Jeannette Paxia sat on a bench, watching her two boys playing in the park. I went through so much to have kids, and now I don’t have the energy to play with them, the Modesto, California, mom lamented.
After a miscarriage, Jeannette had worked with a fertility specialist to have her second son. But after giving birth in 2010, she couldn’t lose the baby weight. “I thought my vegetarian diet was healthy, but I’m still putting on pounds,” she confided to a friend. “I’m hungry and exhausted all the time.”
Frustrated, Jeannette shared her health issues with her OB/GYN, who suggested a two-hour fasting glucose test. To Jeannette’s shock, her glucose levels were off the charts.
“You have type 2 diabetes,” the doctor said, and referred her to an endocrinologist, who put her on Metformin, a medication to help regulate blood sugar.
I have to get this under control, but I don’t want to take medication the rest of my life, she despaired. There has to be something I can do.
An Amazing Change
Jeannette began doing research about diabetes and came across a website for Dr. Anna Cabeca, D.O., OB/GYN, who talked about a program called intermittent fasting (IF), where you fast for 14–16 hours, usually between dinner and breakfast. IF, she explained, had been proven to lower blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels, improve insulin sensitivity and help the body burn more fat.
Jeannette was fascinated. The fact that a doctor was recommending the plan — and following it herself — gave Jeannette peace of mind that it would be safe. Plus, she wouldn’t have to change what she ate, just when. So, monitoring her blood sugar closely, Jeannette stuck to her usual vegetarian diet — eggs, tofu, or a protein drink to start her day, and lots of veggies and proteins for her other meals. But she moved breakfast to 10 am and stopped eating at 6 pm.
Right away, Jeannette noticed she wasn’t as hungry throughout the day, and she had more energy. And as weeks passed, she realized her clothes were also getting looser.
Jeannette stuck with the plan, and after just six months, her endocrinologist was amazed. “Your blood-sugar level is much lower,” the doctor marveled. In fact, he was able to take Jeannette off her medication.
Thanks to IF, Jeannette, now 49, no longer has type 2 diabetes. “I’ve lost 75 pounds. I have more energy than ever,” beams Jeannette, a professional speaker, author and caretaker coach. “It’s flexible and easy, and I’m healthier and happier!”
Editor’s note: If you’re diabetic or on medication, consult your doctor before trying IF.
This story originally appeared in our print magazine.