Knowledge and Perspiration
Meet Albert. He's a type 2 diabetes patient who has lost over 20 lbs. in six weeks and went from 185 units of insulin to zero. His A1C is now less than 6.0. Here's Albert in his own words:
We have all heard these common words describing type 2 diabetes: “… it’s a chronic and progressive disease.” I had been living with this condition for some fourteen (14) years.
I have ranged from an A1C of 10.5 to 6.8 during this period, and fluctuate from year to year. In my case, it was getting progressively worse as I was getting more insulin units each year.
Via social media, I discovered Dr. Jason Fung’s videos, along with several other interesting websites.
I then embarked on a low carb, high fat (LCHF) diet to deal with my type 2 diabetes, and achieved positive results in less than six weeks. As a result of adopting the LCHF diet plan, I now have satiety after each meal, and I’m sleeping very restfully each night.
My former food patterns were all part of the Standard American Diet (SAD). These undesirable food choices have now been eliminated from my daily regimen:
Several servings a day of either Apple Juice or Orange Juice
Bread rolls for breakfast & lunch, and Rice for dinner
A bowl of fresh grapes each night after dinner
Late night snack of a handful of those delicious gummy bears
A fresh apple every other day as a daytime snack
All throughout my life - starting as a 12-year-old boy delivering newspapers on a beat-up bike, seven (7) days a week, rain or shine - I've worked hard. Getting up so early forced me to have a plan to get my route done in the least amount of time, and to get home, wash up, and then go off to middle school. I realize now that I'd developed a systematic plan, but those words were never in my vocabulary as a typical 7th grader.
As an adult, I’m now using a systematic plan to ensure I achieve desirable and predictable results. Here are some key ingredients that are part of my playbook:
Proper Healthcare Provider: If you are a type 2 diabetic, you really need to find a provider who can help you reduce your diabetes medication, so that you don’t get hypoglycemia attacks as a result of an LCHF or keto-type diet. Most endocrinologists and primary care providers do not have this sort of training. I’m glad I found Polly Halpern to help guide me through this process. She is an asset to our diabetic community
Smartphone: I use a smartphone with apps for measuring my blood glucose levels, and to measure the caloric & carbohydrate count of all my meals. Without these apps, I’d have not been as successful in achieving good results in this initial phase.
Intermittent Fasting (IF): I initially started on the 12:12 plan and was quick to transition to 18:6 plan with a typical 6-hour eating window from 12 noon until 6 pm. This is working out well for me thus far. I try to sprinkle in a 24 hr. fast at least twice a week.
Meals: I start each morning with a "keto-style" coffee. My version has MCT oil, non-dairy creamer and a touch of cinnamon. I generally have a modest lunch of a green salad with some sort of protein, e.g., grilled chicken strips or a can of sardines or beef sausage. For dinner, I rotate among these protein choices: beef, fish, pork, and chicken, along with two different servings of green vegetables. I seem to average around 50-75 grams of carbs daily with a total calorie count of approx. 1300 calories per day. I try to follow the keto mantra: “I eat when I’m hungry…”
Micronutrients: It’s important you work with your healthcare provider, to ensure you have all the essential nutrients that might be lost because of the LCHF diet. I was getting very mild leg cramps and added over the counter magnesium tablets; the cramps quickly went away.
Knowledge is Power: There is an over-abundance of books and websites on Keto, but not as much on LCHF, which is the latest lifestyle trend. Keto seems to get all the current press and publicity. In addition to Dr. Fung’s books, I found the book “Keto Clarity”, by Jimmy Moore, to be helpful. Also, this website - albeit keto focused - seems to touch me in a thoughtful way: Mark’s Daily Apple. Mark is a former elite endurance athlete who now writes about health and fitness via his Primal Living website.
Next steps: I need to fine-tune my meal plan(s) to have a carbohydrate goal closer to 50 grams per day. I also look to continue to monitor all the important markers of getting type 2 diabetes in to remission.
As a former newspaper kid, I’m making this lifestyle change one day at a time. I’m cautiously optimistic that I can continue to maintain the results and achieve full type 2 diabetes remission and reduce or eliminate the previous metabolic effects of being diabetic for the previous 14 years.
Wish me luck on my journey.