5:2 Diet

You would think with all the cycling I have been doing I would be fading away, but the truth is that weight loss is 80 to 90% about the food you eat. There are countless diet approaches out there, some are nutritionally sound while others are not.  The trick is to find the right (nutritionally sound) one for you.  The CSIRO diet works for some, others swear by the Mediterranean diet, while others have had great success with the traditional ‘just eat less everyday’ approach.  For me, because my social life revolves around catching up with friends for a coffee or a meal, it’s intermittent energy restriction. The 5:2 fast diet, a form of intermittent energy restriction, became all the craze a few years ago after Michael Mosely, a UK based medical reporter, was featured on the ABC Catalyst program. The 5:2 fast diet involves lowering your food intake to 500 calories a day for women and 600 calories a day for men, 2 days a week, and then eating to appetite the rest of the week.  Enough of the people I see were interested in trying this diet that I joined with colleagues at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and The University of Sydney to conduct a pilot study to see if intermittent fasting was safe for people with diabetes. We hope to present our results at this year’s American Scientific Meeting in San Diego.  So far we have had good success with intermittent fasting, in both people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes, but it is important to work with your diabetes team if you want to follow this diet.  You will probably need your diabetes medication adjusted. You will also need to keep a closer eye on your blood glucose levels, although these two things are true of any change in your diet. Let me know if you would like to know more about the 5:2 fasting approach or if you want help finding a diet approach that is right for you. If you live in Victoria, I would love for you to join me at Diabetes Victoria’s Diabetes Expo on Saturday the 25th of February.


Written by Jane Overland

“Normal” blood sugar levels

Just because you feel okay with a blood sugar level of 2mmol/L does not make it safe.  In the last week I have seen a number of people with type 1 diabetes who have been striving to keep their blood glucose levels as close to normal as possible to try to reduce their risk of long term complications, but at the expense of severe and sometimes life threatening hypoglycaemia.  Aiming for an HbA1c of 6.5 to 7.0% may be doable in the initial years of living with type 1 diabetes but your ability to recognise low sugars, and your body’s ability to protect you from them, starts to lessen over time.  Achieving an HbA1c around 7% in the first five to ten years will lay down a solid foundation.  We know from research that this will help to protect you from long term complications for many years, if not decades, to come.  But after that you may need to change your goal.  New technologies, such as insulin pumps or continuous glucose monitoring, can also make it easier for you to stay safe.  You should talk to your diabetes team about what the right goal and the right treatment is for you. You are also welcome to contact us at Total Diabetes Care.


Written by Jane Overland

Integrative Health Coaching

It is only day two of the New Year and I have already broken my New Year’s Resolution. Chances are I am not alone; only 8% of us are able to successfully stick with our pledge.

Integrative Health Coaching has been shown to significantly increase our chance of success. That’s why we are delighted that Fiona Capstick is a member of the Total Diabetes Care team. Fiona worked for many years as a Diabetes Nurse Consultant at the internationally acclaimed Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Diabetes Centre in Sydney before traveling to the United States and branching out into Integrative Health Coaching.  She underwent extensive training and certification at the Integrative Medicine Centre at Duke University.  Fiona is highly regarded by those who know and work with her. She has kindly provided us with this post talking about Integrative Health Coaching and whether it might be right for you.

When it comes to making impactful changes, many of us have tried in the past, but for a variety of reasons have not been able to sustain those changes beyond “an initial burst”. Lets face it, if bringing about long term change was easy then we would all be walking around at our ideal weight with a perfect blood pressure and no stress in our lives!

An Integrative Health Coach works as your partner to help you plan and make positive changes to your health. We help you think about what is important across all aspects of your life, including your health. We work together using a practiced process to help you to develop a personal health plan and to set realistic goals based on what is important to you. Working one-on-one, usually over a three month period, you receive support, develop practical strategies and get the resources you need to work towards make long lasting change.

People partner with Integrative Health Coaches for a variety of reasons.  Maybe you feel stuck or overwhelmed and you are now ready to try new approaches to making lifestyle changes. You might feel that now is the time to take charge, make a plan and get the support you need to live a fuller and healthier life. Perhaps something new or exciting is on the horizon, such as the beginning of a relationship, a new job, or you are planning to get pregnant and you want to take some time, in a structured and supported way to look at all aspects of you health and be better prepared for the next phase. You may have just been told you have diabetes or you are beginning a new phase in your treatment, such as starting a new medication, and you decide to take some time to look at your diabetes and how it fits with the rest of your life.  Integrative Health Coaching could be right for you for these and many other reasons.

Written by Jane Overland

Total Diabetes Care