I read this book way back in February 2016, so why am I reviewing it in November? Well, seems to me the best evidence of a diet book’s validity is a personal test. And I can say that this one definitely worked for me!
The book is aimed at individuals in danger of becoming type 2 diabetes sufferers and is subtitled ‘How to Prevent and reverse Type 2 Diabetes (and Stay Off Medication)’. I was never ‘obese’, but my BMI (body mass index) suggested I might become a candidate for type 2 diabetes. It was clearly time to do something about that.
The book is divided into three sections: ‘The Science’, ‘The Diet’ and ‘Recipes and Menu Plans’. The science is well explained and reasons are provided for weight gain, weight loss, and the dangers of being overweight and advantages of reducing that heaviness. The diet is clearly described and easily followed. And the recipes provided give clues about the sort of meals/food that can be safely consumed.
Dr Mosley is a well-respected medical doctor who has made many TV documentaries for the BBC. He has a proven track record and frequently subjects himself to various experimental treatments to determine whether they’re safe and whether they work. In the case of this diet, he responded to the fact that he was diagnosed as a type 2 diabetic by using his knowledge and experience to set about developing a method of defeating the condition and preventing its re-appearance. He was successful and no longer needs medication; he is, in fact, no longer a type 2 diabetic.
The information in the book is given in easily understood and absorbed sections. The motivation is clear. The effects of such dieting are spelled out plainly. And I can tell you that the diet works!
I lost 10 kilograms (22 pounds, or 1 stone and 8 pounds) while on the diet. And I’ve maintained my weight at a safe level since. So, the book does what it says. If you’re overweight and having difficulty losing those extra inches and pounds, have a look at this plan and try it.
The above is the review I placed on Amazon and Goodreads for this book. However, for the benefit of readers of my blog, let me add more detail in the hope of helping those who might wish to try it for themselves.
I’m 68 years old and 5 foot 6.5 inches (168 cm) tall. Starting weight was 164 lbs or 11 stone and 10 lbs (74.5kg) which gives a BMI (body mass index) of 26.3. 18.5 – 25 is the healthy range, so not hugely overweight, but still a cause for concern, especially at my age. My waist measurement was 34.6 inches (87.9cm). I’m relatively active, walking most days, spending time in the garden, exercising 3 times a week for around half an hour. In fact, last year I trained for the half marathon race, the Great North Run and completed the course in 2 hours and 47 minutes. So I wasn’t exactly a couch potato to begin with. But my weight just didn’t seem to shift during the training.
I started the diet. However, I’m occasionally hyperglycaemic so was unwilling to cut calories quite as much as the book suggests. I consulted the NHS Livewell site, which is where I discovered my BMI, and used that site for my calorie counts. The suggested daily intake was 1714 to 2204 calories. It took the first week to work out my eating habits and normal intake of calories. It was then a simple matter of reducing that intake to achieve the recommended level. I stopped eating pastry and reduced my consumption of bread. Those two items alone lowered my calorie intake quite substantially. I used Ryvita at lunchtime to replace the bread I’d previously used for sandwiches.
I used the printable sheets available on the NHS site to keep records, and made a shortlist of those items I most frequently ate, noting the calories for each portion so I could easily calculate calories consumed each meal. Making the whole thing simple meant I was more likely to stay the course. My daily average of calories over the whole period was 1725.
Many diets claim fantastic results and pretend these can be achieved with no pain. I won’t pretend losing weight was without its challenges. In the early stages, I sometimes went to bed hungry and some days I felt unequal to various physical tasks due to a lack of energy. But I continued to be active, taking a weekly average of 6 hours and 20 minutes exercise in various forms. And instead of the 8 weeks suggested, I took 17 weeks to reach my target weight. But, most of the time, it was straightforward and relatively undemanding. Once into the frame of mind that I needed to lose weight, I was able to maintain the necessary discipline, especially with help and support from my wife. I was even able to have the odd treat like a glass of wine or a very occasional slice of cake!
At the end of the diet period I weighed 142 pounds, or 10 stone and 2 pounds (64.6 kg) and my waist measured 31.6 inches (80.2 cms), which made my BMI 22.8.
We went on a fortnight’s holiday in the Mediterranean at the end of that period and I gained a couple of kilos from eating out every night. I’ve now settled at an average weight of 144 pounds, or 10 stone and 4 pounds (65.5 kg) and a waist measurement of 31.8 inches (81 cms), which results in a BMI of 23.2, well within the recommended healthy range. I’m no longer in danger of developing type 2 diabetes. And I feel fit and well and have plenty of energy. And I’ve had only 1 episode of the hyperglycaemia during a period when I would have expected around 6 episodes. Reduced appetite and a smaller belly make it difficult for me to overeat now.
This account is an attempt to show my honest experience of following the diet suggested in Dr Mosley’s book in the hope it may inform others who feel they should try to lose some weight. I hope it helps. There are links throughout to lead you to the various places where I found useful help and advice. And, if you want to see your current state of health, why not try the health quiz on the NHS site. You’ll find ‘How Are You?’ by clicking this link. Good luck and good health to all.
Let me know how you get on by leaving comments below.