Professor Roy Taylor, professor of medicine and metabolism at Newcastle University and creator of the diet plan, explained that OPTIFAST meal replacement shakes could help to support weight loss during the initial stage of the Newcastle diet.
But what is the Newcastle diet and how exactly does it work? Let’s take a look.
The Newcastle Diet for Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes diagnoses are increasing in the UK, largely a result of the increased prevalence of people who are overweight or obese, which are leading risk factors for type 2 diabetes.
The Times article highlighted that men who are overweight or obese are typically more at risk of developing type 2 diabetes than women, although during and following menopause a woman’s risk becomes comparable.
Experts such as myself are concerned but not surprised, as we in the UK are tracking the US, where 10.5% of the population has been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. We are mirroring their trajectory.
Professor Roy Taylor.
Professor Taylor explained that one of his key goals was to develop a diet plan that emphasised lifestyle and diet changes that would not only help to promote weight loss and decrease blood sugar levels, but that could also potentially reverse the diagnosis of type 2 diabetes.
What is the Newcastle Diet?
The Newcastle diet involves following a restricted caloric intake of 800-1,000 calories per day over a 12-week period with the goal of reversing or preventing the development of type 2 diabetes.
Newcastle Diet: Weeks 1-8
During the initial phase of the Newcastle diet, your total daily caloric intake is approximately 800 calories per day.
In my studies, we found that using a ‘liquid diet’ consisting of low-calorie complete nutrition meal replacement shakes in combination with a portion of non-starchy vegetables to make up the daily calorie total was the most effective.
Professor Roy Taylor.
The Newcastle Diet recommends using OPTIFAST Shakes as one of the total meal replacement options, which are easy to prepare and contain 24 different vitamins and minerals per serving.
During this phase, it’s important to not suddenly increase the amount or intensity of exercise that you’re doing, as your body will be adjusting to the reduction in calories. Alcohol should also be avoided for the first eight weeks; however, you can drink as much tea or coffee as you like – preferably black, but a splash of skimmed milk is permitted.
Newcastle Diet: Weeks 9-12
After eight weeks of a restricted calorie intake, most people will have lost some weight, potentially a significant amount, and can start to reintroduce an evening meal in place of their meal replacement shake. This meal should be centred around lean protein like chicken or salmon as well as a non-starchy vegetable – aim for no more than 500 calories in total.
From weeks 11 and onwards, if you’ve been able to maintain your weight after the reintroduction of one meal a day, you can now incorporate another small meal, which is often the lunchtime meal (400 calories max.).
By week 12, you can now start to replace your morning meal replacement shake with a 400-500 calorie meal.
Newcastle Diet: Maintaining Weight Loss
To maintain weight loss, Professor Taylor recommends following the ‘75% rule’ – eating three-quarters of the amount of food that you ate before starting the Newcastle diet.
How to Use OPTIFAST Shakes on the Newcastle Diet
Professor Taylor recommends using meal replacement shakes such as OPTIFAST Shakes during the initial eight-week phase of the Newcastle diet.
OPTIFAST Shakes are available in Banana, Caramel, Vanilla, Strawberry, Chocolate and Coffee flavours, so there’s plenty of variety and they’re easy to make at home or on the go. All you need to do is add water and shake.