Nicholas Caracandas


Calories, like debts, are no mystery; put in less than you spend and you will lose.  By consistently making the right food choices and keeping up with your exercise regimen, it is in your power to lose weight and keep it off.  Eat less and exercise more.  That’s it; no secrets, no miracles; just a commitment to yourself every day.

It can’t be said enough – DIETS DON’T WORK.  I give none of my client’s diets.  Instead, I educate them about food and help them make different choices.

“Calorie Deficit is HOW you lose weight or fat. Good habits and your Decisions is WHY you lose fat”.

Everyone is different and everyone has different triggers and food traps.  I believe in a healthy lifestyle that is created to suit individual needs.

Why is it that when we are sick, we will do anything to get ourselves feeling better – medicine, missing work, even surgery?  But as soon as we’ve recovered we don’t devote the same energy to staying better.  It’s the same with eating healthy; we’ll do anything to lose weight but once it’s off we don’t work as hard to keep it off.  Only when you change the way you think about food, will you change your perspective and learn how to focus on staying healthy for life.

Four important principles of weight loss for life:


Establish healthy eating habits (this is key) as opposed to adopting a strict diet that is all about deprivation.

TIP: We are all born with a natural ability to listen to our hunger cues.  Babies know when they are full and when to stop eating.  As we get older we stop listening to these cues and instead of stopping when we are full we have a tendency to finish what’s in front of us.  Re-learn listening to your body and tune in to your natural hunger cues.


Thinking about healthy eating and exercising isn’t the same as actually doing it.  I’ve heard so many people say “this doesn’t work for me, it’s not in my genes, I work out and eat right and nothing…”.  Be careful not to fall into this trap.  Be aware of your habits and YOUR behaviours.  What are you really eating for breakfast, lunch and supper?  What about the snacks in between?  How much are you eating?  How much and how often are you exercising?

TIP: The human body can easily consume 1000 calories in just minutes.  To burn the equivalent number of calories will take more than 2-3 hours of strenuous exercise.  Don’t use working out as an excuse to overeat.


If you feel like you’ve made a poor choice or slipped up a bit, remind yourself of your end goal and that one slip up is not the end of the world.  Don’t use mistakes to lose control; learn from them and move forward. I make sure to tell every member on my Diabetic Athletic program, that 1 bad meal, ven 2-3 bad meals aren’t going to ruin your mission… I the same sentence 2-3 good meals won’t help your mission either. The deciding factor between whether or not you actually reach your goals is the fact that the average of your daily, weekly and monthly decisions needs to be in favour of the goal you are wanting to reach.

You will have good and bad days. The average of these need to be in favour of your fat loss/muscle gain/diabetic control.


We are programmed from childhood to use food as an emotional crutch.  By recognising that emotional eating only compounds our problems we can break the cycle and move toward positive lifestyle changes.

TIP: No matter how much money you make, if you spend more than you make you will never have money.  The same goes for healthy eating and exercise.  If you burn 1500 calories a day through exercise but overcompensate and eat 1650 calories a day, do you think you will lose weight and be healthy?

Eating just 150 calories OVER the amount you burn per day will equate to a 3-5kg/7-13lb weight gain over 6 months.

Tips to Help You Lose Weight and Keep It Off!

Don’t Eat Before You Go To Bed The calories (fuel) that you consume before you fall asleep won’t get a chance to burn off and will be stored in your body as fat.

Look For the Words “Grilled”, “Poached” and “Roasted”:  These words on any menu will help to ensure that you’re not going to get a lot of heavy, calorie-laden food on your plate.

Stay Away from Creamy Food Sauces, soups and salad dressings made with cream are much more fattening and more dangerous for and to your heart than their vinaigrette, tomato or broth-based counterparts.

Say No to Fried Foods Your heart will thank you.  Deep-fried foods not only mean extra calories but also a lot of additional saturated and trans fats which are bad for your cholesterol and can cause heart disease.

Wipe Out White White rice, white sugar, white flour pasta, white bread… the list is endless. Replace these do – nothing carbs with brown rice, whole grain pasta, whole grain bread and organic brown sugar or honey. If you are a Diabetic, make sure you understand the roles carbs play in a diabetics life.

Multivitamin Supplements If you want the assurance that you’re getting all the vitamins and minerals your body needs a multivitamin is a great compliment to a healthy balanced diet.  Always talk to your doctor about which supplements are appropriate for you.

Freeze Grapes or Bananas Munch on these for snacks, and again – carbs… know about them. These may not be the best snacks for us as diabetics.

Order Salad Dressing on the Side: Always ask for your salad dressing on the side and then use your fork to add the minimum amount to your salad to make it taste good.

Don’t Buy Foods That Tempt You and Never Go Shopping on an Empty Stomach:  Keep cookies, chips and ice cream out of the house!  Enjoy your treats when you are out and about only. I can bet that anybody who is really struggling to lose weight has less than optimal choices being hidden in the pantry. Remember, what you eat in private, shows in public.

Limit the Amount of Diet Soda You Drink Notwithstanding the words “Diet” or “Sugar-Free” on the labelling, you know it’s unhealthy!  Did you know that it can stimulate your appetite too?  I bet you didn’t.  I study found that 41% of people who drink diet soda are more likely to be obese.  If you crave the sparkle, indulge yourself to curb your cravings BUT always remember…. everything in moderation!

DON’T DRINK YOUR CALORIES… This is a rule all on its own.

When it comes to maintaining a healthy diet and losing excess weight, there are four main things to keep in mind – calories, carbs, fats and proteins.  You probably hear these words a lot but there is a lot of mystery surrounding them so it is important to understand exactly what each of those words means in the context of weight loss.  In my next article  Break it down, build yourself up  I will discuss what each of these words means and tell you how you can use them to best advantage every day and for the rest of your life.

If you need help with your diet, training or diabetes remember I am just a message away. You can message me here at any time, or join my Facebook support group to have access to 24/7 support and a direct line to me for assistance.

Yours in training

Nicholas Caracandas.






“Weight loss is simply a loss of overall body weightFat loss is a reduction in body fat. Reducing body fat is what most people want to achieve. Fat loss is more specific than weight loss”.

What’s the difference? Is there one? Some say you should throw your scale away! Some say you should only be concerned about fat loss!

How do you work out Muscle mass vs Fat mass without the scales total? You can’t.

How is it that just because most people and even some personal trainers and people in general, think it is ok and necessary to discard a method of measure entirely just because most are unaware of how it works?

These are some questions that have to be asked. There is no such thing as a stupid question, only a stupid answer.

I’ve said it many times and for my own safety and for yours il say it again… The scale will never and can never measure your worth. It won’t tell you what it is weighing and it certainly can’t measure progress. However, please don’t disregard the need for a scale.


>> A Low Weight Does Not Automatically Equal a Healthy Body

I can’t emphasize this enough. Being skinny does not automatically mean you’re healthy. People are walking around weighing close to nothing that still carries around high percentages of body fat.

That means they have next to no muscle. I call it skinny fat.

Its a thing. Ask anybody in a running club. That’s them in a nutshell. The test – run 5miles.. all is well. Jump and down once – everything jiggles.

A healthy body comes from the combination of physical activity and healthy food that is comprised of a caloric threshold. Your resulting body composition is a side effect of this kind of lifestyle.

“Calorie Deficit is HOW you lose weight or fat. Good habits and your Decisions is WHY you lose fat”.

So many are misinformed by those that choose to become Insta famous ( INSTAGRAM famous ), just because they successfully lost a bit of weight and they need a following, and so, they tell you what you want to here. You know.. stuff like: You’re perfect and the scale is not important. Ok, you are perfect BUT the scale has some importance.

Weighing yourself should occur every 4-6 weeks, NOT every day.  If you weigh yourself daily, then let it be known that you are the very reason for this article, and in a way, I am grateful. Weighing yourself this often is giving you false results. Remember that water weight and salt intake can make you fluctuate in weight more than you could imagine. Just going to the toilet for a  #2 can give you false hope of progress (if weight loss is the goal that is).

You need to know what to look for and when to look for it. Body Fat should always be going down, while muscle mass should always be A) preserved, or B) on the gradual rise. This is tested by using callipers for body compositions, calculations to work out fat mass/LBM and the scale to aid with these calculations – let us not forget about progress pictures!

Resistance training (not cardio), and sufficient protein intake/intake in general, has got to be present to take care of point B – Muscle preservation/gain.

Heres the thing: If you can’t measure it, you cant manage it! 

The Scale Does Not Differentiate Between Weight and Fat.

The scale measures weight, which is the total weight of all your body mass. This includes muscle, water, tendons, ligaments, and organs. All this tells you is how heavy you are in relation to gravity. It tells you nothing about your body composition.

Someone who weighs 60kg/120lb with 40% body fat is going to look a lot different than someone who is the same weight and 15% body fat. One person is going to be overweight, while the other is going to have great muscle definition.

You would never know this when you step on a scale.

The scale is only measuring total body mass. It doesn’t tell you how much of that mass is a muscle and how much is fat. You could have gained 2kg of muscle and lost 2lkg of fat, but the scale wouldn’t have told you that. In fact, the scale would read no progress!! mass virus muscle mass – but that’s as far as the need for a scale goes.

If you are 100kg/210lb should you be worried about LBM(lean body mass), ?…. NO. Should you be doing triceps exercises within a rep range of 8-12 reps over 5 sets?…. NO… What on earth for? Do you clean the toilet while making dinner? NO, One thing at a time! Tell your trainer to stop spending 15-30 minutes doing 1 rep max squats with you… Getting rid of the fat is what you’re there for …

If you want to know more about fat-loss with diabetes click here for another article I wrote. If you’d like to know a little more about carbs, fats and proteins, and what they do for fat-loss, you can click here.

If you are overwhelmed it’s totally ok. If you are paying somebody for help and they are overwhelmed… well guess what, that’s on you!

Get proper help. You should be able to lose 0.5kg/1lb per week if you are on a good quality, educated and controlled training and nutrition plan. It will take work, but it is very doable.

Don’t believe me? Try me. First, get a refund from your current con artist, brand labelled trainer and try choosing a trainer that does TRAINING rather than cheap group class exercises and insta stories about your session for their own personal gain. Choose a better charity to donate your hard-earned money too.

Results-driven training has got to not only produce the desired results, but it also has to educate you about how you can make and sustain these results. Otherwise, what’s the point? Paying for temporary results .. Heck, some aren’t even that lucky… they just pay.

When done correctly training and nutrition should produce amazing results for 12-16 weeks. If you are putting in the effort and have NOT reaped rewards in this time, then its time for something new.

You can sign up for my FREE 3-Week training and nutrition plan, and start a program that takes care of your workouts, eating plans and support for 21 days. If you are unsure about not wanting something as effective and as awesome as this for free… You can always go have a look at my flagship 10-week program for diabetics 

My 10-week program is probably one of the only fat loss programs for diabetics that comes with a 100% money-back guarantee. It’s a true and bold statement suited for a true and bold program.

It’s personalised, it gets results and it’s the same price as what your trainer charges you for 2-3 months.

The biggest difference here is, your trainer isn’t a diabetic educator, a diabetic or there for you 24/7.

Get help with your nutrition and get those results. You don’t need a gym membership (it does help), but you need to get your eating in check. Good nutrition plans allow you to eat the things you like and enjoy, they don’t exclude, and they deliver results.

There is a lot of misleading information out there. If you try something and it doesn’t work.. move on. Get those results you deserve.

Yours in impact, freedom and Control,

Nicholas Caracandas






Having diabetes won’t stop you from building muscle. However, it’s wise to follow a few precautions when it comes to gaining muscle.

There are many different types of exercise and one of the most popular is strength or power training, which is very effective for building strong bones and muscles.

Strong muscles collect oxygen and nutrients from the blood much more efficiently than weak ones, meaning that any physical activity you do will require less cardiac work and put less strain on your heart. Muscle also burns more calories at rest, so it stands to reason that the more muscle you have (mass or tone), the more fat you burn at rest.

As well as being good for the heart, they also improve weight control and help the body remain sensitive to the hormone insulin, which is vital for keeping blood sugar levels in check and preventing complications and controlling diabetes in general.

Here are some tips on how you can build strong, lean muscle, without affecting your diabetes:

Load up on protein

Protein intake is vital for building muscle.

However, your body constantly drains its protein reserves for other uses such as producing hormones, resulting in less protein available for muscle building.

To counteract this, you need to build and store new proteins faster than your body breaks down old proteins.

You should look to consume about 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight, which is roughly the maximum amount your body can use in a day.

Good sources of protein include:

  • Chicken
  • Tuna
  • Eggs, milk and cottage cheese
  • Protein shakes (see below for more about shakes)

Remember, the more protein your body stores (protein synthesis), the larger your muscles grow.

Have a protein shake before your workout

Protein shakes are very effective for improving strength.

While many trainers have a post-workout shake, research has shown that drinking a shake containing at least 6 grams of amino acids – the muscle-building blocks of protein – and 10-35 grams of carbohydrates 30-60 minutes before exercising increases your protein synthesis more than drinking the same shake after training.  The intake of carbs before training will have to do with the type of training you are doing for that day (Aerobic vs Anaerobic), as well as your ability to manage carbs (as in insulin sensitivity and your ability/education on carb counting).

“Since exercise increases blood flow to your working tissues, drinking a carbohydrate-protein mixture before your workout may lead to greater uptake of the amino acids in your muscles,” says Kevin Tipton, PhD, an exercise and nutrition researcher at the University of Texas.

Good quality whey-protein powders usually contain at least 20g grams of protein per serving, as well as a healthy supply of vitamins and minerals.

Other liquid supplements such as weight-gain powders can also provide a lot of high-quality protein and nutrients in each serving, but they also tend to be extremely high in calories, carbohydrates and sugar.

While this is sufficient for most weight lifters, it is not ideal for those with conditions such as type 2 diabetes and pre-diabetics, for whom weight loss may be a key goal.

Work your biggest muscles

If you’re new to weight lifting or strength training, just about any workout will be intense enough to increase protein synthesis and build muscle.

However, if you’re experienced with weights, you’ll see the biggest and fastest results by focusing on the large muscle groups, like the back, legs and chest. My advice is to make sure you train these muscle groups together so that they work together. Compound lifts are a strong recommendation. Compound lifts are movements that require more than 1 joint to flex/extend at a time.

The best exercises for these body parts are squats, dead-lifts, bench press, leg press, pull-ups, bent-over rows, shoulder press and dips. Add two or three sets of 8 or 12 repetitions to your workout, with about 60 seconds’ rest between sets. The stronger you get the more relative strength you will be able to apply.

Tip: Once you have moved up and applied this technique for 3 months (give or take), use these lifts and exercises but change the rep range to 3 – 5 reps per set. Remember the rep range determines the weight. 3-5reps per set means choosing a weight that allows you to reach 3 reps but not 6reps.

Eat a high-quality meal after training

Post-workout meals or snacks should be high in carbohydrates and protein. Carbohydrates are needed to fuel exercise – specifically resistance/weight. As well as being a vital energy source they also play a role in the release of insulin, which regulates levels of blood sugar and is also the body’s most potent anabolic hormone.

However, people with diabetes are generally advised to limit their carb intake to keep their blood sugar levels under control as their bodies struggle to produce insulin or don’t use the insulin produced effectively.

The problem with this though is that a lack of stored carbs can result in the body using protein for energy production, thus leaving less protein for building muscle.

The key is to cut out bad carbs such as. refined, processed carbohydrates found in white bread, potatoes, pasta and rice from your diet and replace them with good, unprocessed carbs from fruit and vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds and whole-grain versions of bread, pasta and rice.

Foods with good carbs generally have a lower glycemic index (GI), which means they tend to break down slowly to form glucose. Low GI foods also have a high nutritional value and provide prolonged release of energy.

Personal Tip: For every 15g of carbs you eat, give 2 units of insulin. Consult your endocrinologist first about this as this is a general rule of thumb. Remember sugars will drop faster after exercise so be on the lookout for low sugars and always have fast-acting sugar nearby when training.

If you want to know more about carb counting and calculating your insulin to carb ratio – feel free to visit and watch my carb counting masterclass for diabetics.


Drink plenty of water

Adequate water consumption is one of the most overlooked factors in exercise. Water comprises up to 70% of the human body and if you’re dehydrated, your muscle size suffers as well. The other way of looking at it is that one pound of muscle can hold up to three pounds of water.


Rest is another hugely overlooked factor in building strong, lean muscle.

The simple fact is that after an intense workout, the body needs the proper nutrients and recovery time to grow bigger and stronger.

In fact, your muscles grow when you’re resting, not when you’re working out.

If you’re a beginner, do a full-body workout followed by a day of rest. Alternatively, look at setting aside at least 2-3 days of rest each week.

Consume good fats

A common misconception among the general public is that all types of fat are bad for you. While saturated fats and trans fats (i.e. bad fats) increase cholesterol and your risk of certain diseases, monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats can have the opposite effect and benefit your overall physical and mental health.

They are also important for muscle growth.

Good sources of healthy fats such as omega-3 fatty acids include:

  • Fish – salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring, trout and sardines
  • Avocados
  • Olives and olive oil
  • Nuts – almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, walnuts, cashews and macadamia nuts
  • Peanut butter
  • Tofu
  • Sunflower, sesame, and pumpkin seeds, and flaxseed

Thank you for reading. Please feel free to comment with any questions you have. I do fitness programming for people all over the world that is specific to all kinds of abilities and limitations. If you need help please ask.

You can chat to me directly by commenting below OR just click HERE and you can message me directly to ask me for assistance, advice or about my FREE 3-week training and nutrition program for diabetics. 

Chat Soon.

Yours in Health,

Nicholas  Caracandas





For those of you that know me personally, or perhaps have read a few of my articles, you will know that I am famous for making a long story even longer 🙂

This being said, below is a short and sweet take on motivation. Most of us look for motivation BEFORE we start our journey. If you’re like me and are diabetic, we don’t have that luxury. Regardless of how motivated we are, if we don’t get our acts together and actively start seeking results as far as our fat mass, lean mass and diabetic control are concerned – the only other variable is a diabetic complication or two. Fact!

Honestly what more motivation as a diabetic do we need? For those of you unlike me, and for those of you that need a little more reason, below is where real motivation comes from.

Let’s start this by asking a question or two… After reading them, stop and think for a second. If you’re really invested, write your answer down and take it from just being a thought in your head and bring your reasons/excuses into reality.

What is stopping you from getting started? Starting a new hobby, training plan, better-eating habits or just being better at your diabetes?

Is it that you’re not motivated?

Here’s the thing… drum roll, please…

Motivation comes from results. All you have to do is get started. Once you start seeing the results that you’re getting, like losing fat, building muscle, or having less dependence on your medications, that is what keeps us motivated.

“The first step being the hardest” isn’t just a saying they use in drama/inspirational movies.

Motivation doesn’t come easy, and it definitely doesn’t come just by doing nothing. Motivation is an emotion like happiness and anger (it’s not ever-present).

So, if you really want to see the motivation to keep going and to keep moving forward, first, you just have to start.
Make the decision to start, commit to yourself, and remember the more action you take, the more results you see, the more motivation you will have every day.

As diabetics, we have an above-average strength within us all. We are warriors!

What are you planning to start?


If you are slightly overwhelmed by this process I totally understand. That’s why I have developed my Diabetic Athletic – D.I.Y training & nutrition program. I want to help you achieve your goals! Put your nutrition and training plans in my hands, let me do the thinking and let me teach you and help you in what  will be a rewarding and successful journey.

For those that need in-depth guidance, done-for-you daily nutritional plans, including all daily activity plans, done-for-you exercise plans and weekly coaching calls with me (and much more), the Diabetic Athletic – D.I.Y Program is the exact action plan you need!

You can see more about the Diabetic D.I.Y action plan HERE. 


Yours In Strength,

Nicholas Caracandas







If you’ve been struggling with your nutrition and can’t seem to achieve your desired physique despite having tried everything and anything google has thrown your way,  this article is for you.

In this article, I am going to explain what each macronutrient is used for ( Protein, Fats and Carbohydrates), as well as how you can attack your nutrition in a way that WILL yield results.

 I’m going to be helping you understand how to write the user manual to your body so that you can manage your own nutrition and achieve the results you want.

I always tell my members of Diabetic Athletic that nutrition should never be generic in its approach. We are all different and all have different lifestyles, stressors and most importantly, starting points.

These factors, as well as many others, play a huge part in how our bodies function. This means that our approach has to be person-specific.

Yes, protein, fats and carbs, all do the same thing in their specific rights for each person, however, the amount that we consume will vary from person to person and is result dependent.

Protein is responsible for things like:

1. Repair & Maintenance

2. Energy

3. Hormonal process’

4. Enzymes

5. Transportation & Storage of Molecules

6. Antibodies

But for this article, the main point is that protein is necessary for building and repairing body tissues. If you do not receive enough protein in your diet, muscle wasting and other symptoms may result.

The role of fats is daily energy, protection of joints, hormonal process’ / production of hormones and nutrient absorption.

The role of carbohydrates is pretty much just ENERGY… that’s it.

During exercise, fats are normally used where lower intensity exercise takes place. This is known as aerobic activity (running, jogging, swimming, slow steady cycling etc.

Higher intensity exercises burn or use more carbohydrates for fuel. This is known as Anaerobic exercises or resistance training, such as weight training or HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training)

So it makes sense for 9/10 people to ensure most of your daily calorie allowance should be coming from proteins. The rest of the daily allowance is made up of Carbs and Fats.

If we take the previously mentioned into account it makes sense to have more Carbohydrates (energy), on training days and it makes sense to have more fats on non-training days. Proteins always remain as they are far higher in the rate as which they fill us up and keep us satisfied for longer. Protein also doesn’t get stored for future energy like carbs and fats are. These are just a few reasons.

Depending on our gender, age, weight and size our bodies will burn a different amount of calories at rest. This is called your BMR (or Basal Metabolic Rate). Basically, it’s the number of calories your body would need to burn if you were in a coma.

I don’t want to sidetrack but a lot of females wanting to lose weight will eat less than this amount as society seems to have brainwashed us into thinking you need to starve to lose weight. Yes, you have to eat less but there is a minimum amount that you cannot be under as you need to ensure your bodily process’ have the energy reserves they need to function optimally. Like brain function and thoughts, heart function/blood flow, digestion and even our lungs contracting and expanding. These automatic process’ require energy to take place. Energy our body will find. If you don’t eat enough.. well, I guess it’s your muscle mass that’s for dinner then.

In this case and point, if you starve yourself and eat less than the minimum you will lose weight on the scale and even Centimeters’s but probably NOT fat. You will lose muscle mass and as a female, muscle is HARD to come by. You can’t shape fat, you can only shape muscle and if you have none … well… you get my point.

If you want to look toned you have to have some muscle mass. The term toned is actually describing how a muscle looks at rest. It’s like trying to make an ice sculpture out of a small block of ice … not enough ice…no sculpture.

Back to BMR: Once you’ve determined your BMR, you need to take how active you are over 7 days. This is called your activity factor.

For example, You exercise 3 times a week and each workout is 45 minutes in duration. You also need to take the intensity output into consideration. Are your workouts slow-paced, moderate, or more intense?

Once you have this data you will be able to work out your TDEE. This is your total daily Energy expenditure.

Your TDEE is your BMR, plus all the calories you burn through work, play, exercise and even digesting food (this includes your daily activity factor).

Your TDEE is also the number of calories you need to be burning per day from exercise.

Your Calorie allowance is the number of calories you will consume per day. (no more, no less !)

Unless we know exactly what our TDEE is, we have no way of knowing how many calories to consume to trigger fat loss.

Now that you have your new total – that is your holy grail. If you hit that total every day you are pretty much-guaranteed results. The numbers are specific to you, your daily activity and your goals.

You get to eat whatever you like as long as you stick to the guidelines. Imagine – a nutrition plan that excludes nothing …

To track your daily totals you can use many calorie trackers – I recommend My Fitness Pal. If you are not a member of any of my programs and need help with the app I am here for you and will also be releasing videos on my Instagram account (@Diabetic_athletic), as to how you can best use the app.

Now you need a good training plan to suit the tailored nutrition plan.  It’s that easy.

If you are slightly overwhelmed by this process I totally understand. That’s why I have developed my FREE 3-week training & nutrition program. I want to help you achieve your goals. Put your nutrition and training plans in my hands, let me do the thinking and let me teach you and help you in what should always be a rewarding and successful journey.

You can sign up for the free program here. You get 3-weeks of training plans, nutritional guides, eating plans and my direct support from within my Facebook support group all for free. You may ask why… This is because my service comes from a place of empathy. Not only am I a diabetic coach and personal trainer by profession – I am a diabetic. A life long diabetic. I get the struggle, and I have lived it first hand. My job is how I support my fellow diabetic.

For those that need in-depth guidance, custom daily nutritional plans done for them, including all daily activity plans, and weekly coaching calls with me (and much more), this is what my Diabetic Athletic Mentorship program is for. Yes, you are charged for this, but you get far more than a program – you get a coach who is invested in you! If you want to see what I’m talking about – have a look here


Nicholas Caracandas


After my last article, you will now have an idea as to how to make your diet your own.  But, what about the food itself?  How can you guarantee a well-balanced, healthy diet?

As mentioned in my previous article  ‘You Can Lose Weight‘ I mentioned, that when it comes to maintaining a healthy diet and losing excess weight, there are four main things to pay extra attention to ensure that you lose weight for life.  These were – Calories, Carbs, Proteins and Fats.


Calories are measurements of energy.  It’s simple: 3 500 calories equals half a kilo of fat.  Burning 3 500 calories more than you eat, means losing half a kilo of fat.  There’s a very simple equation when it comes to weight loss and it is:


Men between the ages of 19 and 50 should consume between 2 200 and 2 600 calories per day and women between the ages of 19 and 50 should consume between 1 800 and 2 200 calories per day. This is a very general equation. You need to have your numbers worked out if you want to be successful at losing body fat. Visit my website and start my 3-week FREE training and nutrition and let me create a personalised plan for you. You’re guaranteed success this way! I promise you.

If you are active, you will burn more calories.  Your metabolism stays high, your energy levels stay strong and you naturally do less emotional and unconscious eating.  In fact, the more active you are, the better food choices you will want to make.  One thing leads to another.  It feels good to be active and it inspires you to want to compliment that good healthy feeling with healthy eating habits and food choices.


Carbs are the most common source of energy found in food.  Refined might be good when it comes to manners, but not when it comes to your health.  Refined grains are stripped of all their nutrients and when you add refined sugar and fat to your refined grains (the three are usually found together) you have an artery just waiting to be clogged!

But, whilst carbs have generally got a bad rep, remember that not all carbs are bad.  In fact, I will go as far as saying that carbs are perfectly fine for an educated diabetic. A diabetic that eats carbs and has perfectly ‘normal’ and in-range glucose levels post meals, can eat what they like. Diabetes only happens when our sugars are out of range. That’s undeniable.

Whole grains are vital for diets that are rich in nutrition and are a good source of energy.  Refined grains break down quickly and make your body work harder to churn out insulin/glucose for energy – a danger for those at risk for diabetes.  Whole grains take longer to break down due to their fibre content and, therefore, require less insulin production and provide sustained energy for longer periods.  ‘Good carbs’ are unprocessed carbohydrates in their natural state.  Pretty much all leafy vegetables and fruits fall into this category.

In my view, the best incentive to choose whole grains when you are trying to lose weight is that foods with high fibre content make you feel fuller for longer with fewer calories.  Foods with high fibre content have also been found to help reduce cholesterol in the blood. Fibre is responsible for cleaning out the pipes not to mention the calories and carbs from fibre do not get allocated to calorie count OR carb counting. That’s a massive fact most don’t utilize.

Carbs are a source of energy. The amount of carbs you eat needs to be in tune with the amount of energy you require. If you are unsure – I and my Diabetic Athletic will help you. You can message me to chat by clicking here. Via this chat, you will also be able to join my free 3-week training and nutrition program for diabetics and access my Facebook support group.


Protein is a long chain of amino acids linked together.  Also known as the building blocks of life, proteins most important function is to build, maintain and replace tissue in our bodies.  Our muscles, organs and some of our hormones are made up mostly of protein.

Proteins are involved in almost every function performed by the cells in our bodies.  Without protein, life would be impossible.  Our bodies are however only able to manufacture some of the amino acids (protein) we need to function; the rest (known as essential amino acids) must be obtained through our diets.  Great protein sources include fish, avocados, beans, soya, dairy, nuts and white meat poultry. There are 9 essential amino acids our bodies cannot produce, and so, we have to get them from external sources. For example, Eggs have all 9 essential amino acids.

So here comes the vegetarian, vegan, meat eater debate. I love meat. I’ll never not eat meat. Now that is out of the way, let me say that I also respect peoples choices and  I am here to guide everyone to better health while doing so.

If I asked you what kinds of foods contain protein (or more specifically essential amino acids) your first response would probably be meat.  The problem with meat (and all other animal products) is that it contains cholesterol. This is fine as long as you’re educated and practise the art of balance.

So, if you’re looking for a healthier alternative, for example, something with heart-health benefits and none of the risks associated with meat, you should try plant source proteins instead.

There is clear evidence to suggest that a diet that is derived exclusively from the vegetable kingdom can provide all the essential amino acids for optimal health.  Some proof: in three weeks overweight subjects lost on average 5 – 8 kilograms on a plant-based diet.  People with weight to lose the most weight when they start a low-fat, plant-based diet. Now we have to think about this. If you change your diet and start eating more veg and leafy greens… All you’re really doing is cleaning up your act… Pun intended.

Balance and good nutritional practice are all that’s required. You don’t HAVE TO be on either extreme.

I understand some people love their meat (me included) and don’t want to give it up (count me in again).  That’s okay, but you should stick to organic, free-range, grass-fed sources and try healthier options like lean beef.  Also, give white meat poultry (my personal substitute) a try or fish or seafood.  You might like it more than you think.


Most foods contain some type of fat and some are better for you than others.  Fats are a necessary nutrient.  Our bodies need fat to function properly.  It helps with our energy production and blood clotting.  Fats also help to regulate blood pressure and to maintain a healthy nervous system.  Fats carry soluble vitamins from the food in your body and your skin, hair and nails all depend on it. Fats help your body absorb some nutrients and produce important hormones, too. Your body definitely needs fat.

However, eating the wrong kinds of fat can be harmful and can lead to weight gain, diabetes, heart disease and cancer. You don’t need to do Ketogenic diets either… Balance remember?

Let me break it down for you.

There are good healthy fats; these fats include:

  • monounsaturated fat: olives, avocados and nuts;
  • polyunsaturated fat: vegetable oils, bananas, hempseed and cereals; and
  • omega 3 fatty acids: fish, flax (flax seeds) and walnuts.

Then, of course, there are bad fats; these include:

  • saturated fat: animal products such as meat, dairy and eggs;
  • trans fats: hydrogenated oils found in cookies, crackers, cakes and also common in fried foods like doughnuts and french fries; and
  • cholesterol: animal products, dairy.

If you want to start a FREE 3-week training program that delivers your workouts 3x per week, provides you with nutritional guides and plans all tied together with support and a direct line to me: Click HERE and sign up for my 3-week training and nutrition plan.

If you’d like to know more about my Carb Counting Masterclass for Diabetics you can do so by clicking here. The Diabetic Athletic Carb Counting Masterclass will explain what carb counting is, why we carb count as diabetics and how you can figure out your own insulin to carb ratios.

To see more about the Diabetic Athletic 10-week program for diabetics you can visit This is the ultimate program for diabetics and is backed by a 100% money-back guarantee. You have nothing to lose other than your unwanted body fat, your high glucose ranges and your diabetic overwhelm.

Yours in training, nutrition and diabetes,

Nicholas Caracandas.

Diabetic Athletic


When it comes to diet I have always liked to keep things fairly simple. Why? Because simple is effective.

Too many people complicate things. Their weight, measurements, going crazy over macros, and obsess over their food. I am willing to admit that this can be extremely effective for some but in my experience, most people fall apart following this type of plan. Simply put, we live in a day and age of way too much information. Everybody is a guru and John from the pub who’s sister is doing keto doesn’t actually know better.

So here are  ‘5 Simple Rules For Fat Loss’. They are rules I have developed and used with clients over the years and rules I have followed at times myself. I’ve seen others attain tremendous success as well as by following them.

Remember that the rules are simple to follow but that doesn’t make the process easy. If you want to see results you’ll need to stay dedicated. You’ll have to have self-control, will power, and determination. Mostly you will need to be consistent long enough to see results.

Diet alone also won’t be enough to see the weight loss you want. You’ll need to be on an exercise program and get plenty of sleep. Do those things in conjunction with these rules and you’ll see some rapid results.

As with any and all training and nutrition programs, there is no one size fits all. This being said – regardless of who or what you are.. stick to these rules and I’d bet my bottom dollar you’ll be happy with the outcome.

Here are the rules:

1) Eat 5 small meals per day. Ideally, they are spaced 3 hours apart. What do I mean by meals? Small feedings. You should never exceed 400-500 calories in any one meal. Your daily total should end up between 1600 and 2500 calories per day. Make sure you at least eat the minimum to support the work you are doing.

2) Eat real food. Ditch the processed foods and sugar. If it was made in a lab don’t eat it. If you can’t pronounce it don’t put it in your mouth. If it wasn’t made 100 years ago it’s not food now. Basically, if you can kill it or pluck it from the ground it’s fair game. Be diligent with this. Read labels and pay attention. Also, get used to making your food at home and doing a little food prep. Being lazy is what got you stuck in the first place.

3) Control your carbs. When it comes to ‘macros’ don’t go crazy with counting and percentages and all sorts of nonsense but limit your carbohydrates to 100 g per day. Also no carbohydrates after 3-4pm. That means no fruit, starches, or sugars past 4pm. Only meat and veggies. The rest of your calories will come from protein and fat. Try to eat around 1g of protein per pound of body weight daily.

4) No food later than 3 hours before bedtime. That means if you go to bed at 10pm then the last bite of food you have is done before 7pm. Never cheat this rule. If you are hungry learn to deal with it. This one is tricky as I  have a bedtime snack with my bedtime long-acting insulin. This being said – I’m not overweight.

5) Don’t drink your calories. Eat solid food. If you are thirsty learn to love water and not the water with flavour in it. Just plain, wet, water. Before you ask if this includes alcohol. Consider yourself on alcohol probation.



Good glucose control:

It doesn’t matter how good your training and nutrition program is, if you don’t control your blood glucose levels, you’ll never build the body ( or mind) you desire.

What does good diabetes control look like to you?

  1. Do you check your blood glucose levels regularly?
  2. Do you correct high blood glucose ASAP?
  3. Do you question ‘WHY’ your blood glucose levels go outside range, and get to the root of the problem?

Call it obsessed, but some of us want to get more out of training and live longer.

Poor blood sugar control (both short and long term) is the enemy to building a better looking and feeling body.


Firstly, I feel the need to say that I don’t support any single diet or method on its own and taken out of context. Diabetes is a common condition, however, the treatment for it is very person dependent. We as coaches have to take things like history, struggles, limitations, lifestyle, mindset and so much more into consideration before directing fellow diabetics down the best road for their success.

I’m writing this article as a diabetic coach providing general, and helpful tips and points that have been battle-tested through my 15+ years as a fitness professional with hundreds of client and my  24+ years as Type 1 Diabetic myself.

To sum this up we need to use nutrition and activity as equal if not more important priorities to our medication.

As diabetics, our medication is 100% needed to assist and ensure our glucose levels are in range. Our medications don’t have the power to do this if we as diabetics are missing the other two pieces of this puzzle.

Medication can’t work in a body that is under-active and without proper diabetic nutrition. This is the bottom line, no matter how we choose to look at it.

Your medication requirements just go up, heart health decreases, fat is gained, kidneys are affected by the increase in meds taken, our mental health and body become stressed due to this fact and complications become more of a possibility than ever – the list goes on.

Our medication is needed however, so is a good diet and activity plan. It’s a three-piece triangle of control.


First of all, it’s important to understand that diabetes is a metabolic condition where our body cannot tolerate carbohydrates.

Knowing this means you can’t manage diabetes well by feeding your body more and more carbs. I always say that carbs aren’t our enemy however, they aren’t our friends either – especially when the only tool we use to combat/ use them – is our medication.

Trying to manage diabetes by eating more and more carbohydrates and only using our medication as the “fix” is the same as trying to cure a drug addict of addiction by giving them more drugs.

Where your blood sugar control and your diet are concerned, remember that we are going to have sacrifice something somewhere – We’re diabetics, and that’s ok.

We need to be mindful of our diabetes and what it is. It is a beast, and we need to learn how to tame the beast.

Diabetes works on the simple logic that since your body has a carbohydrate intolerance, you should restrict its intake. Not delete the intake, just restrict it.

I like to use the example of earning money here, seeing as we all have to work for money in order to live and we can relate.

There is more than one way to earn more money each month. Two examples are: Either we charge more, or we can spend less. Both of these methods will ensure we have more money at the end of the month.

So which is better? Well, it depends on the individual, however, personally, I would choose to do both.

Low carb diets still have us eating about 50-70g of carbs per day. Just to put this into a relative term, 1 slice of bread, 1x apple or 1 glass of milk on average is 15g of carbs.

This is not to say you need to eat this amount. The point I am making is that a large number of my fellow diabetics think that low carb is far less than this per day.

This is where knowledge is power. Most think that low carb means go as low as possible as in zero… Also, a bad move, as this leads to a broken relationship with food and inconsistent methods that cannot be sustained long term.

To replace the restricted amount of carbs, you use good fats. Ideally, your daily intake of good fats should be 50-60% of your calorie requirement per day. The other 40 -50% should be half protein and half carbohydrate.

This isn’t high fats, low carbs or any of the other fads we hear of – this is just normal and effective dietary practice.

I get that carbs taste good. Enjoy them as long as your diabetes enjoys them too. Thats my approach for my personal diet.

You can test this for yourself, rather than taking my word for it.

For the next week, try different amounts of carbs per meal – e.g., 15g, 30g, & 60g, – and monitor the impact on your BG, mood, and energy levels over the next few hours following those meals.

This way, you will be able to test how your diabetes, your activity and your medication are doing and if your triangle of control is working in favour of your life as a diabetic.


By now we all know that I am a strength and conditioning coach by profession and a type 1 diabetic for almost as long as I have walked this earth.

As a Diabetic and as a gym owner, sports coach and competitive athlete, I can say with confidence that my diabetes is exponentially harder to control if I do not do some kind of activity each day.

My glucose levels remain well-controlled (I use the Dexcom G6), and have my graphs looking flat and controlled each day due to this fact.

This all changes every single day I don’t do some kind of planned activity. It is an immediate shift in the wrong direction.

Even just being active by walking or increasing the amount of total activity I do, has a daily positive effect on my glucose levels. It doesn’t always need to be a gym routine (in fact, overall activity is far more important that 1 hour in a gym).

This applies to all diabetics as it is just how the body works.

We become more sensitive to the insulin in our bloodstream, regardless of being type 1 or type 2.

Type 2’s have insulin in a body that doesn’t have the ability to use it properly. Type 1’s have a manual process and need to administer insulin from an external source. Pre-Diabetics are displaying signs of a body that is becoming resistant to insulin. Being overweight is the number 1 cause of becoming insulin resistant. We become overweight from less activity and poor nutritional habits (8/10 times).

The more active we are the better our body is able to use and absorb insulin – regardless of where it comes from.

Activity and exercise create a demand for carbs, which our body struggles to tolerate and breakdown anyway.  This leads to us becoming so much more able to breakdown carbs and glucose(same thing), without relying on so much insulin or medication being given.

Activity, improves blood flow, heart health and circulation, which is something that is negatively affected just by being a diabetic.

Your glucose ranges will be far more stable and your emotional and mental well-being is also lifted when you are better at your diabetes. Stress, overwhelm and being unhappy in your own skin cause poor glucose control – not just sugars and carbs.

Increased activity ticks every single one of the boxes.

If we put this activity, together with a nutritional plan of action that you enjoy, can sustain and feel happy about, you will notice that your life with diabetes is far less overwhelming and stressful. 

Once we put these methods together with our medication we have a complete triangle of control that takes us from a life of surviving with diabetes, to a life of thriving with diabetes.

After all of this, it’s time to put the final piece in place – Your support system.

As diabetics, we can all relate to the fact that we face hundreds of decisions per day, week, and month – more than the average person.

Each decision either takes us closer or further away from a life of good control and diabetic freedom.

Most diabetics have 2 goals in mind:

1) Fat loss and

2) Glucose control.

These are blanket goals as they each have endless benefits to us as diabetics. However, Fat loss and diabetic control are two very different sides to the same coin.

What we do for better blood sugars isn’t the same as what we have to do for fat loss.

Lower carb is generally always better for blood sugars, purely because as diabetics, we are carb intolerant and by consuming fewer carbs (which are sugars), we put less strain on our endocrine system.

For fat loss- regardless of calories coming from carbs, fats, chocolate or veggies- if the amount of calories consumed are greater than the amount we burn per day through activity – fat gain will occur, guaranteed 100% of the time.

Fat gain causes, poor diabetic control because being overweight causes us to be more resistant to insulin.

Same coin – two different approaches needed if we want to achieve both goals (glucose control + fat loss).

This is where having a diabetic coach & mentor becomes such a good idea. Having someone to assist you with all of these daily decisions is where the game really starts to change for us as diabetics.

I used to have a client (an attorney), that would do personal training with me and on her first day she said this:

“I spend all day reading and making decisions. I don’t want to think about what I need to do here or count my reps. That’s all for you to do”.

Just because we use a diabetic coach, doesn’t mean we can’t do it ourselves. The question is, 1) Can you?, and 2) Do you want to do it yourself?

Life is busy, and our plates are full (no pun intended). Even world-class athletes have coaches and trainers. They are far more athletic and able than the coach – however, they have other concerns to be thinking about as athletes.


If you want to start a 3-week training program that delivers your workouts 3x per week, provides you with nutritional guides and plans all tied together with support and a direct line to me: Click HERE and sign up for my free 3-week training and nutrition plan.

If you’d like to know more about my Carb Counting Masterclass for Diabetics you can do so by clicking here. The Diabetic Athletic Carb Counting Masterclass will explain what carb counting is, why we carb count as diabetics and how you can figure out your own insulin to carb ratios.

To see more about the Diabetic Athletic 10-week program for diabetics you can visit This is the ultimate program for diabetics and is backed by a 100% money-back guarantee. You have nothing to lose other than your unwanted body fat, your high glucose ranges and your diabetic overwhelm.


Here are my tops 3 tips as a Type 1 Diabetic – Strength & conditioning coach to help you stay lean all year long.

1. Pay attention to your calories:

Personally, I’m so tired of seeing personal trainers give advice to people telling them to cut carbs, sugars and anything enjoyable out of their lives and diets. Provided you keep a close eye on your caloric intake you can lose fat without giving up the foods you enjoy most.  Most of the time, people don’t realise that those small packets of cashew nuts you get at Woolworths (the tiny packets), are 450 calories. Yes, I can already hear you say “but it’s healthy”. Those cashew nuts are as much as a bottle of wine or even a pie.

Granted, the nuts or in fact a healthier choice, however, as far as fat loss is concerned, 450 calories is 450 calories no matter how you try and spin the story. Being overweight is unhealthy, just like pie.

What you choose to fill your daily calorie allowance up with is up to you.

If they come from carbs, healthy fats, tofu or Protein, they will only ever make you fat if the total daily intake is more than your daily calorie budget/total calories burned through activity.

BOTTOM LINE: Make sure your diet comes from high-quality foods. Keep processed foods to a minimum and ensure your diet is 10-20% INDULGENCE. This way you get to reach your goals while maintaining the healthiest relationship with food.


2. Stop with the “all or nothing” approach

Scientific studies prove that all or nothing diets will lead to binge eating and failure. Try using some common sense here – How long do you think quitting all carbs or sugar is going to last? Granted we as diabetics have to limit glucose/carb intake, but there it is… “limit”, as in manage and measure.

Ever tried fasting? What happens after a fast? … that’s right, overindulgence and binging – almost every single time.

You need to have a little bit of give and take. Eating “healthily” generally doesn’t do the trick. Its blind faith and it won’t work.

Find a balance between enjoying your food while making sure not to abuse it and you will do better than the person next to you who is busy demonising carbs and everything else under the sun.

3. If you don’t enjoy it you WILL cheat and overeat.

Your chosen diet ( yes, you choose what diet you’re on ), needs to taste great, and include the things you enjoy. It needs to suit your lifestyle and schedule. If it doesn’t, you will quit.

You’ll ruin your relationship with food, become bored and increase the chance of ending up at square one all over again.

As long as you are tracking your intake & you can stick to what you are doing, the exact types of food you consume are irrelevant for fat loss!

Make sure the sum of all your choices has a positive average and all will be well in the kingdom.

You don’t get bad foods, you only get bad diets overall. Having carb-filled meals is perfect for fat loss, as long as your other priorities are met – such as your diabetic control, your required daily protein target and your activity levels.

Overeating all day long and drinking calories with friends all weekend long .. that’s a problem! Eating well in the week and overeating on the weekend, yep -that’s the problem.

Not understanding that it is the calories we need to reduce and not the food is the main problem most of us face whether we realise it or not.

If you want to start a 3-week training program that delivers your workouts 3x per week, provides you with nutritional guides and plans all tied together with support and a direct line to me: Click HERE and sign up for my free 3-week training and nutrition plan.

If you’d like to know more about my Carb Counting Masterclass for Diabetics you can do so by clicking here. The Diabetic Athletic Carb Counting Masterclass will explain what carb counting is, why we carb count as diabetics and how you can figure out your own insulin to carb ratios.

To see more about the Diabetic Athletic 10-week program for diabetics you can visit This is the ultimate program for diabetics and is backed by a 100% money-back guarantee. You have nothing to lose other than your unwanted body fat, your high glucose ranges and your diabetic overwhelm.


There are three types of carbs/sugar, fibre and starch. Out of which, sugar and starch are turned into glucose for energy.

Fibre doesn’t breakdown as we lack the enzyme to digest it. And so, it doesn’t increase blood sugar levels, it passes to the digestive system and forms bulk to be expelled as waste.

Fibre also doesn’t contribute to the calorie count. For this reason, diabetics are recommended to eat more fibre to keep the sugar levels under control.

Just think about it, fibre cleans out the system, can’t be absorbed as far as calories and fat gain are concerned and, we don’t count the grams of carbs from fibre when we carb count for our insulin doses.

As for the carbs, they convert to sugar, it’s important to choose carbs wisely. Pick the complex carbs as it undergoes slow digestion with steady increases in glucose levels instead of spiking glucose levels.

This is where the glycemic index and glycemic load come into play. I have an entire module of videos with me explaining fibre, carbs, fruits, vegetables, sugars and their different kinds of effects, inside my Diabetic Athletic 10-week program.

Rather than worrying about the accuracy of calorie-counting and the relatively small differences in calorie estimates contributed by the fibre in your diet, it may be best to focus on eating the recommended amount of fibre each day, which is 14 grams of fibre for every 1,000 calories you consume.

For those that adhere to their diet by tracking calories or energy balance, it may be better to count the calories from fats, proteins, and total carbohydrates and try to increase physical activity to burn more calories since these are activities you can modify and control.

The take away here is to control the elements you can. Everything else will fall into place.

If you’d like my help and guidance regarding your own specific diet and training plan visit my 3-week FREE training and nutrition plan for diabetics by clicking HERE.

If you’re interested in what carb counting is, why we carb count as diabetics and how you can apply carb counting to your life as a diabetic – you can watch my Carb Counting Masterclass HERE.

If you want to see what my Diabetic Athletic Mentorship Program is about, you can click HERE and have a look at what the Diabetic Athletic 10-week flagship program is all about.

If you want to talk to me and ask me any questions you can message me HERE