AN ANSWER…. for the millions of overweight people who experience progressively increasing glucose, LDL, triglycerides, blood pressure, midline adiposity and live with chronic fatigue, poor memory, mild depression and insatiable appetite.
Compare fasting labs to a different set of “standards” and choose the right diet style to insure success. We have the tools to stop the epidemics of obesity and diabetes…NOW.
As a Certified Diabetes Educator and Registered Dietitian with over 30 years experience specializing in weight loss, metabolic syndrome, pre diabetes, and type 2 diabetes, it should be difficult for me to admit that I used to be overweight and medicated for hypertension, cholesterol, and diabetes. I became sicker, heavier, and required medication even as I followed “the perfect diet and exercise program”. The good news is that I no longer require medications and am thinner, healthier, and feel better than I did 15 years ago… by following a lifestyle that is 180 degrees different from the one I taught and lived for twenty years.
At the age of 21, following a reasonable diet with lots of exercise, I noticed a small roll of fat forming around my midsection. At the same time, I began to feel “off”…with fatigue, brain fog, mild depression, difficulty with concentration, and restless sleep.
I changed my major from business to Nutrition. Four years of classes and a one year internship later, I was very familiar with the “law of dieting.” Calories in – Calories out = Weight. To lose weight, lower cholesterol and blood pressure I would need to follow a calorie based low fat, low cholesterol, lower sodium diet.
I began to live on a 1200 calorie diet with 60 minutes of cardio five times/week. Years passed. I became a Certified Diabetes Educator directing the nutrition components of hospital -based Diabetes Centers. Years passed and despite my conscientious lifestyle, I got heavier and sicker.
On my diet and exercise program, I gained 30 pounds. My LDL cholesterol, BP, and blood sugar rose. I had difficulty getting pregnant, both my children were born over 9#, and I eventually needed 4 prescriptions: diabetes, cholesterol, blood pressure, depression.
Behind the scenes, I began to collect data on my patients.. I noticed that over 50% of my weight loss patients had a very similar medical history: progressively increasing glucose, LDL, triglycerides, hemoglobin A1C, CRP…and decreased HDL cholesterol and Vitamin D. These people could not succeed on calorie based, low fat diets. In fact, their weight and conditions worsened over time. Eventually, they developed prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.
I began to separate my weight loss patients into 2 groups: Those with “textbook metabolism” (Metabolism A) and those of whom I began to realize had insulin imbalance (Metabolism B).
Through data collection and review, I began to screen and categorize all my weight loss patients using the following reference ranges:
Metabolism A Metabolism B
Glucose 65-89mg/dL 90mg/dL or higher
LDL cholesterol <100 without meds >100 without meds
HDL cholesterol over 45 under 45
Triglycerides 50-99 mg/dL <50 or greater than 99mg/dL
HemoglobinA1C 5.3-5.6 < 5.3 or greater than 5.6
Vitamin D over 32 under 32
CRP 1-3 mg/L over 3mg/L
My work was cut out for me. I needed to develop a very different program for those with “Met B” that would enable them to lose weight, keep it off, get healthy, and feel energetic. The diet needed to get to the root of the problem for those with metabolic syndrome: insulin imbalance and eventual insulin resistance. Ironically, this program turned out to be the opposite of the textbook diet and….it worked every time for those with Met B.
After years of research and development, trials, data collection, reflection and refinement, I was able to develop the program the covered all the bases that exist metabolically in people born with the genes for Metabolism B…the very same genes that lead to insulin imbalance and resistance….the very same genes that predispose millions to overweight, obesity, and type 2 diabetes.
The program has 2 main Steps. Step 1 lasts for eight weeks, regardless of starting weight. During this time, the program is designed to work on resting the overworking pancreas (produces the fat gain hormone insulin) and liver (stores sugar in the form of glycogen). After Day 4, the body automatically shifts into fat burning mode and weight is lost on the body (inches and pounds) as well as in the blood (LDL cholesterol and triglycerides). Step 1 is a lower carbohydrate (not very low carbohydrate program) that allows for liberal intake of heart healthy proteins, fats, and most vegetables…as well as the optional addition of a small carb serving at breakfast, lunch, dinner, bedtime, and in the middle of the night if awake. Graze eating is the preferred as long gaps between meals prompt the liver to release its own sugar. A 30 minutes/day increase in physical activity over and above regular activity is needed to burn fat and preserve muscle and tone. Water and decaf fluids are promoted, as is a multivitamin, calcium w/Vit. D, and fish oil supplement.
After eight weeks on Step 1, carbohydrates are increased in Step 2. Unlike other programs, this program introduces carbohydrate to the rested pancreas/liver team in a very methodical way…in the proper amount, of the best type, at the right times during the day. All the liberal foods in Step 1 continue, as does water, vitamins, exercise, and graze eating.
When the desired weight is reached, labs are in the normal range with as little medication as possible, and the person looks and feels great….Step 3 or Maintenance begins. More of a lifestyle than a diet, it informs the dieter of his best carb range for use during the day and informs how to place these carb grams to maintain weight loss, great labs, less medication, and an infusion of all day energy.
The results of this program, designed for the millions with Met B are phenomenal. For the first time in years, people who struggled with dieting and were unable to lose weight and keep it off, those who saw their health decline with more and stronger medications, those who felt beaten and broken because there seemed to be no way out succeed.
The program, taught at my private practice in Morristown, NJ, became a book in July, 2009. The Metabolism Miracle quickly became a NY Times Bestseller and was ranked #1 in the US and in countries around the world. It is now licensed in 7 languages. Its companion book, The Metabolism Miracle Cookbook was release in January, 2011. In November, 2011, The Diabetes Miracle will have a hardcover world-wide release. The core of the Diabetes Miracle will be the diet tenets of Steps 1 and 2…as type 2 diabetes only occurs in those with uncontrolled Met B.
The point is…there is a way to reverse the overweight/obesity epidemics and to prevent millions from developing type 2 diabetes. There is a way to get those with type 2 diabetes to need much less medication and improve their overall health. There is a way. It does not involve medications or surgery…it involves living the lifestyle that matches the metabolism. Until now, millions with Met B were trying to fit a square peg in a round hole…as traditional diets just won’t fit!