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Dr Michael Mosley on how Mediterranean diet can help you beat lockdown spread

He’s the telly medic who has become the nation’s ultimate diet guru.

Dr Michael Mosley, 63, made ­on-off fasting very popular with the 5:2 Diet and Fast 800.

Here he reveals his own food and ­fitness secrets – and ­offers up some tips for losing lockdown tum.

How have you been affected by coronavirus?

My son Dan, 25, had suspected Covid- 19 at the start of lockdown so the whole family was forced to bunker down for a couple of weeks of isolation.

We had to embrace a lot of those staples lurking in the back of the larder and at the bottom of the freezer that we’d normally ignore in favour of fresh foods.

But I’ve been won over. My wife Clare has developed tasty, nutritious recipes made largely with bits and bobs.

They’re based on the ­Mediterranean style of eating, proven to be healthiest, packed full of vegetables, oily fish, nuts, olive oil, yogurt and cheese.

Dr. Michael Mosley was forced into isolation after his son had suspected Covid
(Image: BBC)

What was the worst thing to happen to your own health?

Eight years ago I was diagnosed as a type 2 diabetic.

I was not particularly ­overweight – about 189lb – and I didn’t look particularly fat, but that was because a lot of the fat I was carrying was internal.

I went for a special MRI scan and found out I had lots of fat clogging up my internal organs

But rather than start m­edication, I tried a combination of intermittent fasting and a Mediterranean diet and successfully ­reversed my diabetes.

Whatdiet do you follow?

The Fast 800 diet, where you eat 800 calories a day for two weeks. It effectively combines intermittent fasting with time-restricted eating and the principles of the Mediterranean diet.

The Fast 800 plan provides a diet rich in healthy proteins and vegetables and is lower in carbs.

Time-restricted eating is very straightforward. You ensure that for at least 12 hours within each 24-hour period you do not ­consume any calories.

If you don’t feel comfortable with 800 calories a day, switch to a 5:2 plan where you reduce calories two days a week.

Dr Mosley ate a Mediterranean diet that contributed towards reversing his diabetes
(Image: Getty)

What luxuries do you enjoy?

I do love a good biscuit, though I really try to avoid foods that are high in sugar. Unless you do lots of exercise, all those excess calories will be laid down as fat.

What is your favourite tipple?

I drink only red wine and follow a 5:2 pattern, with a couple of days off drinking each week.

What’s your normal weekly exercise and fitness regime?

I do high-intensity interval ­training at home and I use my exercise bike. The main thing is to make the exercise bursts brief – 30 seconds maximum on the stairs or running – but hard enough to get your heart rate up.

Do you have a Covid-19 tip?

Our best defence for any virus is to have an active immune system.

One way is to bolster your ­microbiome – the microbes that live in your gut. Try eating a healthy Mediterranean diet.

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