Danielle had been putting on weight slowly for the last 12 years. She enjoyed her lifestyle and ‘yummy’ foods, and for a long time, wasn't ready to give those up. She was apprehensive about going on a diet and scared about how difficult it would be to lose weight. Danielle was also concerned about ‘fad diets’. She had seen family members take these on, only for them to lose weight but then put it straight back on.
Hearing good things about the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet, Danielle did some research and was pleased to discover it was both the healthiest and least expensive on the market. When the Fast Start Program came up, she knew this was the time to give it a go.
Weight lost to date: 12.2 kg*
*In 12 Weeks. Individual results may vary.
Why did you decide to start the Fast Start Program?
I have been putting on weight slowly the last 12 years, I went from healthy to overweight, then a few more years passed and I was obese. I had been considering the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet for a while but was holding back from doing it because I enjoyed my lifestyle - I ate 'yummy' foods every day without concern for what they were doing to my body and health.
CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet had a Fast Start pilot study and it sounded interesting - I have always enjoyed being part of focus groups, so the invitation to participate excited me that not only would I be doing this for myself, I could be helping other people. I still read the email and waited, scared of the changes it would force into my life. I wasn't ready to give up a teaspoon of sugar in my tea, would the program make me do that?
Ultimately it happened to coincide with a conversation I was having about future goals, and my partner very tactfully said to me "where does your health come into this Danielle?" and the first thought that came into my mind was "OK, I have to do that study."
Learn more about the Fast Start pilot study.
Have you ever tried meal replacements in the past? If so, what was your experience?
I have never tried meal replacements or any other diets before. I've seen family members do it, with minimal success - you lose the weight and put it straight back on with more. This was my first ever "diet" and it seems like it was actually pretty easy. I have heard it said that if you call it a diet you won't actually make long term lifestyle changes because you view it as temporary - but I know I'll be able to put the learnings from the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet so far into practice in my everyday life.
What were the most positive aspects of using the meal replacements and CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet program?
The convenience of the Fast Start Shakes were great, they did make me less hungry and snack less. Ultimately they helped me transition to healthier ways of eating by taking out some of that fear - I didn't really need to do anything myself in terms of healthy meal prep just for a meal or two a day, it was easier overall.
Did the meal replacements help curb your cravings cravings? If so, in what way?
They left me feeling pretty full, but I think the way they curbed cravings the most was knowing you were already doing something differently - "You're doing this for a reason, then you don't NEED the snacks" I would tell myself.
How did you find transitioning to the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet meals and which week did you start?
I fully transitioned by about week 8 of the program in the end. It required determination to transition to the whole foods menu plan, it was very different to the way I'd previously been eating. I changed shopping habits slightly and had to take intentional steps to ensure I kept healthy food in my house and made healthy choices.
I could have personally done a better job at sticking to the meal plans, but I also found it gave me a lot of freedom in my healthy choices. So I didn't follow the meal plans strictly but I followed the idea of eating healthy.
How important was it for you to have the support of the program and tools as you transitioned from the shakes? What kept you motivated?
The tracker was the MOST important tool. I learnt a lot about portion control, the right serving sizes, and what was an indulgence (and therefore something I should only have in moderation). It was such a vital tool to my success. I would use it every single day, I would look things up in it before I went out to eat, it was super useful.
This is just the beginning of my lifestyle change but Fast Start has helped me prove to myself that I can make changes and stay motivated. My favourite jeans are back on my body and my confidence is coming back by the day - I can't wait to see what the next 12 weeks have in store.
How do you feel now that you’re losing the weight?
The biggest feeling is probably relief - it isn't actually that hard to lose weight. The other feeling is nervous anticipation - there is still another 10 kilos or so to go before I get myself back in a healthy weight range. I've gone from obese back to overweight thanks to this program, now I have to continue the work to go to healthy.
I'm looking forward to participating in the Total Wellbeing Diet for another 12 weeks, during which time I am going to make exercise a bigger priority.
Breakfast: Fast Start shake
Dinner: Lemon chicken rice bowl