‘I reversed Type 2 diabetes by banting’

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Peter Bruce, editor-in-chief of BDFM (Business Day, BDlive and the Financial Mail), tells us about his LCHF experience. Q: Do you have a family history of diabetes? A: No. But I was putting on a lot of weight and I had a thyroid problem, so I went to see a specialist who sent me for some blood tests for the thyroid issue – but also tested my HbA1c. When my results came in, she said, ‘Look, you’re pretty close to being a diabetic.’ I didn’t pay much attention to it because I didn’t know much about diabetes. When I went back about six months later to do another thyroid test, we did the HbA1c again. The result showed I was indeed a Type 2 diabetic. These things eventually happen to you if you don’t do anything about them. Q: Were you actively trying to lose weight? A: I was overweight and kidding myself but I didn’t pay it much attention because I just assumed that the weight I was putting on was a natural part of growing older. I’d long given up trying to put on a pair of pants with a 36” waistline. But it began to really irritate me that I had this ‘thing’; once you’re diabetic you’ve got to report it to your medical aid. I just thought, ‘No man, I’m going to do something.’ I didn’t quite know what, but decided I was going to fight back. Q: Did you try other diets before you tried LCHF? A: I tried a couple of diets like South Beach and Atkins and they were all terribly complicated and, frankly, difficult, because they just demanded too many sacrifices. I’d lose weight and put it back on or go on holiday at Christmas and be back to square one. Then a guy I follow on twitter, @lifeis savage, took a bet with his followers. He invited us to all go on a pre-Christmas diet rather than try to lose weight afterwards. He was going to stop drinking and taking sugar for a month. So, I thought I’d go along and do it with him and we’d tweet each other every now and then. Right about that time, I bumped into Prof Tim Noakes at a function in Cape Town and watched what he was eating during the evening. He was offered ice cream and pudding and he turned it down and had berries instead. So I spoke to him about his diet and got really excited because he could explain what was happening in your body – particularly if you were insulin resistant. I read a bit more about it and started following his advice. It’s really simple: just don’t eat carbs. Or, if you have to, keep them to a reasonable limit a day. Once you discover what else there is out there to eat it becomes really easy. I had a great time discovering it all. And I didn’t stop drinking, I simply changed what I was drinking: less wine,less beer and a little bit more whiskey. I missed bread because I’m a big sandwich fan, but soon discovered there were other ways to make it. I learned how to make my own low-carb bread with almond flour, and it’s lovely. I’ve had more sandwiches and cheese and nut butter on toast than ever before and the more I eat the stuff, the more weight I lose – it’s quite extraordinary. Read the full article in LOSE IT Volume 3. By Marli Meyer Photograph: Chelsea MacLachlan  

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