07/05/2016 5:22 AM AEST

Lose Weight, Eat Chocolate: 5:2 Creator Gets Real About Weight Loss


Dr Michael Mosley gets to the bottom of which oils are healthiest to cook with in "Trust Me, I'm A Doctor."

Unlike Doctor Google, Michael Mosley is armed with a troop of medical brains and solid research when making a health claim.

If you’re familiar with his television series, “Trust Me, I’m A Doctor” you’d know the British doc loves nothing more than to dig for answers to questions we’ve been asking for years.

Is organic food really better for you? What’s the deal with Manuka honey? And is it actually possible to avoid losing your marbles?

“What I love about science is that a lot of things you believe, once they are tested turn out to be not necessarily true,” Dr Michael Mosley told The Huffington Post Australia.

“When I first went to medical school one of the things the Dean said to us is that over the next five years we’d learn a huge amount but within 10 years a lot of it would be out of date. Some people find that very frustrating I actually find it quite engaging,” Mosley said.

Now in it’s third season, Mosley, who is best known for being the “5:2 diet guy” continues his fascination with diet and weight loss while questioning his own beliefs.

“If you’d have spoken to me five years ago, I would have told you intermittent fasting was nonsense,” Mosley said.

It took a type 2 diabetes diagnosis and the knowledge that no male in his family had lived past the age of 72 for Mosley to embark on his own health journey, which lead to him discovering intermittent fasting and go on to create The 5:2 Diet.

By experimenting on his own body and visiting the world’s leading research hospitals, Mosley reveals the wisdom we can expect from season three of “Trust Me, I’m A Doctor” airing on SBS, Monday night.

Forget fad diets

“The problem with things like juicing diets is that they don’t offer a fallback. Basically, if there isn’t a plan for what you do after the ‘diet’ period, the danger is you’ll put the weight back on. That’s why it’s important to have adequate amounts of protein for something like a juice diet, otherwise you’re going to lose muscle. This is bad because muscle is metabolically active and it keeps working to burn calories no matter the state you are in,” Mosley said.

Chocoholics: get mindful

“I was recently made very aware of how many things I do mindlessly,” Mosley said. A self-confessed chocoholic, he’s adopted a mindfulness technique to help with cravings and stop him from scoffing it down. “These days I’ll spend five minutes eating a bit of chocolate, which has helped to cut my consumption. The greatest danger with bad habits is that you do them automatically, in front of the television or at your computer -- you’re in a mindless state,” Mosley said.

Sit, chat and eat

“When eating a meal, the best thing you can do is sit down at the table and chat with people. This means you’re more likely to savour and enjoy the meal as well as actually eat less. You’ll notice your stomach will send you the signals saying you’re full. Often when you’re doing something else you ignore those signals and keep on eating, or reach for something sweet following a meal,” Mosley said.

Ditch the (milk) chocolate

“I could easily eat a great big bar of milk chocolate, whereas dark chocolate is quite moorish, so it’s easier to stop. We know there are more good things in dark chocolate than milk. Plus, the advantage is it’s not quite as addictive. I’ll generally go for 70 percent cocoa and above,” Mosley said.

Protein shakes aren't the golden ticket to a perfect body

"We looked at whether protein shakes are useful when looking to build muscle," Mosley said. The experiment saw a group of volunteers take on an eight-week exercise regime, supplemented with a daily protein shake with half receiving a placebo. Upon finishing the challenge, everyone's muscle mass increased but there was no difference between those taking the placebo and the protein shake. "Protein is without a doubt important, especially if you're body building, but it's the one nutrient we don't store," Mosley said. This means that once your body starts to detect excess protein (the shake) it finds a way to get rid of it, usually as energy, fat or urine. Your best bet? Getting your protein from food. "Go for fish, meat, legumes, or your favourite root," Mosley said.

Michael Mosley: Trust Me, I’m A Doctor airs Monday night, 7.30pm on SBS