Eat 800 calories to beat diabetes in just eight weeks
ISLAMABAD : Earlier in this series, I explained the thinking behind my new Blood Sugar Diet, which can reverse both pre-diabetes and Type 2 diabetes.
This is a bold and radical plan that involves eating 800 calories a day for up to eight weeks. It works by tackling the fat that clogs your liver and pancreas and lies at the heart of many blood sugar problems.
Dr Michael Mosley has put together a simple diet plan and lifestyle programme suitable for those at risk of getting Type 2 diabetes, those already suffering with it and anyone who wants to lose weight fast and regain control of their health and within weeks, both pre-diabetics and Type 2 diabetics should see their blood sugar levels falling back towards normal, setting you on course for a leaner, healthier future.
But as with all diets, some people may find it easier to stick to the regime than others. That’s why I recommend a number of steps to take beforehand that will help you measure your progress – and keep you committed.
Find a quiet moment and measure your pulse. You will find it throbbing away on your wrist, just outside the outermost tendon. Your pulse is a measure of your overall fitness. Check it a few times, then write down the average score. I’d expect to see it improve over the coming weeks.
You can do this by measuring around your body at belly button height; do not rely on your trouser size. Men typically under- estimate their waist size by 2 in to 3 in. Why is waist size important? Because it is an indirect measure of your visceral fat and one of the best predictors we have of future health. As I’ve pointed out before, fat in and around the abdomen is dangerous even if you are not obviously overweight.
Ideally, your waist should measure less than half your height (so if you are 6 ft tall, your waist should be less than 36 in). While you’re at it, take some selfies. Or preferably get a friend to take photographs of you. I predict that you will want to show people the ‘befores’ and ‘afters’, so keep these somewhere safe.
Don’t keep food in the house that you want to avoid. It might sound obvious, but if chocolatey and sugary snacks are anywhere to hand then, unless you have superhuman willpower, there will come a time when you succumb. One of the goals you absolutely have to write down is how much weight you plan to lose. Any amount will help, particularly if you are in the pre-diabetes phase, but to properly reverse Type 2 diabetes you will probably need to lose 10 to 15 per cent of your body weight.
I lost 20 lb, which was 11 per cent of my body weight, and that did the trick. If your original BMI is more than 40, then you may need to lose more. Being part of a group, even if it’s just you and one other – will significantly improve your chances of success.
Once you’ve decided you want to do this diet, tell your friends and family all about it. They may know someone else who wants to do it with you. The fact that you are making a public commitment also means you are more likely to stick to it. It’s fine to keep working, keeping busy will help, but make sure your colleagues are on board and not dumping doughnuts on your desk to ‘cheer you up’. Likewise, you don’t want your 50th birthday or a friend’s wedding to derail you, but don’t look for excuses not to start.
One form of sugar demonised above all others is fructose. Ordinary table sugar is made up of fructose and glucose bound together. Some so-called ‘healthy’ sugars, like agave syrup, actually have far more fructose in them than table sugar. Fructose is also, notoriously, found in high-fructose corn syrup, which has, in the past few decades, been added to many processed foods and carbonated drinks.
To reduce your intake of fructose, you will need to cut down on the sweet stuff- sugar-sweetened drinks, most breakfast cereals, pastries and desserts.
However, fruit also contains fructose. So while it is good to consume a certain amount of fresh fruit, whole and with the skin on, you should try to minimize your consumption of juices and smoothies, which have had the fibre stripped out. A small glass of orange juice has twice the sugar, twice the calories and half the fibre of an orange.
Eating more fibre is one other way to slow the rate at which your body absorbs sugar, and a lack of it in our diets is a leading cause of the diabetes and obesityepidemic.