What Now ?

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  • posted by waveCrest
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    Today was day 56 (8 weeks). I started at 135kg (298lb) and clocked in at 117kg (258lb) today. That’s a 18kg total loss which works out at 13.3%.
    My target was 114kg which would have been 15.6% – for no other reason that I would have been “17st something” which sounded better than “18st something”
    The diet wasn’t difficult; I never really felt hungry. My biggest problem were temptations left out by others in the house. I also had a couple of blips related to social occasions (birthdays) but, the graph is more or less linear.
    My motivation was blood sugar – which has dropped from 9mmol/L to 6ish. Most of that drop only happened in the last 2 weeks which deflated me a bit. It’s still higher than I’d hoped for.

    I’m kinda wondering “what now?”
    1 … Should I continue for a week or two to hit the 114kg mark and if so, for how long? (The title of this forum is “… for up to 8 weeks” )
    2 … A lot people seem to have gone on for 12 weeks – Is this advisable or is it too long?
    3 … Or is it best to up the calories and if so to what level? (I’m 6’3 – most calculators give a figure of ~2300cal/day … perhaps 5 days at 2300 and 2 days at 800 ?)
    4 … Or Is it advisable to plateau for a couple of months then do another 8 week burst?

    All advice will be gratefully received!!!

  • posted by LindaandHubby
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    Personally I think you’d be OK extending the BSD diet for another 4 weeks. Hubby is also 6ft 3in & he did OK on it & we extended. I’d say stick to it especially since you probably still need to get your BS down. I went into remission after my HBA1c was taken – down from 68 to a ‘normal’ 34. Hubby was pre-diabetes with I think 44?? Well done with your tremendous weight loss.

    We’ve now upped good carbs (more fruit & veg) & are maintaining the loss, Think we’ll probably try to keep it low before Christmas & then see if we go back on the stricter BSD again. I think we both lost about the same the 2nd 6 weeks as the 1st 6 weeks BUT we had been on a diet previously & had lost 2 & 3 stone in the 18m-2yrs previously so neither of us got a whoosh.

    Good luck whatever you decide
    Linda

  • posted by sunshine-girl
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    Hi waveCrest, well done on your weight loss. Based on my own experience I can say that you can continue on the BSD for longer. I have been doing it for 5 and a half years for my blood sugars. Obviously I dont stick to the 800 cals 100% all of the time but do burst of being strict. Mild warning on the weight – I sort of let it slip when I went on a cruise and gained. From then on I never got my weight back down to where it was (except right now it is close) and I have spent nearly 5 years trying to get down again. Good news, once I got my BG down, it was 11.8 at one point and is now regularly around 4.8, because I have NEVER gone back to eating carbs my BG has stayed low to normal even if I have gained some of the weight. My doctor is talking about taking me off insulin which was my main aim, but I dont feel like just before Christmas is a good time.

    I would suggest you stick with it for a further 4 weeks which takes you to the recommended total of 12. Then you can start thinking of upping calories, doing 5:2, of whatever you decide. Right now I would be more worried about your BG not responding in a consistent way. Are there carbs of any sort creeping in. I am thinking of things like fruit or fruit juice or things you dont think are bad for your BG. Keep a food diary for a week or so while you are still doing this and lets see what is going on. Obviously you will have a break over Christmas but that is not then the time to give up. Just get straight back on it when you have had your celebrations or try to be serious about it over Christmas. My daughter is already planning my alternatives. Even with the Christmas dinner I wont be having carbs.

    Keep going, you are doing so well so you really have this cracked.

    Just noticed the calories suggestion you make. I think you will find 2300 cals will be way too many after following this and losing weight. If you are going to do 5:2 you might think more like 1500/1600 on 5 days and back to 800 on the 2. But keep going for now.
    You might also think about doing TRE (time restricted eating). I didnt think I would be able to do it as a diabetic. Visions of having hypos all the time. I tend to have food at 8pm and then breakfast at 10am or later if I can hold out. So it is not a long fast but enough to get your body using up its own fat.

  • posted by Jennie10
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    Hi wavecrest
    I’ve just read your post and wanted to add some things. The first thing that strikes me is how well you’ve done and I’d include your blood glucose results as well as your weight. 40lbs weight loss is a really great result. Fantastic.
    The reason I wanted to post is to say please don’t be deflated about your blood glucose results. Personally, I think they are really good too.
    I’ve attached a link to a page on diabetes.co.uk. https://www.diabetes.co.uk/what-is-hba1c.html

    If you scroll down to the ‘arc’ diagram (Hba1c as an indicator of blood glucose control) the bottom line below the arc shows blood glucose numbers – mmol/L – from a home testing kit, and the top line above the arc shows what the equivalent Hba1c (mmol/mol) numbers would be. So, your 6-ish from your bgl home testing would equate to approx 5.4% – 5.5% -ish (35–36) in your Hba1c which is in the green zone.
    As you can see, this is similar to Linda’s which is in the ‘normal’ range and it’s similar to mine (which has run between 5.4% and 5.5% for the last 5 years) also in the normal range.
    The big caveat to what I’m saying is that your testing is very limited and you can’t translate directly from so few bgl tests to get an accurate hba1c result from a chart (I know you’ll know that). I tested much more frequently, (approx. 5 times a day) at the beginning but still wouldn’t use it for that. But what it can and does show you is that your blood glucose levels are trending downwards – 9 to 6, brilliant, and that the tests you are taking now are each in the green ‘normal’ zone. That’s great.
    Like Linda and sunshine-girl advise, I’d also continue with the 800 calories and low carb for a further 4 weeks. (Quite frankly I stayed on it a lot longer, I had 6 stone to lose). The fact that your bgl numbers have just started to reduce in the past couple of weeks is a good reason for continuing doing what you are for another 4 weeks. It’s clearly working for you.
    Just two other points.
    I wondered if you are due an hba1c test any time soon. If you are due one for example in January or February, then remember that the hba1c measures your average blood glucose level from the previous 12-week period so it’s worth bearing that in mind when you are deciding on making any changes/increases right now.
    Also, I think I read on another post that you keep track of your cals, carbs etc (on myfitnesspal maybe?). In that case, you could note your average daily carbs, and then if you feel your bgls are stuck just reduce your average level of carbs a little for 1 or 2 weeks and see if your bgls lower.

    Hope I’m not teaching grandpa to suck eggs – it’s always hard to know what people already know.
    Jennie xx

    Nb I’m assuming you’re in the UK. This chart isn’t relevant in other countries who use a different range of numbers for the hba1c.

  • posted by waveCrest
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    Many thanks Linda, Sunshine-girl and Jennie,

    I’ve taken your collective advice and I have extended the 800 calories to 12 weeks. Day 84 will be 29-Dec.

    I’m now (almost) over the comment about deflated about the blood sugar drop. It came from reading other people’s stories and even the Moseley book’s Dick case study has the line “By day 9 his blood sugar levels had fallen to normal”
    I take your point about the BG testing. I bought 2 meters – a Contour Next and a SD Codefree. The results can be significantly different (e.g. 6.1 vs 7.8)
    I have an HBA1C booked for tomorrow with my local surgery. (I booked it right at the start of the 8 weeks)
    The previous HBA1C was done with CeraScreen self test that returned 7.0% (53mmol/mol) which prompted me to go on the diet in the first place.
    Every morning I look at myFitnessPal’s nutrition diary for the previous day (or few days) and try to pre-guess that morning’s blood sugar score. It rarely correlates. Most days I come in around 25g of carbs but I’m thinking that sleep, stress and exercise account for the variability.

    Many thanks for your advice, help and support! (and please, no-one worry about teaching me to suck eggs! – I still have a long way to go)

    David

  • posted by LindaandHubby
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    David
    Don’t make life hard on yourself! Finish on 24th or so & enjoy Christmas. NOT that much though – for most of us this has become a way of life now & a different way of eating that you quickly get used to. However indulge yourself a bit over Christmas. A few roast potatoes is OK, just have more veggies & forget mashed potatoes (do people actually eat mashed potatoes with Christmas Dinner?) new potatoes probably but mashed – yuck!

    You are doing great but the HbA1c takes the figures over the past 12 weeks – let’s hope you’ve had enough time to get them right down. I think you probably will have done as long as your carbs are low enough. I’m due to have another now BUT the surgeries are over-run at the moment so I may have to delay it until the New Year. Think about what you are going to do after the 12 weeks are up. If you are prone to diabetes then it may be worthwhile carrying on the low carb way of eating.

    We all expect to hear your results & also your weigh in before Christmas. Good luck & you are doing GREAT! Well done you on doing a diet that will hopefully end up with you never having the title ‘Diabetic’

  • posted by waveCrest
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    Hi Linda,
    Our surgeries are over-run too. The mass vaccination centres have closed and the GP surgeries are picking up that task. Even before, they weren’t that keen to do HBA1C’s. Hence the reason why I used CeraScreen. It’s accurate, £24 and they give the results in about 10 days.

    The HBA1C will be at roughly 2 1/2 months so I think that should give a fair reflection of where I’m at. Since I’ve been doing the diet, most days are in 20-30g of carbs. I have had a few blips – I was out and bought a sugar free, flavoured fizzy water that said “carbohydrates: negligible”. Turned out that was for 100ml and I drunk 2 litres.

    Christmas dinner wont be too big a bind. Covid travel rules permitting, I’m hoping to go somewhere warm and sunny so I wont be doing the traditional Christmas dinner. Even if I stay at home, it will be the stuffing, bread sauce and cranberry jelly that I’ll miss rather than the roasties! I’m not a desert person – I’d have two starters and rack of ribs instead of an icecream or cheesecake.

    It’s interesting that you say about having the title “Diabetic” – I think I kinda am already but I don’t have the label. It was actually a GP who more or less said “See what you can do to reduce your blood sugars and come back in 3 months; It’s better not to have the label”. He then talked about car and travel insurance and so on rather than retinas and leg lesions. This is the bit I dont really understand – will I be a T2 controlling it by food control and does that pose any other risks? Is it better to be in the system? It’ll be a long chat with the GP after the results come back.

  • posted by LindaandHubby
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    Nah, try & stay out of the system IF it’s at all possible & the label is a pain in the ar$e. First of all doctors want you in the system (well most do, sounds like you have a good one though) as they get extra cash for each diabetic – whether controlled by diet or insulin, tablets, injections.

    If you get the diabetic label then on travel insurance you may have to pay extra to be covered (in later years can be damned expensive!). If you have the label then you MUST inform them, otherwise any problems & you may not be covered. IF the doc tells you to inform DVLA of your diabetes – you have to do this. Car Insurance can go up because of it. Private Health Insurance will be higher. I think there are far more negatives than positives. Yeah, you may get extra blood tests to ensure that you have the diabetes under control & that other things are working OK – you may be able to talk with your doc & see if you can get annual ones WITHOUT the ‘label’.

    You sound like you’ve got the handle on what to do to get rid of this dreaded disease. I know our docs are amazed that we always take our own initiative as SO many people don’t do a damned thing to help themselves. Been told so many times ‘You’re educated!!!’ – I don’t think they get many like us, sad to say. The docs also tell the nurses that we’re educated too, we’ve had a few laughs with them about it. It’s our body so why wouldn’t you do everything you can to improve it, it’s the only one we have so be interactive with it. We always research any problems we have to the nth degree which amazes them sometimes. Hubby has watched every operation he’s had on the screen – even heart surgery. I draw the line there, although I have watched loads of animal surgery in real life.

    Tell your doc you’d prefer to deal with this yourself, without getting the ‘label’. Once you’ve got the ‘label’ then even if you have normal BS you are still a ‘diabetic’ but a diabetic in remission. Avoid the label if you can.

    PMSL about your flavoured water – you probs only had 1carb in that big 2lt bottle. Have the stuffing & cranberry if you really, really want them. Yeah I hear you about jetting off somewhere. Sadly hubby isn’t allowed to fly until he sees the cardiologist & she gives the OK. We’ve spent a load of Christmas’s in the USA (he’s an American) with family OR in the villas we had in Turkey OR in the Canaries etc. with guaranteed warmer weather. OMG we miss our holidays. We shall be on the next transatlantic cruise over to the US if cardio says it’s OK – nicer way to travel than an airplane.

  • posted by Jennie10
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    Hi David – been off the forum for a few days. Hope the hba1c appointment went well. Let us know how you get on.
    Jennie xx

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