The Newcastle Diet is a very low calorie diet which was used as part of a clinical study by Newcastle University. Very low calorie diets should only be started with the approval and support from your doctor.
The diet gained a lot of media attention when the results were published in June 2011. The study, funded by charity Diabetes UK involved 11 participants with type 2 diabetes who were medically supervised throughout.
3 months after the study was completed, 7 of the participants were deemed, by the researchers, as being free from diabetes.
The diet was based upon 3 sachets of Optifast meal replacement shakes a day – accounting for 600 calories per day. In additio, participants ate 250g of non-starchy vegetables a day, adding a further 200 calories per day. Participants drank water or calorie-free beverages.
People in the study were on the diet for 8 weeks. After the diet, participants returned to a normal diet taking on board advice on healthy eating and portion size.
The researchers believe the diet’s success is linked with loss of fatty tissue from around the liver and pancreas. The study’s participants were given MRI scans which showed that the level of fat from around these organs had decreased from elevated to normal levels over the course of the study.
Being a very low calorie diet, it is important to gain approval and supervision from your doctor before starting the diet. Note that some people may be advised by their doctor against going onto the diet on grounds of health.