Steve Markham remembers the exact day he was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes: April 1st, 2016. “But it was no joke,” he says.

It was a shock because Steve — a data analyst for a water company — wasn't overweight. “I was just under 13 stone,” he says. “I didn't look overweight, but it turned out that there was a lot of ectopic fat in my liver and pancreas.”


“The sugar intake in my diet was ridiculous”


Steve is conscious to maintain his new and improved lifestyle.

Looking back, Steve admits his diet had been out of control. “I'd eat slabs of chocolate the size of a front door without thinking about the consequences. As I found out more about type 2 diabetes, I realised how devastating this condition can be.”

After responding to a tweet by celebrity chef, Phil Vickery, about a diabetes cookbook, Steve was approached by a television producer who also invited him to take part in the ITV programme, ‘The Fast Fix: Diabetes’.

The programme aimed to see if a diet alone could reverse the disease. “The idea was to spend four weeks in a clinic and then four weeks at home on a very low-calorie diet (VLCD),” says Steve.


Four meal replacement shakes a day totalling 800 calories


It was a struggle. But, remembering the image of his liver gave Steve the impetus to keep going. “After two weeks, my blood sugar levels were still in the diabetic range; but after eight weeks I was in the prediabetes stage,” he says. He'd also lost two-and-a-half stone, which meant he needed a new wardrobe. After 12 weeks, tests showed that Steve was in remission from the disease.

Since completing the 800 Exante calorie diet, Steve is conscious to maintain his new and improved lifestyle. “I now think about what I eat and when I eat it,” he says. “If I need shakes to get me back on track, I'll have them for a couple of days.”

For anyone thinking about starting a VLCD, Steve advises that you consult your GP and 'go for it'. “Press that reset button and change your eating habits,” says Steve. “I'm now looking forward to the future knowing that I've got my life back on track, and that I control my type 2 diabetes, rather than it controlling me.”



Exante Skinny Strawberry Panna Cotta 





  1. Place gelatine leaves in a bowl, pour over enough cold water to cover the leaves and leave to soak for 5 minutes until softened. Remove the gelatine from the water and squeeze away any excess water.
  2. Make up the Exante Strawberry Shake as directed on the pack and add to a pan and heat gently. Once simmering, add in the gelatine leaves one at a time and stir until dissolved. Leave to cool.
  3. Lightly grease 4 individual metal moulds and divide the mixture between them. Leave in the fridge for at least 6 hours or overnight until set.
  4. Once set, remove from the fridge and tap the bottom of the moulds and empty onto serving plates

For more delicious recipes, read Tracey's story!