‘I never want to go back to being diabetic’ – can the new NHS diet plan reverse diabetes?

Michael Cunningham, 68, had a powerful motivation to lose weight to reverse his type 2 diabetes. When she was only 45, his youngest sister Angela had died from a complication related to the disease. “She was 16 weeks in intensive care and I remember her saying to me at one point, ‘I’m not coming out of here’ Mike,” says the former headteacher from Cumbria.

Years later, in 2009, Cunningham was told that he had type 2 diabetes and was put on the drug metformin. His weight had crept up to 15st 4lb. “It was a bit of a shock finding that out, as I’d been active all my life,” he recalls. “But the stress of the job, with long hours, meant I was eating the wrong things at the wrong times.” He tried several recommended diet plans, “but they weren’t really working for me. I was watching what I was eating, but the weight wasn’t coming off quick enough,” he says.

Soon Cunningham was on three different types of medication, including slow release insulin. “The combination of them left me feeling really foggy and just not myself,” he says. In October 2016 a friend told him about Mosley’s Fast800 plan, which he had heard could help reverse his diabetes. He signed up for the next available support programme, and in the meantime tried to follow the diet from the book at home, with the support of his partner Rachel.

“By January, I’d already dropped to just over 14st and my blood sugars had fallen,” he says. “It was really motivating to see such quick results – but it was still hard, especially over Christmas with no booze.”

At the end of the programme he weighed 11st 5lb. “I was a bit too thin, but it had the desired effect because it put my diabetes into remission and I’m no longer on any medication,” says Cunningham.

His weight now hovers between 11st 10lb and 12st. The couple have kept a healthy regime up. “There were times, especially over lockdown when it crept up a few pounds, but we know what to do now. If there’s a blip, I just go on a fast for a couple of days over the week and it adjusts so quickly. I don’t want to go back to being diabetic.”

November is Diabetes Awareness Month. For more details of Dr Mosley’s eating plan visit thefast800.com

For support, advice and information on diabetes visit Diabetes UK

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