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This Morning backlash as nutritionist suggests 500-calorie fasting diet

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This Morning has been hit with fierce criticism after platforming a nutritionist who suggested people cut back to eating just 500 calories a day to lose weight.

Presenters Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield welcomed Gabriella Peacock onto the ITV programme on Tuesday live from her home in west London in a segment that aimed to help viewers reset their health this month.

Gabriella gave advice on intermittent fasting and suggested that people can restrict their calorie count if they want to lose weight.

‘The most effective one is where you fast for three consecutive days and you do 500 calories for women and 600 calories for men,’ she said.

‘By this restriction you make your body resilient, and we also know that intermittent fasting is incredibly healthy. It has numerous health benefits and it’s very sustainable.

‘It’s restricting your calories to create some changes within your body,’ Gabriella also explained. ‘In my book, I recommend a couple of different fasting plans.’

Gabriella Peacock was a guest on Tuesday’s show (Picture: ITV)

She went on to stress: ‘You need to find a plan that works with your lifestyle. It’s important to find something that works for you.’

After the interview, Phil issued a warning to viewers considering changing their diet.

‘For anyone thinking of trying a new diet, always seek the advice of your doctor first if it is something extreme and something you haven’t done before,’ he implored.

Generally, the recommended daily calorie intake is 2,000 calories a day for women and 2,500 for men.

Many viewers, however, were not impressed and expressed their disappointment on social media.

‘500 calories?!?! Really! A small child’s diet consists of more! Unbelievable that this rubbish is being promoted by anyone never mind on prime daytime television!!’ raged one.

Echoing a similar sentiment, another added: ‘Why are This Morning advertising low calorie diets AGAIN! Eating disorders are on the rise, so let’s advertise eating 500 calories 3 days a week! No – just move more and eat sensibly, everything in moderation.’

‘500 calories a day isn’t enough at all,’ a third stressed. ‘Don’t listen to this woman, calling herself a nutritionist is a joke. Just eat 3 healthy balanced meals a day, drink plenty of water. We should be having around 2000 calories a day.’

The NHS states that to lose weight in a healthy way, you need to use more energy than you consume by eating a healthy, balanced diet with fewer calories while increasing your physical activity.

Earlier this year, This Morning was hit with almost 2,000 Ofcom complaints after airing a segment that promoted an 800-calorie daily diet as part of a ‘rapid weight loss’ programme.

During the episode, Doctor Michael Mosley claimed that studies have shown that consuming 800 to 1,000 calories a day can be ‘safe and effective’.

This Morning has declined to comment.

This Morning airs weekdays at 10am on ITV.

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