I recently chatted with Mosley about his discovery, arrived at through self-experimentation and scientific research, that intermittent fasting is the superior method for achieving abundant health and longevity. The method is known as the 5:2 diet - five days of eating and drinking whatever you want and two days of fasting (consuming no more than 500 calories for women, 600 for men).
You choose your fasting days - they don't have to be consecutive - and there's no set menu except meeting the calorie requirement in Mosley's method. He has said that a 500- or 600-calorie limit is about a quarter of a regular day's food consumption.
When he fasts, Mosley drinks lots of plain black tea and miso soup.
"This started because I was not feeling well last year," Mosley told me. He was surprised to learn from his doctor that "I was suffering from high blood sugar, high cholesterol and [had] visceral fat inside my gut."
Mosley's concern was amplified by family history. "My father had died at age 73 of complications from diabetes," he said. "Now I was prediabetic. I knew something had to change."
So, he went on a personal journey and discovered that, paradoxically, less food was indeed the secret to more life. According to Mosley, when we fast, "The body goes into repair-and-recovery mode when it does not have to work on storing the food being consumed."
Scientific research supports this, and when you consider that our early ancestors lived a feast-or-famine existence, it all makes sense, right?
Astonishingly, though not significantly overweight, the 55-year-old, 5-foot-11-inch doc lost 20 pounds in a mere nine weeks following the 5:2 diet. He also decreased his blood sugar by 50 percent and significantly improved his cholesterol and body fat levels.
Could this simple dietary intervention change your life? Could a few days of fasting jolt your body into better health?
I believe it can!
For years, I have followed the work of CR Society International, which promotes the CRON (Calorie Restriction with Optimal Nutrition) diet. I've also done some self-experimentation with positive results.
The intermediate-fasting 5:2 diet is like a modified calorie-restriction program that is perhaps a more palatable plan for most.
Of course, the critics say that it's all a bunch of hooey, another passing fad - pass the nachos!
But, perhaps, with any luck, this rudimentary and free method of self-healing will take off here and lead to a radical transformation in our nation's health.
Kimberly Garrison is a wellness coach and owner of One on One Ultimate Fitness in Philadelphia. Her column appears Wednesdays.