Diabetes Miracle Diet - Is This Low Carb Diet Right For You?
The Diabetes Miracle Diet was created by Diane Kress. Her emphasis was on creating a diet program that would help prevent and manage pre-diabetes and Type 2 diabetes. She is the owner and director of the Nutrition Center of Morristown, New Jersey, that specializes in diabetes management, metabolic disorders and weight reduction.
Some may see this diet as "just another diet" by a doctor, nurse, or nutritionist. But they would be wrong in that assumption. Why? Because she has Type 2 diabetes, and knows the challenges.
As of today, she controls her diabetes by eating right. Does she take medication to control her diabetes? No..I don’t know about you, but this definitely piqued my interest.
Prediabetes and Type 2 Diabetes Factors to Consider
Before I go into phase 1 there are several factors that should be discussed regarding metabolism, pre-diabetes and diabetes.
Factor One: If you are diabetic, during the first four days of this program you will find that your blood sugar readings will not show much improvement. Why? According to "The Diabetes Miracle Diet", the combination of excess sugar in your blood and the release of glycogen stores from the liver will make your blood sugar readings erratic. That should improve the longer you are on the induction period.
Factor Two: For every point HbA1C drops(improves), about five pounds of fat tissue will form. For example: If your A1C drops from 7.0 to 6.0 your body will assimilate five pounds of fat due to moving the excess blood sugar from the bloodstream into fat cells. However, since this is also a fat burning program, as fast as you assimilate the fat, you will burn it off.
Moreover, your current health factors, will determine how fast the weight will come off. What this means is that your body must right the ship because it can lose fat. So, if you are not losing weight at first, remind yourself that your body is making internal corrections.
Factor Three: It typically takes four days in Step 1 for the body to shift from running on blood sugar produced from carbs and the liver to fat burning. However, if you start the Diabetes Miracle diet with very high blood sugar, cholesterol, triglycerides or insulin levels it may take longer for your glycogen stores to empty. Be patient, it will happen.
Factor Four: You cannot go more than 5 hours without eating. Why? Because of liver of people with Metabolism B, Pre-Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes will automatically self-feed after 5 hours. That is an equivalent of 45-65 grams of carbohydrates into the bloodstream to fuel the body. over the next five hours. Which means, your blood sugar will rise and your pancreas will strain to meet the rise in blood sugar with insulin.
Factor Five: You need to exercise 30 minutes a day. You can break it up into 10 minutes intervals throughout the day. Why? According to Kress, it helps to keep your blood sugar level. And exercise helps to lower blood sugar.
Now, let’s begin with the plan itself. The Diabetes Miracle Diet is broken up into three different phases.
Learning About The Diabetes Miracle Diet Phases
Phase 1 is an 8-week induction. The purpose of phase 1 is to put the brakes on your hyperactive or overworked pancreas and liver and allow each to rest. How do you expect to feel? In the beginning, you will feel tired, hungry, and irritable and may experience cravings. However, this will subside and you should begin to feel an uptick in energy, improved mood, no food cravings and decrease in hunger.
During Phase 1 you will be allowed to eat neutral foods, no diary (You can substitute unsweetened soy milk or almond milk), freebies and 5 gram of net carbs. Let us go through each type of food group:
The neutral foods that you can liberally eat are:
1. Non-starchy vegetables
3. Leans meats
4. Unsweetened Almond Milk or Soy Milk
5. 5 net grams of carbohydrates every 5 hours
Freebies can be consumed at any time. Some examples of freebies are:
1. Sugar free Jello
2. All herbs and spices
3. Soy Sauce
4. Diet soda
Note: This is just a sampling of the freebies.
The added 5 net carbs can be added to your neutral meal at breakfast, lunch, dinner, bedtime snack and if you wake up in the middle of the night. A regular snack during the day has to be a neutral. The net carbs, as you might expect are: Total carbs-fiber
Example of a net carb would be:
1. Low-carb bread
2. Low-carb wraps
3. Low-carb bread crumbs
4. Dark chocolate with more than 60 percent cacao
5. 1 cup popcorn
Some of these items are not usually found in your local grocery store, unless they have a specialty section. However, if you are finding them hard to find, look online. Or, if you are ambitious you can create your own low-carb bread, cakes or muffins. I did make more own muffins, which helped to curb the psychological mindset of not having any sweets.
The purpose of phase 2 is to transition your rested pancreas and liver to accept carb intake in a normal way.
Phase 2 will introduce you to additional vegetables and the reintroduction of fruits and breads into your diet. This is the fat-burning phase of the diet that you must remain on, until you reach your weight goal.
Kress also stresses to not put an emphasize on a specific weight. Instead, she advises you to look at your overall numbers, how you feel, and how you look in the mirror. Why? You lose fat on this diet. When you lose three pounds of fat, you will appear that you have lost six pounds instead of three.
In addition, during phase 2 you will increase your carb servings from five net carbs to 11 to 20 net carbs. These 11 to 20 net carbs have to be included at breakfast, lunch, dinner, bedtime, and in the middle of the night (if you wake up), and in between any meals that exceeds five hours. In phase 2 this is not an option, it is mandatory that you eat the additional net carbs with your neutrals.
On phase 3, you are at your desired weight and your numbers are stable. It is at this phase that you are on maintenance. You will now be able to consume approximately 35% carbohydrates in your diet.
In addition, the number of carb servings will change according to your age, height, weight and activity level. In other words, you will need to eat a certain amount of net carb servings with your neutrals and freebies to keep your weight stable. Here is an example:
Men-5'11" with desired weight of 154-185-ages 20s and 30s
Sedentary 10.5 carb servings
Moderate 11.5 carb servings
High 12.5 carb servings
Risk to Cutting Carbs
Just like the South Bend Diet and the Atkins diet when in the induction phase, you can go into ketosis. Ketosis causes the breakdown of dietary fat, which can lead to weakness, nausea, dehydration and dizziness. Thus, it is important to take the vitamins and supplements and eat carbs that are high in fiber to help curb this problem.
In addition, there is one more factor to consider, if you are diabetic and taking medication you will also have to be concerned about hypoglycemia as your numbers begin to change.
- Mild to Moderate hypoglycemia blood sugars will be around 50-70mg/dL
- Moderate to Severe hypoglycemia blood sugars will be under 50 mg/dL
There are different high acting carbs that can right the problem. Portions of the following high acting carbs will be different for each level.
- glucose tablets
- regular soda
- nonfat milk
- sugar mixed with water
- fruit juice
Benefits of the Diabetes Miracle Diet
The benefits of the diet are:
- Improve your cholesterol numbers and blood pressure numbers
- Correct your body's insulin imbalance
- Reset, restart and retrain your pancreas to process carbs
- Lose weight and keep it off
- Improve blood sugar readings
- Sleep better, more energy, feel healthier
If it wasn't for the fact, that a close relative of mine placed this book in my hands one Saturday, and told me to read it, I probably would not have been aware of this diet. The individual had an alternative motive of course, she wanted me to decipher the book so she could go on the diet as well. Okay, my interest was piqued, and since I had nothing to lose and everything to gain, I agreed to read and decipher it's content. But be aware, this "read and decipher" agreement wouldn't only be for her, but also for my husband and myself.
Let me say, the thought of constantly eating, or not letting no more than 5 hours go by without putting food in your mouth, did make me question if it was at all possible to loss weight on this diet. Since I had more questions about the validity of this diet, I decided to give it a try.
After I have been on the diet for about 3 weeks, I found it easy to follow and it felt like I was eating all the time.
From my own experience with this diet, Diane Kress's claims seem to be ringing true. This is the first time I have been able to lose weight and still eat.
Before this diet, I found myself exercising and trying to eat the Mediterranean Diet way. Yes, I was able to bring my numbers down a little, but not one ounce of fat came off my body. However, since starting the “Diabetes Miracle Diet”, that has changed. I have lost about 5 pounds in 2-1/2 weeks and my husband has lost 8. One additional note, my husband’s blood pressure is coming down to levels that he has not seen in 10 years, while his blood sugar is beginning to see marked improvements.
The Diabetes Miracle diet plan seems somewhat similar to South Beach, except that the induction period is much longer. In addition, I will not kid you; this phase is difficult and restrictive. However, after the first week, both my husband and I were able to adjust to the changes. And yes, I did feel tired and irritable in the beginning, but that has finally begun to lift.
For me, I feel that I can easily maintain this diet without much problem.
6 Month Update
I and my husband have been on the diabetes miracle diet for 6 months. My husband's cholesterol numbers are in a stable condition, with his diabetes going from an A1C of 6.6 to a 5.9. In addition, he has been able to eliminate one of his diabetes medication. He is now only having to use Metaformin. In addition, his cholesterol medicine has been reduced in half, let's see what a year brings.
I had very high cholesterol and was having a difficult time finding a medication that I could tolerate. Thus, to see just how well this diet would work, I decided to wait the 6 months and see how much this diet would improve my numbers. I went from 375 to 291 for cholesterol, 375 to 260 for LDL, HDL is at 46. My pre-diabetes numbers have improved as well, A1C=5.7 to A1C=5.5. I realize I have a ways to go, but I believe, that now that I have finally found a cholesterol medication that I can tolerate, my weight and numbers should go down. So, let's see what a year will bring for me. Needless to say, my doctor is excited and pleased at the results.
9 Month Cholesterol
Slowly my numbers are coming down. My cholesterol went from 291 to 203, my LDL went from 260 to 130 and my HDL went from 46-49. In three months I believe my weight and numbers will be in line.
To conclude, when choosing a diet, take into consideration your lifestyle, the sensitivity you have to carbs, and most importantly your health. Do not start any low-carb diet without your doctor’s approval and supervision, especially if you have medical conditions and/or are taking medications for health issues.
Note: This article is for informational purposes only. Before taking on any low carb diet you should consult your doctor before starting the diet, especially if are pregnant, have medical issues or take medications.
The Diabetes Miracle Diet-By Diane Kress, RD, CDE