Diet Successes

Put me in a room of people discussing weight loss and I’ll tell you that the room will soon form little clumps of people touting one diet or another. The more widely used diets have their proponents, many of whom will argue the point.

A little considered element when talking weight loss diets is looking at what people were eating before they embarked on a weight loss adventure.

There’s science and there’s nonsense. For the most part, lower carb wins slightly over low fat, but the issue is that the lower carb way of eating is much more in line with a diet best suited to people with diabetes. Why? Because whether we have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, we have a carb metabolism problem of one type or the other. Simple as that. Giving someone a whole lot of carbs when that requires a whole lot of insulin, whether exogenous or endogenous insulin, has to me always defied logic.

The lower carb you go, the more you will use ketones as fuel rather than glucose/glycogen. I could explain the intricacies of it, but entire books have been written on the subject (for example Jimmy Moore’s Keto Clarity), so I’m not going to reinvent the wheel.

One thing I will say is that fuel ketones are the healthy kind. The ketones that are only present with a high blood glucose – they are the bad kind. That’s why I call the state of producing the good kind, nutritional ketosis. It’s very different to being in diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) with high blood glucose and high ketones. That can be deadly. Being in nutritional ketosis is nothing like that.

Whatever success or failure you’ve experienced with weight loss, it’s not always the type of diet alone. Always compare your chosen diet to what you were eating before! See if you’ve reduced carbs, are eating healthier, not drinking sodas, not eating sugar laden food, and note any other changes.

Eating a diet almost devoid of nutrients, full of artificial flavours and preservatives, frankenfood fried in hydrogenated fat, no vegetables, and often out of a packet, is courting disaster on the weight gain front (depending on how active you are), in addition to which, you’re also courting inflammation, gut issues, dental issues, liver issues (especially with a high sugar diet), and general bad health by eating garbage.

Once you start eating real, single ingredient, fresh food in the form of moderate protein (approx. under 80g a day) meat, fish and chicken with sides of lower carb vegetables and the odd piece of fruit, rather a lot of healthy fats (including saturated fat if organic) which will help with hunger, cutting out most grains, (dairy is your choice but many feel better without it), you’re going to feel better and see the scales move in the right direction.

You also need to move a bit too. If you are sedentary and able to walk, a simple walk, breathing fresh air a few times a week, will do it. Unless you’re exercising for several hours a day, exercise doesn’t really burn calories (it apparently takes 5 hours of vigorous exercise to burn off a Big Mac) as much as it makes cells more insulin sensitive. The less insulin you need or produce, the less that insulin will promote weight gain and hunger.

Stress is also an issue. Trying to lose weight when you’re stressed makes the job much harder. Actively getting your stress levels down with yoga, meditation or by whatever natural means work for you, is a big thing. High stress chemicals in your body can impede weight loss. So can inflammation and many other things.

So, next time someone tells you that their diet is the best and the only one that works, ask them what they were eating before, and ask them what’s different now! On that basis, most of the more popular diets will work compared to before! For diabetes, a diet based on fresh food and lower carbs, makes lots of sense to me.

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Low Carb Down Under Aus/NZ Tour November 2014 with Jimmy Moore

A must-see series of Low Carb events is being held in Australia this month! With speakers like USA’s low carb guru Jimmy Moore from Livin’ La Vida Low Carb fame, these events promise to be awesome, informative and life-changing if you take the challenge of going low carb! 

Keto Clarity - Jimmy MooreJimmy Moore’s weight loss and his n=1 experiments, along with hundreds of  interviews with experts in the field, have spawned several best-selling books – Keto Clarity, being his latest. His books and blog are here.

Want to be healthier? Would you like to lose weight? Do you have diabetes and want to keep your blood glucose more stable? Want to understand more about the role a low carb/ketogenic way of eating can play in your life and how it can keep you in optimum health?

All this and more!

The opportunity to see Jimmy Moore in person made me jump at the chance. Bought a ticket about 5 seconds after I first heard. Many of you know that I’ve been promoting a low carb diet. I’ve particularly encouraged you if your diabetes isn’t under good control, but low carb can play a very healthy role in much more than just diabetes. 

The organisers include doctors of medicine, who strongly believe in this way of life. What better validation?

The movement away from sugar and isolated fructose, reducing carbs, and ditching gluten-grains (in fact, preferably all grains) has been gaining momentum since I started on low carb many years ago. I’m absolutely delighted to see the progress made in recent years, particularly the favourable research into low carb and ketogenic diets, and the number of people switching to this way of life.

Eating real food is good for you! Simple, easy to prepare, no ingredients you can’t pronounce, just real food that nourishes you and keeps you healthy. 

Come along!

Information about the Australia-wide events below with links to further information on the Low Carb Down Under website.

If anyone’s going to the Gold Coast event, let me know (use the contact page)? I’ll be there! 

(Event details reproduced here with the permission of Dr Rod Tayler from Low Carb Down Under.)

Melbourne: Saturday 15th November   Details here

Hobart: Sunday 16th November   Details here

Launceston: Monday 17th November   Details here

Byron Bay: Wednesday 19th November   Details here

Gold Coast: Thursday 20th November   Details here

Brisbane: Saturday 22nd November   Details here

Adelaide: Tuesday 25th November   Details here

Perth: Thursday 27th November   Details here

Sydney: Saturday 29th November   Details here

**New Zealand – Auckland: Thursday 13th November** Details here 

Jimmy Moore talks to LCDU about the Nov. 2014 Tour

Here’s an update from Jimmy Moore, who can’t wait to meet you and answer your questions at an LCDU event near you.


Jimmy asked if you could post questions in advance on the LCDU Facebook page.


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Still Learning

In 30 years of diabetes, which has progressed, sometimes become better-managed, and has changed over the years, I’ll profess my avid interest in its treatment.

I thought I knew a lot until I started the preparation for going on an insulin pump earlier this year. Since then, I can’t tell you how much more my poor brain has been filled with extra information. Every week it seems I learn something new. Whether it’s about managing the disease, research, reading other people’s experiences, it’s still learning.

My averages had been creeping up over the last couple of weeks. I can put it down to a number of things including another kilo on my already overweight frame (I still manage to just scrape in to the ‘overweight’ category with Body Mass Index (BMI)).

We had visitors and were eating out a lot, in places where whatever was on my plate was sometimes difficult to carb-guess. And the kicker was the extra exercise. Like some, I’m not textbook when it comes to exercise. I don’t do enough of it (knee needing replacement) so I go high during exercise – contrary to text book advice – and have to bolus more. More bolus = more insulin = more weight for me. Going high during all the walking we did meant extra insulin.

So, whatever the reason or combination of reasons for my averages going up, I felt I had to break the cycle. Three days last week, I did very-low-carb. This week, I’m doing lower-carb. It’s done the trick. Don’t take this as advice – it’s just my experience.

Under no circumstances did I want to increase my TDD of insulin, which would put on more weight. What I did, worked nicely for me. I’m back to carb-watch-eating and my numbers are way better. In the process, I also shed a couple of pounds, for which I’m very grateful. The extra weight seems to be super-glued to me, and getting it off is a battle.

In passing, my endo, a few weeks ago, told me not to worry about the extra weight, considering how well I’ve done since I went on an insulin pump. I didn’t think much of it at the time. My thoughts were of fashion and vanity.

In a twist of fate, I subsequently read about some latest studies which suggest that BMIs under 18 and over 30 are associated with a greater risk of death. What was apparently surprising to the researchers was that the overweight category BMI: 25 to 30, was NOT associated with any significant greater risk. And the most surprising was that the underweight category BMI <18, was.

We all thought that calorie restriction was the way to go. Apparently not. From what I’m reading, going into the twilight years with a little extra padding, isn’t all that bad. What is vitally important, is your fitness. If you are normal weight and not fit, you do worse than someone overweight and fit.

If you have the time, watch the video below. It outlines some of the latest research.

Obesity: Ten Things You Thought You Knew

So maybe my endo had seen these same studies.

That still doesn’t let me off the hook as far as off-the-hook fashion goes. And yeah, I’m not all that fit. I hope to change that.

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Animas Insulin Pump

I've had an Animas Insulin Pump since June 2009. I absolutely love my pump and I love the wonderful people at Animas (AMSL Australia).

If you are even remotely thinking of getting an insulin pump, please feel free to contact me and ask me why I love mine and what a huge difference it's made to my life.

There are also lots of posts here to give you similar information.