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Check out this revolutionary new eating plan for a longer life 

Losing weight is a tough call for anyone. With temptation available at every hour of the day and night, it’s so easy to put off good intentions until tomorrow.

But if you are one of the millions living with type 2 diabetes — or one of the untold billions at risk of developing the disease, which is spreading frighteningly fast around the world — this is a lifestyle plan which you simply cannot afford to ignore. It’s one based on life-changing science.

Throughout most of my 43 years as a diabetes doctor and research scientist, it was believed that once you were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes you were stuck with it. Your prognosis was never good.

The only way of decreasing this burden of fat is to reduce the total amount of fat accumulated in your body — not just by a few kilos, but by a lot. We’ve discovered that the key to reversing this toxic cycle, and to getting your organs functioning optimally again, is by getting your weight below your personal fat threshold

The only way of decreasing this burden of fat is to reduce the total amount of fat accumulated in your body — not just by a few kilos, but by a lot. We’ve discovered that the key to reversing this toxic cycle, and to getting your organs functioning optimally again, is by getting your weight below your personal fat threshold

But as I reveal in my new book Life Without Diabetes, which is being serialised in the Mail all this week, my team of scientists at Newcastle University have discovered that not only is this life-limiting disease reversible, if you follow our instructions to the letter, you could remain diabetes-free for life.

And the best news? This revolutionary plan could not be easier to follow — in fact, it’s as simple as one, two, three.

Stage one is the rapid weight-loss phase where you switch your normal meals for three calorie-controlled meal replacement soups or shakes, plus one low-starch vegetable meal per day. 

The aim is to lose 15kg (2st 5lb) and put your diabetes into remission.

Stage two is a carefully monitored re-introduction of real food, one meal at a time, and stage three is your chance to start following a new long-term method of healthy eating, to help ensure you remain free from diabetes for life.

Burden of fat

It was long thought that too much sugar was the culprit when it came to type 2 diabetes.

But as I explained in Saturday’s paper, we have been able to prove that type 2 diabetes is caused by fat accumulation in your liver and pancreas when your body reaches its ‘personal fat threshold’ and can’t store fat elsewhere.

Those fat deposits stop your liver and pancreas from operating normally, restricting the supply of the hormone insulin (which works to control blood sugar levels), and limiting the ability of your cells to respond to it.

Losing weight is a tough call for anyone. With temptation available at every hour of the day and night, it’s so easy to put off good intentions until tomorrow

Losing weight is a tough call for anyone. With temptation available at every hour of the day and night, it’s so easy to put off good intentions until tomorrow

If you’ve got type 2 diabetes or you have been told you are ‘pre-diabetic’, we can confidently say that you will have tipped over your personal fat threshold, and your liver and pancreas are being strangled by fat deposits.

This is the case whether you still look slim, or you’re overweight or even obese according to official charts. 

The only way of decreasing this burden of fat is to reduce the total amount of fat accumulated in your body — not just by a few kilos, but by a lot.

We’ve discovered that the key to reversing this toxic cycle, and to getting your organs functioning optimally again, is by getting your weight below your personal fat threshold. 

This effectively drains fat from your liver and pancreas so they can start working normally again.

A magic number

In our experience, losing 15kg is the magic number that takes most people below the personal fat threshold that tipped them into diabetes in the first place.

It doesn’t really matter whether it takes you two months or one year to shift this weight. What is crucial is to lose enough to shift the fat in your liver and pancreas so they can start operating properly once more.

But losing weight slowly is the hard way to go about it.

Our studies show that by setting a short target of two or three months to achieve the 15kg weight loss, and making the process super simple, people really lose weight — a lot of weight — fast.

The key is the surge of motivation you get when you see the numbers on the scales tumbling. Most people in our studies lost a staggering 3.5kg (7lb) in the first week alone, and the majority shifted 15kg within two or three months.

First, we recommend that you set your target weight using the chart below — this is usually 15kg lower than your current weight.

Don’t be daunted by this figure. Hundreds of people like you have achieved similar weight loss. It can be done.

Why a liquid diet?

We have found that using commercial liquid meal replacements is the most effective way for people to lose enough weight to achieve lasting remission from type 2 diabetes.

A packet per meal, containing no more than 200 calories, frees you from having to make decisions about what and how much to eat. In our many studies, we found this makes weight loss genuinely easier.

On stage one of our plan, hunger is kept at bay. Not only is it a fact of life that such a low-calorie diet suppresses hunger, you can also enjoy your daily allowance of low-starch vegetables as a delicious extra meal. 

Fruit juice is banned, but water (still or fizzy), herb tea or zero-calorie drinks are allowed.

You can also enjoy unlimited black coffee and tea, or have it with skimmed milk (but no more than 50ml of milk per day).

If you’re hankering for fresh ingredients and a bit of variety, you can switch a meal replacement shake for one of our delicious homemade shake recipes every few days.

This revolutionary plan could not be easier to follow — in fact, it’s as simple as one, two, three, writes author Professor Roy Taylor

This revolutionary plan could not be easier to follow — in fact, it’s as simple as one, two, three, writes author Professor Roy Taylor

But we recommend you base your three daily shakes or soups diet mostly on commercial liquid meal replacements.

Whichever brand you choose, look for those described as ‘complete nutrition’, because this indicates that it contains all the vitamins, minerals and trace elements you need for optimal health, in addition to protein, sugar and fat.

The following are readily available: Exante (exantediet.com), Slim and Save (sns.co.uk), Kee Diet (thekeediet.co.uk) and New You Plan (thenewyouplan.com).

You will probably find the protein content is relatively high, at around 25 per cent — and certainly higher than you might usually eat in one meal — but this will help keep hunger at bay.

If you can’t bear the idea of sticking to liquid formula drinks for several weeks, you can opt for three small, protein-heavy meals containing 200 calories each.

Include your quota of 100 calories of non-starchy vegetables, and do not exceed a daily total of 800 calories.

It may take you a bit longer to cruise down to your target weight — about three to four months, as opposed to two to three months on the liquid formula — with this diet, and it is best supplemented with a multi- vitamin tablet.

Another option, if you prefer to avoid shakes and soups, is a milk-based diet where you drink two litres of semi-skimmed milk per day. This is both inexpensive and feasible. It is important to take a multivitamin tablet daily, and to eat some non-starchy vegetables to provide roughage and something to chew on.

Crunch time

Because you are suddenly eating considerably less than you’re used to on stage one of this plan, you will feel hungry for the first 36 hours.

But the good news is, you’ll hardly notice hunger after that.

Our studies show that many people do miss having something to chew during this stage. So we’ve added a meal made up of non-starchy vegetables to complement the shakes and soups, which you can enjoy in the evening or at lunchtime.

Our team of nutritionists have come up with inventive ways to make this into a tasty meal that will deliver a satisfying crunch.

The fibre contained in the salad or vegetable recipes shown here have the added bonus of helping to ward off constipation.

Welcome secret

We don’t recommend you embark on an exercise programme during step one. 

Contrary to what you might have been told many times in the past, too much activity at this stage could seriously impede weight loss, especially if you have a lot of weight to lose.

This may be the best-kept secret in the weight-loss field, and I came across it only from listening to participants in one of our exercise studies.

The problem is the common phenomenon of ‘compensatory eating’, which can make it more likely that you either consciously or subconsciously reach out for extra food to make up for the calories you think you’ve burned by being active.

So just maintain your normal exercise levels during stage one, by doing whatever activities you did before.

I’ll show you how to gradually boost your activity levels when you get to stage two — there will be more details of this in tomorrow’s paper — to enhance your health and help maintain your weight loss.

As easy as one, two, three

Step one: 

Start an eight to 12-week programme of shakes and soups totalling 600 calories a day, plus one helping of non-starchy vegetables at around 100 calories. 

This triggers the swift fat loss your body needs to put type 2 diabetes into remission. 

Avoid alcohol, which is high in calories. Think of it as liquid fat — it’s just not helpful. Don’t touch it.

Step two:

When you have lost 15kg or reached your target weight, start to reintroduce ordinary foods, one meal at a time, starting with dinner (400-500 calories), then, after two weeks, lunch (400 calories).

Step three:

Eat smaller portions of healthy food (75 per cent of your former intake) to maintain weight loss.

The cherry Bakewell

The cherry Bakewell

The cherry Bakewell

  • 200ml skimmed milk
  • 1½ tbsp (20g) skimmed milk powder
  • 50g frozen cherries
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • ½-1 tsp stevia sweetener (optional)

To make the shake, simply place all of the ingredients in a blender and blitz until well combined.

Cals 162

Protein 15g

Carbs 26g 

More nutritious shakes…

Berrylicious breakfast

  • 200ml skimmed milk
  • 1½ tbsp (20g) skimmed milk powder
  • 1 tbsp (15g) porridge oats
  • 50g frozen mixed berries
  • ½-1 tsp stevia sweetener

Place all of the ingredients in a blender and mix until smooth.

Cals 245

Protein 20g

Carbs 27g 

Berrylicious breakfast

Berrylicious breakfast

Turkish delight

Turkish delight

Turkish delight 

  • 2 tsp (10g) dark cocoa powder
  • 200ml skimmed milk
  • 2 tbsp (28g) skimmed milk powder
  • 2 drops rosewater
  • ½-1 tsp stevia sweetener (optional)

In a small bowl, blend the cocoa powder with a little of the milk until smooth. 

Place the cocoa and all of the other ingredients in the blender and whizz for a few seconds.

Cals 197

Protein 19g

Carbs 26g

Creamy vanilla latte

  • 200ml skimmed milk
  • 2 tbsp (28g) skimmed milk powder
  • 1 tsp instant coffee (powder mixes better than granules)
  • 2 drops vanilla extract
  • ½-1 tsp stevia sweetener

Place all ingredients in a blender and blitz for a few seconds. 

This can be warmed in the microwave for a hot drink, or served chilled over ice.

Cals 169

Protein 18g

Carbs 25g 

Creamy vanilla latte

Creamy vanilla latte

Delicious suppers to keep hunger at bay

Squash and coriander salad

Prep time: 10 mins

Cook time: 20 mins

Serves 4

  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled and cut into 2cm chunks
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 tsp dried cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Chopped fresh coriander

Bring a medium pan of water to the boil and cook the squash for 10-15 minutes or until tender when prodded with a fork. 

Drain it in a colander and cool under cold running water. Set aside.

Now, heat the olive oil in a frying pan. Add the diced red onion and cumin seeds and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add the drained butternut squash, sprinkle over the ground coriander and cook for a further 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in the lime juice.

Allow to cool, and sprinkle over fresh coriander before serving.

Squash and coriander salad

Squash and coriander salad

Harissa aubergines

Prep time: 5 mins

Cook time: 35 mins

Harissa aubergines

Harissa aubergines

Serves 2

  • 1 medium aubergine, halved lengthways (about 300g)
  • 1 tbsp (25g) harissa
  • Salt and pepper
  • 100g mixed leaves
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp olive oil

Preheat the oven to 180c/fan 160c/gas 4. Using a sharp knife, slice a criss-cross pattern into the cut side of the aubergine halves, about 0.5cm deep. 

Using a pastry brush, brush the harissa evenly all over the aubergine, getting inside the cuts as much as you can. 

Season with salt and pepper, place on a baking tray and roast for 35 minutes. 

When ready to serve, divide the mixed leaves between two plates and dress with the lemon juice and olive oil. Season and place an aubergine half alongside.

Artichoke salad

Prep time: 15 mins

Serves 4

  • 1 jar/tin quartered artichoke hearts, drained
  • 1 jar roasted red pepper (or use raw red pepper if preferred), diced
  • 1 cucumber, deseeded and diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • Juice of ½ a lemon

Put all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix them together.

Cover with cling film and chill for an hour to allow the flavours to blend before serving.

Artichoke salad

Artichoke salad

Chopped veggie salad with roasted red pepper dressing

Prep time: 5 mins

Cook time: 35 mins

Serves 2

  • 40g green beans, trimmed and chopped
  • 1 spring onion, trimmed and finely sliced
  • ½ small red pepper, deseeded and chopped
  • 2 baby courgettes or ½ small courgette (about 70g), finely sliced
  • ½ small carrot (about 50g), finely chopped
  • 50g sugar snap peas, thinly sliced lengthways
  • 100g iceberg lettuce (about ¼ whole head), sliced
  • 1 quantity roasted red pepper, basil and chilli dressing
  • Salt and pepper

Prepare all the vegetables and divide between two bowls. 

Pour half of the dressing into each bowl and toss to coat. Season to taste and serve immediately.

Chopped veggie salad with roasted red pepper dressing

Chopped veggie salad with roasted red pepper dressing

For the dressing:

  • 2 red peppers
  • 1 red chilli
  • 20g basil, leaves picked
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 240c/fan 220c/gas 9. Place the whole peppers on a baking tray and roast for 25 minutes. 

Add the chilli to the tray and return to the oven for another 10 minutes, or until the skin on the peppers has blistered and blackened slightly.

Remove from the oven and transfer the vegetables to a bowl, cover with cling film and leave until cool enough to handle.

Too spicy?

All chillies vary in heat, so if you are not a fan of spice, only use half of the roasted chilli to begin with, or omit it completely if you prefer.

Tear each pepper in half, reserving as much of their natural oil as possible. Carefully discard their stem and seeds then place the peppers (and their oil) in a small food processor.

Remove the stem from the chilli then add to the processor with the basil and red wine vinegar. Blitz until smooth and season to taste.

This dressing will keep for up to a week in the fridge. Try a dessertspoonful with vegetables, meat and fish dishes.  

Tasty tabbouleh

Prep time: 20 mins

Cals: 65

Serves 4

  • 2 x 100g portions of cauliflower rice, defrosted if frozen
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Leaves from 2 long stems of fresh mint
  • Large bunch flat-leaf parsley leaves, stalks removed (you should have about 10 times as much parsley as mint)
  • 8 spring onions, sliced finely
  • 1 garlic clove, minced (or use garlic paste for ease)
  • 2 large tomatoes, sliced and finely diced
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Little gem lettuce leaves

Add the lemon juice to the pre-prepared cauliflower rice.

Put the mint, parsley, spring onions and garlic into a food processor or mini chopper and whizz for a few seconds to give a vivid green mixture. 

This can be done with a knife and chopping board, if you would rather.

Stir the herb mix into the cauliflower rice, add the tomatoes and olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and then combine everything well with a large spoon.

Serve each portion of tabbouleh with a few lettuce leaves on the side with which to scoop it up.

Tasty tabbouleh

Tasty tabbouleh

…and for the cauliflower rice

A portion of cauliflower ‘rice’ (50g per person) is carb-free and can accompany other vegetable ingredients in a variety of dishes where rice would usually be used.

  • 1 large cauliflower, leaves removed
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper
  • Herbs or spices of your choice
  • 1 tsp olive oil, if roasting

Cut the cauliflower into quarters and remove the tough core. Chop each quarter into 4 smaller chunks. 

Blitz a few pieces at a time in a food processor until it resembles rice, or use a grater. 

Add the lemon juice and season with a little salt and pepper. 

Adding spices, such as cumin, chilli or coriander, or dried herbs, such as thyme or oregano, before cooking gives this dish an aromatic flavour.

Cook by microwaving in a large bowl covered with clingfilm for 3 minutes on high (4 minutes if frozen) – or roasting in the oven, which gives a drier texture and nuttier flavour, but takes a little longer. 

To do this, mix a teaspoon of olive oil into the cauli rice, spread it in a single layer on a baking tray and place in the centre of an oven preheated to 200c/fan 180c/gas 6 for 12 minutes. 

Stir halfway through to ensure even cooking. 

A portion of cauliflower ‘rice’ (50g per person) is carb-free and can accompany other vegetable ingredients in a variety of dishes where rice would usually be used

A portion of cauliflower ‘rice’ (50g per person) is carb-free and can accompany other vegetable ingredients in a variety of dishes where rice would usually be used

I feel energised and my blood sugar levels are normal again 

Ally Baldwin, 37, said being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes aged 26 was a shock

Ally Baldwin, 37, said being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes aged 26 was a shock

Ally Baldwin, 37, is a businesswoman. She lives in Barnstaple, Devon, with husband Stuart, 45, a director, and their children Reece, 14, and Hope, five. 

She says: Being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes aged 26 was a shock. The GP was not particularly sympathetic. I’d gone to see him as I was struggling to conceive.

It felt like I’d been given a life sentence. He prescribed metformin, which I thought was going to be a miracle cure, but all it did was make me feel sick.

He also made it very clear that I’d have to do something about my weight before I even considered having another baby.

I felt completely ashamed. But it made me take action. I started a meal replacement regime, called the SML Diet, straight away.

At the time, I had no idea this would reverse my diabetes. I simply wanted to do something about my weight. 

Within a month, I’d gone from a size 22 to a size 20, and after three months I’d lost 3st (19kg) and was down to a size 14.

I admit it wasn’t always easy. Sticking to shakes and soups can be tough, but the thought of being overweight, diabetic and unable to have a baby was all I needed to keep going. 

At the three-month point, I had another test and the GP was impressed to see my blood sugar levels had returned to normal. I no longer had type 2 diabetes.

He seemed pleased that I’d taken his advice, and I was able to come off the metformin. Losing the weight has given me back my health, and I have so much more energy to run around after my children. 

I’m no longer on the shakes diet and I’m eating more normally. If I feel weight creeping on, though, I’ll cut down and have a slimming bar for my dinner.

Ally was a size 22, now she's a trim 14. She said: 'I admit it wasn’t always easy. Sticking to shakes and soups can be tough, but the thought of being overweight, diabetic and unable to have a baby was all I needed to keep going'

Ally was a size 22, now she’s a trim 14. She said: ‘I admit it wasn’t always easy. Sticking to shakes and soups can be tough, but the thought of being overweight, diabetic and unable to have a baby was all I needed to keep going’

Adapted by Louise Atkinson from Life Without Diabetes by Professor Roy Taylor, Short Books, £9.99. © Roy Taylor 2020. 

To order a copy for £6.50 (35 per cent discount) go to mailshop.co.uk or call 01603 648155. Offer ends February 9, 2020, P&P free.  

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