Our patient profile this month features the story of John, who participates in our Long Distance Program and resides in the United Kingdom. John joined our dietary program in October 2014. John had already been able to reduce much of his diabetes himself following a low carbohydrate diet. It took courage to defy not only his doctors and dieticians, but also the official guidelines of virtually every medical organization on the planet. This includes most diabetes and heart associations.
One of our primary goals in the Intensive Dietary Management program is to support patients with medical advice. By explaining proper nutrition and metabolism, they know that what they are doing is not dangerous or harmful. It is always amazing for me to watch patients lose weight, reduce their medications, reverse their diabetes and feel absolutely great. It is equally amazing to learn that their health care providers always tell them to stop, even though common sense would be enough to know that patients are improving significantly. I always think “So….. patients should go back their old diet, regain the weight, restart the medications, become diabetic again and feel terrible. Then they’ll be healthier?”
One of the great problems in weight loss is not actually in losing weight. It is relatively easy to lose weight. What’s hard is to keep it off. This inconvenient fact is known to dieters worldwide. Eventually, the weight keeps creeping back. By incorporating alternate daily fasting into his lifestyle, John has successfully kept his weight down and reversed his diabetes as well.
Congratulations John. Below, he’s written his own story in his own words.
Diabetes Reversed ?
The Intensive Dietary Management program has significantly improved the quality of my life. It looks like it can extend the length of my life too.
I had already reversed my type 2 diabetes by a calorie restricted diet, but it was a constant struggle to keep off the weight that I had lost. It took a lot of will-power to ignore hunger and cravings and made a lot of extra work for my wife in planning our meals and weighing all the ingredients.
I knew from past experience that I was likely to eventually grow tired of sticking to the smaller portions of the low fat, high carbohydrate that I had been advised to follow. The weight would then go back on and my blood glucose would rise. It had done that before.
About six months ago I summoned up the courage to ignore my doctors and dietitians and I experimented with a low carbohydrate/high fat diet. I still counted calories too so I was still eating smaller portions, but I found that I was less hungry and I really enjoyed the extra eggs, butter, cheese and fatty meat. I had always eaten plenty of salads and leafy green vegetables. My blood glucose levels fell even lower, even after meals and I felt stronger and more alert.
Then, about three months, ago I enrolled in Jason Fung’s Intensive Dietary Management Program which Megan Christie runs from Toronto, Canada. The program reinforced my determination to stay on a low carbohydrate diet, introduced me to the concept of intermittent fasting and persuaded me to stop counting calories.
As a long range member of the program I get frequent online conferences with Megan and some fellow patients. We benefit from Megan’s expert knowledge, delivered with sympathy and understanding, and from sharing our experiences. I find it a great support to know that I am not alone and that my questions can be answered.
I had not expected to lose any more weight, because I had shed 60 pounds on my earlier calorie-restricted diet, but I am now a further ten pounds lighter, and feel fitter, stronger and more mentally alert. The only downside is having to buy new clothes as my old ones had become far too big.
My wife is not formally enrolled in the program but we are getting two for the price of one because she eats the same meals as I do. She is delighted to have dropped three dress sizes and not to have the chore of weighing all my food.
I am currently eating what I think is the right amount of the right food at the right times.
Most of the time I eat:
- no refined or processed foods
- reduced carbohydrate
- increased fat
- moderate protein
- increased leafy green vegetables
- only within an eight hour window each day
I eat lunch every day and dinner four or five evenings each week. Nothing else. No breakfast. No snacks. I allow myself to eat (and drink) more freely on holiday, but get back to the routine afterwards.
I am never hungry or bored because I enjoy a wide range of whole fresh foods
This is not intended as medical advice for anybody. It is just the story of how a simple change in my eating habits was followed by an amazing improvement in my health. Regular exercise may also have helped, but I think diet was more important.
For me at least, type two diabetes really does seem to be controllable by diet and exercise. I still suffer from the chronic complications developed over more than twenty five years, but the elimination of almost all medication has removed the unwelcome side effects and significantly restored my quality of life. Better late than never!
The dietary changes were simple, but making them required willingness to challenge ingrained habits and prejudices. Sticking to the changes was hard at first, but is easy now. The essentials were education, motivation and determination. Stick ‘self-‘ in front of each of those and you get the strategy that worked for me.
By The Fasting Method
For many health reasons, losing weight is important. It can improve your blood sugars, blood pressure and metabolic health, lowering your risk of heart disease, stroke and cancer. But it’s not easy. That’s where we can help.
By Jason Fung, MD
Jason Fung, M.D., is a Toronto-based nephrologist (kidney specialist) and a world leading expert in intermittent fasting and low-carb diets.