When my wife Tracy began her Keto journey in September 2020, I decided to eat a lot of the ‘new’ meals she was discovering. I did not think of myself as being Keto as I have been a type 1 diabetic since age 11. Throughout my life I have been dependent on multiple insulin injections, balanced to a varying amount of carbohydrates in my diet. Doctors drill it into a type 1 diabetic that you NEED carbs! So my meals were often loaded with bread, pasta, rice and potatoes. The new keto style meals that I tried were solely to help my wife in her journey. I did not want her to feel that she was the only person eating this way at our house, that to me made it into a diet-based life just for her! I loved the food she made, and constantly surprised her as prior to this, veggies and I did not share much time together. I suddenly found that I LIKED cabbage, leeks, courgettes, tomatoes, shallots and many more other vegetables. However, I still bulked out my meals with carbs as in my mind as a Type 1, I thought it would be dangerous to cut down on them or even go ‘clean’, this I thought would be impossible for me.
At this time, I was working as a teacher online due to lockdowns and my weight, which I had never thought to be a problem, was at 16st 4lbs with a waist of around 38/40 inches. I had a lightbulb moment when I saw myself on a school online lesson and realised, I had multiple chins! Something had to be done so I lowered my carb intake to around 100g of carbs, but was still taking 5+ units of insulin with each meal. Happily, with the added encouragement and support of Tracy, my weight did drop to around 15st but I was afraid and unsure if I could go further.
Then, at Kestival 2021, I had my ‘Keto epiphany’ moment. I was lucky to be able to chat for 20 minutes at the very start of the day with the Drs Unwin. They told me that although they specialised in type 2 diabetics, a colleague of theirs, Dr Ian Lake, who was himself a Type 1, was living his life through a clean Keto diet and mindset, did marathons and many ran studies on how type 1 diabetics could safely and successfully join in with this journey. I immediately contacted him and after an online consult found how to eat cleanly! The secret was to instead of carbs count the protein in my food! The insulin amount could then be drastically lowered, meals could be safely skipped and even Omad can be done with no side effects! The next day I stopped having breakfast, my lunch went to meats and cheese to provide protein and then a Keto meal at home in the evening with the family. My insulin intake went from 5units each time to just 1 or 2, some meals even 0 was needed. I no longer had blood glucose spikes or dips, and my hba1c level went from 7.9 to (today) 6.4! aches in my legs and back disappeared, I felt more mentally acute and had a lot more energy at work. As of today, my weight is now pretty stable at 12st 4lbs, so a loss of 4st, with a waist of 34 inches! I also do not feel hungry or look to snack.
I have found it incredibly easy to do as a type 1 diabetic. Once I knew that it was safe to do and what I needed to take account of as I do need my insulin to stay alive, then I could easily say no to snacks, chips, pasta, rice etc. I now much prefer the keto alternatives! I just wish I had begun to do this years ago. At my most recent hospital clinic appointment they were extremely happy with me and were amazed at how stable my glucose levels now are so I know I’m doing the right thing. I never thought that I would be feeling so good now at age 52! Thanks Keto Fitness Uk.