Rishi Sunak: Weekly fast is important discipline for me

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The PM says he tries to fast at the start of the week so he can indulge in his “weakness for sugary things”.

By Becky Morton & Michelle Roberts
BBC News

Rishi Sunak has said fasting once a week is “an important discipline for me” as part of a “balanced lifestyle”.

The prime minister does not eat anything for 36 hours at the start of each week, the Sunday Times reported.

Asked about the reports, Mr Sunak told the BBC: “I tend to try and do some fasting at the beginning of every week as part of a general balanced lifestyle but everyone will do this differently.”

He admitted he also has “a weakness for sugary things”.

“It means that I can then indulge myself in all the sugary treats I like for the rest of the week,” he added.

Mr Sunak has previously described himself as a “Coca-Cola addict”, revealing he prefers Mexican Coke because it is made with “cane sugar rather than high fructose corn syrup”.

Friends of the prime minister told the Sunday Times he does not eat from 17:00 on a Sunday until 05:00 on a Tuesday.

He is also a fan of exercise and is known to enjoy morning workouts on his Peloton bike.

Intermittent fasting is where you eat normally at certain times and then restrict or avoid food during other times.

There are different versions or patterns.

A popular one is the 5:2 diet where people eat a normal amount of food for five days straight and then have two days of restricted eating where far fewer calories are consumed.

Another system, called the 16/8 method, involves restricting your eating to an eight-hour period before fasting for the 16 hours in between.

Fasting allows the body to use stored body fat for energy, which can lead to weight loss. But if you overindulge the rest of the time then you might put on even more weight.

There is some evidence that it can be healthy, but experts still recommend that people eat a balanced diet and stay active to stay trim and fit.

Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water is important too.

If you want to try intermittent fasting, it is important to speak with a health professional for advice first. If you are underweight, have a history of eating disorders or are pregnant or breastfeeding, fasting is not advisable.

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3 June 2019