The Low-Carb Diet That Helped One Woman Lose 120 Pounds and Reverse Diabetes

Tina Marcus doesn’t have a magic pill. She doesn’t have a secret menu or a special culinary hack. But Marcus, 55, has lost more than 120 pounds (lbs) and returned her A1C to prediabetes level by following the Atkins diet — and she’s maintained those improvements over the last two years.

Sheer willpower, a regular exercise regimen, and the low-carb eating plan put her on a track to successfully managing type 2 diabetes, she says.

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Taking the First Steps Toward Making Lifelong Changes

Marcus, a church office manager in Arlington, Virginia, knew it wasn’t healthy or effective for her diabetes management to weigh 260 lbs. She’s right: Extra weight can increase insulin resistance (the hallmark of type 2 diabetes), making it harder to control blood sugar and increasing the risk for health complications, according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA).

But her biggest push toward healthy living started with a jarring doctor’s appointment, she says.

She had been living with prediabetes, the precursor to type 2 diabetes, for a few years, and had put her health on the backburner while caring for her mother, turning to convenient but unhealthy snacks for fuel.

She went to the doctor in January 2016 and was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. “[My doctor] was very concerned,” says Marcus, noting her A1C — a two- to three-month average of blood sugar levels — was 11, indicating full-blown diabetes.

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