Why is losing weight when Diabetic so hard?

I am new and keen to find out what really works as have lost family members to this disease and my friend has just been told she is now type 2 so is terrified!

Any proven tips out there?

Much obliged.

N

Diet, Fitness, Lifestyle, Tricks, Therapies, Mindset, Blood Sugar Gizmos, Alternative Health (supplements, treatments or ideas) and stories of successful reduction of blood scores.

PS If there was ONE warning you could tell your newly diabetic self back then NOT TO DO what would it be?

38 Replies

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  • The answer is very simple once one understands the dynamics of obesity.

    Type 2 diabetics have insulin resistance which means their pancreas has to produce more insulin in an attempt to reduce blood sugar. The role of the insulin is actually to remove glucose and store it as *fat*.

    Glucose is produced in different ways in the body but the absolute majority is absorbed from the food intake and particulalrly carbs.

    As long as the carb intake is high, blood glucose remain high and also the insulin in the blood keeps transforming the glucose from carbs into fat.

    Glucose is the prefered fuel used by cells so if there is enough glucose in the blood, *fat* will not be burned.

    This is the not so magical explanation:

    (1) Insulin makes fat out of glucose in the blood (mostly from carbs)

    (2) When there is enough glucose in the blood, the body fat is not burned i.e. fat accumulates.

    There are two ways to loose weight for diabetics:

    (1) Intermittent fasting. After about 8 hours fasting the body will switch from burning glucose to burning fat. ie. you loose weight.

    (2) Low carb diet. IF you reduce the amount of carbs you consume, the level of both insulin and glucose will be reduced. This means there will be less excess glucose in the blood which means there will be less fat produced from carbs. Also The body will a certain point switch to fat burning mode although you will keep eating quite normally - except that the composition of micronutrients will change. You should limit your carbs to about 50 gr per day.

    What does this mean? Practically is to give up all sugar, greains (including rice), starchy foods and veggies and more fruits.

    You will need a strong will, but it pays off very quickly. Blood sugars will be reduced within about a week and you will loose weight tremendously fast.

    Hope this will help.

  • i have been diagnosed with diabetes type 2 last november . i also find it hard if not impossible to lose weight. i read the paragraph from iminig & found it interesting although riddled by typos & a lack of English command. Especially regarding the part concerning what i have to give up.

    those 2 lines are very important to me, especially regarding veggies and more fruits. could you, please, clarify ? does it mean to give up veggies & fruits? or to eat more veggies & fruits?

    please, could anyone make sense out of this poorly written paragraph? i am very confused.

    thanks a lot.

    brooke z.

  • Hi Brooke,

    The gist is once you have Diabetes your hormones (insulin etc.) are messed up thus creates a vicious circle; the need to eat drives the habit and usually the wrong thing is swallowed for convenience.

    Modern food is a creation of science over nature. Many of our foods bear no resemblance to their ancestors pre 1950 to ensure plentiful supply all year round! The problem has arisen where we know something is wrong with the food that we depend on but we don't make the connection.

    Whistleblowers have raised the alarm many times but are drowned out by the Corporate machine. Wheat Belly, Fats that Heal and Fats that Kill and PH Miracle book have exposed why organic is real food, why man-made fats are indigestible thus disease inducing and the level of toxic substances we consume and are exposed to every day. Books of rebellion.

    So to keep it simple:Eat Fresh green leafy veg and a rainbow of variety also, reduce carbs (no wheat based cakes, biscuits, processed food, cereal bars etc.), organic or reduced amount of meat protein, lots of the best water you can drink, reduce alcohol and other sweets, regular exercise (any kind that make you happy!), LCHF or reduced calorie intake via 5/2 diet (5 normal days and 2 fasting days) and find a way to feel good about it ;-)

    All sweet drinks (fizzy, juices, smoothies etc.) all have major impacts on your health so short term gain is long term decline. The quick hit...

    Allergies are on the rise so important to keep a diary to monitor your reactions to food, changes to your environment or moods so you can make informed choices based on your unique needs.

    See easy...

    Hope this was better for you.

    N

  • thank you for your answer, N.

    now, it is clearer.

    B.Z.

  • Taken care of, now. Thanks again for letting us know.

  • I too found this unclear regarding veggies and fruit . Does it mean eat more or limit them to 50 g a day?

    I too am confused although I found the reply very informative if a bit confusing

    Thanks

    Eden

  • Hi Eden,

    For specifics the best options come from reading the books but to summarise the best I can I will try:

    Fresh seasonal veg and low sugar fruit are best, Eat until full.

    If too difficult or expensive,more veg ideally leafy greens, beans, pulses, and "eat a rainbow" of different coloured veg too but avoid too many white potatoes (starch) and (carrots). So 50g is not my measure.

    Fruit is important but while an apple a day may keep the doctor away not having enough veg will diminish your ability to stay well. Low sugar fruits such as lemon, limes and avocados are fantastic for most.

    Any Dentist will be disgusted with too much sweet fruits, raisins, honey etc as sugar is sugar so the books explain more.

    Extra virgin olive oil (never used for cooking), Coconut Oil for cooking are great for your health and avoid margarine and trans fats (hydro fats) found in most "ready meals."

    So many great foods out there that we have mostly forgotten so discover something new to eat and celebrate new tastes,

    Everybody has different likes on food front so not exhaustive so lots of good links here and nutrition advice though as usual it needs your commitment.

    Hope that was better ;-)

    N

  • We will take care of it soon.

  • Sorry i write too fast due to lack of time and it is not possible to edit afterwards.

    Diabeteics need an approach that reduces insulin and glucose in the blood.

    (1) Low carb diet:

    The answer is a low carb diet - there could be other diets but this one is effective and it's easy to stick too even on a long term.

    Basic principles:

    - Avoid all starchy foods and simple carbs.: No sugar, no potatoes, grains including wholegrains.

    - Complex carbs such as non starchy veggies can be eaten.

    - Fruits are not allowed except berries: Blueberries, rapsberries and strawberries.

    -> More reading:

    dietdoctor.com/diabetes

    -> Watch this video by Dr. Westman who uses the diet in his practice

    -> Watch this video of Dr Wortman who is a doctor and a diabetic.

    (2) Intermittent fasting or time-restricted eating.

    Watch Dr Jason Fung's video series:

    Watch Dr Rhonda Patrick's videos on

  • One medium sized potato can be taken thrice in week since it gives 100 calories only and when compared with it's health benefits it need not be avoided totally .All vegetables should be taken for their relative merits .

  • There is nothing special in potatoes. The same vitamins can be obltains from other vegetables without increasing your BG.

    We should consider how food increase BG not calories.

    100 calories from eggs or nuts are different from 100 calories from potatoes or bread.

    Not all calories have been created equal, soto say. :)

  • I don't find any reason to avoid potato since it is very rich in potassium , almost on par with banana . iT is for vareity . IT MIXES VERY well with any vegetable and adds special taste , After all it is equally important to meet the requirements of taste also while calculating carbs and calories .Ayurveda says , the food should be limited in quantity , should be of appealing to taste , should be pertained to the season. POTATO cooked with onions and kale or onions and spinach is really tasty and healthy . What defect potato as far as carbs ,has , can be set right with greens .At any cost mere diet is not the answer for diabetes . It is a comprehensive issue . For an average man with modest physical work 1800 calories and an average woman 1400 is the norm . With regular intake of ASHWAGANDHA and caloric limit suitable for individual needs , diabetes would be in control and with the help of some herbs it can be even be cured .Again it is individual taste . There is no blanket rule . What is palatable to one need not not necessarily be liked by another .The suggestion i is to people like me who do not even take eggs . I don't take any modern medicine but with food control , weight control , with herbs made in homeopathic way my sugar levels are perfectly normal .

  • With the potato peeled, major portion of many minerals are gone in the trash bin and we don't eat potato with the skin. You can get potassium from beans, avocado and surely these two will not spike as hard as potato and banana.

    "Appealing to taste" is subjective. For me 3 boiled eggs with salt and pepper with a glass of coconut milk are very appealing to taste and doesn't even move the needle when it comes to blood sugar readings.

  • Potatoes, Bananas, Bread are a strict NO NO for a diabetic. There are far more healthier options to get all the stuff that's available in potato, banana and bread and healthier as they don't SPIKE hard.

  • It is not potato with starch content which contributed to the sugar spikes and diabetes It is excess sugar in soft drinks , bakery products , colas fruit juices ,corn syrups ,pizzas , other junk food . When stopped all these foods , automatically liver and pancreas function normally . It is only a question of time . IT is a big myth that diabetes is incurable . The reckless gambling with the precious life and health is responsible for the state along with unchecked damage to the environment and nature .Definitely eggs are not comparable to banana or potatos as far as the taste is concerned for those who can't take eggs or shrimps or any such food . White bread is not advocated by any one now a days .

  • Those who can't take eggs can have fried Paneer (home made cottage cheese). Works well for everyone who cannot take eggs for religious reasons, that I know of. The VCO used for frying gets the MCT FAT too and there are a huge variety of dishes that can be made so takes care of taste buds too.

    Potato SPIKES and SPIKES Hard for almost every diabetic who tests the readings at 1 and 2 hrs after first bite. One would only know if one tests.

    Any bread is bad because it's wheat after all. Adding some fiber doesn't change it's inherent character. Dr Richard Bernstein has the famous experiment on Bread -- what happens when you bite, it starts getting digested -- ie sugar sugar and sugar -- even before you swallow it.

  • A diabetic can eat everything which the other family members eat . Only caution to be taken is to reduce the quantity .There is no need to go for modern medicine .Ayurveda has many herbs to suit each individual needs . That also not concoctions or tablets made by pharmaseutical companies but many herbs have homeopathic mother tinctures .

  • Perhaps a look at studies will reveal some hard facts -- hypo caloric (reduced quantity) vs lc

    healthunlocked.com/diabetes...

  • really good info so many thanks

  • You advise to avoid veggies and fruits. Am I right?

  • You are advising to avoid veggies and fruits also! Are sure in what you have advised.

  • Don't get me wrong. Veggies are very important. What I said is that starchy veggies should be avoided - basically anything that grows underground.

    And all grains must be avoided too because they are basically sugar in another form (carbs). If you eat white bread, it will be converted into glucose very quickly.

    Here is a list of recommended veggies:

    dietdoctor.com/low-carb/veg...

    Most fruits should also be avoided due to the following reaons:

    - Fruits have high carb content which mean they can increase blood sugar

    - Fruits contain fructose which is exclusively burnt in the liver and metabolised into liver fat, which is not good for diabetic.

    The fruits that are allowed are strawberrries, blurberries and rapsberries.

    Having said that, it doesn't mean that you are not allowed to eat fruit at all. You may eat fruits as a treat. You should also eat them with fat (whipped cream for e.g.), which will decrease they effect on blood sugar.

    What about vitamins?

    Remember that we can get vitamins from all veggies and fruits so if you don't eat starchy veggies and grains, you still eat lots of veggies which will provide more than enough vitamins for your body.

  • Well, I was always on the chunky side. Sometimes I could shift weight sometimes I couldn't. I got Graves Disease, lost a load of weight, got better and put it all back on. Then I developed inflammatory arthritis and was put on steroids and a DMARD.

    I was also on the second year of a prediabetes study at our local hospital. A couple of months into the steroids I was thrown off the study because I had become T2 diabetic.

    I saw the nurse and got the usual 'healthy' (yeah?) high carb diet. Was to go off and control my diet ' although it sounds ok' and exercise.

    I took things into my own hands. I bought a book called Reverse Your T2 Diabetes by Dr David Cavan. I read it from cover to cover, bought my own blood sugar machine - T2 patients aren't given one and never looked back. The 8 Week Blood Sugar Cure by Michael Moseley is good too but Reverse Your T2 was my inspiration.

    Following the instructions in the book I recorded my blood sugar before and two hours after every meal. I recorded everything I ate - I made a mini spreadsheet and just jotted down what I had. Using what I found I cut out anything that raised my blood sugar.

    I eat a lot, two egg omelette with either berries, mushrooms or a mashed up banana fir breakfast every day. Bowl of wild mushroom or similar gluten free soup and a handful of mixed unsalted nuts with sunflower and pumpkin seeds for lunch and some sort of meat or fish plus green vegetables for dinner at night, followed by berries - strawberries or blueberries and a sooonful of extra thick double cream. I can eat weird things and not raise my blood sugar but the minute I eat something like a jacket potato or grains - even the so called 'good grains' my blood sugar soars, yet I can have a meringue with double cream or a square of black chocolate and it's fine.

    I never snack between meals, I don't drink diet drinks either - just water, tea or coffee but follow wing that I was able to eat myself to my lowest ever HbA1c and I'm not on the diabetic register. I have lost a huge amount of weight - I started at 70.8kgsand I'm now 55.6 kgs and I never once counted calories - I just kept my blood glucose well under control.

    I bought a Fitbit and do more than 10000 steps most days as well as Pilates and the gym a couple of times a week.

    I eat a low carb, high fat diet although I'd say lowish carb, I get my carbs from vegetables and highish fat, in that I'm not afraid of fat, but generally I don't eat masses of fatty foods.

    I really like the DietDoctor.com website it has a huge amount of useful information and also Diabetes.co.uk website.

    I'd say do your research and avoid the healthy food pyramid based on tons of grain based carbs. If I'd stuck with that I would still have T2.

    Iminig has explained why low carb works and it really does work and others have given really good advice.

  • I follow almost exactly the same diet as yours except that I exercise less. Bananas are no longer in my diet :). I haven't eaten sugar in about 8 months. I don't miss it.

    My taste buds, or human tates buds, get used to not using sugar. I drink herbal teas without any added sugar. Health comes first.

    I have also been inspired by Dr Berstein's approach. He recommends about:

    6 gr total carbs for breakfast

    12 gr total carbs for lunch

    12 gr carbs for dinner.

    No snacks during the day and it would be better to eat dinner early around 17:00-18:00.

    My HbA1C was around 7.1 in January 2016 and when I last checked in June 2016, it was 5.3.

    Low carb works.

    If you are scared of saturated fats, which most of people shouldn't, then replace it with olive oil.

  • Well done to you for reducing your HbA1c. I was told by my nurse specialist to limit my bananas to one a day! I ask you. I didn't eat that many before I was diagnosed.

    I sometmes have half of a banana mashed up and mixed into my omelette in the morning.

    Like you I don't snack and I try to eat as early in the evening as I can. I tried having my main meal at lunch time but it doesn't make that much difference.

  • Thanks. I believe that anybody can get their diabetes under control with a science based approach. The current advice given by mainstream doctors, nurses and dieteticians are neither scientific nor effective.

    In order to reduce HbA1C further anything small change can contribute including reducing the half banana which is about 15 gr carbs.

    In order to experience the effect if the low carb diet, it is important to count every single gr of carbs one ingest until one get to the right amount to consume during the day.

  • I agree with that - the current advice given by mainstream doctors, nurses and dietician is designed to keep people diabetic. I just don't understand why they can't or won't see that. So much research has bern done and it is so obvious.

    The food my nurse recommends is all the sort of thing that pushes my blood sugar up.

    Don't worry, I only have my half mashed banana on a Sunday morning - definitely not something I'd have every day. My normal omelette would have either mushrooms, blueberries or spinach in it.

  • Big business spends billions confusing the issue, remember jobs, bonuses, profits to shareholders and advertising drown out anyone who opposes this force.

    Govt revenues then depend on keeping it all going remember the smoking lobby ASH started the practice many years ago and though exposed the same methods are in force today.

    Promote new product hard, make it become mainstream, discourage rumours of any disease or illness associated with product, lobby govt, support sponsorship of big events, fight court cases, overcome exposure of evidence to discredit proven practices, maintain revenues while in decline and look for new profit lines in associated areas.

    All pushers try to control their addicts, our vices take over and we watch the results. The damage is done and it Is now a cultural choice!

  • Thanks for such a great answer. How long did it take you to get control of your diabetes once you had the right information?

  • Gosh, I read Dr Cavan's book and it took no time at all. I cut out my carb based breakfast right away - at first I carried on eating my favourite gluten free oat bran muffins but they were a no, no so I started with omelettes and saw a huge difference.

    I noticed that if I ate gluten free oatcakes then high blood sugar, same with a nice 'healthy' jacket potato and even things like cottage pie with mashed potato topping. I'd say that knew one and a half to two hours after eating any meal whether or not it was something I would be eating again or ditching.

    The things that affected me were strange, I can still eat the odd bit of pavlova without any increase and meringue is pure sugar, or a square of very dark chocolate whereas if I was ever tempted to grab an oatcake I would check my blood and know I would have been better not to have eaten it, I don't even miss that sort of thing now even though they were my favourites in the past.

    It was easy to see what the culprits were and if you don't eat them then your blood glucose just goes down. It was amazing really. I lost weight without really trying.

    I was concentrating so hard on keeping my blood sugar down within the limits recommended by Thyroid.co.uk that I didn't even think about calories - not at all, I've never so much as counted a calorie since I started last December and I didn't give losing weight a second thought, it just turned out to be a wonderful bonus - although thinking about the sort of foods I cut out and the foods I now eat, my weight loss wasn't surprising.

    So id say I got control of my diabetes as soon as I invested in a blood glucose meter and started testing before and after everything I ate.

    I'm pretty sure that what I did would work for anyone determined enough to want to not be T2 diabetic but I cant guarantee it. I have to say I've surprised myself with my dedication. I'm obviously more strong willed than I would ever have thought - or maybe not :)

  • Your stories are so inspiring ;-)

    Please keep us surprised with what did spike your blood sugar myths vs reality and how long it took before you could see a) blood score drop and b) the weight start to fall off.

    Have you felt better in yourself as a consequence? The rise in anti-depressants may mean another cause is these foods as "Brain Fog" and outlook changes maybe linked.

    How much did your meter cost and how easy was it to use?

    Thanks again you are a star!

  • very interesting posts. i am also a big eater & love eggs. would LOVE to eat omelettes. unfortunately, i also have a cholesterol problem for which i am taking Crestor. i really hate measuring my food intake. my food portions are most probably twice what they should be (if not more) & i don't exercise.

    i am also on antidepressants as i am suffering from anxiety related to my

    fear about my health.

    right now, i am sticking to: tofu,tuna,herrings,coleslaw, roma tomatoes,apple puree, brussels sprouts, 1% milk,sour cream and Glucerna or Boost for Diabetics.

    i am so tired of it all that i could cry.

    am going to read carefully the material you suggested & watch the videos.

    i can't imagine a life based on weighing the pros & cons of everything i put in my mouth.

    anyway, thanks a lot for your very useful info.

    am starting on Metformin today & hope it will help.

    brooke

  • Maybe ask your GP for a nutritionist/dietitian appointment to look at your diet and give you advice.

    I suggest this because you mention you can't eat eggs due to cholesterol. Most of our cholesterol issues are hereditary and it is a myth that people with high cholesterol should avoid eggs. I was aware of this years ago via my scientist dad!

  • thanks, Bevvy, for your advice about seeing a dietitian. ironically, that's exactly what i did yesterday. i have an apointment with her at the end of the month.

    i would like to simplify my life by getting a template of what i am supposed to eat every day of my life. even if it means eating the same thing each & every day, never deviate. it would be awfully boring, i know, but my sugar levels would always be within the perfect range.

    you are right, ZN, there is nothing i would like more than get rid of all my meds. the 1st thing that i do in the day is to take my meds & it is also the last thing i do before going to bed at night. i have been raised on rich cholesterol-laden sausages &

    on rich sugar-laden desserts ( i am German). i miss this kind of food & have never been keen on leafy green veggies. i literally have to shove them down my throat.

    today i am gonna pick up my new med: METAFORMIN, which is supposed to deliver great results....we'll see.

    according to my gp, it might even help me lose weight & act as an appetite suppressant.

    thanks a bunch, guys.

    you are a real support.

    brooke z.

  • Thanks for sharing ;-)

    The anti-depressants, mood swings, anxiety mind fog, poor choices are common now. So is it really you or is everybody exposed to something that is the root cause?

    Unfortunately we may be just guinea pigs unaware that these things are deliberate and so profitable....

    Check out the videos but at the very least find out from testing what certain foods and situations are actually doing to your health. Become a detective and take back the responsibility.

    Would you like to walk away from all this medication one day?

    Stay strong!

    N

  • Don't worry about the cholesterol, there's much more to worry about the statins given to treat it. If you like reading, please try the following which is full of great advice:- "The Great Cholesterol Con" by Malcolm Kendrick. There is lots of good advice on this thread, but you won't find the answers from the medics and Big Pharma, they're too heavily invested financially in supplying products to control but never cure your diabetes. Despite an explosion of type 2 diabetes, the advice from NICE on diet is unchanged and Big Pharma always put profits before people.

    2 years ago I was diagnosed and decided I was not prepared to use more medications as I already have a lot for other illnesses and read extensively and changed my diet radically. Drastically reduced the carbs, wheat, grains, pasta, rice etc and adopted the caveman Paleo diet. Avoid processed foods, eat organic wherever possible, eat meat, fish, chicken, eggs, nuts, berries and lots of leafy green/purple veg. Fats fill you up and reduce the snacking urges you get from the sugar rush effect of eating carbs. Low fat foods are a con, because they are processed by adding sugar to put back the taste taken out when reducing the fat. Test myself once a week at the same time each week and my blood sugar is down from 8.9 to an average of 6.0 which means I'm no longer officially diabetic, and all done without medications or an exercise regime as I am a COPD sufferer. Have lost some weight but I'm not an angel as I have a weakness for real ale which is not a good thing (from a diabetes point of view), but great for morale. We all need something to lift the spirit occassionally.

  • Well done to you warwickstag and yes we all need something every now and again for our morale - enjoy your pint when you have it.

  • I will drink to that too