Extreme measures…..


The hot news this week was that of the NHS prescribing 800 calorie liquid diets, to help reduce type two diabetes and associated obesity.

This has been trialed and has been proved to be successful in reversing the effects in over half those trying it.

The NHS have been set targets for national reduction, and this is just one measure.

Type 2 or adult onset diabetes is different to type 1. Rather than being born or having early onset and having to inject insulin and adjusting diet, it’s adjusted by mainly manipulating food and drink and in some cases taking medications.

As you may well be aware 800 daily calories are very extreme, and whilst effective in the short term, my main concerns are what happens after the diet and the individual goes back to ‘normal’ eating.

The NHS assure that once the treatment has been effective, that a nutritionist will help to make healthy and suitable solid food choices again.

A big concern is that over a 3 month trial period that the metabolism will slow to match the intake and will normalise towards that.

What this means is that your body will get used to a lower amount and when ‘normal’ eating resumes, it would be hard to keep it that low.

With this amount of calories too, exercise would feel tough.

This plan potentially can set up a boom – bust situation, if the patient is not careful, and would need high will power and planning ahead.

As a positive, it’s great the NHS are making action to decrease the condition.

If that person has stopped having type 2 diabetes then bravo, that’s fantastic, but it really has to be a long term decision and plan.

Another concern with extreme plans like this would be loss of muscle weight, over fat weight.

When people say they want to lose weight, they really want that loss as fat weight.

In extreme cases like this, muscle wastage is increased exponentially.

The double edged sword is that you then lose strength and and lower metabolic needs, as muscles are much more active calorifically than fat.

I’m all for people taking positive action and it definitely has improved lives and reduced disease, but at what cost long term?

I shall look and read with future interest.

Best wishes