What I am going to say on this page may seem very controversial to some and I will say at the outset, I am not trained medically in any way shape or form. I have no dietary qualifications……just a load of interest, experience and common sense!
If you have Type 2 diabetes and have been told it’s incurable or irreversible, it’s hogwash! There’s a bit of a ding dong going on in cyberspace between the “establishment” and a few very credible professionals like Professor Tim Noakes (my hero) and Asseem Malhotra about what causes Type 2 diabetes and how to cure it and I’m positive you’ll be hearing a lot more in the years to come as the stubborn government barriers start coming down.
The simplest way for a person to find out if a diet is helping them reverse Type 2 is to see what happens on a daily basis to their blood sugars. A Type 2 diabetic should never set out to lose weight to fix their sugars but rather to fix their sugars to lose weight.
Type 2 diabetes is an illness that happens when the body is constantly having sugar and insulin spikes. Our bodies can use fat and sugar / glucose to give us energy but we only need 4 grams of glucose in our body at any one time. Anything more than that will be stored firstly as glycogen and then as fat. Surely it makes sense therefore that the first thing you need to do is cut down on sugar. I know it sounds like common sense but in the UK, diabetics are told to eat 50 grams of carbohydrates at every meal. If you pop over to Diet Doctor which is a ketogenic diet, they suggest 20 grams per day for weightloss!!! My suggestion to you is – do 3 days on 50 grams per meal and test your sugars. Then do 3 days cutting out sugars as much as you possibly can, including fruit, and see what happens. I’ve been eating less than 30 grams of carbs for over 2 years and have not died! In fact, I have never felt better!
This may sound harsh but it’s your reality so I’m going to say it. “If you are Type 2 diabetic, sugar is poison for you“. Absorb this information, have a tantrum, cry, feel sorry for yourself, then get over it and deal with it. Cut it out of your life. Completely!!! Within 2 days, you will start noticing a little difference and the longer you keep going, the more benefits you are going to feel. Make it an exciting goal to plot your readings daily on a graph and watch yourself healing.
Whilst your readings come down, you may become frustrated that your weight doesn’t follow quite as well. This is because alongside Type 2 diabetes, most people have Insulin Resistance. The easiest way to explain it is with this example; when you were 25, if you ate a banana, your body would need to release one teaspoon of insulin to bring your sugars back down to normal. Now that you are 55 and have Type 2 diabetes, your body would have to release six teaspoons for the same sized banana. Your body needs to release more and more insulin to do the same job.
Whilst you may do really well bringing down the sugars, it will take a longer time for the “insulin resistance” to correct itself. Because insulin is the fat storage hormone, you will need to be patient, but trust me, it will happen! My advice would be to stay away from the scales and just focus on those blood sugars for at least 6 weeks.
If you are worried about sugar cravings, understand that they will be difficult for a while but they will go. There will be a time when you can be faced with cakes and sweets and quite happily say no thanks!
Tip: One of the best ways of reducing cravings is to eat lots of healthy fats. Fat is what makes us feel full (and those silly people in the 70’s told us it was bad!!) and it’s exactly what you need when you are coming off sugar. Eat the butter, the chicken skin, have pork scratchings, have lots of cheese and berries with cream. But no sugar!!! Losing sugar doesn’t mean losing flavour or satiety.
You will notice after about 6 to 8 weeks that things taste a lot sweeter. I couldn’t stand 85% chocolate and found it very bitter. Now that I am sugar free, it tastes wonderful and pretty sweet. But even better, I can have 2 squares and put it away which I could never do with ordinary chocolate.
Please don’t think you have plenty of time to make the change. I am currently supporting an elderly friend who has been in denial about Type 2 for years. She wasn’t willing to make the changes to her diet that her body was screaming for. She now has a multitude of painful, debilitating symptoms to deal with including dreadful skin conditions and Stage 4 kidney failure. It’s so unnecessary when all you have to do is eat something different but just as tasty.
Tip : Every time you pick up a food at the supermarket, check to see how many grams of sugar per 100 grams is on the nutrition label. If it’s higher than 10 grams, put it back.
If you are struggling or want some support with Type 2, email me!