The NHS is delivering a new programme which provides a low calorie diet treatment for people who are overweight and living with Type 2 diabetes.
The programme is based on two large studies which showed that, as a result of this treatment, people living with Type 2 diabetes who were overweight could improve their diabetes control, reduce diabetes-related medication and even achieve remission (no longer have diabetes).
Bev Iceton took part in one of those studies. She said:
“When I found out that I had Type 2 diabetes at a doctor’s appointment, I was absolutely devastated. I was prescribed medication for the condition and felt that there were no treatment options for me other than to be on meds for the rest of my life.
“A few months later – once I’d recovered from the initial shock of my new diagnosis – I began searching for information and treatment options for Type 2 diabetes. That’s when I came across the ReTune study in Newcastle.
“I got in touch with the people who were running the study and they gave me so much information and support and said that I’d be a prime candidate for their low calorie diet study to help me lose weight safely. Shortly after that, I started my new 12 week total diet replacement with their support.
“My total diet replacement involved a diet of three low calorie shakes or soups a day, plus extra vegetables – it was so simple to do. I found prepping all my food for the day on a morning really useful, and I would try different vegetables that I wouldn’t normally eat to mix things up a bit and keep my taste buds interested. Oh, and plenty of Tupperware and a good set of scales were a god-send!
“My goal for the first eight weeks of the low calorie diet was to lose 5% of my body weight – which I achieved in six weeks – and in total I’ve lost over 10kgs, my Type 2 diabetes is now in remission and I no longer have to take any medication. I am over the moon.”
We want the changes participants make to be long-lasting and sustainable. After the initial total diet replacement, a coach guides participants to reintroduce food into their diet in a safe, healthy way for 4-6 weeks. The final phase of the programme provides participants with the knowledge and tools they need to continue to achieve their health and wellbeing goals for life:
“Since the low calorie diet programme, my mind set has totally changed for the better and I look at food differently now. My shopping habits are far healthier and, when I eat out, I’ll go for a healthier option and skip desert except for the occasional treat on a special occasion. The programme has taught me moderation.
“My husband has also lost 10kg now we’re living healthier lives together, and I get so many compliments from him and my friends and family about how good I look now. My skin is clearer and people say that I’ve got my sparkle back – I didn’t realise that I’d lost it but now I see that I definitely had.
“I can honestly say that the low calorie diet programme changed my life for the better.”
For more information, visit www.england.nhs.uk/diabetes/low-calorie-diets/.