Dr Michael Mosley: the man behind the 5:2 diet on why he now wants you to eat just 800 calories a day

He is the man who got Britons to lose weight, has written a slew of best-selling diet books and fronted dozens of health documentaries. But don’t leave the biscuit tin unattended when Dr Michael Mosley’s around. “I have no willpower. If there’s a bar of chocolate, I will eat the whole thing. If there are salted peanuts, I’ll eat the whole bloody bowl. “Clare knows – very occasionally we’ll have a packet of biscuits in the house and she’ll say ‘what are you doing’, while I’m *makes munching noi

I’m among the millions of adults who can’t swim – but I’m finally taking the plunge

I’m never sure quite how to handle the look of surprise people give me when I tell them I can’t swim. “But swimming is fun!” Yes, I’m sure it is. “But it’s great exercise.” I don’t doubt it. The fact remains that I can’t swim. Or even take my feet off the bottom of a swimming pool. I’ve been scared of water for as long as I can remember – school swimming trips were a source of dread and the smell of chlorine still makes my stomach lurch. The thought of being hemmed in by water makes my palms

I wanted to be an MS superhero, but I learned to take comfort in the small victories

When you are diagnosed with a chronic illness such as multiple sclerosis (MS), you go through the five stages of grief: denial, anger and all that. It makes sense, I suppose – you are mourning the life you had before diagnosis. I tacked an additional stage on during my “grieving” process: defiance. I was 30 when I was diagnosed, and relatively fit, although never exactly sporty. But, now that I knew about this shadow looming over my life, I resolved to be a fighter. Not just a fighter, a superhero.

Charity shops are swamped with ‘fast fashion’ – it’s time we rekindled a lasting love affair with our clothes

Call me superficial, but I love to shop. On a day off, there’s nothing I like more than to wander around a department store, browsing through rails of clothing. I covet certain pieces that I will never buy, being either too outlandish to be considered office appropriate or too extortionate for me to justify. But I love to touch the fabrics, see how skirts drape, coo over supple leather and intricate lace.

Little Mix naked controversy: stripping down has a powerful impact, but it can be a double-edged sword

Ever since pop stars first led the youth out of the dull expectation of parental obedience and into the bright pastures of rebellion, and sexiness, adults have attempted to curb their perceived excesses. Sex and nudity have always been at the forefront of their concerns. But recently a new generation of female pop stars have been using their platforms – and bodies – to fight against the pressures of body image.

‘This is not consent’: how a thong sparked protests across Ireland over the handling of rape trials

It’s not the first time that an item of clothing has caused a stir in the Irish parliament. Ministers have raised eyebrows after turning up in jeans, open-collar shirts and even flat-caps. No garment, however, has sparked such debate as a little scrap of lace, produced with a magician’s flourish from the sleeve of TD Ruth Coppinger, and brandished for all to see in the Dail chambers.

‘Single-use’ is the Collins word of the year – so why are we still using 1m more coffee cups every day?

It would appear that 2018 is the year we all became eco-conscious – at least if the dictionary is to be believed. Collins has named “single-use” as its word of the year, reporting a four-fold increase in its usage as we discuss the problems associated with disposable coffee cups, water bottles and plastic bags. The European parliament has just back a ban on some single-use plastics, and the UK is planning to introduce a tax on plastic packaging. We fret about plastic straws in our drinks, the

‘Killing vegans’ jokes leave a sour taste in my mouth

How do you know someone’s a vegan? Don’t worry, they’ll tell you. Har dee har har. We all like a little joke at the expense of our plant-eating brethren, don’t we? They deserve taking down a peg or two, the sanctimonious lot. The jokes are starting to wear a bit thin, though. William Sitwell, the editor of Waitrose Food magazine and a critic for BBC’s Masterchef, has apologised for jokingly suggesting that vegans should be trapped and killed, in response to journalist Selene Nelson, who had pi

Microplastics are ending up on our dinner plates – but scientists aren’t shocked

It gives a whole new meaning to the term “junk food”. This week, a study revealed that tiny plastic particles were found in the stool samples of eight people from countries including the UK. It was only a matter of time before the ubiquitous packaging found its way to the top of the food chain: plastic has been identified in fish, water, beer and honey. We’re grinding it on to our meals along with our expensive sea salt. It’s in the microbeads, now banned in the UK, that have been commonly foun

Why Fiji is so much more than a honeymoon destination

There are a few places in the world that perfectly fit the “honeymoon paradise” cliché. Fiji is one of them: the 330-island archipelago, with its thousands of miles of white-sand beaches, palm trees, coral reefs and luxury resorts, has romance in spades. But when the world’s most famous newlyweds, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, visited last week, they offered a glimpse into a country with so much more to offer beyond the beaches. I visit just days before Harry and Meghan landed as part of the

Lay off Generation Sensible: getting wasted is not an essential rite of passage

The youth of today, eh? Far from teenage rebellion, it seems that around a third of them are – brace yourselves – not drinking alcohol at all, while 17 per cent say that they have always been teetotal. Pause for the lamentings of older columnists everywhere, bemoaning how boring “Generation Sensible” has become and beseeching them to give sex, drugs and rock’n’roll a whirl. Hey, Baby Boomers: leave those kids alone. Dare I suggest that the younger generation is getting it right? They may be br

More of us are travelling alone, but I found it more of a challenge than I expected

I’m not sure how it took me until I was standing at a fork in the overgrown path, swatting away dragonflies with my crumpled map, to remember what a bad sense of direction I have. Out here, on the brink of a ravine in the southern Italian countryside, my trusty Citymapper app was useless. I squinted at the map again, then at the path ahead. Time to retrace my steps… I’m one of those irritating people who call themselves a traveller, yet I’ve been mostly shielded from anything resembling a chal

Ibiza’s racy cabaret club Lio is coming to London – but can Brits handle the hedonism?

The master of ceremonies looms over our table, coiffed moustache curling further north as his near-maniacal grin widens. We nod, shy and self-conscious despite the fact that the wine was already flowing. I’m not sure what to expect from a night at Lio, a dinner party-meets-cabaret-meets-nightclub in Ibiza’s high-end marina district. We’ve been here 10 minutes, and already are a bit slack-jawed: rhinestone-twinkling performers greet guests like old friends, women strut through the dining area l

Pret’s move on labelling is a watershed moment for allergy sufferers

Grabbing a quick lunch is something many of us do without a second thought. If you suffer from an allergy, however, you get used to lingering in front of the fridge section, reading labels and scanning ingredients to see if there’s anything “safe” to eat. Some outlets were never too keen on that. In recent years, even as the range of “free-from” products increased, and most retailers upped their game on allergen labelling, there has been a quiet backlash from some “artisan” producers and resta
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