Momenta Newcastle are delivering a group-based Diabetes Remission Programme (DRP) virtually over Zoom in Birmingham & Solihull CCG as part of the NHS England Low Calorie Diet Programme pilot.
Mohamed is a student soon to be 21. He lives with his Mum and younger siblings and around 2 years ago they moved to the UK from Norway.
Life before the programme
Shortly after arriving in the UK he was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes at a routine appointment after registering with his GP. He wasn’t particularly surprised about his diagnosis as his Mum has had diabetes for some time and he hadn’t been feeling great; sometimes nauseous after eating ‘unhealthy food’. He was also aware that his eating habits could be much healthier and he was doing less activity since leaving Norway.
Being well supported and encouraged by his Mum, at first Mohamed tried to manage his diabetes by changing his diet. However, he found this particularly challenging and was struggling to successfully control his blood sugar levels. He was given the option by his GP to start on diabetes medication or be referred the NHS Low Calorie Diet Programme. He really didn’t want to start taking medication and welcomed the opportunity to choose a healthy lifestyle approach to managing his diabetes. Mohammed was:
When starting out on the programme at the end of January, Mohamed was a little sceptical about whether it would work and if he would actually lose weight. He soon realised that he was losing weight steadily week by week and after 12 weeks on the TDR he had lost 10% of his body weight, reaching a weight of 75.2 kg and a BMI of 23.4 in the healthy range.
One of the things that is making Mohamed’s journey through the programme easier is the support from his group and coach. This support helped Mohamed to pull through when he felt like he needed a little motivation to keep going.
With increasing confidence and determination to keep healthy and achieve his goal of diabetes remission, Mohamed has more recently started to focus on increasing the amount of physical activity he does, targeting at least 10,000 steps a day and joining a gym to get both fitter and stronger.
Phase 1 – Total Diet Replacement (TDR)
His advice to others starting the TDR is to ‘keep focused on the goal and to power through it’. He reiterates the importance of having support, both at home from his Mum and within the group, as the biggest factor for success in Phase 1 of the programme.
He preferred the soups and shakes from the Exante range of TDR products and describes a fondness for his favourite, a vegetable soup which reminded him of one he used to love when he was in Norway. The behavioural tools of the programme have been particularly helpful, as he has learned about his triggers and how not to get distracted by food – choosing ‘to go in the other direction’.
Mo’s group went through the transition Phase 2 (coming off the TDR and introducing healthy food) during Ramadan, which he describes as being particularly hard as he was tempted to eat things he wouldn’t have chosen to. However, he made good use of his Momenta Workbook and other resources including the ‘Momenta Guide to Managing during Ramadan’ to support him and continued to attend all group meetings for advice and support.
He felt able to use the tools and techniques he had learned to refocus on his goals after Ramadan.
Mohamed now takes time to choose food carefully thinking about portion sizes, how to balance his meals and routinely checking labels when food shopping.
How did the programme fit into Mohamed’s life?
Making good use of the group support and resources available together with the encouragement from his family, Mohammed has found it relatively easy to fit in with his family and other commitments ‘finding the right times to fit his shakes and soups into his day’.
It works for him that the group meetings in Phase 3 are now once a month and considers it will fit well when he goes back to studying in September. He feels in control and is much more knowledgeable, plus he has his support team at home. He chuckles when he mentions his younger siblings who sometimes question him ‘Should you really be eating that?’.
How has the programme improved Mohamed’s health and life?
Before starting the programme he describes feeling tired and not so well. He is motivated by his weight loss and being able to control his diabetes without needing medication – seeing remission as a real possibility. Feeling energetic and able to do so much more, Mohamed has set his goals on keeping a healthy lifestyle and getting stronger and fitter, but he is also aware of the impact on all aspects of his health.