The rapid weight loss technique that only 'takes a minute' - Dr Michael Mosley

Person checking their Fitbit
This simple hack can fast-track weight loss results without slaving at a gym. Photo credit: Getty Images

Losing weight doesn't always have to be hard - in fact, small changes and healthy habits can add up to significant progress.

From the busy mum who struggles to find time to sleep, let alone hit the gym, to the overwhelmed and overweight who have no clue where to start, this simple trick that takes "just a minute" can lead to impressive results.

Dr Michael Mosley - a British journalist, presenter and former doctor - has long advocated for rapid weight loss techniques such as his 5:2 diet and Fast 800 method, concepts which are based around caloric deficits and intermittent fasting for fast-tracked results.

By cutting back on caloric intake and introducing this simple method each day, Dr Mosley believes people can reach their goals quickly and without significant sacrifice - or slaving at the gym.

As reported by Express, the strategy - referred to as "exercise snacking" - involves short bursts of exercise as and when a person is able to. 

For example, a person might run (carefully!) up and down the stairs for one minute in the morning; perform star jumps for one minute during their lunch break; sprint for one minute in the afternoon; and jog in place for a minute in the evening. 

According to Dr Mosley, this method is ideal for those with hectic lifestyles and busy work schedules who struggle to slot in a workout or find time for exercise in their everyday lives. 

Speaking on his podcast Just One Thing, Dr Mosley, 65, said performing several short bursts of exercise during the day can be more effective than attempting a full workout - which can lead to a lack of motivation and frustration when the person fails to fit an hour-long session at the gym into their schedule.

"Doing exercise in short chunks really can help you burn more calories, lose more weight, and help improve your blood glucose and blood pressure to a greater degree than doing it in larger chunks," he said. 

"Stairs are a particularly good way of getting in a few 'exercise snacks'.

"The surprising thing about 'exercise snacking' is that although each session is short, it gives you the same – possibly even greater – fitness and health benefits than doing a full 30-minute workout."

Dr Mosley stressed that the hack can "really help" and be "effective" for people wanting to shed some pounds - if paired with dietary changes such as intermittent fasting or calorie reduction. 

Speaking during an appearance on the breakfast television show Studio 10 in 2019, Dr Mosley discussed why rapid weight loss techniques can be more effective than other methods.

"The scientists have been telling me for some time now that you can be better off doing a rapid weight loss diet," he said.

He referenced two significant UK studies that examined the effectiveness of rapid versus long-term weight loss techniques in groups of more than 300 people.

One group was allocated a rapid weight loss diet and the other a standard, slower-paced plan.

"It was those that did the rapid weight loss that lost the most weight - 10kg sustained over two years. The other lot didn't lose much weight and they put it on again," he explained. "So it turns what you believe on its head."

Earlier this year, Dr Mosley - who has authored several books including The Fast Diet and The 8-Week Blood Sugar Diet - advised those looking to lose weight to cut back on three key foods; sugar, starchy carbohydrates and processed snacks.

The 65-year-old said those hoping to slim down should take care to cut back on sugary treats and drinks, starchy carbs including white bread and pasta, and processed foods such as chicken nuggets, chips, sweets and crisps. Instead, he recommended filling up on wholegrains and legumes, nuts, lean protein and oily fish, and fruits and vegetables.

The celebrity doctor has hailed the Mediterranean diet as "the best diet to follow" for those wanting to lose weight and keep healthy.

Dr Mosley's famed 5:2 diet involves eating healthily and without caloric restriction for five days a week, but reducing your caloric intake to a quarter of your daily needs - about 500 to 600 calories a day - for the remaining two. 

To super-charge the diet, he recommends opting for a Mediterranean-style diet on both fasting and non-fasting days, incorporating healthy fats with olive oil, nuts, eggs,yoghurt and oily fish. On the fasting days, he advises filling up on vegetables and protein to stay satiated.

Of course, people should always seek advice from their GP before changing their diets.