Michael Mosley: Diet more important than exercise to lose weight– 'leave the muffin alone'

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Dr Michael Mosley often shares his weight loss tips with slimmers online as well as on television. He is the creator of The Fast 800 – a diet plan that helps people lose weight quickly. When it comes to weight loss, there are different areas of the body slimmers can target.

“I wasn’t exactly threatening any Olympic records, but I was going fast enough to feel relieved when, after 10 minutes, I was told I could stop.

“It turns out I had consumed around 16 calories a minute, which meant that having run just over a mile I had burnt through a grand total of 160 calories.

“Not bad, I thought.

“But put it in perspective: a small bar of chocolate contains about 240 calories, while a chocolate muffin comes in around 500 calories.

Regular exercise is of course essential for a healthy lifestyle, but Dr Mosley noted it doesn’t need to be done in a gym or by using “expensive equipment”.

He said: “New research shows by leading a physically active lifestyle, we may be less likely to contract contagious and non-contagious diseases.

“So, regular exercise may just bolster your immune system on top of its more obvious benefits of fitness and strength.

“It’s important to incorporate a combination of High Intensity Interval Training and resistance exercise into your lifestyle, as is set out for you as a member of our 12-week online programme, because studies have shown this combination, alongside incidental exercise, leads to weight loss and positive health outcomes.”

Dr Mosley recommended “starting a routine in the comfort of your home” as this will “help to reset your relationship with exercise”.

Even running up the stairs counts as exercise, the doctor noted, saying: “If you don’t have an exercise bike you can try pedalling on your road bike furiously up a hill, running up the stairs, or doing short sprints when out on a run, just pick up your walking pace until you are breathing hard.

“The main thing is that these bursts should be brief – 30 seconds maximum when it comes to the stairs, or running – but hard enough to get your heart rate up.”