The Diabetes Breakthrough

dLifeExcerptLogoby Osama Hamdy, M.D., PhD and Sheri R. Colberg, PhD.

Copyright © 2013 by Harvard University, Harlequin.

Provided with permission from Harvard University.

Buy this book on Amazon.com.

NOTE: Excerpts are provided on dLife.com for informational purposes only. The information contained within will not be updated by dLife and may be outdated. Please consult your doctor before acting on anything described here.

Who would ever have imagined that the often relentless progression of a chronic disease like type 2 diabetes can be stopped or reversed?

Or that you can reduce your diabetes medications even if you've been taking multiple ones for a long time, including insulin? The good news for you -- and the rapidly expanding number of people with type 2 diabetes worldwide -- is that it is finally imaginable and definitely possible and the program outlined in this book is the key to making it happen.

Maybe your doctor just told you that you have a "touch" of the sugar. Is that a reason to worry that you have diabetes? If truth be told, even if you only have a condition called prediabetes (which develops before type 2 diabetes), now is the time to get motivated and take action to improve your health and prevent it from turning into full-blown diabetes. Even in the early stages, diabetes can be a treacherous disease, one that may be damaging your blood vessels, eyes and nerves when you don't know you have it and while you're still feeling just fine. Once it has finally been diagnosed, your health may already be starting to suffer.

So what can you do? Luckily, type 2 diabetes is a controllable condition if you lose weight and follow a healthy lifestyle plan. You may have already heard that advice from your doctor, but you may not know how to accomplish these goals. Healthy lifestyle changes, like changing what you eat and exercising more, are critical for controlling diabetes at any stage of the disease, and they're particularly important in the early stages. Improving your lifestyle is also the key to losing enough weight to reverse the course of diabetes and avoid its negative impact on your health and well-being. All you need is the right guide on your path toward conquering it for good. The scientifically proven program you'll find in this book is especially designed to help you do just that.

A Home-Based Version of the "Why WAIT" Program for You

Dr. Osama Hamdy and his team designed a medically managed weight loss program for people with diabetes called "Why WAIT," which is offered on-site through the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston and affiliated with Harvard Medical School. This program has resulted in unsurpassed success for its participants -- in fact, it's the only clinical program to show long-term successful weight loss for people with diabetes. Even though you'll be doing this home-based version of the Joslin Why WAIT program called the Diabetes Breakthrough on your own, it will help you lose and keep the weight off if you follow the program as closely as you possibly can.

We've known for a while that improving your lifestyle to help you lose as little as 10 or 15 pounds can prevent type 2 diabetes in the first place. But Dr. Hamdy and his colleagues at the Joslin Diabetes Center showed that losing a similar amount of weight (around 7 percent of your total body weight) can rev up your insulin action and frequently reverse type 2 diabetes or prevent the development of health problems associated with it. Participants who went through the 12-week Why WAIT program at Joslin were able to cut their medications by an average of 50 to 60 percent and many of them were able to go off medications entirely, all while keeping their diabetes in great control.

The Diabetes Breakthrough

It's time you joined them on the path to better health, a lesser chance of drug side effects and more money in your pocket as a result of paying for fewer expensive medications. Even if you don't reach your goal weight or completely eliminate your medications, how would you like to live a longer and healthier life without carrying around all those extra pounds? Our results at Joslin show it's possible and in this book you will learn how to make it happen for you.

What makes this program so unique? Here are ten innovations that make it a true breakthrough for weight loss and health management for anyone with diabetes or prediabetes:

1. This program progresses over 12 weeks like no other, with doable increases in your exercise plan, effective ways to change your bad habits and transitions in your diet from replacing some of your meals with meal shakes to eating just regular foods.

2. It's not just about reducing your calories by a set amount or eating only a certain amount of fat to lose weight; instead, you will be assigned a specific calorie level regardless of your current daily calories and you will follow a unique dietary plan that includes eating more protein and the choice or carbohydrates that cause smaller glucose spikes.

3. You'll learn how to combine eating healthy foods and meal replacement shakes, both with specific proportions of carbohydrates, protein and fat to better manage your blood glucose levels and body weight.

4. On this program, you'll be able to eat many of your regular foods following our special menus that were developed from commonly used foods (instead of making you eat new foods you may not like or follow strange and unusual menus).

5. Your activity plan has a greater emphasis on strength exercise to build muscle, not just cardio workouts like most weight loss plans.

6. Unlike most plans, you'll work up to doing about 300 minutes of weekly exercise that fits into your daily lifestyle (in comparison to more common recommendations of only 150 minutes of weekly cardio exercise).

7. Through this book, your health care providers will have access to algorithms that offer guidelines for precisely changing your diabetes medications to enhance weight loss, especially to avoid hypoglycemia (low blood glucose levels).

8. You'll also learn why you should consult with your health care team about revisiting the dosages and types of diabetes medications you take as you lose weight and you'll find out why it's important to continue to monitor your blood glucose levels.

9. You'll learn a lot about how to change your habits and the behaviors that caused you to gain weight in the first place.

10. In addition to learning about how to lose weight safely, this program also teaches you everything you need to know about managing your diabetes more effectively.


This article is excerpted from the introductory chapter of The Diabetes Breakthrough, by Osama Hamdy, MD, PhD and Sheri Colberg, PhD, just released by Harlequin and Harvard Health Publications. For more information, visit www.TheDiabetesBreakthrough.com.

Last Modified Date: April 22, 2014

All content on dLife.com is created and reviewed in compliance with our editorial policy.

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by Nicole Purcell
I was at boxing class the other day, and quite honestly I was taking my chances. I knew it. I had been low earlier in the day and used all of my emergency juice to treat that insulin reaction, leaving me at class (which is directly after work) with no juice whatsoever. No good. Of course, that day - the day I have no juice would be the exact day that diabetes picks to do its dirty work. Mid-class, I had a plummet. Just dropped to very low and but quick. I sat to test and...