The Low Carb Programme is a free initiative developed to support people to lose weight and improve their health by adopting a real food low carb lifestyle. Initial results show an average of 8% weight loss at 12 week follow up, with some participants going on to achieve diabetes remission. The programme was originally developed by GPs at the Freshwell Health Centre in Braintree.
The benefits of a low carb lifestyle
There is evidence that a low carb lifestyle, that focuses on eating real foods, can bring about sustained weight loss, a reduced need for medications and in some cases remission from type two diabetes.
About the programme
Our six-week programme will equip you with information, skills, tips and support to help you to adopt a low carb approach and achieve your health goals. The programme consists of:
- Six educational video presentations written and presented by Dr David Oliver and Dr Kim Andrews from the Freshwell Health Centre.
- A participant journal to help you reflect, set goals and start working towards your desired health outcome
- The option to take part in six 1:1 telephone health coaching sessions. The optional coaching sessions will give you the opportunity to reflect on what is important to you, set goals, plan actions and problem solve in a supportive environment.
Joining the Low Carb Programme
To sign up you can:
- Use our self-referral form here.
- Contact the low carb team by emailing [email protected] to discuss further with our programme Health and Wellbeing Coach.
- Ask your GP reception team for an appointment.
Programme inclusion criteria:
- 18 years or older,
- Type 2 diabetes (not suitable for type 1 or those on insulin) or
- BMI of over 27
- Please note you will need access to the internet to be able to access all the features of this programme successfully.
What is a low carb lifestyle?
There are a number of rules that underpin the lifestyle, but in principle they are:
- Reducing sugar intake to an absolute minimum
- Avoid processed food
- Reduce your starchy carbohydrate intake a lot
- Eat healthy fats
- Avoid vegetable oils
- Avoid snacking
See our food list and meal planning guide for a list of foods grouped into Red, Amber and Green foods to help you make better low carb choices when you are preparing a meal, as well as balance the proteins, fats and fibre.
Why reduce carbohydrates?
Carbohydrate is the nutrient that has the biggest impact on blood glucose, whether from sugars or starches it has a direct influence on blood sugar levels in our body, so the more carbs we eat the higher the levels of sugar in our blood.
The body regulates blood sugar levels using insulin. If we eat a lot of carbohydrate the body has to produce more and more insulin to cope. Insulin encourages fat storage, the higher the levels of carbs, the higher the level of insulin, the more fat cells aren’t used for energy, but are instead stored as fat.
Looking for meal inspiration?
For inspiration on low carb meal options click on the links below.
Time restricted eating
Time restricted eating, or intermittent fasting, can be achieved as simply as eating three good meals per day with nothing in between. Along with adopting a low carb approach, fasting can help lower insulin levels, helping you switch into burning your fat stores. Even the smallest low-calorie snack can interfere with fat-burning.
As you switch to low carb eating you will find it easier to cut the snacks, as your blood sugar spikes, and thus cravings and hunger, subside.
Reflection, progress and planning
An important part of the Low Carb Programme is to plan, reflect and keep track of progress, and this journal is intended to help guide you through this process.