Success Stories

“Their Diet Plan Didn’t Seem to Help a Diabetic”

Before and after

Before and after

Brian was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes recently and started to think about the common diabetes complications. However, he noticed that the diet plan he was given seemed designed to keep you diabetic. He decided to try something completely different. Here’s what happened:

The Email

Last September 11, 2014, I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. It scared me to think about losing my feet, eyesight, kidney function, etc. I immediately thought the worst about this disease since my father was diabetic.

I’m 49 years old and have always eaten what I wanted to. I have never dieted nor even considered it. I had gotten up to 260 lbs (118 kg) and really hadn’t realized how big I had actually gotten.

My doctor told me to lose 60 lbs (27 kg) and gave me a stack of papers on diabetes and how to eat. I immediately noticed that their diet plan didn’t seem to help a diabetic, it seemed to me that it was designed to keep you on medication and stay a diabetic.

A friend sent me a link to a LCHF site and after a lot of reading, decided to try it instead. In 4 months on a LCHF diet I have lost 55 lbs (25 kg) of the 60 lbs my doctor wanted me to lose. I have NOT EXERCISED any, no gym, no walking, nothing and the pounds have just melted away. I’m only eating meat, pork, fish, vegetables and drinking water.

My HbA1C is down to 5.7 and my daily glucose levels are staying between 70-90 mg/dl (3.9–5.0 mmol/l). I am taking 1 500 mg Metformin a day.

The attached picture is at the start of my diet at 260 lbs in a large shirt. The image on the right is in the same large shirt 3 months later and 40 lbs (18 kg) less.

UPDATE March 13th: I feel amazing and am looking forward to my next doctors visit…he will be blown away by my progress.

I am attaching a new photo that is 5 months into my LCHF diet.

2015021395162520952

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More

“Why Was I Still Fat?”

“Hello LCHF – Goodbye Type 2 Diabetes”

How to Cure Type 2 Diabetes

“I Finally Kept My Promise to My Mom”

More health and weight success stories

PS

Do you have a success story you want to share on this blog? Send it (photos appreciated) to andreas@dietdoctor.com. Let me know if it’s OK to publish your photo and name or if you’d rather remain anonymous.

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44 Comments

Top Comments

  1. Shannon Strickland-Brown
    YES YES YES!!!!! I am down 51 pounds, and a diabetic!!!!! I have been shouting this message from the rooftops for the last 6 months!!! The doctors and the pharmaceutical WANT you to stay on diabetes drugs and insulin! IT IS A MONEY MAKER!!!! I am almost to the point of taking NO insulin, and it because of my diet! I only eat around 20 carbs a day, and many times less than that. I FEEL AWESOME! I do exercise now, because it FEELS good! I do have 50 more pounds to lose, but I will get there!
    Read more →
  2. Richard
    @kate

    As Brian noticed, most diabetic diet plans emphasize carbohydrates, specifically to prevent hypoglycemia when on insulin. Very low carbohydrate ketogenic diets do the opposite: they cut carbohydrates, and emphasize the reduced need for insulin.

    The body can make all the glucose it needs, insulin is only necessary to regulate sugar spikes caused by simple sugars (crystal sugars) and complex sugars (starches) eaten in the diet. If you completely cut carbohydrates, your need for insulin drops dramatically, and the body gradually adapts, over a few weeks, to using dietary fat for fuel.

    Ketogenic diets are known to cure type II diabetes, and are extremely effective in managing type 1 diabetes (but insulin is still needed, albeit much less).

    To get a good overview, you can take a look at these websites, and always discuss this with a knowledgeable doctor (not all are).

    http://www.reddit.com/r/keto/comments/2q18vj/type1_diabetes_improveme...
    http://www.nutritionjrnl.com/article/S0899-9007(14)00332-3/fulltext

    Reply: #13
    Read more →

All Comments

  1. Rae Seaton
    Wow, what a difference. Well done, not only do you look terrific but your tshirt fits much better now. Your doctor must be amazed.
  2. Kate Hadley
    I am Type 1 and have been for 40 years of my 43 years alive , I am not severely overweight but am uncomfortable . I could do with losing up to a max of 3 stone at a guess. In England I have received little to no help went to the gym on a program which caused a lot of hypos , and I put on a stone in weight . Been to Slimming World and Weight Watchers , but very unsuccessful , was told my diet was too bland and needed to expand what i ate , but could not eat what they told me to due to being too full , and some foods not agreeing with me .
    If you can help a lady in distress please do so Thank you so much
    Replies: #5, #42
  3. Richard
    @kate

    As Brian noticed, most diabetic diet plans emphasize carbohydrates, specifically to prevent hypoglycemia when on insulin. Very low carbohydrate ketogenic diets do the opposite: they cut carbohydrates, and emphasize the reduced need for insulin.

    The body can make all the glucose it needs, insulin is only necessary to regulate sugar spikes caused by simple sugars (crystal sugars) and complex sugars (starches) eaten in the diet. If you completely cut carbohydrates, your need for insulin drops dramatically, and the body gradually adapts, over a few weeks, to using dietary fat for fuel.

    Ketogenic diets are known to cure type II diabetes, and are extremely effective in managing type 1 diabetes (but insulin is still needed, albeit much less).

    To get a good overview, you can take a look at these websites, and always discuss this with a knowledgeable doctor (not all are).

    http://www.reddit.com/r/keto/comments/2q18vj/type1_diabetes_improveme...
    http://www.nutritionjrnl.com/article/S0899-9007(14)00332-3/fulltext

    Reply: #13
  4. Annie
    well done Brian- an inspiring story! On a cosmetic level - shorter beard - you look so much younger ! As said before - inspirational and impressive results ! ☺️
  5. robert
    Look for "Dr. Bernstein's Diabetes Solution" on amazon!

    This doctor has been a type 1 for all his life and is way above 80 now. He obviously knows how to deal with it.

    He's also got a lecture series on YouTube aptly named "Diabetes University".

    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuJ11OJynsvHMsN48LG18Ag

  6. MPaula
    Well done! I am vegetarian and when I was diagnosed with Diabetes 2, I was not impressed with their diet suggestions. I have lost 40 pounds and stopped taking medications. I have recently started exercising and hope to lose another 25.
    Now the "experts" say diabetics can eat sugar and anything else they want - in moderation.
    Thanks for this article.
  7. Frances Lilian
    Brian, you have achieved your weight goal and re-established your nutritional balance (hearty congratulations!) Now I am curious as to how you feel about the prospect of starting to reduce your daily metformin meds... gradually... and monitoring the results (my interest is being able to share such info with my partner to give him confidence).

    What is your next goal?

    Reply: #9
  8. Dan
    Congratulations! I had a similar "wake up call" almost a year ago - borderline diabetes numbers for the first time in my life. Made the change in summer, along with my wife - lost 30 pounds, and never felt better. Keep it up!
  9. Apicius
    Frances Lilian,

    Perhaps you should check out Dr Jason Fung's website, who provides advice along the lines of LCHF and reduction of diabetes meds, as you are looking for:

    http://intensivedietarymanagement.com/category/lectures/type-2-diabet...

    Good luck to you!!

  10. Aila
    I would really like to hear what your doctor had to say after seeing your transformation. I hope you told him/her about your methods.
  11. John Hale
    Good on you Brian! I have a similar story. I weighed 105 kg. on November 24th. 2014. My son said he had been researching the work of Dr. Tim Noakes from the University of Capetown in South Africa. He suggested that I google lchf and read some of the research.
    We are both through ketosis and have no fear of fat anymore. I have lost 21 kg....now tipping the scales at 84.5 kg.
    All the usual blood tests show a major improvement, but the Keyes food triangle doctor who I visit is concerned about raised cholesterol . I refuse to go back onto statins, and would love him to do a particle test on my cholesterol. I am overjoyed at being healthily reborn with my ongoing use of the lchf lifestyle.
    Stick to it Brian......and love the results
    Reply: #27
  12. Garry
    Have been using injected insulin 4 times a day and oral glucophge 1000mg twice a day for the last 15 went Paleo Primal ( we do dairy) 2 years ago lost 36 Kg first went off injected meds reduced oral by half and now for the last 4 months no medication. With effort everthing is possible, my website with pics (needs updating) http://paleoliving.co.za/
  13. Stephen
    Richard said "The body can make all the glucose it needs.."

    I can think of an exception: someone who is a type 1 diabetic because they have had their pancreas removed for whatever reason. (This happened to a friend).

    Not only do they have no way of making insulin, they also no longer have other things the pancreas produces, including glucagon, which does the opposite of insulin, i.e. it causes blood glucose to increase when need be. As far as I know, gluconeogenesis - production of new glucose by the liver - cannot happen without glucagon.

    S

    Reply: #14
  14. Jim
    Stephen, you're right. But even most type 1 diabetics still produce certain amounts of glucagon. Full pancreatectomy is not the typical cause of T1D.

    And even then, glucagon is still produced in stomach cells as a reaction to certain amino acids. This may actually be one cause of poor blood sugar control in T1D.

    So, while most type 1 diabetics cannot live (long) without exogeneous insulin, they can do very well without exogeneous carbs.

    Dr. Richard Bernstein actually promotes ketogenic diets for T1D. And yes, some of his patients complained about steady weight loss. Anecdotally, the solution was protein. Fat didn't stop weight loss. ;-)

  15. Christian
    Do you guys all only drink water?

    I realized that cheese stalls me but my lovely diet coke is really hard to give up :/

    Did you quit cold turkey?
    Any advice?

    Replies: #18, #19, #23
  16. Shannon Strickland-Brown
    YES YES YES!!!!! I am down 51 pounds, and a diabetic!!!!! I have been shouting this message from the rooftops for the last 6 months!!! The doctors and the pharmaceutical WANT you to stay on diabetes drugs and insulin! IT IS A MONEY MAKER!!!! I am almost to the point of taking NO insulin, and it because of my diet! I only eat around 20 carbs a day, and many times less than that. I FEEL AWESOME! I do exercise now, because it FEELS good! I do have 50 more pounds to lose, but I will get there!
  17. Zepp
    Look at this lecture by Jason Fung!

    The Two Big Lies of Type 2 Diabetes

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FcLoaVNQ3rc

    Well, cure the illnes not the symptomes!

  18. Murray
    Christian, I gave up all sweetened beverages cold turkey. Going water only was difficult because tap water in our city has some off-tastes, but I found a really good bottled water (Mountain Valley Spring), which the whole family really enjoys. (Even the dog strongly prefers it to our tap water.) Then I learned to enjoy teas and coffee (decaf, as I am caffeine sensitive) and choffee (a tea made using crushed cacao beans for the infusion). Rooibos is a rich tea I especially enjoy.

    Since you probably enjoy the coke for the caffeine, you might want to have 3-5 cups of coffee per day, as a recent Korean study found this cohort to have the least rate of calcium buildup (plaque) in coronary arteries.

    You'll have to learn to adapt to losing the neurotropic effects of phenylalanine and the taste of the artificial sweetener. Perhaps you could add diminishing amounts of artificial sweetener to your coffee or tea over time, until get used to non-sweet beverages.

  19. Zepp
    I drink plain water, got my own well, carbonated water on bottles, coffe (whit coffein.. im sensitve for that!), green tea.. and wine!

    Carbonated water is for comfort drinking.. some times one dont know what one want.. but surely somthing in mouth and stomage.

    Coffe for relaxations and social breaks at job, green tea late at night befor bed.

    Wine for comfort/relaxation on weekends.

    Well.. scandinavians do drink a lot o coffe.. its almoste a cultural thing, the first thing one ask if one get a visitor is if they want coffe!

  20. Jim Hunt
    Great job. I like the idea of wearing the same small shirt to show the difference.
  21. Mark H
    You like like a bit of a peodo on the right brian, get rid of the beard. Great news about your health though. I am definitely embracing low carb, giving upbooze and feel better for It
  22. Christian
    ""You'll have to learn to adapt to losing the neurotropic effects of phenylalanine and the taste of the artificial sweetener. ""

    hmm interesting... maybe thats the whole problem with the addiction?
    does PEA have negative effects in higher doses?
    how much is included in diet beverages?

  23. Cindy C
    Giving up diet Mountain Dew was really hard, but I had noticed I was getting dizzy, and had bad brain fog, when drinking it. I was not even drinking that much, but even one a day over a period of years seemed to accumulate toxic affects. I felt much better when I gave them up. The amino acids used can be neurotransmitters and that combination is not really found in nature. I also seemed to gain weight. For some a substitute soda is some mineral water with a dash of fresh lemon juice. I used a 1/2 tsp of gray sea salt in some filtered water and the juice of 1/2 lemon.

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v514/n7521/full/nature13793.html

    http://patch.com/new-jersey/ramsey-nj/how-artificial-sweeteners-cause...

  24. Ira Y
    What about teenagers who are Type 1? When my son, then 12, (he is 14 now) was diagnosed I put him on a low carb diet. His blood sugars were great and he needed very little insulin. But he had lost prior to his diagnosis a lot of weight and he did not gain it fast enough for his doctor. Now he eats 60 carbs per meal, has gained weight, takes a lot of insulin, his blood sugars are out of control and his A1c is above 8. His medical team threatened me in so many words that they would take him out of the house if I don't do what they tell me to do. They said that his growing body needs carbs. Should he have eaten more fat or more protein to gain weight with a low carb diet. And if more protein, isn't that rough on the kidneys?
    Reply: #26
  25. Fran
    Why would some one wear a T shirt that was obviously too small and uncomfortable for them, unless of course this photo shoot was pre meditated. Something looks not quite right here?
  26. Zepp
    You was doing the right thing!

    But for T1 its different then for T2, T1 can often eat more carbs.. becuse they are not insulin resistante.. so there muscles can use glucose better as fuel!

    There are no essentiall carbs at all, so its not becuse of that one eat them.. some of the carbfood provide some vitamines and minerals that is essentiall or nesesery!

    He still need to take insulin for protein!

    Its a mix for every one T1, one need to try it out!

    69 years of living with Type 1 diabetes

    http://www.diabetes-book.com/

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BdxPfxIbKqo

  27. Rasjid
    @John Hale: Maybe get your doctor to read the series on Cholesterol by Dr Peter Attia http://eatingacademy.com/nutrition/the-straight-dope-on-cholesterol-p... ? I see you already know that it is the particle count that is important, not the usually measured 'amount'.
  28. William Streeter
    My story is almost exactly the same. Only the numbers are a little different and I got my dx in early November.
  29. Brian Wells
    Fran,
    The fat photo was taken on the evening of my diagnosis and the day I started my LCHF diet.
    I had never dieted before and I wanted a record of my progress. So...yes it was premeditated.

    Now 5 months later, I am down from a size 42 pant to 34-36 depending on brand/style of pants.

    Also for the beard...I trimmed 4 inches from it. ;)

  30. Brian Wells
    I have not seen my doctor since my diagnosis. I have only went in for my lab/blood work. But I'm anxious to show him my results.
    The biggest question I have now is, has this diet, this weight loss helped my insulin resistance?
    Which is the reason he put me on the 500mg of metformin.
    Can I get off this pill?
    Reply: #31
  31. Zepp
    Your are an adult, and can take responsibility for your healt.. but an MD is good to consult on different matters.. or to prescrip the right drug if one benefits of such!

    I hade both good and bad discusions whit doctors, they often know more then I, but in some perticaly cases I know more then them!

    Best is to have good collaboration.. you whit diet and life style changes and they whit there overall knowledge and laboratorium testings!

    Soo, you have to prove that your lifestyle changes gives better submarkers.. I think this is a fair deal!

  32. Walt
    Hi guys or Brian,

    I start 2 months ago the LCHF diet, I lost 10 pounds the first 2 weeks, but now Im stuck on my weight.
    So,
    * how is a day for you?,
    * how many times a day you eat?, what kind of food, Brian says he eat pork fish meat vegetables and water, what about eggs??? ,
    * what about exercise?, LCHF says don't need exercise, works for me because I live in front of a computer, but may be Brian have a kind of work that have to do some kind of exercise....?
    * what about fat, how much fat, we use fat to keep long periods of fasting and get energy, no...?
    * what about fasting..?

    Please some advices of people have succeed with weight loss on LCHF will help me a lot.

    Thanks,
    Walt

    Replies: #33, #36
  33. Zepp
    Its naturaly.. first you get a homeostasis change and lose lot of water, and hopfully some of the fat.. then its more about that your apetite get lower and you eat less.

    I eat two times a day.. I skip breakfast.. Im to sleepy for that.

    Excersise is good for your healt and fysical capasity.. perticaly if you live a sedentary life.

    But it dont impact weightloss that much.

    High fat.. as E%.. I.E. as part of your energy demand.. it often means that one avoid low fat food and use normal amounts of fat for cooking!

    The thing about HF is to lower insulin/blood sugar.. and to upregulate your ability to live of your own fat betwen meals.. whithout hunger!

    Fasting is good for inceresead insulin sensitivity if one is insulin resistante!

    But I think one can aim at two meals a day at first!

  34. Walt
    Thanks Zepp, Last time I see the doctor, couple of days before I start with LCHF diet, he told me if I keep doing the same the next time he see me, most provably will start with medication for diabetes, means diabetes type 2, so I scare to the bone, he told me I need to loose around 50lbs to get free of any problem, because I also have cholesterol that is controlled with pills.

    So, when I see the history of Brian, that he lost 55lbs in 4 months with LCHF, I hope this is the solution to all my fails diets, but now Im a little concerned about my weight loss is stuck... I know all bodies are not equal and react different... but Im stuck.

    Last week and this one, my breakfast is only a coffee with cream, I not eating nothing until 12 - 2pm ( may be a little snack like a couple of pork rinds or cheese, " may be " not all days ) , at that time I eat something like some eggs and meat or some times left overs of the dinner, around 5 pm I drink another coffee with cream, and around 7-8 pm the dinner. I know on the weekends when we dine on a restaurant, always I order meat and vegetables, but I steal some fries of my daughter or wife plate hahaha, or a slice of bread, but no more than that.

    I have to say my energy improves a lot and my constant heartburn / acid reflux has gone the first two weeks, hope my next labs reflex also some improvements in sugar levels.

    So, I hope this tweaks on the diet works for me, thanks again for the feedback !!!
    Walt

    Reply: #35
  35. Zepp
    If you tollerate Metformine thats not that bad as medication.. it lower your ability to make own glucose and slows the regenartion of glycogen to glucose.

    If you take statins there are a side effect.. one often get a worse capacity to secret insulin to lower blood sugar and some end up as fully developed diabetics!

    Dont take my word for it, take a recheck of your lipid values and take a second opinion if its realy nesecery!

    Here you get a link to Dr Fung about curing diabetes!

    "The Two Big Lies of Type 2 Diabetes"

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FcLoaVNQ3rc

    Heres about cholesterole;

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fuj6nxCDBZ0

  36. Brian Wells
    Walt,
    Yes I eat eggs everyday, fried in real butter, mixed in some of the dishes I prepare and boiled.
    I used 36 eggs about every 9-10 days.
    As far as a "workout" plan, I don't have one nor do I go to a gym. I do work outside everyday raising Angus beef cattle.
    After 9 months on LCHF lifestyle...I have lost a total of 75 lbs and my current weight is 192 lbs.
  37. Jennifer
    Congratulations, Brian! Keep at it.

    By the way, there is nothing wrong with your beard.

  38. Walt
    Thanks Brian, you are in the right path man, I'm in the same weight 215 for the last 4 months , but I keep doing LCHF, hope someday break the stalling I have.
  39. Tom B
    Hi Brian;
    You inspire me, could you give me your daily menu, as I am 66, 240lbs,never been this heavy in my life, now border line diabetic, addicted to carbs, chips pretzels, ice cream, chocolate, any help will be greatly appreciated. Thanks; Tom B
  40. Rosie D
    I have limited my carb intake to <20g per meal on a 3 meal per day. Sometimes I have 2 meals per day. My snack 4-5g of carb. I lost 15 pounds in 6 months. I eat a lot of salad without dressing with meals that fills me up and drink herbal tea through the day. I was diagnosed with diabetes 6 months ago and now it's gone.
  41. Thelma
    Hi Walt!

    Enjoyed your comment and thought to myself, I understand stealing or cheating a little but have found that if I do it once in awhile, it is so much easier to do it more frequently. Just stick to your ketogenic diet. I find that as long as I am in ketosis, meaning NO sugar from any source, I lose. As soon as I cheat with French fries or bread or even a dish of icecream, I am off ketosis for several days and have to get drastic to get myself back on. Hope this helps you get back on track.

  42. Marianne
    Hi Kate, I am not a doctor for sure. However, I know what it is like living in the UK and not getting the correct help. For type 1 and 2.
    By correct help I mean eating properly and Low carbing.
    I know it is very difficult to get G.P's to both listen and help.
    I don't know how much control you have over your Insulin. How often do you see your nurse??
    All you can do is follow LCHF as far as healthy eating is concerned. As far as the carbs are concerned I should think it will be trial and error at first. Possibly eliminating one set of foods you would normally eat and see what happens. Say for example Fruit or Bread. Then see what happens. You will know by checking your Blood Sugars and how much insulin you need to take. Ideally I would think you need a GP who will assist you. Hoping someone else on here will be able to give you some help. Good Luck.
  43. Carolyn Brack-Jackson
    I used to weigh 294lbs, today I weigh 231.2 lbs. I credit this all to LCHF lifestyle. I am 64yo and completed my first 5K on 9/3/2016 and will be participating in one on 9/24. The reason why I am telling you all this is there is no way I call have hauled all that fat forward in space without losing weight and gaining energy the ketogenic way. My goal is to run a marathon, to weigh about 165lbs and most importantly be off medications( reduced , but not yet eliminated). This site encourages me, informs and educates me and I want to thank everyone for their passion on helping people get healthy! Thanks Dr. Andreas, et.al!
  44. Greg
    Hi Walt
    I'm a 300 pound 6 foot tall 55 year old with diabetes, high blood pressure....I'm going to try LCHF.
    Please post a typical daily diet for yourself...It sounds like you eat at least 3 eggs per day, but would really like to see a typical day of eating for you.
    Thanks your story has motivated me to try this

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