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In particular I know I SHOULD NOT do a low calorie / fasting diet if I am:

  • Underweight and/or have a history of an eating disorder
  • Under 18 years of age
  • Breastfeeding
  • Diagnosed with a significant psychiatric disorder
  • Frail or recovering from surgery
  • Under active investigation or treatment or have a significant medical condition affecting ability to comply with diet and / or
  • On certain medications
  • A Type 1 diabetic
  • Unwell or have a fever

If I am currently under a doctor’s care, I will discuss the diet with them before starting and confirm with them that I am a type 2 diabetic as there are other rarer forms of diabetes that will not respond in the same way to weight loss.

I will use caution doing a low calorie / fasting diet and discuss with my doctor if any of the following apply:

  • I am on insulin – detailed assessment and education by health professional to plan a suitable reduction in medication/insulin to avoid a drop in blood sugar.
  • Type 1 diabetics or those who have other, rarer forms of the disease, like pancreatic or monogenic diabetes will not respond in the same way to weight loss.
  • I am frail or have a significant underlying medical condition and will speak to me doctor first, as I would before embarking on any weight-loss regime.
  • I have type 2 diabetes and am on medication, and will speak to my doctor before starting as it will be necessary to adjust my medication.
  • I am on blood pressure medication and aware this may need to be reduced.
  • I am on diabetic medication with hypoglycaemia unawareness, so I cannot tell if I have a ‘hypo’ when my sugar level drops.
  • If I have moderate or severe retinopathy, I will need extra screening within 6 months (as retinopathy can sometimes get worse when blood sugar improves).
  • I have a significant psychiatric history in the past.
  • I take particular medications eg Warfarin.
  • I have epilepsy (though there is some evidence that diet can improve epilepsy).
  • I will discuss other medications with doctor first.
  • I am pregnant. Clearly avoiding fasting/low calorie diets is wise, however if there is a risk of (or previous history of) Gestational diabetes, The Blood Sugar Way of Life might be a suitable alternative.

Please read this handout (pdf) for additional information.