A diet generally doesn’t work for everyone, but those with type 2 diabetes may do better on a specific diet than others, especially programs. only calorie restriction goal. New research suggests this reducing carbohydrate intake along with more exercise can be the ticket to weight loss for people with this condition.
The 2019 study, conducted by a team of researchers in the Netherlands, but recently presented at the 2020 European and International Congress on Obesity, addressed the fact that calorie restriction alone may not be an effective weight loss method. for those who have insulin resistance caused by type 2 diabetes.
Insulin resistance occurs when the pancreas has to make more insulin to help glucose (sugar) enter muscle and fat cells, and is often associated with prediabetes which can lead to type 2 diabetes if not managed through diet and exercise. Having this condition can prevent weight loss depending on the types of food you eat. As many as 75% of people with obesity may also have insulin resistance. (Related: What Happens to Your Body When You Drink a Smoothie Every Day)
What did this study look at?
The study compared three types of diets geared towards promoting weight loss in 344 patients with obesity and type 2 diabetes. The three diets included a calorie-restricted diet, a low-carb diet, and the 6 × 6 diet. a low carbohydrate program that takes place in three phases. After monitoring participants for a year, the researchers found that the 6 × 6 diet was twice as effective as calorie counting alone. With this diet, patients not only lost more weight, they also reduced insulin resistance and lowered blood pressure.
So what exactly is the 6 × 6 diet like? Over the course of three phases, keep your carbohydrate intake and overall processed food intake low. At the same time, you increase the amount of protein and fiber in your diet and incorporate vegetables into each meal. When following the 6 × 6 diet, the emphasis is not on the number of calories you consume, but rather on the quality of the calories.
What exactly is the 6 × 6 diet?
In phase one, patients limit their carbohydrate intake to just 36 grams per day, while also increasing their protein intake to 1
Things change quite drastically in phase two because you can then slowly start introducing more carbohydrates into your diet. By stage three, you can further increase your carbohydrate intake. When patients stop losing weight, this indicates that they have achieved the best carbohydrate intake to maintain a healthy weight.
“This is a very individual need,” Ellen Grovers, registered dietitian and lead author of the study, said in an online presentation. “Everyone has their own carbohydrate requirements, and that also counts for healthy people.”
All patients were also instructed to exercise at least two to three times per week for one hour per day for the duration of this study.
What were the results?
At least 43.2% of the patients who followed this special diet lost at least 5% of their body weight in one year and 40% stabilized their blood glucose levels. For those who followed a standard low-carb diet, 41.7% lost at least 5% of their body weight, while only 23.3% of the participants in the low-calorie group lost the same.
What’s even more significant is that almost 23% of participants who followed the 6 × 6 diet lost 10% or more from their baseline weight, compared to only 17.3% and 10%, respectively, in the low-carb and low-calorie groups.
So, as you can see, not only did the patients on the 6 × 6 diet lose more weight, they also improved their blood glucose levels.