“On 19th January 2012 I was told something I never expected and ultimately changed my life forever. After routine blood tests my GP told me that I was suffering from Type 2 diabetes. My initial reaction to this news was sheer anger, I refused to be diabetic and I didn’t want medication to control my life."
Name: Stehpanie Tate Start weight: 15 stone 4lbs Current weight: 10st 10lbs
"After my diagnosis I went home and began looking into how I could gain back control and combat my diabetes. This is when I came across a website called BloodSugar101. It recommended low carb eating and included testimonies from people for which this method had proved successful. Willing to give anything a try, I immediately cut my carbohydrate intake to just 20g Net Carbs a day, which is recommended by the New Atkins nutritional approach.
As part of my research I also read a book entitled The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living, by Jeff S.Volek and Stephen D. Phinney, who co-wrote the ‘New Atkins New You’ book. This explained to me the effects of carbohydrates on the body and the benefits of reducing their intake. Fuelled by anger, it wasn’t difficult to change my eating habits so dramatically, as I knew I was doing it to benefit my health and quality of life.
When I met with my diabetes nurse, she too recommended a change in diet could help me control my condition. However, she advised that all of my meals should be based around carbohydrates. Luckily, I’d read enough to convince me this was the appropriate approach for me. The most difficult thing for me to give up was some of my favourite fruits, apart from berries, which I do still enjoy in small quantities. Before being told I had diabetes, I knew I was overweight but I didn’t have what you would describe as a ‘bad’ diet. I ate lots of fruit and vegetables, bread that I made from scratch, fish, pasta and the occasional cake, as I am keen baker.
However after adopting the New Atkins style diet I realised just how damaging some of the food I’d been consuming had been. The weight started to drop off, my energy levels soared and most importantly my blood sugar levels decreased significantly. In four months it went from 6.8 mmol/L to 6.2 mmol/L. My GP did not know I had adopted an Atkins style eating plan, so when I went back to him in the March he was pleasantly surprised to see the improvements in my blood sugars, purely from the change to my diet, meaning he didn’t have to prescribe medication.
Seeing the difference in my health, as well as my appearance means I would never go back to eating carbohydrates. If I ever accidentally eat carbs I instantly feel my cravings coming back, so I can now see it was an addiction rather than an eating habit.
Today my diet is full of leafy greens, meats, oily fish, vegetables and I feel better than ever. I also always keep Atkins bars to hand in case I am out and about and can’t find a low carb snack option – my favourite is the Endulge Chocolate Coconut bar. I don't feel in the least deprived in any way and am not at all tempted by croissants and cakes. I don't consider that I am ‘on a diet’ - this is my way of eating for life.
Since adopting a New Atkins eating plan I feel so much happier. People keep telling me how good I look, but more importantly I know that I have control over my body. The weight loss has also given me more confidence than I ever had before. When I was big I used to feel invisible, thinking that because of my size people didn’t see me. Now I am slowly getting used to people noticing me, for all the right reasons.
Although I was angry at first, I can honestly say that I am almost grateful for the diagnosis, as it has helped me change my eating habits for the better and improve my health more than I ever imagined.”
“Now I am slowly getting used to people noticing me, for all the right reasons.”
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