How science can help achieve healthy weight goals
When it comes to losing weight and keeping it off, there are a number of factors that can make it difficult. Most of us know that excess weight is a risk factor for many health conditions including heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and sleep apnea. But with three in five Australian women overweight or obese, it’s clear that relying on willpower and an outdated narrow focus on diet and exercise is not helping women live healthier lives.
Hi, I’m Jo. I’m 52 years old and I live in Melbourne. By day I’m an IT professional and by night I’m a cabaret performer. My weight has fluctuated a lot during my life and I’ve done most of the readily available weight loss programs.
I’ve always found losing weight really hard and gaining weight really easy. I gained about 10kg during the COVID lockdowns. I got really busy, stopped exercising regularly as I was tired of exercising on my own at home, and I turned to junk food for comfort.
In December last year I decided that I’d have to go through a process AGAIN to lose weight as my BMI had crept into the obese range and I was feeling really crappy.
“Juniper was an absolute game changer for me.”
I started in mid-January and over four months have lost 12.5kg which is about 15% of my original body weight. I have 2kg to go to hit my goal and right now I am focussing on eating well and keeping moving after a month of touring the country and living it up. .
Being on the Juniper program has been incredibly effective. Other approaches and diets make weight loss really hard, it’s like you are so hungry like your brain is going to explode. I have found in the past that calorie restriction leads to me hyper-focus on food and I feel hungry all the time. When you’re on a restrictive diet, your body fights back by making you hungrier and also slows down your metabolism so it’s even harder to lose weight.
With Juniper, as I wasn’t as hungry, I was able to keep my focus on making healthier choices. I wasn’t consumed with the thought of food and could rationally make good decisions about what to eat. I found it easy then to add more veggies and fruit to my diet, reduce some of my portion sizes, and reduce my junk food intake. The program was so effective it gave me space to focus on re-establishing, and then maintaining, a healthy lifestyle.
I used the online communities when I first started with Juniper and it was great having other people at the same stage as me, especially as I didn’t know what to expect.
The health coaching had good reminders for me like simple food swaps, fill your plate half with veggies – that kind of thing. I already knew what to do though, I just hadn’t been doing it. I found the health coaching helped me with accountability and helped keep me on track.
This whole journey has been about me being healthy and feeling better than I used to. I can say with confidence than I feel a million times better than I did in December