It can be difficult to lose weight, but even more of a challenge to maintain weight loss. 80% of people who lose weight are likely to regain this weight after 5 years. There are many aspects to consider to achieve and maintain ideal weight including

  • Dietary considerations
  • Physical activity
  • Quality sleep

Weight loss does not need to be dramatic, in fact only 5-10% reduction in weight can have a positive impact on one’s health including reduced risk of diabetes, improvements in mood, mobility, energy, and confidence.


Why do we put weight back on?

Like everything else in our bodies, our brain regulates systems in our body to maintain a balance. This includes blood pressure, blood glucose, body temperature. The same thing occurs to our body weight, and when we lose a dramatic amount of weight, our body tries to rebalance this back to what it perceives as ‘normal’. This is known as our ‘set-point’. The body adjusts the amount of energy and expenditure at resting to adjust fat storage in order to go back to the set-point.


How do we reset our ‘set-point’?

There are a number of factors that we can use to influence our set point:

  • Lowering diet palatability
    • Reduces overstimulation of reward centres in the brain that lead to food addiction
  • Adequate protein
    • Improves balance of glucose levels
    • Promotes secretion of hormones that make you feel full (leptin) and reduces hormones that make you feel hungry (ghrelin)
    • Reduces hunger and snacking
    • Increases satiety
    • Protein rich foods should be included in each meal
  • Choosing either a low carb or low fat diet
    • Neither option gives significantly more weight loss than the other as long as refined carbohydrates are avoided
    • Both options result in similar body fat loss
    • Choose the option that you are most likely to stick to
  • Breaks between diet
    • Avoids starvation response
    • Prevents reduction in resting metabolism which normally occurs when you reduce calorie intake
    • Allows psychological break
    • Promotes greater weight loss short term and long term
  • Adequate sleep
    • Underestimated factor that contributes to weight loss
    • Increases willpower to make better food decisions
    • Inadequate sleep can increase ghrelin (makes you hungry) and reduces leptin (tells you when you are full)
    • Lack of sleep also increases appetite by 385 calories or 1527 kilojoules per day
  • Physical activity
    • Preserve and build muscle mass
    • Weight bearing exercises may result in femur bone sending signals to the brain to regulate fat mass
    • Increases energy output


What about probiotics?

Specific strains including Bifidobacterium lactis B-420 and Bifidobacterium lactis HN019 have been found to prevent weight gain, and may also lower the set-point. Studies have also shown differences between gut bacteria in overweight people versus those with a normal BMI. Clinical trials in humans have also demonstrated a reduction in weight circumference over 6 months when given these specific strains of probiotics compared to those taking placebo and not undergoing any other lifestyle or dietary changes. Subjects taking the probiotics were also unconsciously eating 320 calories (1338 kilojoules) less per day whereas the placebo group still ate the same amount of calories.


What does our program offer?

This safe and effective personalised program is led by a health practitioner (trained pharmacist) who provides coaching and tools to reduce and maintain ideal weight without initiating a starvation response. Although meal replacement products are included, meal replacements are limited to one per day, and the focus is on other factors such as diet, physical activity, motivation and sleep quality. The program also includes an easy to follow app on your smartphone, will allows progress tracking and communication with your health practitioner. Overall, the program runs over 24 weeks, which includes transition into a long term maintenance phase for successful long term weight loss. To find out more information come into the pharmacy, call us on 3396 8999 or click here to make your first appointment.


References available on request.