Making type 2 diabetes remission a reality

Background:

The Counterweight programme is based upon findings from a clinical randomised control trial conducted by DiRECT (Diabetes Remission Clinical Trial). The trial compared primary care received through GP practices to the treatment received during the Counterweight programme

Over 300 participants from 49 primary care practices within Scotland and England were assigned to either the control group following normal GP care or the Counterweight group in equal division. The study provided clinical data spanning 2 years, producing statistically significant findings in relation to weight loss and remission of Type 2 diabetes in participants allocated to the Counterweight programme. A total of 46 % of participants achieved Diabetes remission, simultaneously coming off all Diabetes medication compared with only 4% in the control group. Weight loss was found to be crucial in reaching Diabetes remission, evidenced by 86% of participants who lost 15 kg or more achieving this goal.

For more information about the DiRECT trial, please follow the link here.

What causes remission of Type 2 Diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes was once regarded as a condition that lasts a lifetime with multiple associated health complications, however research now suggests the majority can achieve remission through a weight loss of approximately 10-15kg. Weight loss coincides with a reduction in fatty deposits that build up in the liver and pancreas, which in-turn kick start increased insulin production when glucose is detected in the blood. As a result, non-diabetic blood glucose control is resumed, and medication can be discontinued. It is worth noting that this mechanism is influenced by the duration of diabetes, with length of diagnosis acting as a limitation in achieving remission.

Stages of the programme

  1. Total diet replancement

    This phase involves a low energy diet based on your choice of 4 soups and shakes daily, with additional fluid and fibre intake recommended during this stage to ensure nutritional requirements are met. To help monitor, manage and motivate users on their journey,bi-monthly appointments are further agreed to with a dietitian. The programme requires a great level of commitment as normal food and fluids are replaced for 12 weeks, however throughout this phase a significant amount of weight loss is established, making remission a possibility.

  2. Food reintroduction

    The second phase of the programme aims to gradually reintroduce food into your diet over 12 weeks, with partial support provided by soups and shakes. Education around healthy eating, portion control and increasing activity are slowly introduced by the dietitian to help encourage further weight loss and instil positive habits for the future. Carefully curated resources to help plan meals and bi-mothly dietitian appointments are offered to overhaul behaviours that previously promoted weight gain.

  3. Weight loss maintenance

    The third phase focuses on stabilising weight loss using a combination of techniques including menu planning and energy balance. Learning about how the food you eat contributes towards the number on the scales is vital for continued diabetes remission. Weight gain is monitored closely during the Food Reintroduction and Weight Loss Maintenance stage with specially formulated rescue plans dedicated to help you get back on track if weight regain is encountered.

How do I get started?

Well done on making the healthy choice. Before we get you started on the Counterweight programme, there are a few things we need to check to ensure that you're eligible for the programme. Please click the link here to schedule an appointment with one of our dietiticians to get you screened and started.