Amanda listened when her body sent her an early warning sign

Amanda listened when her body sent her an early warning sign

Apart from being an overweight teenager Amanda had maintained a healthy weight until her 40’s when the weight just slowly crept on. Busy with family and shift work, her weight and health were not her priority. She lost any sort of food discipline she’d had and ate whatever she wanted without giving it a lot of thought until arthritic knee pain became her reason to change!

Name: Amanda
Starting Weight: 76.9 kg
Current Weight: 60.2 kg
Total Loss: 16.7 kg*

*Lost in 15 weeks. Individual results may vary. 

Losing the weight

Amanda before weight loss.

Describe your life before the weight loss.

I remember always eating a lot of toast and sugary peanut butter! I always ate a decent dinner as I was cooking for and eating with my family. I ate loads of cakes, chocolates and biscuits. I felt hungry a lot of the time. I was very aware my weight was an issue when I’d go bushwalking with my daughter and struggle to get up hills and of course very aware of my weight when I’d see photos of myself!

What was ‘your moment of truth’ that made you decide you finally had to lose the weight?

I had some prediabetic and fatty liver blood results some time ago which I’d tried my best to ignore, then I started to get arthritic knee pain and was browsing online at various natural arthritis remedies. As I read about arthritis I decided to lose weight before buying any remedies.

I signed up for the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet that day. I was also just sick of it, all the aches and pains and poor self-esteem and embarrassment about my weight.

As a nurse of course I see the health ramifications of being overweight and knew I would experience these if I didn’t change things. It had been nagging at me for years and I knew I had to do something about it!

Have you tried other diets in the past and why did you choose the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet?

I lost weight using the Liver Cleansing Diet but the diet wasn’t sustainable for me, so I put the weight back on within 6 months or so.

Amanda before and after weight loss.

Gaining life

Did you also purchase Fast Start Meal Replacement Shakes as part of your weight loss journey?  


Why did you pick Fast Start meal replacement shakes over other options?

I wanted to see fast results in the first few weeks as I knew I needed that to stay motivated!

Did it cut through the noise and make it easier for you to lose weight at the start of your weight loss journey?

I can’t overstate how much it cut through the noise! The guidelines are very simple, so I just stuck to them. Not having to even think about breakfast and lunch made it so much easier for me in the beginning. The shakes made me feel full, so they really helped me to stay on course.

Were you attracted to the fact that Fast Start is part of the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet which is supported by science?

Yes, 100%. CSIRO is so well respected, and I knew it was going to be healthy and safe

Did you use Fast Start meal replacement shakes for the first 3 x weeks as recommended before transitioning to the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet?


Did you use Fast Start meal replacement shakes at any other time on your weight loss journey?

Yes, I sometimes have them at work if I’m very busy and don’t have time for a break

What was your favourite flavour?

Chocolate, vanilla and coffee.

Amanda after weight loss.

What was the biggest challenge of the whole process?

Making the decision to lose weight was the biggest challenge for me and something I put off for a long time. Once I’d made the decision it wasn’t challenging. It was all laid out for me and I just followed it. The app made it very easy to follow. I quite frequently adapted my old recipes and didn’t use as many of the CSIRO recipes as I’d expected.

Describe a typical day now in terms of what you eat (including favourite breakfast, lunch and dinner recipe from the program) as well as exercise?

Breakfast might be muesli, fruit, yoghurt, milk and an espresso or overnight oats, which is my favourite breakfast recipe from the program.

My favourite lunches from the program are spinach, rocket and tuna salad, chicken, corn and coleslaw salad -toasted sandwich and fruit.

For dinner, I almost eat the same things for dinner now that I did before as I’ve been able to reduce the amounts of olive oil and simple carbohydrates that I used to cook with. Curries, spaghetti bolognaise, steak and vegetables, tuna pasta, soups, just the usual family meals that I’ve adjusted to meet CSIRO guidelines. I definitely eat more protein, meat and vegetables than I used to. I walk my dog every day for exercise. We do a bit of long-distance walking together. I also now do yoga!

Describe how your life has changed since losing the weight? Are there any activities you do now that you never thought you would be able to do before?

I have more energy and just feel well after so many years of feeling sub-par. I was able to climb down a mountain by myself which I would never ever have attempted before, and also twice walked up a very steep leech infested rainforest incline. I wouldn’t have dreamt of attempting that before. I can jog up a hill that I previously never dared walk, and I can talk while doing it! To have this physical freedom is just amazing to me. I can put on clothes and look in the mirror and not feel embarrassed or ashamed. I can wear clothes that aren’t sacks and I can wear clothes I have kept from years ago. I can paint my own toenails. I no longer worry about my health!

Did you overcome any health ailments after the weight loss?

My blood results have improved and my liver function and triglycerides have returned to normal. My glucose levels have improved. My knee arthritis has pretty much disappeared, and I haven’t needed analgesia for months. My neck and back pain has significantly improved.

Amanda before and after photo.

Do you have any goals and aspirations for the future?

I’m working on reducing my glucose levels to normal. I want to be able to maintain my weight loss and current eating habits. I’d like to work on upper body strength too. I want to remain flexible and fit as long as possible.

What is the biggest lesson/s you have learnt from the whole journey?

Carbohydrates are not the main food group in a meal, concentrate on eating enough protein and vegetables.

What advice do you have for others trying to lose the weight?

It’s so worthwhile doing this diet, you can eat so normally and still enjoy everything you used to. The app makes keeping track of things so easy. I really recommend this way of eating as a sustainable weight management tool.

Would you recommend they kick start their journey with Fast Start meal replacement shakes? If yes, why?

Yes, I’d recommend starting with the shakes. I was never hungry when I was on them. It simplified everything and made me lose weight quickly at the beginning. This was so helpful in keeping me motivated to lose the rest of the weight.

Are you trying to lose weight? Read our comprehensive guide on weight loss to understand where to begin, what happens when you lose weight and what doesn't work when it comes to dieting.

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