There is another way: Dr Michael Mosley’s ground-breaking 8-Week Blood Sugar Diet from his book.
Here, in the first part of a two-part series, we publish his simple yet healthy and tasty plan for sticking to 800 calories a day — while still feeling full.
Six years ago I discovered, after a routine blood test, that I was a type 2 diabetic. This was a particularly nasty shock because my father had died, aged 74, from complications of diabetes.
But rather than start on medication, which is what my doctor advised, I decided to find something I could do to overcome diabetes without drugs.
I’m not alone in trying to find a solution to this cruel disease, which is at epidemic proportions: one in three Britons now has pre-diabetes (blood sugar levels that are abnormally high but not yet in the diabetic range), while about four million have the condition itself.
And if you do have pre-diabetes (and unless you’ve been tested you won’t know), there’s a 30 per cent chance that within five years you will go on to develop type 2 diabetes — the kind linked to unhealthy diet and lifestyle.
This can lead to a range of serious complications including an increased risk of going blind, needing an amputation or suffering a heart attack, kidney failure or dementia.
Luckily, I believe I did discover an answer to type 2 — my best-selling Blood Sugar Diet book, which shows you how to eat to beat diabetes.
I believe I did discover an answer to type 2 — my best-selling Blood Sugar Diet book, which shows you how to eat to beat diabetes
Since I wrote it just over two years ago, tens of thousands of men and women have used it to lose weight, cut their risk of type 2 diabetes and even reduce their reliance on medication.
People like Cassie, a nurse, who within weeks of starting was able to come off insulin injections. In a couple of months she lost more than 20kg (44lb) and then managed to get pregnant. ‘You have helped make a little miracle possible,’ she wrote, ‘for which I can’t thank you enough.’
But it’s not just weight loss and diabetes — the diet has led to dramatic improvement in people with a range of other ailments, from eczema to polycystic ovary syndrome, a condition that hinders fertility and affects nearly one in five women.
The key, based on extensive research, lies in switching to a Mediterranean-style diet rich in healthy fats and vegetables, but low in sugar and starch.
And, if you have a lot of weight to lose, sticking to 800 calories per day for eight weeks, you could lose up to an astonishing 33lb and completely reverse your diabetes.
Studies by one of Europe’s leading diabetes experts, Professor Roy Taylor of Newcastle University, have shown that a rapid weight-loss diet is just what you need to reduce the belly fat that’s so bad for us. My own plan is backed by studies which show that if it is done properly, a rapid weight-loss diet can be a safe and effective way to cut fat and achieve your goals.
I’m thrilled to see the health service is taking the research seriously and I look forward to lots more people reversing their type 2 diabetes.
Not everyone can manage a low-calorie diet like this. But you can still gain many of the benefits (though you may lose weight more slowly) by easing yourself in gently and picking one, two, or three 800-calorie days a week and eating according to sensible, low-carbohydrate diet principles the rest of the time.
In scientific studies, liquid diets are mainly done for convenience — it’s an easy way to keep tabs on what people are consuming. But others have done it just as successfully on solid food.
To make it easy for you, here in a sample week of my 8-week plan, the Mail is focusing on soups and shakes that can go towards making up your 800 calories a day.
Since I wrote it just over two years ago, tens of thousands of men and women have used it to lose weight, cut their risk of type 2 diabetes and even reduce their reliance on medication (file photo)
The principles of the Blood Sugar Diet are that it is low in starchy carbs, but packed full of disease-fighting vitamins and rich in olive oil, fish, nuts, fruit and vegetables, as well as full-fat yoghurt and eggs.
That’s because large studies have found that not only do people gain multiple health benefits from a Mediterranean -style diet but they find it easier to stick to — unlike a low-fat diet — as it’s simple and enjoyable.
The idea is that — whether by following the recipes shown here or creating your own — you follow these principles, restricting your daily calories to 800.
For some people this will mean having just two meals a day, for others it will be three smaller ones. And while alcohol isn’t banned for life, it’s worth avoiding owing to its high calorie content.
If after eight weeks you still have more weight to lose, or need to bring your blood sugar levels down further, move to the more relaxed 5:2 approach.
To make it easy for you, here in a sample week of my 8-week plan, the Mail is focusing on soups and shakes that can go towards making up your 800 calories a day
If you are on medication, talk to your GP. This is particularly important because he or she should be involved in monitoring and tapering off your medicines. It’s also essential that you discuss the diet with your doctor if any of the following apply:
You should also confirm with your doctor that you really are a type 2 diabetic. There are other, rarer forms that will not respond in the same way to weight loss.
To order a copy for £7.19 (20 per cent discount) go to mailshop.co.uk/books or call 0844 571 0640. Offer valid until 30/9/18. P&P free on orders over £15.
The 8-Week Blood Sugar Diet Recipe Book by Dr Claire Bailey (Short Books, £14.99). © Claire Bailey 2016. Order for £11.99 before 30/9/18, details as before.
Add the teabag to 200ml boiling water. Remove the bag and chill tea in fridge. Put in a blender with other ingredients. Whizz together.
Place chicken, rosemary and garlic in a large bowl with olive oil and toss together. Fry chicken pieces for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, bring a large pan of water to the boil and add the green beans. Boil for 2 minutes, then add the butter beans and cook for 2 minutes more then drain.
To make the dressing, whisk together the oil, mustard and vinegar in a small bowl. Pour over the salad and toss gently to combine.
In a bowl, mix the crab meat, sweetcorn, paprika, a splash of Worcestershire sauce, mayonnaise, spring onion and parsley. Season and stir in lemon juice.
Place the bowl in the fridge for a few hours. Sprinkle some flour, seasoned with black pepper, on a clean surface and on your hands and shape the crab mixture into two patties. Heat a little oil in a non-stick frying pan. When hot, fry the crabcakes for 3 minutes on each side. Serve with steamed broccoli.
Crack eggs into bowl and whisk with salt and pepper. Heat butter in a pan and add the eggs. Push them around for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Stir in chives and serve on tomato.
Cook chorizo over medium heat, stirring a bit, for 5 minutes. Drain on paper towels and discard fat. Add the oil to a pan on a medium heat. Add leek and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add the pepper, garlic, chilli and paprika and cook for 1 minute. Add the puree and cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes. Add stock and chickpeas and boil. Simmer, partially cover and cook for 20 minutes. Add spinach and chorizo and heat for 2 minutes.
Heat oil in wok over a high heat, add chicken and stir-fry for 5 minutes, until golden brown. Add chilli, stir-fry for 1 minute then add coconut milk, fish sauce, coriander and spring onions. Cook for 3 minutes, drizzle with lime juice and serve, with cooked rice if you wish.
Put melon, berries, milk and spinach into a blender. Whizz smooth. Stir in seeds, pour into a container and chill in fridge for at least an hour.
Peel courgette into ribbons. Mix with rocket and raspberries. Drizzle with vinegar and olive oil and top with seeds, feta and mint.
Heat oil in a large pan, add the shallot, fennel and garlic and cook for 5 minutes until softened. Add wine and let bubble for a minute. Pour in the chicken stock and tomatoes and bring to the boil. Simmer for 15 minutes, then stir in the seafood and spinach to heat through.
Place the raisins in a bowl and pour over the apple juice. Leave to chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour or overnight. When ready to eat, mix with the flaxseed and yoghurt and sprinkle over the cinnamon and walnut pieces.
Pour the stock into a large saucepan and bring to the boil, add the sweetcorn, beansprouts, mangetout, peas and ginger and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add the fish sauce and lime juice, and season. Cook prawns in the broth until pink, it should take 2-3 minutes. Serve topped with the herbs and red chilli.
Heat the oven to 200c. Put the beetroot in a roasting tin with a couple of centimetres of water in the bottom. Cover with foil and roast in the oven for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, put the vinegar, juice, zest and oil into a screw-top jar, season with salt and pepper and shake until well combined. When they are done, remove the beetroot from the oven — they should be tender when pierced with a knife.
When they are cool enough to handle, peel off the skins, top and tail them and slice into rounds. Toss them in a little of the dressing from the jar. Peel the oranges, following the contour of the fruit, then cut each one into thin slices. Trim the head of the chicory and separate the leaves, discarding the outer ones. Arrange the leaves in a salad bowl and then add the cooked, sliced beetroot, orange rounds and chopped spring onion.
Flake the smoked mackerel fillets on top, add the walnut halves and drizzle with the remaining dressing.
Grill the seasoned mushrooms, drizzled with oil, on a baking tray, for three minutes then add smoked salmon to each. Mix the creme fraiche, mustard and lemon juice and spread over the salmon. Top each with watercress, a poached egg and a scattering of pine nuts.
Heat the oil in a pan, add the cumin and onions, and cook for 10 minutes, lid on. Add the beetroot and apple, stir and cook for 10 minutes more. Add the stock, turn up the heat, add the star anise and season. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Take off the heat, remove the star anise and blitz. Return to the pan, add the beans, simmer for 20 minutes then serve with yoghurt and chives.
Preheat the oven to 200c. Mash the garlic, butter and herbs together. Put chicken on a roasting tray and cut holes in the skin over breasts and thighs. Push blobs of garlic butter under the skin, and over it. Season. Squeeze lemon juice over the chicken and put the rind inside the cavity. Add the onion to the tray, cut-side down. Roast the chicken, allowing 20 minutes per pound plus 20 minutes extra, basting every 20 minutes. Add the carrots 40 minutes before the end of cooking time.
Place the cauliflower florets on another tray. Season, drizzle with oil and bake for 25 minutes. Cook the green veg as you make gravy. When chicken is cooked, remove it to rest. Discard onion. Stir cornflour, oil and juices in roasting tray, then add 300ml water, stock cube and soy sauce, and stir until gravy has thickened. Carve and serve with the vegetables.
Season the mushrooms and grill for 2 minutes. Place the beans, sauce and mozzarella in a pan and heat. Combine and serve.
Put stock and wine in a pan, boil for 10 minutes to reduce. Rub steaks with seasoning. Place a frying pan over a high heat with butter and oil and fry steaks for 3 minutes on one side for medium or 2 minutes for rare. Turn and cook for 2 minutes for medium, 1 minute for rare. Pour in the reduced stock, creme fraiche and peppercorns. Stir, and cook for a minute more. Serve with salad.
Preheat oven to 190c. Bake almonds for 10 minutes. Cool, then blend. Serve 2 tbsp of butter with seeds, berries and apple.
Preheat oven to 180c. Drizzle trout with olive oil, place lime slices on top, sprinkle with cumin, season and bake for 8 minutes. Cook peas in boiling water for 3 minutes. Drain and place in bowl. Add yoghurt and lime juice and mash. Stir in coriander and season. Serve trout on top of peas.
Boil eggs for 6-7 minutes, then cool, peel and cut in half. Meanwhile, simmer the fish in milk with bay leaves for 10 minutes. Remove fish to a plate to cool, then remove skin and flake the flesh. Add grated cauliflower to the milk and simmer for 5-7 minutes. Drain the milk into a bowl and put cauliflower aside.
In a frying pan, sweat diced onion in 1 tbsp coconut oil for 5 minutes. Stir in curry powder and cook for another 2-3 minutes, then fold in cauliflower, flaked fish and peas, with infused milk to loosen. Simmer. In a pan, fry sliced onion in the rest of oil until crisp. Add a squeeze of lemon to kedgeree and serve.
The school lunchtime supervisor is married to David, 63, a farmer, and the couple have three grown-up children.
She says: ‘At my largest, I weighed 17st 4lb, despite being just 5ft 5in. Nothing could shift the weight for good.
‘Then a routine blood test five years ago showed me to be pre-diabetic. This came as a terrible shock.
Val Cornall, 52, lost more than 6st in eight months on the 8-Week Blood Sugar Diet. She said: 'It’s the best diet for me and the only way I’ve ever lost weight.' Right: before, left: after
‘Despite trying other diets that my friends had followed, such as Slimming World, the temptation of carbohydrates was always too much. I realised that I needed to cut them out because if I don’t I get hungry and just eat more.
‘Thanks to the 8-Week Blood Sugar Diet, I lost 6st 5lb. It cuts out carbs, which is why it’s so good for me.'
Val who now weighs 14st 11lb says: ‘Recently, I’ve regained a couple of stone due to a bereavement. But I decided today that I’m going to go back on it — it’s the best diet for me and the only way I’ve ever lost weight. I really want to be there for my lovely grandchildren. While on the diet I had so much more energy to play with them.’
● 120g seeds: equal amounts golden linseeds (or flax seeds), chia seeds, sunflower seeds and sesame seeds
Preheat the oven to 170c. Mix the flour and 250ml cold water in one bowl and in another, dissolve the Marmite in 50ml hot water and pour it into the flour. Add extra flavouring or herbs, if using.
Now stir in the seeds and the Maldon salt. Leave the dough to bind for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Pictured: thin seed crackers with dip. Crackers can be stored in an airtight container for up to a week
Sprinkle over a little extra Maldon salt and bake for 25 minutes. While still warm, slice the biscuit into crackers.
Remove them from the baking paper and turn them over. Return them to the oven for another 25 minutes, until they start to turn golden.
For a super-simple lunch snack, take a matchbox-sized piece of hard cheese, an apple or pear, or a handful of berries, along with a stick of celery and a couple of seeded crackers.
Blend the chickpeas, lemon juice, olive oil, tahini, garlic, cumin, salt and water in a food processor until you have a creamy puree. Serve with a drizzle of oil and a sprinkling of paprika.
Blend all the ingredients in a food processor until you have a paste. Loosen with water if needed and season. Cover and store in the fridge.
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Peel and deseed the cucumber, then grate or finely dice it. Combine it in a bowl with the yoghurt and all the other ingredients and a large pinch of salt.
Remove the skin and mash the fish in a bowl with cheese and lemon juice. Season with black pepper, and add the horseradish. Serve on slices of cucumber.
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