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  1. Friday's excellent review with the nurse was a huge boost and I have celebrated and rewarded myself by pausing the calorie limit over the weekend. Morning fasting BG readings have been in the mid-5s for three days in a row instead of 7s before that. This evening we had the usual Sunday roast and I allowed myself one small roast potato, one small piece of roasted sweet potato and a little unsweetened apple sauce. I also had some 85% cocoa solids dark chocolate and some cheese. So a fair amount of carbs (50-60g for the day instead of my usual target of under 30g) and a fair amount of protein. Pre-dinner my BG wa 5.7 and two ours on it rose 1.4 to 7.1 - which is encouraging, I feel. 6 months ago I'd have been 8 or 9 easily with just the roast potato.

    But what I really want to achieve is a reduction in my baseline fasting BG. Mid-5s are safe but I'd really like consistent mid-4s. I suspect there is still too much visceral fat and this results in a continued over-supply of BG from the liver. So I have set myself a realistic target of equalling or going under 11st 7lbs by next Saturday, a reduction of at least 1.5lbs in 5 days. After that a furrther 1.5 pounds per week for the next two weeks. By the end of June I want to be under 11st 3lbs. But it's not just about losing weight, I need to get back into the groove with my weight training as well as HIT. I resumed both last week and it's possible my improved fasting BG levels are down to the HIT.

    But I do need to rebuild arm and upper body muscle and that means consuming more protein and matching this with muscle work-outs with the weights.
  2. In my previous blog post I estimated that my 6-monthly HbA1c would be 42 mmol/mol (6%), just about at the high end of the target range. In fact it was much better; 33 mmol/mol (5.2%), which is almost on the middle of the target range. I can't tell you how pleased I am with this :)

    It's a real boost in confidence and motivation for me. My review was also very good with blood pressure and foot exams going really well and the nurse was very pleased with my weight loss - roughly a stone (14lbs or 6.4kg) since my previous review which was actually 6 and a half months ago.

    She took more more blood which will be tested for HbA1c again as well as liver function, blood lipids (cholesterol, etc.), and glucose, although I was surprised I wasn't asked to fast beforehand. Apparently getting blood tests have been phased out?

    As I have committed to a low carb and high fat (LCHF) diet, and modified my choice of fats to consume (more saturated and mono unsaturated fat and less polyunsaturated fat, especially Omega 6, while increasing epa and dha) I am particularly interested to see what impact it has had on my cholesterol and triglycerides.

    It's still a bit surreal that I am expending almost 3,000 more calories a week in extra physical activity these days. I'm a diabetic but I am actually fitter and feel better than since my 20s - 30 years ago! Having lost around 27 kilos since my heaviest period over ten years ago it's amazing what I can do easily now in my 50s that I recall finding difficult or impossible before, from cycling up hills to bounding up really long escalators.

    I'm not fixed yet. My morning fasting blood glucose numbers are still not where I want them to be and I suspect that is related to a need to further improve my body's insulin sensitivity, so am continuing the goal to reduce body fat, probably down a further 5-10lbs. Meanwhile, I have been neglecting my weight training to build up upper body muscle, so that is also a priority.
  3. A month ago I was optimistic about reaching 11st 7lbs after hitting a long time goal of 11st 10lbs. However, I upped my physical activity and this really sparked my hunger pangs and I succumbed to some periodic binging on peanuts and even some chocolate and biscuits that were lurking in the cupboard. Needless to say, my weight went up. On top of that there have been quite a few family celebrations in the last month and another foreign trip so managing diet has been very challenging and my fasting blood sugar levels have not responded kindly. The good news is that in recent days I have started to get on top of the diet again and I have managed to maintain my physical activity, averaging almost 10,000 steps per day last week as well as doing some miles on the bike. The weight is on its way down again and I have now reached my best weight since my early 20s at 11st 9.5lbs, a BMI of 23.1. However after over a week of fasting BG levels in the morning of mid-high 7s there is some sign that they are dropping back.

    After some discussion with other forum members I discovered that some Asians (I am half southeast Asian and half British) need to be under a BMI of 23 to be considered in the normal weight range instead of 25 for Europeans. I think my long term goal probably has to be 11st flat, so some work still to do.

    Been to the blood clinic for my 6-monthly HbA1c test and my estimate based on the site's tools is 6% (42 mmol/mol). My recent poor test results probably mean I would have scored better if the test had been done a month ago - but let's just see what the actual result is. 6% 42 would be just about acceptable especially as my previous result was 8% 64, but this would still be just outside the recommended range for non-diabetics, if good control for a diabetic.

    And a 6 month review with the DN at the end of this week. It's all happening! :)
  4. Well, two days after registering 11st 10lbs this morning instead of losing another pound the digital scales say I have put on a pound. This has to be down to water retention as the diet is going quite well and I managed a reasonable amount of exercise in the two days. This included some gardening and I got our bikes out of the shed and dusted them down for the first time in years. After the considerable effort of pumping tyres up I was rather delighted to discover that my weight loss now mean cycling up hill is no longer the life-threatining experience I recall :) Only did 4 miles but it was great and the bikes will definitely be used regularly from now on.

    Not sure I can now hit my target of 11st 7lbs or less by Sunday but will try my best. At least my morning BG readings are now averaging below 6 for the first time in a couple of months.
  5. A week on from resuming my low energy and low carb diet with the aim of losing at least 7lbs in two and a half weeks things are looking good. I appear to have lost 5lbs in one week, down from 12st 1lb to 11st 10lbs, although I suspect about a pound of that, at least, is down to water retention. My fasting blood glucose, which had been hitting 7 is now on a downward trend and was 5.6 this morning. I have managed to hit all my exercise targets except for the weights. So next Sunday I am hoping to reach 11st 7lbs and lower my FBG further.
  6. The last 5-6 weeks have been full of travel-related distractions meaning I have not been able to maintain my strict interpretation of the Newcastle Diet. I did get as low as 11st 11lbs and a bit but have bounced back a little to 12st 1lb. I won't be travelling again until mid-May so I have the best part of three weeks to resume he diet. I would like to get down to 11st 7lbs or better in two weeks - a big challenge but certainly doable. My BMI is currently 23.9 and losing 8 pounds would bring it down to 22.7. My hunch is that I will need to bring the weight down even further but I'll just have to take it step by step. The goal is to get fasting glucose readings consistently under 5 and ultimately some insulin sensitivity registering. I was getting close to this before my travels with readings down as low as 5.0 and averaging mid-5s, but recent readings have been back in the 6s and occasional 7s (although I have had a cold, so maybe that had something to do with it.

    Regime is: 300 calories lunch and 500 calories dinner (skipping breakfast is quite easy for me and according to advice I have read keeping meals within a 6 hour period should help with insulin sensitivity. I will also be very low carbing - aiming for under 30g carbs today in order to help the fat-burning process. Will be trying to keep protein under control as well. Although not convinced it does anything, I will be continuing my cinnamon tea drinking as it's enjoyable and I still have plenty of cinnamon sticks left to use.

    Exercise: now having got the hang of some fitness tracking apps I am aiming for at least 3 miles per day walking most days (15 miles per week, measured, out of the house). I will also do HIT twice a week and weights every other day.

    So, let's get on with it!
  7. It's actually a week since I returned from 10 days in Thailand. I did put on a few pounds while out there but managed a reasonable carb-avoidance (virtually no rice, noodles or bread, etc.) but did succumb to some local fruit, including mangoes and guava. I managed to forget my glucose meter so I don't know how much my diet out there was out of kilter. I did manage a couple of miles of walking each day despite the heat, but no really strenuous activity like HIT or weights. But mainly I was not calorie counting and especially during long stints between flights I did consume too many peanuts as a snack. The Singapore Airlines 'no carb' in-flight meals I ordered were a little bland but OK. There were some issues: sugar supplied for the coffee, and bread rolls and crackers and juices sometimes included. The main meals were variations on mushrooms, spinach, tomato and/or red peppers and a meat or fish; I had a cod-like white fish and chicken. Breakfast on the way home was a nice enough omelette.

    A couple of pounds of the weight I put on while away has come off and I have been doing as much walking as possible and managed one hour of HIT during the week. I am not really calorie counting strictly though. I am definitely consuming less calories than I am expending but the difference is more like 800-1000 calories per day rather than the 1600-2000 I was managing before.

    I am due to travel for a little less than a week in a week's time, so there doesn't seem much sense in going back on a very strict diet again until after that trip. So I am hovering around 12 stone at the moment and judging by my historical BG test levels it does look like I will have to aim for 11 stone for a realistic chance of a breakthrough. My rate of weight loss has slowed so to lose another 14 pounds may take 5-6 weeks instead of 4 weeks. Hopefully I won't have to lose the full 14 pounds, but let's see. In the mean time I will be happy to be comfortably under 12 stone (168lbs) by next Thursday when I am travelling again.
  8. Less than 24 hours before leaving my house for my long haul trip (16 hours in the air on three different planes - I love flying and I am in no way being sarcastic, I really do). I'm continuing the diet until my first in-flight meal so 800 calories today and I will be skipping breakfast (as I have been for the last couple of weeks following advice to keep meals within a 6-hour period during the day).

    Take-off is at 09.55 so I expect we'll get fed at around my normal lunch time - around 1PM-ish. I have ordered Singapore Airline's 'No Carb' meal option, and promise to post a photo and let you know what it was like.

    After Saturday's disappointing weigh-in it's not likely I will get down to 11st 10lbs which was my target but I think it's a realistic hope that I can get to 11st 10-something by tomorrow morning before I head for the airport. Let's see.

    So the diet stops tomorrow but there is clearly more to lose as although I have lost almost 10 pounds since the end of February my FBGs are still fluctuating between 5 and 6 and are only occasionally into the 4s during the day. I think my goal must be to get consistent FBGs under 5. But I will continue to try to maintain a low carb diet and I managed to get more test strips so I will be testing a fair bit to see which foods do what to me.

    I will have time to do exercise although it's very hot where I'm headed - 35-40C daytime and 25C at night, and there are no airconditioned gyms, so basically will be doing lots of walking.

    Managed to do some good walks over the weekend totalling about 3 hours and will be walking again and have some time to do some weights as well.
  9. Weight loss is definitely getting harder. This morning weighed in at 11st 11 3/4lbs, so only 1 1/4lbs off since Tuesday. Now unlikely I will hit 11st 10lbs by next Tuesday, but at least I'm still making some progress. More worrying is that my FBG hit 6.8 today. I feel fine though so hopefully it's a rogue reading. Am on my feet for most of today so no chance of a sedentary Saturday.
  10. Yesterday I made a mistake and titled the blog entry Day 20 when it was actually Day 21, so today is the start of the fourth week.

    It's been frustrating; a FBG of 6.2 today after 5.2 yesterday to start with but again there could be an explanation: I tested after my shower and many report their readings are higher as a result.

    Then I decided to check my weight and the scales (which are digital) were all over the place, from 11st 13 to 11st 11. I only meant to weigh myself tomorrow so I am writing that attempt off!

    Yesterday I did a good session on the weights and also had my first and probably only HIT session, with 5x rounds of exercise with rests between. It was quite an active day overall and I was feeling drained in the evening but still kept to my 800 calories.

    I only have four more days left as I will be stopping for the time being next Tuesday when I fly to the far east for 10 days.
  11. Yesterday was better on the activity front as I managed a good brisk 1 hour 40 minute walk and some decent time on the weights. However the day didn't start too well as I had a FBG of 6.0 when I really want to get into the 4s and have been in the low 5s. This morning it was back to 5.2.

    So I have been doing yet more research and a couple of things got my attention. First, I may well have reached my normal BG level averaging low 5s instead of mid-4s as I was expecting. This might be because although I am on an 800 calorie/day Newcastle-style diet and losing almost a pound in weight every two days as I would expect, I am also limiting my carbs so I could, well, probably am, in nutritional ketosis. This means the body has switched into fat-burning mode because of the extremely low carb intake. This is not bad or dangerous and there are many advocates of nutritional ketosis as a long term or permanent state to be in for all sorts of pro-health reasons. However, studies have shown that people in a state of nutritional ketosis have slightly elevated FBG, not excessive, just slightly higher than standard normal. Mid-4s sound a lot better than low-5s but actually there isn't a lot in it.

    Also I have read that coffee (caffeine) can impair insulin sensitivity. I'm less convinced of this one as the research suggests you need to consume a lot of coffee to demonstrate this. In one study subjects were consuming 70g of coffee beans per day, which is 5x what I consume with my two black espressos every morning. But I do have 2-3 teas as well although these are infused with cinnamon which is supposed to benefit insulin sensitivity.

    What all this adds up to is that after two periods on the diet now totalling 8 weeks I wonder if there is any point continuing. Fortunately, this decision is out of my hands as I will be abroad from next Tuesday for 10 days and I won't have the precision of control over what I have available to eat as I do at home. I still intend to avoid carbs where I can but 800 calories per day will be suspended from Tuesday. It will be interesting to see how this affects my BG and I will continue testing as usual.
  12. Not a lot to report - FBG this morning of 5.5, which at least is better than yesterday's 6.0. I did have a three egg omelette last night, made with onion and mushrooms after my home made cream of mushroom and garlic soup for lunch and still managed to be under or thereabouts 800 calories for the day. I didn't do any exercise though and was feeling the cold. Definitely aiming to put that right today.

    To be honest the hunger is well under control and I have energy when I need it. There is fairy constant empty feeling but different to hunger pangs. There is a bowl of left over chocolate biscuits from Sunday in the kitchen - the really nice tea time chocolate variety biscuits - been impressed at my resistance to the temptation to snaffle them. Same with a few left over roast potatoes - my wife is low carbing to lose weight so the roasties are heading for the recycling bin!

    Have now booked my flights for a week and a bit in the far east flying with Singapore Airlines a week today. I have ordered their No Carb meal option and will be reviewing it once I have tried it :)

    Low carbing in my final destination (Thailand) should be interesting. At least I have a week more on the diet before my departure. I may have to pause the diet while I am out there and just eat sensibly to my meter.

    Edit: I didn't plan to weigh myself today but I did anyway; 11 stone 13 even (167lbs, 75.8kg, BMI 23.6), so that's 3/4lb since Sunday which is really good because I had that roast and cheese fest on Sunday. There are 7 whole days until my flight next Tuesday so my target for the Tuesday morning weigh in is.... 3lbs off and a weight of 11stone 10lbs. Based on recent rates that's challenging but doable. Let's see... next weigh-in on Saturday I think; can I make 11stone 11 1/4 pounds...? Can I get my FBG under 5 for the first time? Questions questiions.
  13. Missed a couple of days - sorry! I do have one milestone to report as on Sunday I dipped below 12 stone to 11 stone 13 3/4lbs - the first time I have been this light for around 30 years! I still haven't got down below 5 (90) on the fasting blood glucose levels, equalling 5.0 on a couple of occasions but basically averaging a low 5. I have seen a couple of mid-4s during the day but I don't test during the day that much.

    So for now the 800 calories diet continues and I am now aiming for 11 stone 11 something by next Sunday.
  14. Still no breakthrough on the FBG with a 5.5 this morning but I am sticking with it and achieved a sub-800 calorie day yesterday with another experimental (and very green :)) smoothie for lunch and a sausage and omelette for supper. I also did a good session with the weights and a brisk hour's walk, but no HIT.

    I am not going to weigh myself until Sunday but feel confident of going sub-12 stone, which would be over 21lbs down since mid-November and if it wasn't for Christmas and New Year (I got as low as 12st 3lbs but bounced back to 13st 7lbs) I could be quite a way further down the road. Some of that added weight may be muscle as I am not quite as bony around the shoulders and chest as I was before Christmas so the weights are doing their stuff.

    I could be on a long haul flight to the far east in a couple of weeks so it would be ideal for me to complete my diet by then. One challenge I have coming up is this Sunday when I will be entertaining some guests for Sunday lunch (which I will be cooking) - so I may give myself a one day pass for the strict 800 calorie limit, but no pass for the carbs limit.
  15. It's amazing how fast the time has passed but this is the 14th day I have been on my resumed Newcastle-inspired 800 calories per day diet. Things have started not as well as I would have liked with an FBG of 5.7 - so the trend is going the wrong way after a 5.6 yesterday and mostly lower numbers recently. Still no 4s first thing in the morning. But I am managing the diet really well and not cheating and it hasn't been tough at all this week.

    Yesterday I managed a brisk 50 minute walk but only a brief stint with the weights and no HIT. So I have some catching up to do.

    My experimentation with smoothies for lunch is progressing and yesterday's avocado, kale, celery and spinach version was definitely an improvement on my first effort, using olive oil instead of cream. I'm thinking about adding some garlic (maybe cooked as the flavour will be nicer than raw) and some paprika, but I am out of avocado, so might substitute with a carrot.

    EDIT: One thing I forgot to mention is how I have been feeling cold this week. This is well documented with the Newcastle diet. The weather here has been warming up and the sunshine has been welcome but despite this I have been wrappingup and still feeling cold. At least this is normal.
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