The 8 Week Blood Sugar Diet – Michael Mosley (2015)


Something is going very wrong and Dr Michael Mosley has a good idea what it is.  Despite vast sums being spent on healthy eating initiatives around the world more of us are overweight than ever before and many countries are facing a huge upsurge of numbers being diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, most often linked to lifestyle and diet.  In the UK in recent weeks we have seen a Sugar Tax introduced but whether this will have any positive long-lasting health implications or is a just a way to extract money from consumers remains to be seen.

 For too long medical advice on diet has been misleading, Mosley argues, which has led us to pile on the pounds and it is hard not to agree with him.  I am not diabetic but have fallen into the category known as “pre-diabetes” meaning I am at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes in the future (me together with probably a significant chunk of the population).  I might wish to put this down to a side-effect of Statin medication that I was prescribed from my thirties but realistically it is also probably due to be a few pounds overweight and not as active as I could be.  At the time the food advice I was given was to fill up on starchy foods- pasta, rice, wholegrain bread, which should be the basis of each meal and to switch to low-fat products wherever possible.  The advice didn’t seem right at the time – I knew from my O Level Biology days that carbohydrates turn to sugar and it only takes a quick look at many low-fat food labels to find out that they are also often laden with sugar.

 So, I did things my own way and followed the  Harcombe Diet which emphasised a diet rich in fats with cheese, eggs and unprocessed meat all on the cards.  I lost weight and felt good but wondered if I had done damage by pushing up cholesterol by eating protein and fat in favour of carbs.  Test results gave me the lowest scores ever but still the medical advice I was given was to lose weight following a low-fat diet and by doing it gradually.

 Mosley’s view is that an 8 week diet keeping to around 800 calories a day, limiting carbs and avoiding all refined sugars should in most cases actually reverse diabetes, which to this point has been seen as a life-long condition often barely managed by costly medication.  This is radical and he has evidence to back it up (in fact more evidence than that which provided the recommendations for low-fat eating in the first place).  His statistics on the potential health crisis world-wide if we continue to put on weight is chilling.

His science make sense to me all the way through.  800 calories does sound drastic and I don’t need the kind of weight loss (an average 14kg in 8 weeks) this promises but I do need to do something so I’m going to follow his principles of the Mediterranean diet if not the exact recipes, as these are not as appealing as I wanted them to be when reading the book nor as joyous as those in the Harcome Diet For Men book which I know works along similar principles.  I’m also determined to get more active over the coming months (it’s been this endless winter to blame for a few of the pounds I’ve put on) to see how it goes.  Today I did download a pedometer app onto my phone and walked a good couple of miles to discover it had only been registered as 500 steps, which was bloody useless and demotivating- I’ve already uninstalled it!  But thank you, Dr Mosley for that little kick-start into summer that I think I need.  In time, I might decide to embark on his programme to the letter but here is once again more evidence to say that low fat diets are ultimately doomed to fail.


The 8 Week Blood Sugar Diet was published by Short Books in 2015.  A recipe book is also available which I will no doubt invest in if I decide to take this further.

5 thoughts on “The 8 Week Blood Sugar Diet – Michael Mosley (2015)

  1. Monika

    I watched one of his programmes, but nothing better then a book explaining…The tv programmes just wash over my head and nothing gets in…I have to admit, the more memorable is a recipe (normally fattening) made using all the low fat/carb ingredients…Ian has full blown type 2 diabetes…On Metformin for good 20 years…2xa day….inherited…drastically reduced the portion sizes, cooking Mediterranean diet…Ian loves belly pork…)not on his NELLY I will roast…
    I was recently diagnosed with another inherited condition (full of delights us:) and a part of it is messed up sugar, which doesn’t show as diabetes, from the blood taken fasting, but what one suffers from is UNEXPLAINED plummeting sugar levels, so therefore cannot skip a meal, CANNOT BE HUNGRY, must watch food intake (so I don’t suffer inner shakes), but at least know what it is, so not scared anymore….used to spook the hell out of me…although not Parkinson, on a par with it, in the past mixed up with it and misdiagnosed…more physical then cognitive affected…WHAT CAN ONE DO? keeping my hair on and get on with it!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Kay Carter

    I, like you followed the Harcombe diet and not only lost weight but felt incredible as well. But I put the weight back on. Then I went to Slimming World, everyone and their dog seemed to be doing it and losing weight, not me, I followed it religiously and put on 6lb in 4 weeks. There are just too many carbs on the slimming world diet.
    The best diet I ever followed was the Atkins. Everyone told me how it would kill me. I lost a stone and a half in 6 weeks. My hair and nails were the best they had ever been, I felt so good, but best of all, I did not have a single migraine, I was getting at least one a week at that time. It was a bit tough to start with but I persevered.
    I have struggled with my weight for most of my life, a lot of it was due to having migraine attacks, sometimes I couldn’t eat for days, other times I was so hungry I could and did eat all day and still feel as though i could eat the proverbial horse.
    I remember when you did the Harcombe diet, you looked so well on it and of course you lost the weight.
    I am back on the Atkins, (combination of the long winter, too many cakes and chocolate as well as lack of exercise) only started yesterday, the Harcombe was good, but I did better on Atkins.
    I had a pedometer App on my phone and yes, it was utterly useless. I treated myself to a fitbit type thing which I bought on Amazon. It records how many steps you take, your sleep, blood pressure and heart rate. It was on offer for under £30. You charge it up using the USB port on your phone charger. I love it.
    My good friend was extremely overweight, due in part to arthritis and the medication she was taking, diagnosed as diabetic, her cholesterol levels through the roof. She did the Harcombe diet, against advise from the medics who gave her a carb laden diet sheet to follow. She lost five stone, the cholesterol was lower than it had ever been, and she was taken off if the tablets for diabetes.
    Hope you both well.x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Monika

      vow Kay, I am probably much younger then you,(41) but apps (understanding it and downloading, hats off! I am still in the 20th century and nowhere near the 21st:)…Why Atkins worked for you, was because you increased omega 3 or 6 fatty acid ( mainly fish, oily) excellent for your migraines. You are very right, must keep an eye on bad cholesterol, but thinking about cooking it, Atkins…Ian is a meat eater anyway, so he will be delighted.

      I bought a book cookery book with diabetes in mind and definitely the best cook book I have ever paid for. Full of great recipes, manageable to cook, no fancy ingredients…Mind you, his son went veggie (I can’t see Ian going veggie) and he lost weight…and he is relatively youngish….(54), but whether he’ll keep it off, questionable…

      Ian has certainly damaged the digestive system, not necessarily diabetes, but sugars do not digested PROPERLY, as cannot shift pounds…However, his water retention well controlled. So not puffy, at least that…His ankles in Slovakia were scary (too hot in the summer, 40 degrees Celsius and more).

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Kay Carter

        Monika. I’m 59, suffered with migraines for as long as I can remember and when I was 7 or 8 my mother was told I would grow out of them, I didn’t. I kept food diaries, cola, chocolate, cheese were the main culprits. I have had tablets to prevent them, didn’t work, tablets to get rid of them that didn’t work. 20 years ago I walked into doctors and told him how bad I was feeling, he gave me ‘new’ tablets. Triptans, they work. It sounds dramatic but they transformed my life.
        Then I read in a magazine about migraines and food. Did the food diary again. I was still eating chocolate and had swapped cheese for vegetarian cheese, they said it was animal rennet in cheese that was a cause of migraine. But so much else. Greek yoghurt, white bread, anything sugary , milk, the list went on. I started to eliminate different foods and it has made a huge difference.
        The Atkins was a revelation, it doesn’t suit everyone, my friend was ill on it. I’m happy with it and as it becomes more difficult to lose weight with age and I know this works (and I like it) I’m doing it again.
        Hope you and Ian can get his diet sorted

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Monika

        god, do I know about a list of food one can’t eat….? or what? had allergies since I was born…took some investigation to find out WHAT PRECISELY. Milk, drink little in the coffee, don’t mind in the porridge, but wouldn’t drink a glass of the stuff…I have this problem, unrelated to allergies, more like sensitivity, animal fats (milk), lamb, pork…goat milk litteraly stink, wouldn’t put in my mouth, forgot cheese, with mould, any French camembert or other fancy stuff…at xmas stick to water crackers…or plain cheddar, mild, mature and pushed the boat out for extra mature…Don’t drink wine, spirits….wine mainly a headbanger anyway and too strong 13%, drunk after 1 glass, no whisky, Ian loves it, must watch calories….only a glass of 8%, bottled in Halewood (round the corner in Liverpool), I must investigate maybe a natural spring water:)

        So, I am rather boring eater, plain stuff…manage beef, chicken…but belly pork certainly NOT….
        Not on the verge of becoming veggie. Quite happy to stick to diabetes cookery book…One more time try the Atkinson diet with Ian….For me a bit too much meat and eggs…

        something must work!

        Till now walnuts can send me into anaphylactic shock, but very careful and always ask if home made salads…cakes (xmas pudding that was an experience!) before I touch…So difficult to believe, mainly for older generation, my grandma always thought it is ONLY in my head, until saw on her eyes…swelling of the face, tongue…dangerous. Your migrains would drive me to desperation…but you very wisely kept a food diary, and found out the triggers…These days I mainly avoid sour stuff, tomatoes tone down with honey, and when a kid had a reaction to all fruits, apart bananas…mouth allergy ulcers…itchy like hell.Now I eat almost all fruit, incl. a pineapple as MUCH sweeter than inSlovakia…Brits wouldn’t eat such sour pineapple…I have to take an anti-histamine all year round NOT TO GET A BUILD UP..damaging on skin (eczema).

        Onwards and upwards…

        Liked by 1 person

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