Like millions of other people, we at Team LighterLife have been watching Fast Fix: Diabetes on ITV last week – a two-part “infotainment” show investigating if five people with type 2 diabetes could “reverse” the condition with an 800 kcal “ultra-low-calorie radical liquid diet”.
What we saw was not unexpected for a total dietary replacement plan: the five participants replaced all their usual meals with four meal-replacement products a day, they lost lots of weight, and their average blood-sugar levels dropped considerably, leading the team behind the show to say that “this experiment proves there is real hope of… reversing type 2 diabetes, using this revolutionary diet.”
Which of course we all knew, not least because of the publication in December of the 12-month results from the Diabetes UK-funded DiRECT study, which inspired the TV show. DiRECT showed that, after losing weight rapidly on a similar type of nutritionally-complete, total dietary replacement diet, more than 50% of participants were in remission and off their diabetic medications. The more weight they lost, and the less time they had been living with type 2 diabetes, the greater their likelihood of remission.
One crucial point that wasn’t addressed by Fast Fix: Diabetes, over and above the standard practical advice to choose smaller portions, avoid fat-laden foods, eat more fruit and veg and build more activity into your life was how you get to be able to make these choices. If it’s that easy, why aren’t you (and millions of others) already doing it?
At LighterLife we realise that sustainable, long-term weight loss isn’t simply a matter of willpower or “knowing what to do”. To create a new relationship with food and commit to lifestyle changes like being more active, you need to change your thinking, and you have a golden opportunity to in our unique cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) groups – mall, friendly and run by people who understand, they support you through weight loss and into successful weight management.
Want to know more about the health benefits of a total dietary replacement plan? Read our blog on the BBC’s Big Crash Diet Experiment.
Excess weight increases the risk of type 2 diabetes which, if not properly managed, can lead to conditions including kidney disease, heart disease, stroke and even blindness. Find out more about diabetes and obesity at Diabetes UK