For a long time now it has been speculated that type-2 diabetes can be cured by adopting a low calorie diet. This claim has been met by scepticism in many corners, but now we have evidence to prove that it may actually be true. But I'm not so sure it's all cracked up to be…
Scientists from Newcastle University in the UK conducted a two month long study which they believe shows that type-2 does not have to be a life-long illness.
There study involved 11 participants who cut their calorie intake to under 600 calories per day for 2 months. 3 months after the experiment finished, 7 out of the 11 participants were free of diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes is caused when there is too much glucose in the blood. Unlike type-1 diabetes, which develops in children when their bodies cannot convert insulin into glucose, type-2 is very closely linked with obesity. This explains why theorists have suggested that a low calorie diet could cure type-2 diabetes.
Just a week into the study, the pre-breakfast blood sugar levels of the participants had returned to normal. MRI scans taken at this time showed that the fat levels inside their pancreas had also gone back to normal. This means that the pancreas had now regained the ability to make insulin.
One of the participants in the study, who had suffered from diabetes for 6 years, said that 18 months on he still did not need to take his old diabetes tablets. This is great, but what about the others?
So now the question is, how can a diabetic go about adopting a new low calorie diet plan that could free them of this disease? Going for 600 calories straight away… I don't think so, but you could build up lower calories until you reach your optimum level, and stay there for life. How does that sound?
I'm not saying that if you have diabetes you shouldn't use this 600 calorie method, but I know from my dieters that they are able to sustain their weight loss after my diet and I believe it can be used to reverse diabetes too. Many of them simply reduce their lunch box and breakfast and meal sizes over time. They lose weight, get healthier and have more confidence.
You could just eat a 600 calorie Lunch Box from all day from breakfast to you evening meal but I think there's the way I just described would be more effective, long term.
We need to remember that those on this study would have been working under strict conditions and if you're overweight and have diabetes, the chances of switching and sticking to a very low calorie diet are very slim, especially if you've been a yo-yo dieter in the past. We need to consider so many different variables.
Slow and steady is the key when introducing any new eating habits so that the results can be sustained. I'd bet a fair amount of money that if 1,000 people tried eating 600 calories for 8 weeks and then maintaining a healthy weight, not even 10% would succeed long term because of the psychological and emotional battling that goes on when you restrict yourself for this long.
Low-Calorie Diabetes Diet Plan
As we have seen from the study, the participants restricted their calorie intake to 600 calories per day. So, the way a diabetic can design a new diet plan is to learn about the calorie levels in different kinds of foods and drop their calories down.
With this knowledge, a diabetic can plan their daily meals accordingly and make meals and snacks out of the low calorie foods they enjoy.
Before getting on to what kinds of foods are good to eat on this kind of diet, we need lay the ground-works. The key to dieting is not just about what you eat, but how you eat.
When starting out on a diet, it's important to get a good eating routine going. Rather than just eating 3 large meals a day, it is much better to eat smaller meals, and then have snacks in between (ie from a Lunch Box). As I mentioned earlier, instead of reducing your calories to 600 straight away, you could use The Lunch Box Diet by gradually reducing the box size over time and then reduce the portion size of breakfast and evening meals so you're reducing your calorie intake more steadily. This is how a lot of people have had amazing weight loss results on the plan.
Figuring out a rough time to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner every day can start a good flow that your body will get used to. Then you can identify the mid-point between these meals when you can have a snack. So if you decide to have breakfast at around 8am each morning, and lunch at 12:30, you can have a snack (or eat from your box) in between at around 10:15am.
Eating in this way is important for all sorts of reasons. It fills your body with energy frequently and keeps you metabolism moving fast. It is especially important to eat this way with a very low-calorie diet, as you are likely to get hungry quite often. Eating more frequently throughout the day will make sure you are less hungry because there will be no large gaps in between your meals.
Knowing About Calories
So after working out a rough eating plan, the next step will be deciding what to eat. To ensure the eating plan stays low, knowledge about the calorie levels in different kinds of foods is needed.
With good knowledge of calorie levels, it becomes easy to design appropriate meals. It can even be a lot of fun to create meals out of the low calorie ingredients that are to your liking.
Low Calorie Foods
To give a brief overview of the calorie levels of some common foods, here is a breakdown of some of the lowest calorie foods:
Under 50 calories (per 3.5oz):
Under 100 Calories (per 3.5oz)
Low-fat Cottage Cheese
Low-fat fromage frais
Under 150 Calories (per 3.5oz)
Boiled Bleached Pasta
Boiled Chick Peas
Long Grain White Rice
Hopefully this list gives a good idea for what kinds of low-calorie meals can be designed to fit in with this diet.
With knowledge of calorie levels, creating meals can be a lot of fun, and involve a lot of creativity.
There are plenty of options for low calorie breakfasts, lunches and dinners. For breakfast you could enjoy a bagel with fat-free cream cheese, or oatmeal with raisins for less than 200 calories.
A simple tuna, turkey, or smoked chicken sandwich with lettuce and tomatoes can be eaten for lunch at around 240-280 calories, or you'd have your lunch box to nibble on. It's better this way because you're blood sugar levels tend to spike when you're just eating 'lunch'. I try not to think of 'lunch' as lunch and just graze…
A low calorie dinner option could be salmon with a quick serving of brown rice, salad and low calorie salad dressing, or maybe a 2oz whole wheat pasta dish with frozen shrimp, feta cheese and marinara. Perhaps Asian stir-fry containing carrots, broccoli, red pepper and garlic would go down well with little over 300 calories.
For snacks in between meals, a tossed salad, a fruit salad or a slice of raisin bread is unlikely to be over 50 or 60 calories. If you're on the go you could pick up a quick low fat cereal bar or rice cakes to keep you going.
These are just some of countless possible examples of how creative you can be with a diet like this. There are actually lots of low calorie eating options, so there are plenty of possibilities for making meals that contain the foods you like best. Obviously dieting is much easier if you enjoy the food you are eating, so you should focus on including your favourite low calorie foods as often as possible.
If you know all the possibilities available for designing low calorie meals and snacks, adoption this diet can be easy and a lot of fun. The health benefits of having a diet plan like this are vast. As we have seen, some people have been able to cure their diabetes for good by adopting a low calorie diet.
Even if the diabetes doesn't go away, no-one can possibly not be in better health by eating a diet like this. Chances are having diabetes would be easier to cope with anyway, that's if it doesn't get cured all together.