5 years ago I was told I was pre-diabetic, went on the Walking Away from Diabetes course and made changes to diet, exercise, etc. – lost 2 stone, got blood sugar down to 39. Then I think I got complacent and weight has gradually increased – yesterday annual blood test showed blood sugar 48, high cholesterol, weight 73 kg – doctor has asked to see me in two weeks to repeat bloods. I am feeling so disappointed in myself, having corrected the situation once, now I am back where I started – or worse in fact. If it isn’t too late to correct this, I need to make real changes and most importantly sustain them this time. I thought joining an online forum might help motivate me.
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Hi Pat and welcome to the forum.
Don’t be hard on yourself. We are all human and we all get complacent at times. I was diagnosed diabetic in 2011 and was really strict. Got my figures back down and lost weight……then became complacent! Weight and bg (blood glucose) both went up as well as the medication. Then I found BSD in January of this year and got it all relatively back under control again and reduced the meds.
Don’t concentrate on the past as you can’t change it but look to the future now. You can change the future by making choices now.
The best advice I can give you is to reduce your carb intake to at least 50g per day, or less if you can manage it. That will definitely reduce your bg numbers. The doctor usually does hba1c test which measures the average over the past 3 months. Not sure why he would have asked you back after only 2 weeks. Do you have your own testing kit? You won’t get it on NHS but there are cheap ones available to buy and they give you an indication of how well you are managing your bg levels.
Shout out if you need any advice. There are a few diabetics on this forum.
Think positive and look to the future now. There are loads of success stories on here. You can be one of them too.
Thank you so much for your reply and reassurance. I am hoping I can get away without medication – or at least have a few months grace to see if I can get weight and blood sugar back down again. I need to lose between 1 and 2 stone. Made a start by downloading some of the recipes on this site. Thanks again for the pep talk – I needed it!
There are a few people on here who were on the verge of needing medication and managed to avoid it by following BSD ( in its various forms). There are loads of good low carb recipes out there to replace just about anything. Diet doctor is a good one and so is low carb yum. I’ve got a sweet tooth (actually I’m a chocoholic) and I make low carb chocolate muffins and low carb choc chip cookies. I’ve also tried low carb scones but they’re an acquired taste so I’m struggling a bit with them. The secret is replacing normal flour with coconut or almond flour. And it’s surprising that they actually rise lol.
Just Google low carb recipes and you’ll be amazed at what you can make. The recipes are all really simple and easy too.
Hi Pat!!! Welcome to the friendliest, informative place for those with a mind to “change” their WOE! Im 14 months down the track now . . . and like you was faced with high bgl’s. Was immediately put on meds which had averse effects – and therefore facing insulin only options. Was told of this WOE and within three months had halved my HbA1c. Three months later . . .? lowered further. Am having HbA1c’s in two weeks and slightly curious as to what will be revealed 🙂 Two stone – (around 12kgs) – discard was a welcome side action! Not one for weighing, counting or being too pedantic, Ive otherwise been reasonably strict from the beginning . . . doing my best to stick to 800-1000 cals and only up to 20g carb daily. Kinda one of those all or nothing personalities . . . the “brain training/re-training” was supported by ‘stubborn resolve’ NOT to have meds! Jettisoning everything with a carb reading from the pantry – was a show of solidarity!!! And MOST surprising given Id been documenting my foods and given ticks of approval from doctors, dieticians and advisors!! Now I dont ever return to ANY of what I was told was “fine!!” Cold turkey was best for me. One day “that”: Today “this”. And I havent looked back. Substituting can be fun – but thinking about how to adapt what USED to be, complicates and can make things more confusing and frustrating 🙁 I now have a seed slice (adapted from a crackers recipe a kind soul shared here!) Thats now my “biscuit”/”bread” when needing a different texture food. VERY SMALL individual 85% cocoa chocolate blocks are on hand and mostly dont even come to mind. Eggs, salad bags, baby spinach, shallots, leeks, zucchini, avocados, peppers, veges, nuts, seeds, feta, prawns, pork, steak, bacon and flavoured oils are my choices to be incorporated in tasty (normally) OMAD which are now my norm . . . (though winter has sometimes been a time of two meals a day) . Snacking isnt even a thought. Hang in there because this is the beginning of a wonderful change to your life 🙂 Quack! Quack! from the Downunder Duckpond 🙂 Welcome aboard the happy train!!!
Please don’t be disappointed in yourself. A lot of us have been there. xx
An HbA1c of 48mmol/mol puts you just into the diabetic range (42-47 is classed as pre-diabetic, 48 and over as diabetic). I think it’s usual when it’s a borderline number like yours to test twice before confirming any diagnosis. So, even within the next 2 weeks you may be able to pull that number down. You should definitely be able to do it over the next few months. As you say, go for the three or four months grace to try dietary changes before medication.
As SG and WD have said reducing your carbs is key; going low on them (as low as you can while still being able to stick to the diet) really pulls down your bgls and, in my experience on no meds, this started to happen very quickly.
I wasn’t sure from your posts if you were actually doing the Blood Sugar Diet (or Fast800) but if you are my practical tips would be;
– weigh everything – I bought myself a cheap pair of digital scales and I weighed everything (unlike WoodDuckie I had absolutely no sense of portion sizes)
– use one of the free apps like fatsectret.co.uk to track your daily food intake – from this you can see your daily cals and carbs. It is also helpful for planning your meals.
– drink lots of water
– if you can, try not to snack between meals and stop eating after a certain time at night. It appears producing too much insulin may be part of the problem underlying high bgls for people like us (both pre-diabetes and Type II). Insulin is produced every time we eat so giving your body that rest from eating is good. (And, of course, it’s also great for the weight loss!)
– if you are using the recipes in the original BSD book, be careful of the calorie counts – some meals are higher in calories than they say in the book
One word of caution – I’ve just had a quick look on-line at the Walking Away from Diabetes course. The dietary advice it gives seems to be based on the Eatwell plate. It’s similar to the dietary info I got on the Desmond course for people newly diagnosed as Type II, and I have consistently got from the practice nurse, dietitians, etc. Sadly, in mine and others experiences, it’s not the best dietary advice for people with Type II diabetes, or pre-diabetes. Things are changing slowly, there’s an award-winning NHS GP, David Unwin, who treats his patients using a low carb approach – but you may still get the standard Eatwell type of advice. My tip would be keep doing your own research.
As Scottishgal said, dietdoctor.com is really good, lots of info as well as recipes and the visual guides to carb content of various foods are brilliant. There are lots of resources on this site on the Take A Look at This thread. Also, Jason Fung is good for an explanation of what’s happening in the body in the development of Type II diabetes, and pre-diabetes, and how to reverse those changes. (His focus is on fasting which can put some people off, but, whatever your view of fasting, his explanation of diabetes and fixing the insulin problem are good). He has a few books including one called The Diabetes Code, but to begin with you could just google him and listen to a few of his interviews/presentations. He’s on YouTube, as well as dietdoctor.
I was diagnosed Type II in May 2016 (when luckily I had access to all the great info around now). My Hba1c was 108 and by my next Hba1c at the end of August it was 35. My bgls have been in the normal range (34/35) ever since, my BP is fine now, my cholesterol is lower (although still slightly high) and a lot of other health markers have improved. I won’t speak for Scottishgal or WoodDuckie (because they may be) but I ain’t no superwoman – it’s all completely do-able.
No, you haven’t left it too late.
Edited: ……. in case I’ve overloaded you, I’m also a great believer in just starting and all the rest can follow as, if and when…..
That’s very encouraging, Scottishgal, thank you! I don’t have a sweet tooth – instead my downfall is savoury snacking – crisps, nuts, cheese straws. Very aware too that it’s a problem of emotional eating – stress, boredom, etc.
Also, in trying to eat a “5 or more a day” I have veered too much to fruit. Lots of changes to be made!
Thank you, WoodDuckie, for sharing your experience – halving your HbA1c! Wow – that’s impressive. I am aiming to get mine back into the normal range in three months. Like you, avoiding medication will be strong motivation for me.
Thanks again for your encouragement.
Thank you so much, Jennie, for your detailed and informative reply! So reassuring to see the transformation in your Hba1c results. I’m not exactly sure which route will work best for me – probably the Blood Sugar Diet. I don’t eat after 7.30 in the evening – one habit I have managed to maintain when I first tried to address this problem a few years ago. My downfall I suspect is snacking – aggravated by being self-employed, working from home, so a very sedentary lifestyle. Unfortunately when I get up to move around, it is usually into the kitchen!
Thanks again for all the practical tips and moral support. Much appreciated. Pat
Just a word of warning Pat to be careful with your fruit. It contains much more carbs than you realise. The best fruits for low carb are berries. As Jennie rightly said using an app will really help you.
Stay well away from the crisps but nuts and cheese are good low carb snacks, although they are high in calories so best taken in moderation if possible.
Thanks for that good advice! Yes, I tended to think fruit was automatically a healthy choice and as a result it made up too much of my 5 or more a day. Time to investigate more of the leafy green veg. Thanks again.
I think so many of us were in your shoes with the fruit situation — we had all internalised the “5 a day” (wow was THAT incredible advertising — you know it wasn’t actual medical advice, it came from the fruit industry initially and was adopted without investigation).
I think if they had said “5-a-day-dark-leafy-greens” it would have been good for us but it doesn’t have the same exciting resonance as a bowl of colourful and sweet fruit! Ha ha!!
I remember Wendleg was a fruit-aholic and I was a fruit-bat, eating 5 servings or MORE of “healthy” fruit every day and wondering how I kept gaining weight when I was eating so healthfully!
Hmmm, and all those whole grains and brown rice and homemade (so it was healthy) granola — it all makes me laugh looking back in it today, although it also makes me pretty mad because it was such incredibly bad advice.
It really takes some time to wrap your head around this better way to eat, so give it time. I still remember my first breakfast without the toast and orange juice, with just an omelette and a cup of coffee with cream — it seemed ridiculous and fatty and weird, but it was the beginning of seeing fat as my friend.
It’s the sugar you want to drop, so keep cutting out the simple carbs and the milk — all carbohydrate turns to sugar while being metabolised so go for high fibre carbs, like, ha ha, dark leafy greens — “5 a day” a big pile of chard, collards, spinach, kale…do you think that could sell? Aargh, I doubt it!!
Anyway, best wishes as you begin!
don;t forget the delicious low carb, low everything but fibre rhubarb!
I’m making the most of it while in season, as fruit for breakfast and a vegetable with meals
Ooh Frog, that sounds good but isn’t it very bitter without sugar? How do you prepare it?
Thank you! Yes indeed – my breakfast was usually a large bowl of a cereal, sold as “lowering cholesterol”, to which I added blueberries and strawberries. Reading the small print, I now see that a small serving of the cereal is 25g carbs (and I wasn’t having a small serving!). It is now on my bird table and seems to be going down well.
Had a poached egg and grilled tomato instead this morning.
Onward and upward.
All the best. Pat
Thank you for reminding me of rhubarb! I love it but in the past have only made jam with it. Will try it stewed with Greek yoghurt instead.
Rhubarb – yes, it definitely needs some kind of sweetener, but easy to avoid sugar. I just add a spoon of stevia, or add in fresh stevia leaves if I remember to bring some home.
I underestimated the stevia yesterday, so had to add some when I ate it, but still didn’t make it overly sweet. Adding ginger is good too.
I always used to ovrn cook it, but now only do that if I have the oven on for something else, it takes about 7 minutes on the hob. with a small amount of water added.
Great with chicken or fish – especially mackerel, or for breakfast with yoghurt and/or oats. I know oats are a bit carby, but for me it really works as a filling breakfast.
another way of sweeteng it is a splash of Ribena with no added sugar
Gooseberries are great cooked in the same way , also good with poultry & fish or as fruit.
I think I cook them a bit longer, haven’t had them in a while. only 3g of carb per 100g
Thanks Frog! I’m not a fan of stevia so I might pass and just use some actual sugar for a treat at some point.