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Losing weight the old fashioned way

Discussion in 'Low Calorie Diets' started by AlexMagd, Aug 18, 2017.

  1. AlexMagd

    AlexMagd Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi guys,

    I'm newly diagnosed at age 30 (A1C 67) and as you can imagine, stumbling across this forum is both massively reassuring and also confusing! My initial week of being an (aware) diabetic I really slashed my carb intake but had some trouble keeping my protein levels up to what they should be. Lost a stone in a week, and I was freaking out quite a bit. Wasn't sure if I was experiencing the keto flu, or just being really unhealthy (probably was getting less than 1000 calories a day at that point). Everyone talks about LCHF so I guess I just sort of went at it like a mad eejit, without thinking about it properly.

    My GP has referred me to a dietician so I can talk it out with them, but in the meantime I've decided to follow the general 'eat healthier' advice that is generally provided. Smaller portions, when I must eat carbs eating wholegrains etc. I know it's not popular on here, but then having cut out all junk food (and I was eating a *lot*) and eating more and more greens I'm hoping I will keep losing a bit of weight the old fashioned way. I've probably halved my calorie intake to get to a daily target of 1400 - so you can imagine how badly I was eating before!

    I'm certain that in a few months I will give Newcastle or LCHF a try, but right now everything is so confusing I'm finding it helpful to stick to what I know. I keep telling myself it's a marathon, not a sprint. There's time to figure out what works for me and what doesn't

    I guess what I'm curious to know is how weight loss affects blood sugar levels - if I continue to lose weight is that still a step in the right direction? What I don't want is to get to my 3 month A1C and see no difference, despite losing a bunch of weight!

    You all seem great, so I'm looking forward to bombarding you with questions about living with Type 2 and how to make the most of it :)
     
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  2. DCUKMod

    DCUKMod I reversed my Type 2 · Master
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    Alex - Welcome aboard.

    As you have identified the carb content of your diet to be an important aspect of your way of living (in your new world), you might find the site's Low Carb Programme (LP) to be of interest. It's a 10-week, structured approach to reducing carbs, and has had stunning successes for many, many T2s and pre-diabetics. The LCP can be found here: http://www.diabetes.co.uk/forum/threads/community-ethos-forum-rules.50278/

    (Nice to see you posting. :) )
     
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  3. AlexMagd

    AlexMagd Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Thanks DCUKMod!

    I've already signed up and done quite a lot of lurking - right now I'm just hoping to talk it through with a dietician who will (hopefully) be able to answer some of my questions and 'what if' worries. If not I'm sure I'll be back on here with plenty of questions for you all (once the other LC lessons unlock of course) :)
     
  4. SockFiddler

    SockFiddler Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi @AlexMagd and welcome to the forum!

    Congrats to you for leaping in with both feet right away but, yes! It IS super-confusing at first. As... someone once said, "It takes many bites to eat an elephant" - and diabetes is an elephant that will be with you for the rest of your days.

    However, you cover lots of interesting things and I'll try to address them, and I'm sure others will be along after, but the gist of things is this:

    - Low-carb is, as @DCUKMod points out, important as carbs turn into sugar, and sugar goes directly into our blood. And for us T2s, that's not awesome as we have lazy insulin that won't work efficiently to get it out of there. This is why many of us have been able to control our diabetes with diet alone - when we reduce our carbs, our insulin resistance is less of a problem and our BG drops. But that doesn't happen quickly, and there are lots of challenges along the way!

    - There are lots and lots and lots of interpretations of what "low carb" means, including daily totals, feelings about fruits and veggies, whether to go into ketosis (leave this for now!), proteins and types of proteins, fats and types of fat... the point is that there is no "correct" way of doing this. The only "right" way is the way that works for you, your meter and your lifestyle.

    - A food diary and a BG meter will be your most powerful tools as you embark upon this journey, and it can be super-fun to eat something and then see what it does to your BG levels (at least I found it fun!). Some people practise "Eat To Your Meter" which is yet another way of approaching diet-control BG. It works for them - you'll eventually discover what works for you. Most likely, it'll be bits and bobs taken from what works for everyone else.

    - Keto-Flu (carb-flu) is a miserable, but short-lived, state that is somewhat misnamed. It's the feeling of being run-down, a touch sad, a bit icky but not really identifiably "ill", and it's essentially your brain - until now addicted to carbs - throwing a temper tantrum that you've taken the good stuff away. Some people get it very badly, some people skip it all together. There have been some interesting threads about this recently, and the experiences reported (no means scientific) suggest the more gradual the carb reduction, the lighter the carb-flu experienced.

    http://www.diabetes.co.uk/forum/threads/low-carb-flu-how-was-it-for-you.124304/

    - This forum is FULL of people who are happy to share advice, time, support, stories, patience, whatever you need. And there will be someone who has already experienced whatever obstacle or difficulty or solved whatever query you're experiencing. You'll find you'll get to know us and find someone whose views and diet mirrors something you're thinking will suit you. Don't be afraid to ask questions - everyone had to learn this stuff, and we only get stronger and better at it as new people join us.

    - "Ideal" calorie intake depends upon many things and is only a rough guide. If you're sedentary, you'll need less, if you're a marathon runner, you'll need more. Your body will let you know how it's doing - if you're sated at the end of a 1,300 calorie day, then you're sated. But you need worry no more about low fat options - no matter which way you eventually decide to slice your low-carb diet.

    My advice (as if it's needed after all of that!) is to start at the beginning. Get a meter and a notebook, and eat "normally" for a week. Write down everything you eat (only works if you're honest), calorie and carbs (and protein if you're interested), and note your BG as soon as you wake up, before meals and 2 hours after. You'll get a pretty clear idea fairly soon of what your body can and can't manage.

    Then, if you still want to, identify a couple of things - perhaps potatoes or bread - that you can reduce, or set a specific intake target - but not too low! The notion here is to learn and understand your body, not to go to war with it!

    Good luck and welcome again - I'm excited to read more about your journey :)

    Sock
     
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    #4 SockFiddler, Aug 18, 2017 at 12:52 AM
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2017
  5. DCUKMod

    DCUKMod I reversed my Type 2 · Master
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    Quite a few find the "unlocking" process a bit frustrating, so post their queries instead. Just take it at your own pace.

    Do you have a meter to allow you to self-test? Most T2s don't have them prescribed, but if you were you super-lucky, you'll learn a huge amount, through it's personal, and immediate "feedback".

    If you weren't prescribed a meter and strips, and you are interested in self-testing, please don't go high-tailing straight to Boots (other High Street pharmacies are available) as there are more cost-effective available to you.

    Stick with us.
     
  6. SockFiddler

    SockFiddler Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Oh, right! Because someone else normally does it, we've not yet tagged in @daisy1 who has lots of wonderful links to welcome you with, and @AM1874 who has some information about meters and things!
     
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  7. AM1874

    AM1874 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi @AlexMagd .. and welcome
    I agree with all the advice about diet and, particularly, LCHF that you have already been given above. I see that @SockFiddler has tagged @ daisy1 for you and, for your diet decisions, I suggest that you read up on the Low Carb Program in the information that she will soon be sending you. You might also find the discussion on the Low Carb Diet forum helpful .. together with the following Diet Doctor websites, which will give you all the info that you need on what and what not to eat ...
    Low Carb Intro and Information and Low Carbs in 60 Seconds

    It is a top priority that get yourself a test meter and, for this, the following websites might help:
    https://homehealth-uk.com/product-category/blood-glucose/
    for the SD Codefree meter, which costs £12.98 or:
    http://spirit-healthcare.co.uk/product/tee2-blood-glucose-meter/
    who distribute the TEE 2 meter, which is free.
    I have both which I alternate for comparative purposes and I have never found any significant difference between them.

    Unless you are prescribed test strips by your doctor (unlikely), the costs of testing comes down to the ongoing charges for test strips and lancets. Make sure that you tick the appropriate box on the on-line order form and you won't pay VAT on your meter or strips.
    For the SD Codefree, the strips are £7.69 for a pack of 50 and there are discount codes available for bulk purchases:
    5 packs x 50 use code: 264086 .. cost is £38.45
    10 packs x 50 use code: 975833 .. cost is £76.90
    For the TEE 2, the strips are £7.75 for a pack of 50 .. but there are no discount codes currently available

    I'm testing 3-5 times a day which works out at around £10 to £12 per month for either of the two packages above but, more importantly, I now know what my BG levels are .. and I can now manage them

    Hope this helps
     
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  8. Deleted Account

    Deleted Account · Guest

    Please excuse my ignorance but I would have thought, if you are overweight, losing weight must be a step in the right direction regardless how much your BG/Hb1AC is reduced.
    Carrying extra weight is not great for diabetes. But it is also not great for other health risks such as health disease.
    Sure, lowering BG at the same time as lowering your weight is the ideal scenario. Keeping your BG stable and lowering your weight is also a step in the right direction.

    As is often quoted on this forum, controlling diabetes "is a marathon not a sprint." Each step you take is in the right direction.
     
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  9. daisy1

    daisy1 Type 2 · Legend
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    @AlexMagd

    Hello Alex and welcome to the Forum :) Here is the Basic Information which we give to new members to get them started and I hope you will find it useful. Ask as many questions as you like and someone will be able to help.


    BASIC INFORMATION FOR NEWLY DIAGNOSED DIABETICS

    Diabetes is the general term to describe people who have blood that is sweeter than normal. A number of different types of diabetes exist.

    A diagnosis of diabetes tends to be a big shock for most of us. It’s far from the end of the world though and on this forum you'll find well over 250,000 people who are demonstrating this.

    On the forum we have found that with the number of new people being diagnosed with diabetes each day, sometimes the NHS is not being able to give all the advice it would perhaps like to deliver - particularly with regards to people with type 2 diabetes.

    The role of carbohydrate

    Carbohydrates are a factor in diabetes because they ultimately break down into sugar (glucose) within our blood. We then need enough insulin to either convert the blood sugar into energy for our body, or to store the blood sugar as body fat.

    If the amount of carbohydrate we take in is more than our body’s own (or injected) insulin can cope with, then our blood sugar will rise.

    The bad news

    Research indicates that raised blood sugar levels over a period of years can lead to organ damage, commonly referred to as diabetic complications.

    The good news

    People on the forum here have shown that there is plenty of opportunity to keep blood sugar levels from going too high. It’s a daily task but it’s within our reach and it’s well worth the effort.

    Controlling your carbs

    The info below is primarily aimed at people with type 2 diabetes, however, it may also be of benefit for other types of diabetes as well.

    There are two approaches to controlling your carbs:
    • Reduce your carbohydrate intake
    • Choose ‘better’ carbohydrates
    Reduce your carbohydrates

    A large number of people on this forum have chosen to reduce the amount of carbohydrates they eat as they have found this to be an effective way of improving (lowering) their blood sugar levels.

    The carbohydrates which tend to have the most pronounced effect on blood sugar levels tend to be starchy carbohydrates such as rice, pasta, bread, potatoes and similar root vegetables, flour based products (pastry, cakes, biscuits, battered food etc) and certain fruits.

    Choosing better carbohydrates

    The low glycaemic index diet is often favoured by healthcare professionals but some people with diabetes find that low GI does not help their blood sugar enough and may wish to cut out these foods altogether.

    Read more on carbohydrates and diabetes.

    Over 145,000 people have taken part in the Low Carb Program - a free 10 week structured education course that is helping people lose weight and reduce medication dependency by explaining the science behind carbs, insulin and GI.

    Eating what works for you

    Different people respond differently to different types of food. What works for one person may not work so well for another. The best way to see which foods are working for you is to test your blood sugar with a glucose meter.

    To be able to see what effect a particular type of food or meal has on your blood sugar is to do a test before the meal and then test after the meal. A test 2 hours after the meal gives a good idea of how your body has reacted to the meal.

    The blood sugar ranges recommended by NICE are as follows:

    Blood glucose ranges for type 2 diabetes
    • Before meals: 4 to 7 mmol/l
    • 2 hours after meals: under 8.5 mmol/l
    Blood glucose ranges for type 1 diabetes (adults)
    • Before meals: 4 to 7 mmol/l
    • 2 hours after meals: under 9 mmol/l
    Blood glucose ranges for type 1 diabetes (children)
    • Before meals: 4 to 8 mmol/l
    • 2 hours after meals: under 10 mmol/l
    However, those that are able to, may wish to keep blood sugar levels below the NICE after meal targets.

    Access to blood glucose test strips

    The NICE guidelines suggest that people newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes should be offered:

    • structured education to every person and/or their carer at and around the time of diagnosis, with annual reinforcement and review
    • self-monitoring of plasma glucose to a person newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes only as an integral part of his or her self-management education

    Therefore both structured education and self-monitoring of blood glucose should be offered to people with type 2 diabetes. Read more on getting access to blood glucose testing supplies.

    You may also be interested to read questions to ask at a diabetic clinic.

    Note: This post has been edited from Sue/Ken's post to include up to date information.

    Take part in Diabetes.co.uk digital education programs and improve your understanding. They're all free.
    • Low Carb Program - it's made front-page news of the New Scientist and The Times. Developed with 20,000 people with type 2 diabetes; 96% of people who take part recommend it... find out why
    • Hypo Program - improve your understanding of hypos. There's a version for people with diabetes, parents/guardians of children with type 1, children with type 1 diabetes, teachers and HCPs.
     
  10. AlexMagd

    AlexMagd Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Thanks all, especially for the helpful links!

    @AM1874 Unfortunately I wasn't prescribed a meter as my GP thinks that I will obsess about it which is unnecessary because my numbers are presently quite manageable. You can imagine what my response to that was! Hard to see how you can manage anything without the necessary information! Without one I won't know if what I'm doing is beneficial until my next A1C...

    Thanks for your meter recommendations; I'll take a look. It baffles me that the NHS isn't willing to shell out for meters/strips on prescription - surely they're cheaper than having everyone on metformin and insulin due to mismanagement?

    Right now I'm basically doing liberal low carb just out of virtue of being worried about what bread, pasta, rice etc are doing to my BS (probably about 100g a day). I'm sure the program and all your advice will be really useful for me going forward though :)
     
  11. Brunneria

    Brunneria Other · Moderator
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    I would prioritise getting a meter and monitoring blood glucose as a higher priority than weight loss. :)

    A lot of people find that by eating to their meter (basically learning what foods raise their blood glucose too high, and then cutting those foods back), they lose weight without further effort. Then if they do need to make further weight loss efforts, their meter can guide them there too. So many 'diets' focus on whole grain and low fat, that they are often high carb.

    Good luck with your efforts! And remember, there is no need to deprive yourself or go hungry. There is always something delicious, low carb and quite possibly low calorie that you can snaffle. :D
     
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  12. AlexMagd

    AlexMagd Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Thanks @Brunneria ! Out of interest, what would you consider 'too high', or does it vary from person to person?

    I'm still getting my head around the mechanics of everything but as far as I know when we eat carbs vs a normal person our blood sugar will spike but theirs won't. What kind of level of spike would you consider to be too much for you vs something that you could eat in moderation quite happily?
     
  13. Brunneria

    Brunneria Other · Moderator
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    How long is a piece of string?

    Sorry if that sounds facetious. :) but you will find lots of different answers as you trawl through type 2 D info - and another set of answers about type 1s!

    The NHS believes type 2 is progressive, and sets this target for blood glucose after meals (up to 8.5mmol/l after meals):

    NICE recommended target blood glucose level ranges
    Target Levels
    by Type
    Upon waking Before meals
    (pre prandial)
    At least 90 minutes after meals
    (post prandial)
    Non-diabetic*
    4.0 to 5.9 mmol/L under 7.8 mmol/L
    Type 2 diabetes 4 to 7 mmol/L under 8.5 mmol/L
    Type 1 diabetes 5 to 7 mmol/L 4 to 7 mmol/L 5 to 9 mmol/L
    Children w/ type 1 diabetes 4 to 7 mmol/L 4 to 7 mmol/L 5 to 9 mmol/L
    *The non-diabetic figures are provided for information but are not part of NICE guidelines.
    http://www.diabetes.co.uk/diabetes_care/blood-sugar-level-ranges.html

    But I firmly believe this is one of the reasons why T2 is considered progressive! Keeping blood glucose that high will lead to the progression, because high glucose is damaging to our bodies.

    I prefer lower targets, based on the information on the www.bloodsugar101.com website.
    It is a brilliant source of info, and really gives an understanding of why and how the info varies so much.

    Hope that helps!
     
    #13 Brunneria, Aug 18, 2017 at 11:11 AM
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2017
  14. Resurgam

    Resurgam Type 2 (in remission!) · Expert

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    Having used low carb to reduce my weight and keep it stable for a long time I was not at all surprised to have confirmation from my meter that the foods I had been persuaded to eat to 'lower cholesterol', all the ones which stopped me losing weight, are precisely those which put up my blood glucose,
    I started out trying to eat so as not to go over 8mmol/l. and sorted out meals which were equivalent to a 2 whole number rise. After a few weeks eating the same things I was getting down closer to 7 after meals, and did not bother testing as much. When I did test - just to see if I should eat dessert or not, I found that I was dropping ever lower.
    Although there is always the advice that diabetes is long term, I dropped down below diabetic level - Hba1c of 91 to 47 in 80 days, as low carb is so effective for me.
    Whole grain carbs are still just carbs as far as my metabolism is concerned - but the triangular protein rolls from Lidl are OK for me and have replaced bread, though I do not eat them every day - they freeze well though so I buy them when I can get them - they are popular - and have them in the freezer for those days when I'd like a sandwich. I try to remember to cut them in half first, as they can take time to thaw.
     
  15. letstalk1

    letstalk1 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Welcome , You will see a good difference in your A1c and if you are reading the forums here you will come to understand why.
     
  16. AlexMagd

    AlexMagd Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi all! Quick update for you...

    Gave up on waiting for the nutritionist referral which is yet to materialise. I've been eating to my meter mainly and avoiding the carbs that spike me. Seems I can usually manage about 10g a meal without incident which sorts lunch and then I'll eat very low carb for dinner.

    My average BS level over the last month is 5.7 (!) down from 10.3 so very pleased with that. I've also lost two stone which is fantastic. A little concerned about how to maintain weight once I'm a healthy weight as I'm rarely hungry at the moment on 1200 calories a day - but I'm still about 5 stone away from having to worry about that!
     
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  17. Bluetit1802

    Bluetit1802 Type 2 (in remission!) · Guru

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    Well done on your results. :)

    5 stone away is a little bit too far in the future, but you will need to plan ahead when the time is nearer because it takes a while to find the right balance without adding extra carbs. It took me about 2 months of introducing extra fats and protein, checking the scales, checking my meter, recording stuff, removing/replacing some of the newly introduced stuff and so forth. I found it harder work than losing the weight in the first place! Nothing like forward planning!!!
     
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  18. bulkbiker

    bulkbiker Type 2 · Oracle

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    If you are anything like me then the weight loss will tail off when your body gets down to a weight it is comfortable at (whether you want it to or not). I would like to loose another stone (down 8 at the mo) but it is proving very difficult whereas maintaining is fine.
     
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  19. AlexMagd

    AlexMagd Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I certainly hope so! I'm not getting enough calories at the moment and as a consequence my ketones have been far out of the range of 'nutritional' and well into 'starvation', so I'm reverting back to the NHS style eating (i.e. all grains are on the table) for about a week. Eating probably around 100 carbs a day, trying to get to at least 1600 calories (thanks, butter!). As expected my readings are going up and postprandial am frequently around 8-9 whereas on LC I was in the 6-7 range fairly consistently.

    However, if I'm going to persuade my GP to refer me to someone who can help me plan a LC diet and address my specific questions about protein intake etc then I need some data. It's a big change from the way I used to eat and I'm not confident with it. After a week of this I'm expecting to be able to point to a clear and steady increase in levels that started precisely when I incorporated pasta, bread etc back into my diet.

    Hard not to see every spike as doing myself damage, but I can manage it for a week I'm sure.

    The real crazy thing for me is being in a position where I'm struggling to get calories. I used to have 'snacks' of five or six biscuits and a glass of milk most days, which alone was probably around 500 calories and didn't fill me up at all! No wonder I kept piling on the weight.
     
  20. bulkbiker

    bulkbiker Type 2 · Oracle

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    How can you eat so few calories?.. I average about 2,000-2,500 a day but still only have around 20g of carbs.. no grain whatsoever..
    typical day for me is something like this
    Screen Shot 2017-09-21 at 13.55.58.png

    lots of fat and protein very few carbs.. lots of coffee that day apparently.. usually only have 2 or 3..
     
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