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Downsizing: How I Lost 8 Stone, Reversed My Diabetes and Regained My Health

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'An honest and fascinating account of the journey that Tom made from discovering he was a type 2 diabetic to doing something about it. This book will change lives.' Michael Mosley 'Two years ago I turned 50, weighed 22 stone and was heavily medicated for type 2 diabetes. I thought it would be all downhill from there. By radically changing my nutrition, cutting out sugar 'An honest and fascinating account of the journey that Tom made from discovering he was a type 2 diabetic to doing something about it. This book will change lives.' Michael Mosley 'Two years ago I turned 50, weighed 22 stone and was heavily medicated for type 2 diabetes. I thought it would be all downhill from there. By radically changing my nutrition, cutting out sugar, and taking up exercise, I've changed my life and reversed my diabetes. I hope my story will inspire others to regain their health and happiness and discover the new lease of life I'm experiencing.'Tom Watson began to put on weight in his early twenties, having developed an appetite for fast food and cheap beer while studying at the University of Hull. As time progressed - and his penchant for anything sweet, fatty or fizzy persisted - he found himself adjusting his belt, loosening his collar and upsizing his wardrobe to XXL. He continued to pile on the pounds when he entered the world of politics as MP for West Bromwich East (despite short-lived flirtations with fad diets and fitness classes). By December 2014, his bathroom scales had tipped to 22 stone. After being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in late 2015, he decided to take control of his diet and exercise. He started to feel better quickly and within a short time his long-term blood sugar levels were within normal range. By July 2018, he came off medication.


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'An honest and fascinating account of the journey that Tom made from discovering he was a type 2 diabetic to doing something about it. This book will change lives.' Michael Mosley 'Two years ago I turned 50, weighed 22 stone and was heavily medicated for type 2 diabetes. I thought it would be all downhill from there. By radically changing my nutrition, cutting out sugar 'An honest and fascinating account of the journey that Tom made from discovering he was a type 2 diabetic to doing something about it. This book will change lives.' Michael Mosley 'Two years ago I turned 50, weighed 22 stone and was heavily medicated for type 2 diabetes. I thought it would be all downhill from there. By radically changing my nutrition, cutting out sugar, and taking up exercise, I've changed my life and reversed my diabetes. I hope my story will inspire others to regain their health and happiness and discover the new lease of life I'm experiencing.'Tom Watson began to put on weight in his early twenties, having developed an appetite for fast food and cheap beer while studying at the University of Hull. As time progressed - and his penchant for anything sweet, fatty or fizzy persisted - he found himself adjusting his belt, loosening his collar and upsizing his wardrobe to XXL. He continued to pile on the pounds when he entered the world of politics as MP for West Bromwich East (despite short-lived flirtations with fad diets and fitness classes). By December 2014, his bathroom scales had tipped to 22 stone. After being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in late 2015, he decided to take control of his diet and exercise. He started to feel better quickly and within a short time his long-term blood sugar levels were within normal range. By July 2018, he came off medication.

30 review for Downsizing: How I Lost 8 Stone, Reversed My Diabetes and Regained My Health

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sue

    As a person who needs to loose more weight and diabetic 2 mine could be controlled by eating, or rather, what I eat so I thought I’d take a look at this book. Not much into Politics so didn’t know who this person was, so, not the reason I wanted to read it. It’s informative as per most books like this. As all diabetics are told......eat less carbs as carbs turn into sugar which causes us problems. Less sugar in general. Tom went on a low carb high fat sort of regime. I think he mentioned Keto as one As a person who needs to loose more weight and diabetic 2 mine could be controlled by eating, or rather, what I eat so I thought I’d take a look at this book. Not much into Politics so didn’t know who this person was, so, not the reason I wanted to read it. It’s informative as per most books like this. As all diabetics are told......eat less carbs as carbs turn into sugar which causes us problems. Less sugar in general. Tom went on a low carb high fat sort of regime. I think he mentioned Keto as one one of the successful. I’m in no doubt and awe that he’s lost so much weight which is astounding and I praise him for that. It’s the most difficult things to do, loose weight, then.......keep it off! There’s no easy way, there’s no magic wand. Being in his position I’d love for him to rally for manufacturers to less the sugar content in food. To lobby for better healthier foods. We are getting bigger as a nation, I’m one of them. We sit more too as we e “machines” that do housework, chores, work and let’s not not forget, online shopping! We don’t need to move much! He gave an honest and open account of his life which I can relate to in part. Would I recommend this book? Yes, I think I would as it’s got some really good advice and let’s face it..... He’s lost a half of his body weight. He’s reversed diabetes in his life so far. It’s no easy fete that! I admire him.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Lucy

    I listened to this on Audible and am now following the low carb high fat plan too. All good so far! This is a very personal account of Tom's journey and, for the most part, it was extremely engaging and fascinating. I felt it got a bit deep when talking about the sugar companies and lost focus for a while there but overall, a great read. He's got a lot to say and we should listen. I listened to this on Audible and am now following the low carb high fat plan too. All good so far! This is a very personal account of Tom's journey and, for the most part, it was extremely engaging and fascinating. I felt it got a bit deep when talking about the sugar companies and lost focus for a while there but overall, a great read. He's got a lot to say and we should listen.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Gavin Gough

    Having seen Tom Watson’s dramatic weight loss in recent years and after reading a number of interviews where he discussed how he achieved remission from Type 2 diabetes, I was eager to read his book. It was worth the wait. Tom’s written a straightforward, no-nonsense account of his approach with reference to plenty of well-researched material and resources. There’s no ‘quick-fix’ magic or snake oil potions, just common sense advice backed up by research and evidence. I’m already enjoying the ben Having seen Tom Watson’s dramatic weight loss in recent years and after reading a number of interviews where he discussed how he achieved remission from Type 2 diabetes, I was eager to read his book. It was worth the wait. Tom’s written a straightforward, no-nonsense account of his approach with reference to plenty of well-researched material and resources. There’s no ‘quick-fix’ magic or snake oil potions, just common sense advice backed up by research and evidence. I’m already enjoying the benefits of following advice I’ve gleaned from his interviews and the book will serve as excellent motivation to continue with an improved, healthier lifestyle. I sincerely hope that Tom continues to promote his Remission For All campaign and will be encouraging my friends and family to read this potentially life-changing book.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jason

    Inspirational, and very informative. Thank you Mr Watson

  5. 4 out of 5

    Farah Mendlesohn

    Good for him. My one issue is that he assumes all type 2 is due to obesity. In my family we all get it, irrespective of lifestyle. The one who almost died was my 6’ 5” skinny uncle, because his doctor never thought to test. When I was diagnosed I was walking 7 miles a day and at the gym three times a week, and well within standard calorie recommendations (but, as we too worked out, far too many carbs). I also have fat friends whose life threatening illnesses were missed because their doctors got Good for him. My one issue is that he assumes all type 2 is due to obesity. In my family we all get it, irrespective of lifestyle. The one who almost died was my 6’ 5” skinny uncle, because his doctor never thought to test. When I was diagnosed I was walking 7 miles a day and at the gym three times a week, and well within standard calorie recommendations (but, as we too worked out, far too many carbs). I also have fat friends whose life threatening illnesses were missed because their doctors got fixated on their weight. But that apart, everything here is sound. You can control and even reverse type 2 diabetes with diet. The long term consequences of diabetes are immense (see the amputation epidemic in the US). Good luck with your journey.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Andy Walker

    An appropriate book to read as my first one in 2020. Tom Watson’s account of how he lost eight stone and reversed his type 2 diabetes is inspirational and anger-inducing in equal measure. Anger-inducing because of the way he exposes the sugar industry for the way they have obfuscated and lied over many years about the products they peddle. Inspirational because of the sheer size of Watson’s achievement in shedding his bulk and embarking on a new healthy lifestyle. He did it by essentially follow An appropriate book to read as my first one in 2020. Tom Watson’s account of how he lost eight stone and reversed his type 2 diabetes is inspirational and anger-inducing in equal measure. Anger-inducing because of the way he exposes the sugar industry for the way they have obfuscated and lied over many years about the products they peddle. Inspirational because of the sheer size of Watson’s achievement in shedding his bulk and embarking on a new healthy lifestyle. He did it by essentially following a low-carb diet, based largely on Fast Diet founder Michael Mosley’s nutritional approach. It certainly seems to have worked for Watson, who tells his story in an engaging and honest way. I may not agree with Tom’s politics all of the time, but full marks to him for sharing his story in this book. Now he has stepped down from active politics, I hope that he finds the time to take the fight to the sugar industry and that he becomes a public advocate for the much needed measures we need to improve UK citizens’ health and wellbeing.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Gemma

    An inspiring of how this politician transformed his health by loosing a huge amount of weight. Near the end it became a little too political. However, the personal triumphs made it a great read. Very inspiring.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Eric Lee

    Tom Watson was, until very recently, the deputy leader of the British Labour Party. A few years ago, he was diagnosed as suffering from Type 2 Diabetes. At the time, he was 50 years old and weighed over 300 pounds. In this deeply honest and gripping account of his struggle to regain his health, Watson spares nothing — at his worst, he was unable to do the short walk from his apartment to Parliament, and could not climb a single flight of stairs. Much of the book is a description of what he did to Tom Watson was, until very recently, the deputy leader of the British Labour Party. A few years ago, he was diagnosed as suffering from Type 2 Diabetes. At the time, he was 50 years old and weighed over 300 pounds. In this deeply honest and gripping account of his struggle to regain his health, Watson spares nothing — at his worst, he was unable to do the short walk from his apartment to Parliament, and could not climb a single flight of stairs. Much of the book is a description of what he did to lose over 100 pounds and reverse his diabetes in just a few short months. It’s a remarkable story even if the formula he used can already be guessed at — he went for a low-carb, high-fat diet, he began exercising regularly, and he used the My Fitness Pal app to record what he ate. What makes this book different from others is that Watson is a life-long trade unionist and social democrat; he includes several chapters about the nefarious influence of the sugar lobby, and urges the creation of a grassroots movement to encourage people to wean themselves from sugar and embrace healthier lifestyles. This book was an inspiring read and I hope many others will follow in Watson’s footsteps (literally).

  9. 4 out of 5

    Clare Paterson

    Interesting read and interesting diet. Although I now feel that he was so fixated on his diet that he took his eye off the Brexit ball. I’m pleased he lost weight but I’d rather have stayed in the EU...

  10. 5 out of 5

    Stephen

    Tom Watson is a politician whose politics I can quite fathom. That doesn't really matter because this book isn't about politics, although they do creep in. Instead, it's a rather life affirming story of how one man managed to turn his life around. In that respect, it's quite an inspiration. The backdrop is rather familiar to me. Ageing, overweight, diabetic, hypertensive, all of the conditions that I, along with many of my friends, face. What can we do about it? Lose weight and take more exercise Tom Watson is a politician whose politics I can quite fathom. That doesn't really matter because this book isn't about politics, although they do creep in. Instead, it's a rather life affirming story of how one man managed to turn his life around. In that respect, it's quite an inspiration. The backdrop is rather familiar to me. Ageing, overweight, diabetic, hypertensive, all of the conditions that I, along with many of my friends, face. What can we do about it? Lose weight and take more exercise. Easy to say, but not as easy to do. I have to admit that after reading the book, I do feel a bit more motivated to become a bit more active and I do feel that I need to make an effort to lose more weight than I have already. Perhaps that's why I liked the book? I do feel that it spoke to me as an individual. That it embraced my story, even though it was Tom Watson's story. It is written in such a plain and human style that you can't help liking the man and identifying with him. Of course, he's a politician, it's his job to do that. But I do feel better for having read the book. I'm not sure about all aspects of the diet the author followed. I can see bits that would work for me, and I can see bits that wouldn't. Equally, I can find parts of the exercise regime appealing and parts that turn me off. I suppose that just underlines how individual this all is. It was useful though to hear what worked for someone else because elements of that could work for me. The argument is easy to follow and you find yourself easily led to the same conclusion as the author. The final reveal is that the book is to act as a political manifesto. The reader might not like that, but it is difficult to argue against. However, since then the author has left politics, so perhaps it hasn't acted as a rallying call. The book is easy to read. It's written in a conversational style and you feel as if the author is in the room talking to you. It isn't condescending and not at all preachy, even when it is. For that reason, I would recommend the book.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Carol

    From the start Tom says that this is not a instruction book on how to lose weight but rather his story about his weight loss journey. Great I'm hooked. . Tom admits he's over wright, does research, finds a new diet, starts with a PT and boom weight loss goal achieved. All seems pretty easy right? well that's how it came across to me. There was no, throwing up at the first gym session, no can't move the next day, no struggles against the new diet and creating new habits. No falling of the wagon, From the start Tom says that this is not a instruction book on how to lose weight but rather his story about his weight loss journey. Great I'm hooked. . Tom admits he's over wright, does research, finds a new diet, starts with a PT and boom weight loss goal achieved. All seems pretty easy right? well that's how it came across to me. There was no, throwing up at the first gym session, no can't move the next day, no struggles against the new diet and creating new habits. No falling of the wagon, no mention of his mental state when he hit a down day. But who knows perhaps it wasn't for Tom what it is like for the rest of us. Perhaps he did just wake up one day and never ate sugar again, perhaps he could do a full PT session and not feel any ill effects. If so good on him, I just would have preferred a little more warts and all honesty so that I don't feel like a complete moron when I can't run the distance between telegraph poles without looking like a beetroot. A little less promotion of doctors books (this is was a bibliography is for) and a little less political soapbox would have also been appreciated.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jaqui

    "By 2025 it is estimated that there will be five million people in the UK - nearly five times the population of Birmingham - with a diagnosis of diabetes." As one of them, I found this book and Tom Watson's journey, enlightening, beautifully written and absolutely fascinating. "I can't deny that my transformational health journey has changed me as a person, has given me a much deeper sense of what really matters and has provided me with a whole new outlook." Not only is it a heartfelt account, th "By 2025 it is estimated that there will be five million people in the UK - nearly five times the population of Birmingham - with a diagnosis of diabetes." As one of them, I found this book and Tom Watson's journey, enlightening, beautifully written and absolutely fascinating. "I can't deny that my transformational health journey has changed me as a person, has given me a much deeper sense of what really matters and has provided me with a whole new outlook." Not only is it a heartfelt account, the scholarly approach and meticulous research was fascinating. I picked the book up out of curiosity and was hooked immediately in the story, casting aside a book of fiction I was halfway through so engrossed did I become. Anyone who has the slightest interest or concern about Britain's sugar epidemic, the poisoning of our children by sugar stealth couldn't fail to engage with this book one fat blokes journey - except he is so much more than that -the health statistics, the personal battles with weight and sugar addiction, it's positively eye opening and I like his philosophy that success lies in the aggregation of marginal gains. The book he has written is so encouraging. It's awesome and humbling. My first five star read of this year (and I mainly read fiction) It would be my dearest wish to reverse my Type Two diabetes too, but it's been very enlightening reading this marvellous book. I wish him congrats and all the best in his future endeavors. Yes, I do agree with others that some before and after photography would have enhanced the book, but it didn't detract in any way from the writing, for me, so it is still a 5 star read from me. Highly recommended.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Lucy Spencer

    This wasn’t 100% what I was expecting. As a political junkie, a big Tom Watson fan and someone who has struggled with weight issues, I thought this was a must read. I loved all the autobiographical insights (effectively chapters 1-6) but found the diatribe against sugar manufacturers (chapter 7) a little dry and tough going. I also didn’t agree with the thesis as despite these evil sugar giants, the whole personal story is how Tom overcame and made better choices therefore surely it holds others This wasn’t 100% what I was expecting. As a political junkie, a big Tom Watson fan and someone who has struggled with weight issues, I thought this was a must read. I loved all the autobiographical insights (effectively chapters 1-6) but found the diatribe against sugar manufacturers (chapter 7) a little dry and tough going. I also didn’t agree with the thesis as despite these evil sugar giants, the whole personal story is how Tom overcame and made better choices therefore surely it holds others can make the same good choices rather than requiring government intervention? I was also really hoping for a ‘Tom Watson’ diet and the book isn’t that at all. Also, where were the classic before and after photos?? I know they’re easily available on the internet but a glossy centre piece of photos would have moved this to 4 stars for me.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Dom Chamberlain

    Interesting insight into the mindset of someone who appears to have had a road to Damascus moment regarding their health. Funny in parts, it does sometimes pour the benefits of Keto on a bit thick (pun intended). One suspects that this sort of dedication to a more conventional healthy lifestyle would have reaped similar rewards. I.e., Watson's commitment to the lifestyle was more important than the details of the lifestyle itself. Most interesting is the part about sugar and the damage it does a Interesting insight into the mindset of someone who appears to have had a road to Damascus moment regarding their health. Funny in parts, it does sometimes pour the benefits of Keto on a bit thick (pun intended). One suspects that this sort of dedication to a more conventional healthy lifestyle would have reaped similar rewards. I.e., Watson's commitment to the lifestyle was more important than the details of the lifestyle itself. Most interesting is the part about sugar and the damage it does and the "Big Sugar" industry. Will be reading more into this.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Diana

    Listened to the audio version, it's nothing special Tom talking about his weight loss journey with a few snippets from his time in politics. There's frequent sections of the book devoted to tweets Tom has received congratulating him on various things which go on for too long - we get it Tom, Twitter is impressed by you! But his story is inspirational and it is paced relatively well, but it is basically an extended blog post on someone's weight and fitness journey. Listened to the audio version, it's nothing special Tom talking about his weight loss journey with a few snippets from his time in politics. There's frequent sections of the book devoted to tweets Tom has received congratulating him on various things which go on for too long - we get it Tom, Twitter is impressed by you! But his story is inspirational and it is paced relatively well, but it is basically an extended blog post on someone's weight and fitness journey.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Rory

    I did not like this at all. Hardly anything about dieting. Lots of mundane day to day dialogue like walking downstairs and having a glass of water. Too much politics. It's good that people have asked him for help since he lost weight. It will be great if he makes changes to policy. But the book was dull. I did not like this at all. Hardly anything about dieting. Lots of mundane day to day dialogue like walking downstairs and having a glass of water. Too much politics. It's good that people have asked him for help since he lost weight. It will be great if he makes changes to policy. But the book was dull.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Gill

    A very quick read and a very engaging personal journey. I enjoyed the fact that the (limited) political insights are so recent. The last couple of chapters felt a bit of a tirade but the first few chapters were great and easy to relate to. I agree with his views on big sugar and their role in sponsorship and advertising. Thought-provoking.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Petar

    This is a truly inspirational book and easy to read well written book. It has certainly inspired me to go on a similar journey. I strongly suggest anyone with children or who is overweight or who has type 2diabetes reads this.

  19. 4 out of 5

    justine mackinnon

    Excellent read that has made me think seriously Excellent read that has made me think seriously about my next steps. Made notes to now move forward with Great writing style and hope there will be more books to come

  20. 4 out of 5

    Mrs Susan Farrington

    Great read very inspiring Recommended reading if you need inspiration to start your own weight loss journey. Some interesting thoughts on the state of our national diet and the authors efforts to bring about change.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Catriona Jane

    Inspirational Inspiring achievement and very astute observations. The latter few chapter were perhaps a little overly political and preachy. Great achievement though and already altered my own eating habits

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kara

    Great new motivation to kick start a ketogenic diet, great recommended resources including the brilliant 2 Ketogenic Dudes podcast.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Andrea Harman

    Very readable. Interesting both from his personal journey and the weight loss/ fitness improvements it details.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Angela Free

    Certainly gave me food for thought. I want to feel alive again too. I’m tackling my t2d also and I actually know now for sure it can be beaten into remission. Thank you.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Laura-leigh

    Good introduction to the low carb high fat diet and how sugar affects your health.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Dan Cawley

    Honest and insightful.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Douglas Law

    An entertaining read for a diet book.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Ayodeji Alaka

    Tom Watson's level of consciousness about T2D, and nutritional approach: an individualized carbohydrate restriction and nutritional ketosis, is instructive. Tom Watson's level of consciousness about T2D, and nutritional approach: an individualized carbohydrate restriction and nutritional ketosis, is instructive.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Vivianne Howard

    An amazing achievement - he turned his life around!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Vicki Mustard

    A very personal, well written & fascinating view of Tom’s weight loss and lifestyle change that really resonated, definitely worth a read!

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