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