How to do intermittent fasting safely and effectively, as told by Dr Mosley

Have you ever wondered if a simple change in your eating habits could significantly improve your health? 

According to Dr Michael Mosley, speaking on BBC’s Morning Live, the answer lies in intermittent fasting. This method not only helps in losing weight but also in slashing cholesterol and trimming inches off your waistline.

What is intermittent fasting?

Intermittent fasting isn’t about depriving yourself but rather about timing your meals strategically to allow your body periods of fasting. Dr Mosley describes several approaches to this eating pattern [1]:

  • 12-12 method: You eat within a 12-hour window each day. For example, if your last meal is at 7 PM, you don’t eat again until 7 AM the following day.
  • 14-10 method: This involves fasting for 14 hours and eating within a 10-hour window.
  • 16-8 method: A more rigorous form, where you fast for 16 hours and eat only during an 8-hour period.
  • 5:2 diet: You consume regular meals five days a week and limit yourself to 800-1000 calories on the other two days.

These methods are based on the principle of time-restricted eating, focusing on when you eat rather than what or how much you eat.

Benefits of intermittent fasting

Dr Mosley emphasizes that intermittent fasting offers numerous health benefits:

  • Weight loss: Significant reduction in body weight and waist circumference [2].
  • Improved metabolism: Lower levels of blood sugars and cholesterol, alongside better blood pressure control [2].
  • Cellular repair: Processes like autophagy are triggered, where the body cleans out damaged cells, promoting better cellular health [2].
  • Enhanced brain function: The release of ketone bodies during fasting periods benefits brain health [3].

These advantages make intermittent fasting a powerful tool for long-term health improvement.

Dr Mosley’s personal journey

At 55, Dr Mosley faced a personal health crisis, including high blood pressure and the onset of type 2 diabetes. 

Inspired by his father’s similar struggles, he turned to intermittent fasting, which dramatically improved his health metrics and reduced his weight by 9kg.

Safety and suitability

Intermittent fasting is not universal. Dr Mosley warns that it is not suitable for everyone, particularly [1]:

  • People with a history of eating disorders.
  • Individuals on specific medications or with complicated health conditions.
  • Pregnant women and teenagers should avoid this fasting method.

Speak with your doctor first before starting any new diet regimen, especially one involving fasting.

Living a healthy lifestyle

Transitioning from intermittent fasting to maintaining a healthy diet is crucial. Dr Mosley advocates for adopting a Mediterranean diet, focusing on nutritious, home-cooked meals rather than processed foods. 

This approach not only sustains the health benefits obtained from fasting but also enriches your overall quality of life.

Intermittent fasting, as outlined by Dr Mosley on BBC’s Morning Live, offers a compelling approach to improving your health through measured, strategic eating patterns. 

Remember, the key is not only about when and how much you eat but also the quality of your diet. With the right guidance and precautions, you can safely and effectively do intermittent fasting for lasting health benefits.

Consider how intermittent fasting might fit into your life and health goals. Discuss with your doctor, and perhaps give it a try, starting with the less intensive 12-12 method to ease your way into it. 

Your decision to adopt a healthier lifestyle will benefit your body and future self.


The information included in this article is for informational purposes only. The purpose of this webpage is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.