How it all started....
Anyone that follows my blogs knows that I trial diets, programs and different ways of eating generally on myself normally for a minimum of a 3 month period, and during these processes I monitor my health stats to see if they improve, or to find the best fat burning diet, and so on. At the end of last year after researching for the whole of 2018 on the medicinal effects of food and diet, I wanted to see if I could actually attempt to reverse diseases, initially Diabetes Type 2, through a diet plan. However, I am fit and healthy and not diabetic, so I decided to offer my time and new found knowledge to someone who may be willing to put themselves through a program that I put together for them. I initially was offering 30 days, where I would create their meal plans, consult with them regularly testing sugars, blood pressure, and all general health markers during the process. And see where it then takes us.
But I had to find some willing participants.
So my perfect participants would need to be diagnosed diabetic. I had two people I knew in mind. They both had been diagnosed with Diabetes T2, and also has a number of other health issues often associated with it, such as obesity, sleeping problems, high blood pressure etc. And after touching base with them first to get an initial reaction, they both seemed interested.
I needed subjects who were willing to learn and understand the process, and to understand that it would be a lifestyle change although my time was theirs for them in the first 30 days, diabetes T2 is caused by lifestyles choices, so this couldn't just stop after 30 days and all be good, and go back to old ways. I hoped to help guide them too in a future healthier way of life and introduce some new ideas. This would mean them also reading up and questioning everything we did, and not just being told what to do. They needed to want a life change, and be enthused by the idea and the concept. I was not planning on forcing this on anyone. And my main goal is to reverse the Diabetes, a side effect was the weight loss that will go along side it. This I didn't want them to think of it as a diet plan, and as a road to better health and a change of lifestyle moving forward, and hopefully a lifestyle with diabetes.
So in December 2018 I put together a letter of proposal, and here is a copy of it below, along with a little box of example foods and books for them to ponder on with my offer. Here is the letter below -
And then put together a presentation of the sort of foods they may be eating, and some visual help of there proposed journey. Letting them know that a ketone breathalyser tester will be required and tests to be send on a regular basis, checking they are staying in ketosis, along side regular fasted glucose checks to check progress, and these too will need sending over on a regular basis.
During this period I ending up discussing the topic with my friend and Financial Adviser, Paul Matthews, who I had know now for many years, and who I had an appointment with at my home. After listening to what I said he confessed he too had recently been diagnosed with Diabetes T2 and immediately asked to be considered as part of the program.
Paul also suffered with numerous other health issues including obesity, high blood pressure, psoriasis and I got the impression after his recent diagnosis of Diabetes T2, he was a little at the end of his tether with his list of medical problems, and was super keen in being a subject. He was added to my potential list, and I send him too the letter of proposal and the foods and expectations presentation.
I had a mixed response of replies. One offer was rejected. Another was initially very interested and did start the program, but was unable to continue for a number of reasons. But Paul was bang on the money, agreeing to follow it to a T and absolutely up for it. His family was very supportive too. His wife is a nurse and therefore was very intrigued, and his sons showed interest in the new way of proposed eating too, and both supportive of their Husband/Dad trying to improve his health through food.
So that was that. I found my subject. Paul Matthews is the one..lets get this started.
27th January 2019 - Paul's First Check in and Consultation
He had already since then been cutting out beer and being mindful of food and lost a little weight. But to the right here is where were started on this day.
We chatted for 4 hours on this morning. Going through his concerns, clearing up understandings, he also confessed to some additional health concerns which I needed to know, we went through the medication he is on, and he agreed to come off the Metformin he had been prescribed as it would fake his blood sugar readings, making them look better than they are, as it reduces sugar produced in the liver.
The first results on the right show his body stats on day 1. It highlighted also he was very dehydrated so he needed to start drinking at least 2 litres of water a day. Warning him that re-hydrating doesn't happen over night, and this should be forever in his regime.
We also took measurements at various points of his body.
He had agreed to follow a Ketosis diet with 2 x 36 hour fasts each week. We had talked about his food likes and dislikes and I wanted to make sure he was eating foods he wanted to, and as he did want to loose a little additional weight too, I asked him to under eat on food days only by 300 calories per day max, as the fasting will be assisting with weight loss, without the damaging of the metabolism that can be done by the old fashion diet of long term consistent under eating, which only teaches the body to survive on fewer calories forever. Therefore, you slowed your metabolism. Fasting breaks that regularity, and stops the body getting used to a pattern.
Here's an example one of his weeks plans -
One day a week Paul would need to put together his own food plan, this was so he can get used to creating food for himself, in case he wanted to continue with the program beyond the 30 days. He relished in this idea, as he was keen again to learn, and also loved to cook. And off Paul went ready and raring to to go the following day, starting with his first fast.
During the first 4 weeks...
Paul stayed true to the program. He bought a blender for creating nutrient shakes on his own days, and loving the foods and sending me pictures of his meals.
Then he regularly started sending fasting glucose and breathalyser readings, and started to generate an air of excitement about it all when he saw himself easily slip into ketosis, and clearly being a stat man (he works in Finance after all!), loving following the readings and seeing how quickly the diet was making a difference, without medication. Holding physical proof in his hand showing sugar glucose levels dropping quickly, and ketones in breath and urine, so his body utilising fats as fuel.
On the 7th Feb, just four days into the process, he sends me these...
His blood sugars were reading normal already, although this first one was not done in the morning fasted, but still on a fast day in the afternoon. His breathalyser was showing a reading confirming Acetone ketone present in his breath, and an Acetoacetate ketone reading in his urine, again confirming ketone presence. Acetoacetate ketones will slowly diminish during the process and the strips stops working when the the body becomes fully adapted and rather than wasting them, uses them fully as fuel. The breath ones are a permanent ketone marker throughout.
So off to a great start! Well done Paul!
Time goes so 'Fast'....
All seemed to be ticking along nicely. One or two hiccups...like the pancakes...Lol.. I had an email asking if the pancake should look like the one on the left.....Mmmmm? Errrr...no. Next day with a recipe adjustment, looked like the right! Much better! Made me laugh!
Regular check ins and questions were coming thick and fast. But I did know the questions were becoming more informed and learned. He understood the process, and the reasons for the fasts and the ketosis lifestyle combo, it was making sense, building his passion for this new lifestyle, and medicinal diet. And he said he felt great.
We then got some great Almond bread bakes ...
And some super low glucose readings and some super high keto readings...
All was going great guns. Then, suddenly the 30 days was up! And already he was back for his 30 day 'final' consultation. That went too quick!
3rd March 2019 - 30 days up Consultation
His Muscle Mass has dropped which is the norm and what I would expect to see. As his glycogen stores are emptying, they will, normally by as much as 3-5 kilos, so I still expect muscle mass to drop some more as clearing the glycogen in a diabetic body can take some time. I also warned Paul to be mentally ready, when we start introducing whole carbs back into his diet, that some of this weight may immediately return, as the stores will refill as that's how our bodies work, we store carbs for energy in our muscles and liver, but just don't want them to get over stuffed with sugar glucose again. Which incidentally is why everyone always gains quick weight after a diet.
He had lost a number of inches from his torso too, which of course is all an added bonus for him as he was also keen to loose unnecessary weight.
He didn't want to stop here and nor did I. We both agreed to continue the process, with Paul creating his own plan, and me to consult or advise when ever he felt the need.
He stayed on this program for the full 3 months, regularly letting me know how he's getting on, and getting a 4 weekly consultation and stats check with me. He was as fascinated with the process and the program as I am. Still reading more books on Audible and always learning more during the journey.
The Results - HbA1c Test Time!
Paul's 3 month consultation was due on the Sunday 5th April 2019 at 9.00 am and as always was bang on time.
He was looking great. All his Psoriasis had cleared. His sometimes dry chapped lips were full and plump, he looked less 'swollen' and looked less inflamed and a much better skin tone. All in all, he just looked a hell of a lot healthier..
He was keen to see all the weigh in results, and he had booked his 3 month appointment with the diabetes clinic for the HbA1c test for the following day, so we should have the results by the following Friday. His 3 monthly stats before and after results were as follows -
So then, Paul messages be to say he's been to the doctors and the results are in.....
Paul emailed the results on the 7th May 2019, and the results were 41 mmol/mol or 5.9%!! Bearing in mind the Ideal is between 6.5%, and 7.5% or between 48 and 59 mmol/mol. So Paul was no longer diabetic! He said his nurse at the diabetes clinic was amazed by how well he looked, and at the results. We did it!! Well, he did it with a bit of guidance from me. This was THE best news!
So..what to do from here. I have advised Paul to always continue with intermittent fasting, whether it be weekly 24 or 36 hours, or 16/8 or whatever he chooses, as this will help control his insulin levels, cleanse bad cells, help keep from over filling his storage cells with sugar, and continue help maintain his weight loss. Although for now he wants to continue with the full process until he reaches his ideal stats. And then I'll help him review his 'for life' program.
And also take with him all that he has learned about healthy eating and be mindful of the food he eats.
However, we are not stopping here. He is determined to continue to loose more weight and get the visceral fat down, and water up with a monthly check in with me. I do look forward to his visits, and hes been a joy to work with. Absorbing everything about the process...and simply getting it, which for sure helps keeps him motivated.
Paul - You have done amazingly well and you really should be proud of yourself. As proud as I am of you and all the hard work you put into this process. Keep up the good work. And let's both finish this to the end. See you soon buddy!
update - 1 year consultation - how is paul doing to date - 16th Feb 2020
So today (16th Feb 2020) Paul came to me again for our 1 year anniversary consultation! Yes, we have still been checking in on his stats, making even more progress...and...I am looking at a very different man indeed...
He is no longer following the Keto regime as I insisted he stopped this after about 6 months, as I believe it should be used to burn body fat and aid reversing Diabetes T2. However isn't a long term lifestyle as I do think it lacks a number of nutrients. So I suggested Paul introduce whole grains back into his diet then slowly, but continue with the intermittent fasting as this will help keep the insulin resistance at bay and help with maintaining the weight loss. He had grown attached to the Keto diet...and did have to be dragged away from it (not quite kicking and screaming) but got there with time. But he is now eating healthy carbs, and has been pictured with the odd pint of Guinness in his hand too. Enjoying life, and those occasional treats we all have to have.
He now looks so healthy. Colour in his cheeks, fully hydrated and no dry chapped lips or skin. He also chose to start visiting the local gym a few times a week having found some confidence in being around fellow gym members, this has assisted in improving his blood pressure and energy levels. He has turned around his weight and health in a major way
One year on, and Paul has lost just over 5 stone, 35 inches measured loss over his body, is no longer registered as Diabetic T2, no psoriasis, no dehydration, has come off of 5 varying types of medication and well...see for yourselves....
These results have by far exceeded both our expectations. He is now normal to perfect in all physical health markers. He looks like a different man too. A far cry from the poorly looking guy a saw across my table over a year ago.
You should be so proud of yourself and what you have achieved Paul. You have followed all my rules, read all the books, learn't what is takes to live a healthy lifestyle and eat a healthy diet. And followed it and my every instruction religiously. So here we are, with what started out as a 30 day Keto plan, to a year long lifestyle plan...from 30 days to a year long total success.
I've said it before and will say it again, you really have excelled yourself. And proven to all following this blog and your progress that is can be done though diet, knowledge, determination and mindfulness.
Here's to your new found health and long may it continue!
Cheers to you buddy!
Terri (16th Feb 2020)
Note to all readers - I am unfortunately not able to offer 1-2-1 diet or nutrition plans, as I often have a number of requests after my blogs. Around my work as a company Director, training and caring for my Mother leaves me with little time to dedicate to taking on nutrition clients. I am sorry if you hoped for help. However I do hope reading up and learning for your self via my blogs and posts will help you move towards creating your own choice of lifestyle and look into a new and/or healthier way of eating. Thank you for reading my blogs.