How tough 800 calorie-a-day diet helped Operation Transformation Michael to reverse killer diabetes
A DETERMINED chef who was picked to follow the toughest Operation Transformation diet yet has become the first man in Ireland to reverse type 2 Diabetes.
Michael Casey no longer suffers from the potentially life-threatening condition after losing almost 50lbs.
The dad-of-three told the Herald he intends to continue his punitive 800-calories-a-day diet for several days before switching to Operation Transformation's typical diet of 1,200 calories.
"I've spent the last couple of months constantly hungry, sometimes it was worse than others, but it's all been worth it because I no longer have diabetes," he said.
"I'm not going to celebrate this for a while because I'm actually going to continue this special diet, I want to lose half-a-stone before I start eating more normally again.
"The weight-loss is a bonus, but it wasn't my original intent, for me it was always a matter of health first, and I didn't know if I was going to make my target."
While the five leaders of the show receive plenty of support from experts Dr Eva Orsmond, Dr Eddie Murphy, and fitness expert Karl Henry, Michael said he was left with a little more independence.
"I had to be really strict on myself because I was left to my own devices a lot of the time and I'm a chef, so I'm constantly around food.
"I didn't have any of the army challenges to try and push you physically for example.
"I did have a a weekly weigh-in and health check to make sure that I was fine because I stopped taking any of my tablets for cholesterol, blood pressure and diabetes (seven a day in total).
"I had something to prove and I did, I have shown that all it takes is motivation and anyone can do it."
Michael was restricted to drinking two shakes a day and eating a soup, a salad or stir fry at night.
He was banned from fish, meat, carbohydrates, sugar, alcohol, and caffeine.
"What I missed the most was my cup of tea at the end of the day when you sit down and watch telly," Michael explained.
"It's the little things -- at one stage, I was just craving baked potatoes and steamed fish or chicken, it sounded so nice," he said.
"But I was lucky that my wife Gillian was always happy to help me progress, and she kept on asking me if I wanted her and our three children -- Cian (8) Abbie (6) Ross (2) -- to eat in a different room."
The Cavan man's blood sugar levels and blood pressure are back to normal after he followed a new diet based on research from a small Newcastle University study which suggested type 2 diabetes can be "reversed".
Diabetes Ireland warned that while this type of diet may be effective, diabetes sufferers should only undertake it after consulting their GPs.
"Diabetes Ireland congratulates Michael Casey for his significant weight-loss over the past eight weeks.
"The positive impact which his weight-loss has had on his type 2 diabetes is remarkable.
"His will-power to adhere to such a difficult diet is also to be commended.
"Scientific evidence has proven the benefits of weight- loss for overweight people, however Diabetes Ireland would like to emphasisethat no overweight person with type 2 diabetes should commence a diet of this nature without medical supervision," the organisation added.