Professor Roy Taylor’s Life Without Diabetes diet: The three-stage eating plan that could keep you diabetes-free for life

It’s the groundbreaking new plan from the scientist who created the world-famous 5:2 diet. Who knew that healthy eating could be so tasty?

Professor Roy Taylor’s simple three-stage eating plan – and deliciously nutritious recipes – could keep you diabetes-free for life.

Around 3.5 million people in the UK are now living with type 2 diabetes, and that number is rising all the time. While scientists struggle to find safe and effective drug combinations to limit the impact of the disease, the answer for many could lie in a super-simple diet plan.

I have devised a brilliant three-stage process which has been proven, in hundreds of cases, to put type 2 diabetes into remission, getting you off the drugs, free from side-effects and the life-limiting consequences of the disease. Better still, it could keep you diabetes-free for life. First you need to lose weight rapidly. Around 15kg or 2 1/2 stone is the magic number in terms of how much weight to lose to trigger diabetes reversal, but if you are not particularly overweight aim for 15 per cent of your body weight instead. Second, you slowly return to ordinary eating; then you learn how to eat healthily long term.

professor roy Taylor diabetes dietAs a specialist on the link between diet and type 2 diabetes, I have spent 30 years researching what happens to the food you eat. It was my work that inspired Dr Michael Mosley to reverse his own diabetes diagnosis, as you will read in The Mail on Sunday today. My book Life Without Diabetes explains the science behind why type 2 diabetes happens and how the 1,2,3 approach can keep it at bay.

In this recipe pullout you’ll find delicious, nutritious meal ideas that will see you sailing through my plan. For the first key stage I recommend swapping breakfast, lunch and dinner for three nutritionally complete shakes and soups (which total 600 calories) and enjoying a small plate of salad or vegetables (around 100 calories; see the following four pages for inspiration) for fibre and crunch. 

The great news is, you don’t have to radically transform your body shape and work tirelessly to fit into size ten jeans. We have discovered that diabetes is a personal thing, and as long as you lose enough weight to take you below your own personal fat threshold (the point at which your body can no longer retain fat under the skin safely and begins to store it in your internal organs) you should start to reverse the processes that led to you getting type 2 diabetes. A simple blood sugar test will confirm this.

So stage one is all about getting your weight down fast, then stage two focuses on gradually reintroducing ordinary foods. That’s when you can start experimenting with the healthy dinners, lunches and breakfast ideas. Finally, the third stage of this plan puts the emphasis on keeping your weight steady long term by eating healthily and keeping portion sizes small. 

If you’ve been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes or you are concerned that you might be at risk, I urge you to give this plan a try. You’ve got nothing to lose but diabetes – and a healthy and happy life to potentially gain.

We strongly advise consulting your doctor before embarking on any diet plan. You should also discuss your medication if necessary. The eating plan is not suitable if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or underweight.

diabetes diet
Chris Alack

How the Life Without Diabetes diet plan works

 For best results, here are my three simple stages…

Stage 1 An eating plan of shakes and soups totalling around 600 calories a day plus one 100-calorie helping of non-starchy veg to trigger the swift fat loss your body needs to put type 2 diabetes into remission.

Stage 2 Once you have lost 15kg or reached your target weight and your diabetes is in remission, reintroduce ordinary foods, one meal at a time (400-500 calories for dinner, 400 calories for lunch or breakfast) until the liquid meals have been phased out.

Stage 3 For long-term weight maintenance, stick to three meals a day of small portions of healthy food (three-quarters of your former intake).

Life Without Diabetes diet stage 1: Shakes & veg

For eight to 12 weeks (or until you’ve lost 15 per cent of your body weight) replace breakfast, lunch and dinner with three shakes or soups a day plus a plate of veg or salad. There are no calorie counts for the veg recipes – they’re all around 100 calories a portion. 

Garlicky greens with mushrooms

If you want to give this dish extra aromatic flavour, try adding the crushed seeds of four cardamom pods before steaming.

diabetes diet garlicky greens with mushrooms
Chris Alack

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Leek and turmeric soup with roasted cauliflower

A warming soup with a lovely texture to it, and the roasted cauliflower garnish really brings this to life.

diabetes diet leek and turmeric soup with roasted caulfilower
Chris Alack

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Lettuce and roasted Mediterranean veg wraps

Sweet roasted veg wrapped in tart, crispy lettuce – you won’t notice the lack of bread…

Lettuce and roasted Mediterranean veg wraps
Chris Alack

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Courgette bake

This dish is a perfect example of simple ingredients, executed well. If you are strapped for time, slice the courgettes into 2cm chunks. It reheats nicely, too, so you can save what’s left for the following day. 

courgette bake
Chris Alack

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Spiced roasted veg traybake

This dish will serve four but if you are just making it for two, don’t scale it down – keep what is left over for the following day. Simply reheat in the microwave. 

spiced roasted veg traybake
Chris Alack

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Great shakes to get you started

It’s important that your three daily shakes are all nutritionally complete. Good online brands for these are Exante, Slim And Save and The New You Plan. The homemade shakes here can be swapped in from time to time for variation. 

The teacake shake

Calories 181 

200ml skimmed milk
2 tbsp skimmed milk powder
2 pitted prunes (10g)
1 tsp ground allspice
zest of 1 small orange, or 1-2 drops orange essence

1. Place all ingredients in a blender and blitz.

Peanut butter & banana shake

Calories 210 

200ml skimmed milk
1½ tbsp skimmed milk powder
½ a small banana, 40g (frozen banana will make a thicker shake)
1 tsp smooth peanut butter (no added sugar variety)
½-1 tsp stevia sweetener

1.  Place all ingredients in the blender and blitz for 10 seconds until smooth.

Blueberry pancake shake

Calories 182 

200ml skimmed milk
1½ tbsp skimmed milk powder
50g frozen blueberries
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½-1 tsp stevia sweetener (optional)

1.  Place all ingredients in a blender and blitz.

Choc-mint shake

Calories 197 

200ml skimmed milk
2 tbsp skimmed milk powder
2 tsp dark cocoa powder
2-3 fresh mint leaves (or 1-2 drops mint essence)
½-1 tsp stevia sweetener

1.  Place all the ingredients in a blender and blitz until smooth.

Life Without Diabetes diet stage 2: More choice, more deliciousness

 For two weeks, substitute one shake for an evening meal (400-500 calories) that’s low in carbs and contains plenty of veg. Then, for the next two weeks, substitute another shake for a breakfast or light lunch (around 400 calories). After four weeks you can start eating three meals a day.

Microwave eggs with bacon, spinach and chilli

A super-fast, low-maintenance breakfast where the addition of spinach, chilli and nutmeg makes for a gourmet meal.

microwave eggs with bacon, spinach and chilli
Chris Alack

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Easy brunch bake

Although described as a breakfast dish, this would be just as good for brunch, lunch or supper. It is a deliciously healthy and satisfying alternative to a fried breakfast. 

easy brunch bake
Chris Alack

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Smoked mackerel pâté with cucumber, radish and rocket

This smoked mackerel pâté massively delivers on flavour – it contains just enough yogurt to blend the mackerel, and the lemon cuts through the oily fish perfectly. Don’t be put off by the large quantity of dill: it works a treat. Any leftovers can be stored in the fridge for a couple of days.

smoked mackerel pâté
Chris Alack

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Curried red lentil soup

This is a hearty soup that will keep you feeling full for hours. If a thicker soup is not your thing, simply add a bit more stock towards the end of cooking.

curried red lentil soup
Chris Alack

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Warm green veg salad with tomato, paprika and yogurt

Feel free to substitute any of the vegetables in this recipe – courgette, cauliflower and asparagus work particularly well, as do green leaves such as kale. 

warm green veg salad
Chris Alack

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Celeriac and salmon fishcakes with low-cal tartare sauce

These low-carb fishcakes are perfectly accompanied by homemade tartare sauce (once you taste it you’ll never go back!). Make sure to steam rather than boil the celeriac or the mixture could end up too wet to shape nicely. 

CeCe l e riac and salmon fishcakes
Chris Alack

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Garam masala and ginger chicken curry with green beans and cauliflower rice

A simple curry that is brilliant for all the family – kids and grown-ups alike. 

garam masala and ginger chicken curry
Chris Alack

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Life Without Diabetes diet stage 3: Tasty ways to stay on track

You can return to a normal pattern of eating now with three nutritious meals a day relatively low in carbs. You don’t need to calorie count, just make sure you’re eating healthily and keeping portions small (ideally about three quarters of the amount you used to eat). 

Bulgur wheat kedgeree

The nutty flavour of bulgur wheat lends itself nicely to the flavours in this dish. We recommend you serve it with the egg yolks slightly soft, but if you prefer a harder-boiled egg, cook them for 3 minutes longer. 

bulgur wheat kedgeree
Chris Alack

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Baked feta with sun-dried tomatoes, capers, parsley and roasted peppers

There are few ingredients required for this dish but each of them has impact. The colours, too, are bright and beautiful.

baked feta
Chris Alack

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Vegetable and lentil pie with a cheesy cauliflower and broccoli crust

Any root vegetable would work in this meatless vegetable and lentil pie. I have used carrots and parsnips, but butternut squash would be lovely too, as would celeriac. 

diabetes diet vegetable and lentil pie
Chris Alack

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Garlic and herb chicken wraps with coleslaw

Large crunchy leaves of romaine lettuce are filled with simple coleslaw and flavour-packed chicken for a delicious dish. Make sure the skewers you are using fit into your frying pan – if not, simply cut them to the right size. 

garlic and herb chicken wraps
Chris Alack

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Egg-fried cauliflower rice with chicken and kale

You can use any non-starchy vegetables in this simple egg-fried cauliflower rice – broccoli, courgette and asparagus all work well.

egg-fried cauliflower rice
Chris Alack

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Mexican tacos

This is a very quick and simple recipe, perfect for when you want something really tasty in return for very little effort.

diabetes diet Mexican tacos
Chris Alack

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Lamb hotpot with celeriac topping

In this recipe, celeriac is substituted for the more traditional potato topping. This is the kind of meal that warms any cold winter evening. 

life without diabetes diet
Chris Alack

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Herb omelette with feta, courgette and bacon

Always use a nonstick frying pan when cooking an omelette and cook it on quite a high heat (and ideally use a rubber spatula if you have one). The process is very fast – it should only take a matter of moments. 

herb omelette with feta
Chris Alack

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We strongly advise consulting your doctor before embarking on any diet plan. You should also discuss your medication if necessary. The Life Without Diabetes eating plan is not suitable if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or underweight.

Buy the book with 20 per cent off

Life Without Diabetes by Professor Roy Taylor is published by Short Books, price £9.99. To order a copy for £7.99, with free p&p, until 25 January, call 01603 648155 or go to mailshop.co.uk.

© Roy Taylor 2020. Recipes created by: participants on the diabetes reversal trial, Kathryn Bruton, Alison Barnes. Food styling: Clare Lewis. Styling: Sue Radcliffe.