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Stir the spinach (reserving some if planning for leftovers) into the curry, until just wilted. While the curry is simmering, make the cauliflower rice. 

Place the cauliflower in a food processor and blitz until fine (the consistency should be similar to rice). Heat the remaining 2tbsp of oil in a large frying pan and stir the cauliflower in. Cook for 5-6 minutes, or until softened.

Season with sea salt and black pepper. If you’re saving any rice for another meal, it can be kept in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 2-3 days.

To serve, place the rice in warm bowls with the curry, add ½tbsp of soured cream to each bowl and garnish with fresh coriander.

CRISPY FISH FILLET WITH SWEET QUINOA

This delicious crispy fish fillet with sweet quinoa can be made with sea bass, snapper, cod, haddock, hake or pollock

This delicious crispy fish fillet with sweet quinoa can be made with sea bass, snapper, cod, haddock, hake or pollock 

Servings

Cook’s tip 

If you cannot get sea bass, choose a firm, white fish such as snapper, cod, haddock, hake or pollock.

Calories per serving 389

Prep time 7 minutes 

Cook time 7 minutes

  • 120g sea bass (see cook’s tip)
  • Sea salt
  • 1tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1tsp extra
  • 1 lemon, with half cut into 2 wedges
  • 25g quinoa, rinsed and drained (look for high-fibre dark brown or red variety)
  • ½ a pomegranate
  • Fresh parsley, finely chopped, to taste
  • 2 tomatoes, diced

Check that the fish is descaled well. Sprinkle the skin of the fish with sea salt and rub all over with 1tsp of olive oil. Place the fillets skin side down in a nonstick frying pan. Turn the heat to medium and leave the fish to cook.

Squeeze the juice from one of the lemon wedges over the fish flesh, then cover the fillet with a scrunched up sheet of wet baking parchment. Cook for approximately 5 minutes (it does not need to be turned) and make sure it is cooked through before taking off the heat. 

Meanwhile, cook the quinoa in water, according to the packet instructions. Drain and set aside. To remove the seeds from the pomegranate, lay the cut side down in a bowl. Tap the skin firmly with a heavy metal spoon.

If you can’t find a pomegranate, consider adding fresh diced strawberries instead, to add colour and sweetness.

In a serving bowl, toss together the parsley, tomatoes, pomegranate seeds, juice of half the lemon and 1tbsp olive oil. Add the cooled quinoa and toss again. Serve the fish with the quinoa salad and the remaining lemon wedge on the side.

LENTIL & SPINACH DHAL 

This scrumptious lentil and spinach dhal is the perfect alternative to a traditional takeaway

This scrumptious lentil and spinach dhal is the perfect alternative to a traditional takeaway 

Servings

Calories per serving 232

Prep time 5 minutes 

Cook time 25 minutes

  • 1tsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and diced 
  • ½ a red chilli, finely chopped
  • 2tsp curry powder
  • 100g red lentils, rinsed well
  • 250ml vegetable stock
  • 100g spinach leaves, chopped
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • 15g plain full-fat Greek yoghurt
  • ½ a lemon, juiced
  • Fresh coriander, chopped, to taste (optional)

Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over a low heat. Add the diced onion and cook for 4-5 minutes, or until the onion is soft. Add the chopped chilli and curry powder and cook for a further 2 minutes, stirring.

Add the lentils to the pan and turn up the heat. Fry the lentils for a few minutes and then pour in the vegetable stock. 

Turn the heat down and simmer for approximately 15 minutes, or until the lentils are swollen and the stock has been absorbed, stirring occasionally.

Add the spinach and cook, stirring, for a further 2 minutes. Season with sea salt and black pepper to taste. Spoon into two serving bowls and stir in the yoghurt and lemon juice. Sprinkle with coriander (if using).

SIMPLE VEGETABLE PIE

This simple vegetable pie is a glorious dish that can be made in less than an hour

This simple vegetable pie is a glorious dish that can be made in less than an hour 

Cook’s tip 

You can refrigerate any leftovers for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 2 months.

Servings

Calories per serving 247

Prep time 15 minutes 

Cook time 40 minutes

  • ½ a head of cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ an onion, diced
  • ½ an aubergine, diced
  • ½ a red pepper, deseeded and diced
  • ½ a courgette, grated
  • ½ x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1tsp dried oregano
  • ½tsp dried chilli flakes (optional)
  • 30g vegetarian Parmesan cheese, grated 
  • Sea salt and black pepper
The Fast 800 Recipe Book: Low-carb, Mediterranean style recipes for intermittent fasting and long-term health by Dr Clare Bailey and Justine Pattison, foreword by Dr Michael Mosley (Short Books, £16.99).

The Fast 800 Recipe Book: Low-carb, Mediterranean style recipes for intermittent fasting and long-term health by Dr Clare Bailey and Justine Pattison, foreword by Dr Michael Mosley (Short Books, £16.99).

Preheat the oven to 180°C/ fan 160°C/gas 4. Steam the cauliflower for about 10 minutes, until tender. Drain. 

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a saucepan over a medium heat.

Sauté the onion for 3 minutes, or until soft. Add the aubergine and cook for 3-4 minutes, until lightly golden. 

Add the red pepper and courgette and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add the tomatoes, 50ml water and the oregano and chilli flakes (if using). Bring to the boil.

Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Mash the Parmesan cheese into the cauliflower. 

Season with sea salt and black pepper. Spoon the aubergine mixture into a medium-sized ovenproof pie dish. 

Spread the cauliflower mash on top. Bake for 20 minutes. If liked, serve half now and save the other half for another meal.

Dr Michael Mosley serves up the most mouthwatering dishes from his Fast 800 diet plan

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