58-year-old Juliet from Birmingham joined the NHS Type 2 Diabetes Path to Remission Programme after being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes at her annual health check.
The programme is based on research showing that a three-month low calorie, total diet replacement diet followed by healthy lifestyle support helped people living with type 2 diabetes and obesity or overweight to lose over 10kg in weight, improve their blood sugar levels, reduce diabetes-related medication and, in almost half of participants, put their type 2 diabetes into remission.
Juliet, the youngest of eight children, has a history of type 2 diabetes in her large family which put her at higher risk of developing the condition herself. Juliet’s father was diagnosed in his mid-50’s and Juliet describes struggling to maintain a healthy weight for most of her adult life. Having lived with pre-diabetes for many years, Juliet was eventually diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
Juliet said: “I was also diagnosed with high cholesterol around the same time as type 2 diabetes, so it felt a bit like a barrage of medications coming at me and, I thought, I don’t want this.
“My GP explained about the NHS Type 2 Diabetes Path to Remission Programme and the possibility of putting my type 2 diabetes into remission. Rather helpfully, I was also able to speak to one of the programme’s health coaches who was lovely and explained the programme in great detail.”
Juliet was subsequently referred and joined the NHS Type 2 Diabetes Path to Remission Programme in June 2022.
Juliet continued: “During the total diet replacement phase, I expected to feel hungry but I didn’t and the products actually kept me going. I enjoyed most of them too – although my particular favourites were the red Thai soup and shepherd’s pie.”
Juliet’s starting weight was 120.5 kg (19 stone) and she lost two and a half stones – or 13% of her starting body weight – in just 12 weeks of total diet replacement.
Nearly nine months into the programme, Juliet has recently attended her 17th group meeting and is maintaining her weight at 104.4kg through changing behaviours and adopting both healthy eating and regular exercise habits. Juliet attributes her success to “being well-prepared and keeping my long-term goal in sight.”
“I have also taken full advantage of being part of a group by gaining inspiration and encouragement from others during group meetings and between meetings using WhatsApp group chats. The coach and the group are so encouraging.
“I set out to improve my health and quality of life and I’m thrilled to be achieving my goals. My HbA1c reading has reduced from 45-46 to 41 mmol/mol and my blood pressure is steadily coming down. I hope to come off all medication as I continue to become fitter and healthier.
“My diabetes nurse reminds me of the years I have added to my life – being a nanny, that excites me and my second grandchild is due in September 2023. I also feel much more positive about things generally. I have a new lease of life!”