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Rog's Newcastle Experience

Discussion in 'Low Calorie Diets' started by Roggg, Aug 28, 2018.

  1. Roggg

    Roggg · Well-Known Member

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    Hello all, I'm embarking on my first attempt at an extended low-cal diet to try to make some improvement to my type 2 diabetes, and ideally reduce or remove the need for medications. I hope to post here daily about my progress, status and experiences.

    Background:

    I am a male 48 YO. I am 5'7.5" (171.5 cm) tall and currently weigh about 185 lbs (83.7 kg).
    I am on Metformin (1000mg x2) and Jardience (25 mg). With these meds, and with some moderate dietary discipline, I keep my fasting BG generally between about 6 and 7.5. With better diet I've seen numbers as low as mid-5s, but I haven't been able to sustain those results.

    I am also on Ramipril and HCTZ for blood pressure and a statin for lipids.

    I mentioned the Newcastle study to my GP, and he was not very receptive about it. He believes in modest change and sustainable lifestyle choices rather than drastic diets. I am doing this without his support or knowledge,

    My Plan:

    I plan to do about 8 weeks on an 800 calorie (plus or minus 50) per day diet. I am going to cut all BG meds initially (actually I did 2 days ago due to travel logistics), and will reintroduce some if needed. As long as fasting levels stay below 10, I will give it 2 weeks of no meds before I make any changes.

    My diet for the first 2 weeks will consist of:
    Breakfast: Diet shake mixed with 1% milk (230 Cal)
    Lunch: Diet shake mixed with 1% milk (230 Cal)
    Dinner: 300-400 Cal worth of protein and non-starchy vegetables.

    After 2 weeks I will make any necessary adjustments.

    I plan on drinking coffee (black) whenever I feel like, and drinking water and soda water frequently.

    Day 1: August 28, 2018
    Weight: 83.7 kg
    FBG: 9.5 mnol/l
    It's not quite lunch, so there isn't much to talk about just yet. My BG is significantly higher than its usually is. Part of that is due to cutting meds out 2 days ago, and part is likely due to having poor dietary controls during vacation (which I just returned from). I had a diet shake (I'm using "Slim Fast Original" for now) for breakfast. I expect dinner time to be where it gets hard. I'll have more to say tomorrow. :)

    Update: Eating wasn't too bad. I'm aiming for 800-850 calories, and I nailed it at 805. The habit of eating is worse than the hunger, which to be honest is only minor so far.

    Day 2: August 29, 2018

    Weight: 82.4 kg
    FBG: 8.6 mmol/l
    Weight and BG both down, which is good, although weight always drops due to water loss early in dieting anyway. Good to see glucose heading in the right direction. I had a bit of a miss with eating, coming in at 960 calories (110 above my goal). Not a catastrophe, but I'll have to work at it. I was just hungry at dinner and ate more protein than I should have. Woke up with a headache. I must make a point of drinking more water.

    Day 3: August 30, 2018
    Weight: 81.8 kg
    FBG: 8.5 mmol/l
    Weight is down again, and FBG is not up, so that's good. Hunger hasn't been too bad. I've had a busy day today which keeps my mind off food. The real struggle is cooking for my kids while my wife is out. I'm a bit of a foodie, and a lot of my life revolves around making and/or eating good food, so there needs to be a real reset on how I live. I was spot-on for eating today so far...796 calories.
    I have a full-day work-event in about 2 weeks time and I'm already thinking about how to navigate it. There's a catered lunch and dinner at a steak-house. It's basically team-building, so opting out is not a very good option. I have some time to think it through. I suspect it will have to be a compromise with a little bit of "cheat day" thrown in.

    Day 4: August 31, 2018
    Weight: 80.8 kg
    FBG: 7.9 mmol/l
    Obviously FBG and weight are both down. Weight is dropping at a rate that is only really explainable as shedding fluid, but that's all good. I ate a few calories over my intended, but I had a very active day. We had a family outing that resulted in a lot of extra calorie burn. Felt low-energy in the evening, but I think it's more the active day than the calorie restriction.

    Day 5: September 1, 2018
    Weight: 80.6 kg
    FBG: 7.3 mmol/l
    This was a hard day. My energy was low, and I had to handle food for my kids all day. I'm sad to say but I didn't make my calorie goals. I came in just over 1k calories. That should still be a significant calorie deficit for the day as my activity tracker tells me had a good bit of active calories burned (over 500). Weight and FBG metrics are both improved though, so there's that...

    Day 6: September 2, 2018
    Weight: 80.5 kg
    FBG: 8.2
    Weight seems to be stabilizing, which is expected. The early fast gains (mostly fluid loss) are mentally very encouraging, but now the work begins. Glucose was actually up this morning. Although I over-ate yesterday, I doubt that's too blame since I still had a significant calorie deficit. The other explanation is possibly liver dump. I did take my reading sooner today after waking than I usually do. I will take it again (still fasting) in an hour and see how things go.

    Day 7: September 3, 2018
    Weight: 80.4
    FBG: 7.2
    This day was pretty textbook. Weight and FBG both slightly improved. Blood pressure is still in the normal range, and I hit my calories pretty much dead-on.

    Day 8: September 4, 2018
    Weight. 79.7 kg
    FBG: 6.3
    The numbers were good in the morning. I have decided to start taking my metformin while on the diet until my glucose is lower. The reason for NOT taking it is to have a clear view on what the effects of the diet are. I think that was probably important for the study, but for me, the lower glucose levels would be more desirable. As far as eating goes, today was not good. It's my first day back at work since the diet started (vacation), and the change in routine plus a very low energy level resulted in poor self control on my part. I didn't log my food, but I suspect I ate at least 1200 calories today. I might need to tweak my meal timings to accommodate work.

    Day 9: September 5, 2018
    Weight: 80.5 kg
    FBG: 5.7
    Weight bounced up a bit. Not sure if it's "noise", or due to my miss on eating yesterday. Either way, I don't expect it to last as long as I can be on point today. BG took a significant drop today. Most likely this can be attributed to my return to Metformin.

    Day 10: September 6, 2018
    Weight: 79.8 kg
    FBG: 6.5
    Returning to work after vacation (Sep 4) put a wrinkle in my routine, and after 2 days of missing my calorie goals significantly, I made some tweaks to my daily routine to try to get back on track. Basically I'm moving breakfast to late morning, and having lunch mid-afternoon. Today I had 950 calories vs a goal of 850, which is not too bad considering I played volleyball for an hour at lunch. Weight is back down after yesterday's jump. FBG was up slightly but still okay. Interestingly this was the second time glucose went up, and both times I had a diet soda the evening before. Probably coincidence, but maybe I'll experiment with that later on.

    Day 11: September 7, 2018
    Weight: 79.4 kg
    FBG: 6.4

    Day 12: September 8, 2018
    Weight: 79.3
    FBG: 5.9
    Decided to have a "real food" breakfast. 250 calories worth of bacon and eggs. Slightly more calories than my usual shake, but I can make it up later in the day. I regret nothing. :). I definitely noticed a difference in how long I felt full after that though. The shakes do work somewhat.

    Day 13: September 9, 2018
    Weight: 80.2
    FBG: 5.6
    Truth be told, I had a rough day with the calorie restrictions yesterday, and I'm assuming my bounce in weight was a result of extra carbs resulting in fluid weight. I'm not going to stress about it. On the bright side, glucose is lowest fasting reading to date. I took it a little later today than I usually do (slept in to 9), so I don't know if it's reasonable to expect the same level tomorrow or not.

    Day 14: September 10, 2018
    Weight: 79.2
    FBG: 5.4
    A very good day food-wise. I managed to stay within parameters. Weight and FBG were best to-date. It's not easy, but so far, it's worth it.

    Day 15: September 11, 2018
    Weight: 78.0 kg
    FBG: 6.2
    Interesting morning results. Weight took a significant drop, but glucose is up. Not really sure what accounts for either of these. I'm assuming both are more or less fluctuations, and I expect them to revert tomorrow.
    Suffered a little burnout from the rigours of this diet, and I ate poorly and more than my allotment. :( I am still motivated, and expect to be fully back on track tomorrow. There is no question that mentally this is difficult. I need to keep reminding myself why I'm doing this at all.

    Day 16: September 12, 2018
    Weight: 79.4 kg
    FBG: 6.2
    Yesterday's breakdown is probably behind today's results. Weight bounced up a little, and FBG stayed up a bit for the second consecutive day. Oh well...it's a new day. Eating went very well today in the end, and I was pretty close to my calorie target, in spite of playing beach volleyball at lunch. Trying to put a good day in today since tomorrow is going to be less good.

    Day 17: September 13, 2018
    Weight: 78.7 kg
    FBG: 5.3
    Yesterday's discipline is reflected in today's results. Both weight and glucose went the right direction. Had a full-day work event, and my eating was even worse than I thought. Everything they provided was carb oriented. Tomorrow's results will likely be a step back.

    Day 18: September 14, 2018
    Weight: 80.5 kg
    FBG: 5.8
    Not too bad. The day off from the diet yesterday hasn't blown things up completely. Weight went up a little, and there was a slight regression in blood glucose, but certainly not outside the range of daily fluctuation anyway. I feel it's important to have a disciplined day after the mess from yesterday.
     
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    #1 Roggg, Aug 28, 2018 at 3:21 PM
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2018
  2. Goonergal

    Goonergal Type 2 · Moderator
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    Although this wouldn’t be for me - I follow a ketogenic way of eating - I admire those who are able to stick at it. I believe that having a plan for a sustainable way of eating after the 8 weeks is key to maintaining the benefits.

    Sounds like you’ve done your research, but wonder whether @Fleegle might have some useful insights.

    Good luck!
     
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  3. britishpub

    britishpub Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Well done for being brave enough to try this.

    I would think that for the first couple of days your BG's might be slightly higher than normal, as your Liver tries desperately to help maintain them.
     
  4. Guzzler

    Guzzler Type 2 · Master

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    Best of luck!
     
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  5. Roggg

    Roggg · Well-Known Member

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    Thanks. I'm hoping I have the fortitude to stick it out. Posting here is my attempt at accountability.
     
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  6. bulkbiker

    bulkbiker Type 2 · Oracle

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    Good luck with it.. not the way I would choose to go but we can be supportive.
     
  7. ringi

    ringi Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    It will be worth getting a home bloodpressure monitor, as BP often drops on the Newcastle diet. Also know the symptoms of low BP, so you know when to ask your GP to reduce the dose.
     
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  8. Roggg

    Roggg · Well-Known Member

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    I have a monitor and I take it every day. I am dropping the HCTZ right away because I don't want to contemplate taking a water pill while doing this. I'm staying on the Ramipril until my BP starts reading low. To be honest, I've had hypertension a lot longer than diabetes. I was diagnosed with it 15 years ago when I was at least 15 pounds lighter, and playing sports 3 times a week, so I would be surprised if I get to normal range without meds.
     
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  9. Roggg

    Roggg · Well-Known Member

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    Bump - updated OP for days 2 and 3.
     
  10. Pipp

    Pipp Type 2 · Expert
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    @Roggg, I hope you have read all the research papers? See my signature for the link.
    Most important, particularly as you don't have support from your GP, has anyone mentions that in addition to meal replacements you need a good serving of non-starchy veg every day, and vital to aid gallbladder and prevent build up of gall stones add some oil to the veg. I learned this the hard way, and it wasn't pleasant!
    If you are doing the ND correctly, you should achieve mild ketosis. You can check this by using Ketostix, which you can buy online or at pharmacy. I found local independent pharmacy to be very helpful and supportive when I was using meal replacement products. They measured my BP and checked for ketosis weekly. Perhaps that was because I bought the meal replacements from them, but it helped to have someone knowledgeable in addition to my GP support.
     
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  11. Roggg

    Roggg · Well-Known Member

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    Hey Pipp...thanks for the suggestions. I have read some of the research linked from your sig, but there are a few I have not seen. I will go through them this weekend. Yeah, I am having a good chunk of non-starchy veg with my evening meal daily.
     
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  12. Pipp

    Pipp Type 2 · Expert
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    I was not able to access this for my last post. You may find it useful..
    https://www.ncl.ac.uk/magres/research/diabetes/reversal/#publicinformation

    Please remember add oil to your veg.
     
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  13. Roggg

    Roggg · Well-Known Member

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    Hey Pipp,

    Just to be clear...I'm not on THE Newcastle diet. More like A version of it. I have 460 calories in shakes, and the rest is protein and veg. My protein so far has been dark-meat chicken, so I'm actually getting a significant amount of fat in my diet anyway. Not that I need to be told twice to put a little butter on my steamed cauliflower. :).
     
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  14. Roggg

    Roggg · Well-Known Member

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    Summary of week 1:

    Weight loss: 3.3 kg (80.4 down from 83.7)
    Fasting Glucose: 7..2 (down from 9.5)
    Medications: I have dropped all meds. I took BP meds a couple times early on but have dropped them again since.
    Blood Pressure: Although not posting it I'm taking it daily and am averaging 125/83 with 0 meds. That's pretty surprising...
    Observations: The calorie restrictions are hard. I've had a couple of misses on my daily calorie count, Keeping focus is going to be a challenge.
     
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  15. Nicel

    Nicel Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Well done. Sounds like a good start. My diet starts today. I’m off to the doctors shortly to get them on board although they won’t put me off doing it. Just got half way through reading the blood sugar diet book and put screen savers on my phone of a foot amputation and a list of why I am doing this in case I lose the drive to succeed
     
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  16. Roggg

    Roggg · Well-Known Member

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    Week 2 Summary:

    Weight loss: 1.2 kg (4.5 total)
    Fasting Glucose: 5.4 down from 7.2 last week
    Meds: I went back on metformin this week and am still on 2x1000 mg.
    Blood Pressure: 120/80 average
    Observations: Much like last week, I had a couple misses in my eating. This is hard. I have a long way to go, but the results so far justify the struggle. I have a planned cheat day (all-day work event with steakhouse diner at the end) later in the week. Energy has been noticeably lower than my usual level. Not surprising. I am walking a lot. More than 10k steps per day. Mostly I go for walks when the family is eating,
     
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  17. Arab Horse

    Arab Horse Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Has anyone who is already UNDERWEIGHT done a version of the ND. Even when I stick to just protein and veg with some oil for cooking my morning glucose is always high. I can sometimes get normal glucose levels during the day but they are always high after I have eaten. I tried just having two meals a day (breakfast and late lunch) but it didn't seem to make any difference. I have absolutely no support from my husband; since being diagnosed we shop, cook and eat separately even when he is having things I could eat.

    Would love to hear if anyone else who is underweight has managed to get their glucose under control without losing weight?

    Thanks
     
  18. Roggg

    Roggg · Well-Known Member

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    Personally, I wouldn't even consider a low-calorie diet like ND if I was underweight. When I started, my BMI put me in the low-end of the range that they accepted into the Newcastle study, so I was a little worried about the amount of weight loss I might have. It took some reading and some thought, and a lot of self-reflection for me to realize I'm more overweight than I like to think, and I easily have the 10-15 kg to lose. My BMI after 2 weeks of doing Newcastle is now below the parameters for what they accepted into the DiRECT study.

    All that is to say, Newcastle diet has only been proposed and studied in overweight individuals. It is premised on reducing fat in the internal organs. I suspect underweight T2 diabetics need an alternate solution.
     
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  19. Arab Horse

    Arab Horse Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I wasn't thinking of doing the diet for weeks on end but I recently resd an article which said that in some cases you only needed to lose as little as a few grams of liver and/or pancreas fat to kick start things. I have had a scan (not the "posh" sort, just with a hand held scanner) and didn't have a fatty liver ut thought maybe a week to 10 days might do the trick. After all, if I was ill and not eating for several days no one would think I was doing myself real harm!
     
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  20. Roggg

    Roggg · Well-Known Member

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    Day 19: September 15, 2018
    Weight: 80.6 kg
    FBG: 8.1
    I've been putting off writing these updates. In a nutshell, days 17 and 18 were a bit of a mess. Day 17 was a planned deviation from the diet due to a full day work event. It was much worse than anticipated. Pretty much all the food items were high carb. Lunch was a bread-heavy sandwich and pasta salad. Who serves pasta as the only side-dish with a sandwich? Day 18 was a mess as well. Stress eating and a bit of burnout on the whole process.
    But I learned a few things. First, although my glucose was looking better, at this point it's the calorie deficit that is creating the good glucose readings, and not real improvement to my glucose tolerance. I have a lot more work to put in. Second, diabetes management, for me at least, is a game of slippery slopes. It's hard to be in "top form" all the time, but it really is what is needed. Finally, it's probably not a great idea to leave my fate in the hands of other people. I should have made special arrangements for eating on Thursday.

    Day 20: September 16, 2018
    Weight: 79.4 kg
    FBG: 7.1
    A decent day discipline-wise, and I made back some of the losses incurred earlier in the week.

    Day 21: September 17, 2018
    Weight: 79.1 kg
    FBG: 6.0

    Day 22: September 18, 2018
    Weight: 78,6 kg
    FBG: 6.6

    Day 23: September 19, 2018
    Weight: 79.2
    FBG: 7.1
    Today and the two previous days have been difficult in keeping my eating to the calorie limit. The lack of results are definitely reflected. I've seen other people log about Newcastle Diert who seemed to have very little problem with the discipline. That's not me. I have a specifici problem that when my wife has to work in the evening, I need to make a standard meal for my kids, and not partake. I'm finding it hard, and need to find a coping strategy.

    Day 24: September 20, 2018
    Weight: 78.5
    FBG: 6.5
    Today was a better day, and I stuck to the limits. Hoping to regain some focus and momentum.

    Day 25: September 21, 2018
    Weight: 78.2
    FBG: 5.8

    Day 26: September 22, 2018
    Weight: ???
    FBG: ???
    Power outage here. Too preoccupied with other things. Fed the family out a couple times. Tried to make good choices for myself. Mixed results though.

    Day 27: September 23, 2018
    Weight: 79.2
    FBG: 6.2

    Day 28: September 24, 2018
    Weight: 78.4
    FBG: 6.6

    Day 29: September 25, 2018
    Weight: 78.5
    FBG: 6.5

    Day 30: September 26, 2018
    Weight: 78.1
    FBG: 6.4

    Day 31: September 27, 2018
    Weight: 77.8
    FBG: 7.0
    Interesting results. Weight is encouraging. I haven't been under 78 kilos in at least a decade. Fasting glucose spiked a bit this morning. I can think of 2 different explanations for this. 1) I ate my last meal a lot later yesterday than I usually do. 2) I had a large diet soda last night. This is something I have done 3 times since I started this diet, and each time I have had a spike in my fasting glucose the next morning. It's just a correlation right now, so I wouldn't conclude anything, but it's an interesting result for sure.

    Day 32: September 28, 2018
    Weight: 77.4
    FBG: 7.5
    I'm a bit confused, and a bit demoralized about my blood glucose. My weight is tracking perfectly, but after some initial success, my blood glucose has regressed somewhat. I'm not really sure what accounts for this morning's elevated reading. My calorie count was pretty close to my target yesterday, and I had a fair bit of exercise as well. The only thing I can think of is I've had a lot of additional stress the last couple of days (job related), and slept very poorly last night. I know this CAN cause some changes in blood sugar. It's hard to stay motivated when the results aren't there though...

    Day 33: September 29, 2018
    Weight: 76.6
    FBG: 6.3
    My weight hit a bit of a milestone today. This is the first time I've been under 170 pounds in I don't even know how long. I think it might be since I left university in 1997, so maybe 21 years?
     
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    #20 Roggg, Sep 17, 2018 at 11:19 AM
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2018
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