I last updated this in September 2017 but have had requests for more information and to let people know how I am getting on. It would be so embarrassing to say that I have given up and no longer do this diet. HOWEVER, I am still doing the plan, working very hard to improve my numbers and my life. There has been a big breakthrough with this diet but first a brief overview:
So my results to date are (and to give you the past figures as well). I started this diet with a blood glucose of 180 / 190 and an official HbA1c of 8.2. Today my BG runs at around 80 / 90 and my last HbA1c was 5.9. (August 2018) I have lost 25lbs and this has remained pretty stable over the last 6 months although I do gain on holidays but always take back control as soon as the partying is done. My cholesterol is down from 6.8 to 3.6 and my triglycerides (liver function) are well within normal whereas they were previously those of a heavy drinker even though I wasn't. The update on this is that my medication has gone from 40mg Statin down to 10mg. On top of that my blood pressure is down from 140/90 to around 120/70.
To top it off, when I started on this plan I was injecting 38 or 40 units of insulin daily, I am now down to 19 units.
I generally stick to 800 calories per day and, with the warning that when you go so low it is difficult to return to normal eating without big weight gains. However, that is what happens with most diets. We all have done this or know someone who has, lost weight and then put it back on and even more, so this is not the cause and effect of this particular diet. It is just the way it is. Carbs have no draw for me as I know what they can do to me and I prefer to have a healthy life. I do want to lose more weight and have set a goal of 10lbs before I go back to England to visit my family at Christmas. So far I have lost 7lbs. Yes, I know I will put some of that back on during the holidays but hey ho, that's life.
On my last update I said I didn't stick to the 800 cals all the time but looking at my meals, I generally do and I follow a menu plan every week. Not too difficult as I have been doing this for 2.5 years now and have lots of menu plans I can just run off the printer at the start of each week then do my grocery shop accordingly. This is my diet for life and while I am healthy and happy I cant see why I should go back to the days of crying over high Blood Glucose and all the worries that go with it.
What do I eat then and is it so difficult. I try to eat something different everyday for every meal. Sometimes a breakfast might be repeated during the week - like yoghurt (full fat plain) with fruit but I change the fruit or the way the fruit is prepared. A favorite is hot grilled marinated apricots served with half a pot of Greek yoghurt and slivers of almonds at 140 calories. Eggs are easy to prepare, but again, change it up and have poached with grilled mushrooms or scrambled with chilli flakes and some grated cheese.
Lunches are usually based around a type of salad but long gone are the days of lettuce leaves with cucumber and tomatoes and a bit of cold meat. I like shredded vegetables like courgette or cabbage, served with grilled halloumi cheese and 2 slices of grilled bacon. Courgette with hot chicken breast and grilled red peppers. Served with a homemade dressing of crushed garlic, yoghurt, lemon juice and Olive Oil.
Dinners are normally based on traditional meals like spaghetti bolognaise or a chicken curry but served with courgette spirals heated through to resemble the pasta or cauliflower grated and stir fried instead of rice. Or another favourite, lasagne made with griddled aubergine (egg plant) slices in place of the pasta layers.
You just have to get over the initial craving for something stodgy and carby and realise you can enjoy breakfast without toast or a bowl of high sugar, high salt cereal. Realise that meat and sauce doesn't need chips to make it a meal and a curry doesn't need a big pile of rice - think Indian Dahl, a lentil dish. Yes I do eat lentils, also chickpeas, kidney or other unprocessed beans and dont forget that vegetables contain carbohydrate so it is not a no carb diet, just low carb.
As I am still sticking around the same general weight with a small fluctuation due to being human and have never totally got rid of the insulin injections - I have had diabetes too long to gain complete remission, I have to set myself new a different goals. On my last visit to England I went to the gym with my daughter. Although I decided I hate the treadmill and the stepper and the endless cycling and getting nowhere I was introduced to a body tracking machine. Not to reveal my numbers here I have a base line for my body fat, muscle mass, of course my weight etc. I have decided that I want big improvements in all areas and set myself to work on reaching new goals. During summer I swim every day in my own pool but in winter I do aerobics in front of the TV. At 65 I realise that jumping up and down like a maniac is not getting me anywhere. Hello yoga. I have found a lovely young girl called Adriene on You Tube and been following her 30 day programmes. Because it is a different video every day there is not the repetition of doing the same routine day in day out. I have also been following a lady called Schella who does exercises for the over 50's. Not because we cant do other exercises, but because we have different needs. My aim is muscle strength so I am following a series of arm exercises with weights. I will find out if these are working when I get back into the gym and update my body tracking programme. To be revealed in a January blog.
I do go on so back to the BIG NEWS. The medical profession in the UK have been trialling this diet in a few areas of the country with amazing results in stopping pre-diabetes in its tracks and putting newly diagnosed diabetics into full remission. They are so impressed with the results that they are doing a bigger roll-out of the diet with doctors prescribing 800 calories liquid diets to their at risk patients. The liquid diet was devised by my hero, Prof. Roy Taylor of Newcastle University (google him) and was used for people who had stomach reductions and were unable to eat solid food. From this he accidently discovered that this diet 'cured' his diabetic patients or seriously improved their condition. I chose not to go the liquid diet way as, at the time, the milk shake drinks available in pharmacies were full of hidden sugars and not nutritionally balanced. I can do 800 calories with real food so why would I want to live of drinks. Never mind that, at least this is a step in the right direction and hopefully will help a lot of people overcome their diabetes problems in the short-term. After the initial improvements I would hope they go on to following a low carb diet plan like the one I use.
So after 2.5 years of people telling me I am a nut case, see some of the comments on my earlier blogs, saying I will die of malnutrition or my brain will shrink due to lack of glucose, I can say nah nah nah nah nahhhhhhh.
I told you my diet would work.
I would like to give a shout to the man who devised the 800 calorie 8 week Blood Sugar Diet which is the one I follow - Dr Michael Mosley. Thank you for changing my life for the better and for potentially saving me from so many diabetes related complications and worries. Thank you.
Just to finish on a small reveal - a couple of photos with before and after.
At start of diet
After 8 weeks on the 800 calories plan
And finally, taken this year.
Looking forward to a very happy and healthy 2019