Meet Avtar, 57 years old.
First diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2000
Currently taking 1000mg Metformin x2 and 80mg Gliclazide x1
Removed medication : Canagliflozin 300mg x1 and Pioglitazone 30mg x1
Has lost 3 stone (that's 42 lbs or 19kg) to date, and still losing
Favourite food is salmon and steamed vegetables
Likes swimming 🏊in his spare time
Avtar's son reached out
Avtar's health journey began about year ago. His son, Dav saw an advert and booked a consultation to find out more. We discussed Avtar's experience of having diabetes, and how we could help him reach his health goals.
Avtar was diagnosed in 2000, and over the years his medication, hunger and weight increased. His primary goal was to control hunger and lose weight. Dav warned us that this was going to be a challenge.
"I give him 10/10 for awkwardness with food. He's one of the pickiest eaters I know!"
After reading testimonies and hearing more about the science behind our approach, Dav entrusted us to help his dad.
Family supported Avtar through his health journey
Dav was our main point of contact through the "chat" on the app. Speaking with Dav, I learned more about Avtar's lifestyle and food preferences. We worked together to design a sustainable and manageable nutrition plan — introducing changes to just one meal at a time.
Dav, his mum, his sister and Avtar embraced these food suggestion and made them a reality. Working together as a family, they filled the kitchen with low carb foods and helped implement them into Avtar's diet.
A year on, Avtar has lost 3 stone, no longer feels hungry and has removed medication. Not only that, but his leg pain has considerably improved, which means he can do more of the things he loves — going on holiday and playing with the grandkids!
Avtar is inspiring everyone around him
But the story doesn't end there. I recently caught up with Dav and he said that Avtar's success, determination and positivity has had a ripple effect with friends and family. He’s inspired people to eat healthier — "there’s less carbs and more buttery greens on everyone’s plate!"
Dav said that every month he meets someone with diabetes. A year ago he would have said "oh, everyone has diabetes", but now he tells them there's a solution, and his dad is living proof of it.
The Singh family show us how important it is to support people through a health journey, and how one person's determination can have such a positive, domino effect on everyone around them.
This story is a gentle reminder to seek help, keep going, and support your loved ones. You'd be surprised by who's watching your journey and being inspired by it. Don't give up!
10 questions with Avtar
Did you try to lose weight previously?
Yes, I tried Slimming World but constantly felt hungry and didn't lose any weight.
What was the biggest obstacle for losing weight?
I felt hungry all the time. I thought this was just 'part of me' and I couldn't change that.
What was your diet like before?
Breakfast was milky tea and Weetabix. 10am was a sandwich. Lunch was 3 chapati and curry. 2pm was a banana and crisps. I would snack on salty almonds and peanuts throughout the day before dinner. Dinner was 3 chapatis and curry. If I was hungry later I would have ice-cream and milk
What is the one food that you felt you couldn't live without?
Chapati. Turns out I can live happily without it! If I want a chapati, I just eat low carb naan and LivLife bread, instead.
Did you have hesitations about starting?
I didn't think I'd stick with it. I thought I'd get hungry like I usually did, and new habits would fizzle out.
What's the most surprising thing you've discovered though your health journey?
I was able to control my hunger. I always thought that carbohydrates were filling, so giving them up seemed counter intuitive.
The impossible has been made possible. I truly believed I was always going to feel hungry, and that was that. I now realise that it was diabetes and hormones that caused my perpetual hunger. It wasn't 'me'.
Food is less important now and it's no longer at the forefront of my mind 24/7. My thoughts and energy are focused on more meaningful things.
3 stone weight loss is an incredible achievement. Has this improved other areas of life?
It has hugely helped with leg pain. I used to rely on massage oil and ice packs after work to find relief. The pain hasn't completely gone, but it has greatly improved. I even find myself playing football with my grandkids. When I lose another stone I will be able to go for surgery to resolve the problem.
Being able to move without pain means that I've been able to do more of the things I love — I've taken a number really enjoyable holidays this past year. I guess you could say that my body is capable of more than I thought possible.
How did you achieve this?
I gradually introduced low carb changes to my diet. As hunger was a big thing for me, it was reassuring to know that I didn't have to eat less — I could still eat the same number of meals, just different food.
I began with breakfast, swapping my usual Weetabix for high fat yoghurt and berries. When I felt comfortable with this, I moved on to making adjustments to the next meal. So on and so forth, I gradually changed all my meals to low carb. Before I knew it, my hunger had evaporated and I was no longer eating chapati!
On a typical day, what do you normally eat?
I begin the day with a milky tea and some sort of egg. At 10am I snack on berries. For lunch I have curry with LivLife bread and salad. For dinner I have a piece of fish or meat with steamed vegetables. Every two weeks I might have a normal naan bread, but I check my blood glucose to keep track of how I respond.
What would be your advise for anyone starting out?
Trust the process. You might feel worried that eating fat will make you fat, and it might take time to see results, but believe in yourself and the support.
Also, get into the habit of testing your blood glucose. I didn't see the point of this before, but now I use my meter to get instant feedback on how diet and lifestyle changes are getting me to where I want to be. I've gained control.