In June, Mark Hancock spoke as a patient representative at parliament alongside Dr David Unwin about reversing type 2 diabetes through a low carb real-food approach.
When Mark was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2010, his weight had crept up to almost 16 stone. Whilst acknowledging his diet wasn’t particularly healthy, Mark felt the diagnosis still came as a shock.
“It was frightening to think of the complications that might happen, I remember worrying about what foods I could and couldn’t eat,” he told the Low Carb Program.
Following the Eatwell Plate shown to him by his nurse, he did lose weight initially. But he struggled to gain control over his blood glucose levels.
“I was told that it was likely that I’d have to take insulin in the future.
“But six years later I heard Dr Michael Mosley on the radio, he explained that type 2 diabetes was reversible and could be achieved through a low carb real food approach, cutting out carbs such as pasta and bread – it was all the encouragement I needed.”
Mark then adopted a low carb lifestyle, cutting out pizza, baguettes and fast food in favour of salmon and cauliflower rice. The results were almost immediate. Within a week he had lost 9 pounds, his HbA1c readings were between 4-5% and he was taken off metformin.
“My energy levels are incredible, I don’t feel the need to have a mid-afternoon nap anymore. It’s been really motivating to see the results!”
Alongside a low carb approach, Mark added the importance of mindful eating – paying attention to cues of hunger and fullness and not having to eat at set meal times.
“Your life can revolve around it – thinking ‘what am I going to eat for breakfast or lunch?’ I’ve learned to be more mindful with my eating and listen to my body – it’s given me so much freedom.”
What advice would Mark give to others?
“Plan your meals. We batch cook on the weekends and freeze meals for during the week.
“Also make use of online support groups. I helped to set up a Facebook support group to support a group of friends with this way of eating – they’ve seen some fantastic results. We even have healthcare professionals that use the group and point their patients towards us.”
Mark is an ambassador for the Public Health Collaboration, he also spoke at the 2016 and 2017 Annual Diabetic Conference and helps to run a low carb support group for patients with type 2 diabetes.
Through sharing his story, Mark is driven to inspire other people with type 2 diabetes to reverse their illness and get themselves back to health.