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TOP Trending Diets & Weight Loss Programs in AU & NZ

By Suzanne Skillen

Weight loss management and a healthy lifestyle are far more than just what you eat and how much  you exercise. As part of my work with iLR, I’ve been empowered to take a holistic approach and methodology towards weight loss by taking into consideration deeper issues like stress management, attitudes and beliefs around health and wellness and self-esteem issues. Backed by a wellness product that is not only scientifically proven, but that also changes lives with a humanistic connection to health, personal greatness, financial freedom and the mindset that the world CAN be a healthier, wealthier and happier place.

Many people just don’t have the tools to know how to get on the path to wellness. They don’t know how to lose weight, reduce stress, deal with allergies, dietary sensitivities or digestive issues, they struggle to get quality sleep, maintain healthy energy levels and boost their immune systems – all in the name of optimum health, wellness and their best selves.

At iLR, we’re all extremely passionate about providing the highest level of service backed by the best quality products. But, more importantly we teach and guide our clients how to maintain the amazing results they achieve. How do we do that? The old fashioned way – with education. At the end of the day our clients are the only ones who can live and breathe their new healthier way of life, so that’s why after equipping them with the right tools, we hold them accountable with 15 minute, weekly Nutritional Consults over the phone, Skype or in person at the iLR clinic.

Before you get started with any nutrition or wellness program, it’s important to understand your ‘metabolic type’. 

“Quick diet fixes are dangerous, especially when self-diagnosed”, says Sally H. the iLR Nutritionist.

The best approach is – do your research, compare all the supplements on the box, check what fitness regimes are available and make sure those exercise programs fit with your lifestyle and the goals you want to achieve. Finally, the hardest but most important part of all is looking inwards to yourself to try and understand and acknowledge your behaviour as to ‘WHY’ you’ve gained 10 to 20Kg. After all, that extra weight didn’t creep on over night, so there are some unhealthy habits that need breaking.   

The market is saturated with the latest fads in weight loss and diets promising unrealistic and unlasting results. So here is our list of trending diet programs with the intention of informing you about what’s out there so you’re equipped to make the best choices possible for your health.

Lastly, remember that whichever program you choose to follow please consider that it must align with your health, lifestyle and personal goals. No single program is going to be a perfect fit for everyone. And remember, despite iLR’s involvement with Isagenix, it’s imperative that you get professional advice  – whether you’re already using Isagenix or are in the process of deciding what’s best for you.

My rating system is based on a score of 0 to 5 and each of the below programs are rated by product quality, science, education and support. They are easy to follow, guide you around the best fitness regimes they offer and also on how accountable and motivating the programs are towards sticking to your weight loss goals.

1# JUICE DETOX DIET

The Juice Detox Diet involves juicing fruit and vegetables to assist the body its natural detoxification process by flushing out the toxins and giving the digestive system time to rest. It promotes results of rapid weight loss.

Cost: Free, a DIY method and or a commercial program that can cost on average $350 AUD for five days.

Rating: 1 out of 5. It’s great to get your fruit and vegetable intake however it does not provide nutrients to nourish the body. Smoothies are preferable to juices so you don’t miss out on the fibre and the nutrients you lose when you’re juicing.

Pros: For those people who don’t like consuming fruit and vegetables this is an easy way to incorporate getting your daily serving by drinking it as a juice. Many have reported that this program achieves quick results.

Cons: By only consuming fruit and vegetables you’re eliminating other food groups. This increases your chances of developing nutritional deficiencies. The side effects of juicing aren’t fun; be prepared for headaches, lack of energy, poor focus, skin rashes, lightheadedness and mood swings. Juicing removes the fibre from the fruit or vegetable you’re consuming. As a result not only does this increase food waste, but decreases the necessary fibre in your diet. This can lead to constipation which prevents toxins being removed from the body. If you’re trying to cleanse, this defeats the whole purpose. When you complete your program and return to your regular diet – the weight comes back. Juicing increases the consumption of fructose. While fructose is a natural sugar, it can cause weight gain as it increases the demand on your liver. You would never consume five oranges in one sitting as the fibre in the oranges would fill you up only after one or two. In a juice, however, you can essentially consume five or more with the fibre missing to fill you up. Not to mention the very high levels of fructose juice contains.

2# WEIGHT WATCHERS

This program has been around for many years. So, it must work – right? The Weight Watchers program is a points-based system. Each week you’re set a certain amount of points depending on how much weight you’re looking to lose.

Cost: $34.50 AUD per month online. $77.50 per month for group coaching. $96.50 per month for one-on-one coaching.

Rating: 3 out of 5. By joining the program online which you can access from wherever globally. The one-on-one coaching would increase the chances of reaching your goals by having one-on-one time with your WW coach to keep you accountable. The point system is confusing. It is similar to calorie counting which is also extremely time-consuming and therefore difficult to stick to. It shouldn’t be about counting calories or points but rather focus on nourishing your body with whole foods.

Pros: There are no restrictions on what you can and can’t eat. Weekly meetings are available to keep you motivated and focused on your goals. There are three options to choose from to help you with your weight loss.

Cons: Working out the points system can be confusing and is a time waster. People often find it restrictive due to lack of education and having to calculate the points. Therefore they feel pressured to buy Weight Watcher’s products. Having the freedom to eat quickly and to a find daily points routine. People have success losing weight with WW however when they come off the program they often regain the weight. To lose the weight again, they go back to the WW program which puts them in a yo-yo cycle.

3# 5:2 DIET

Otherwise known as intermittent fasting. For five days, each week there are no restrictions on what you can eat and therefore you’re not required to calorie count. The remaining two days you are limited to 25 per cent of your recommended daily calorie intake (500 for women, 600 for men) which assists with fast weight loss.

Cost: Free, a DIY method or you can purchase a book published by various authors starting from $9.95.

Rating: 3 out of 5. It encourages you to fill up on fibre-rich foods, protein and vegetables for two days. There is the lack of education about what you should eat for the other five days. The perceived education or directive on ‘what to eat’ for the five days is limiting because the statement ‘eating whatever you want’ needs to be incorporated to develop habits that are going to nourish your body and assist with weight loss and maintenance.

Pros: Results that have been reported include reduced visceral body fat, reduce blood pressure, reduce fatty liver disease and better management of insulin levels. It encourages an increase in vegetable intake the two days with a focus on a high fibre and a protein-rich diet to keep you fuller for longer.

Cons: While you have the freedom to eat whatever you want for five days each week, this often gives people the license to feel like they can pig out and unreasonably eat whatever they want. This can lead to overeating and not nourishing their bodies with nutrient-dense foods. Having a high fibre diet is essential for digestive health, however, people find that this can lead to constipation as they don’t drink enough water and they don’t consume enough fibre for the five days they’re fasting.

4# LEMON DETOX DIET

Promotes detoxing and rapid weight loss. You’re mostly only consuming lemon, maple syrup, cayenne pepper and water for three to five days of your first detox, then again for seven days.

Cost: Free, a DIY method and program.

Rating: 0 out of 5 where are the nutrients. Need I say more?

Pros: Gets fast results for weight loss – but of course it would – you’re starving yourself. Ingredients are easy to source.

Cons:  Where is the food?! Consuming no actual food can lead to nutritional deficiencies, headaches, low energy, poor focus, lightheadedness and much worse – the list goes on. While people find they just drop weight, when they go back to their old habits their metabolism has slowed and they gain weight faster than ever. Eventually they will put the weight back on due to the lack of education as to how to prove to improve their diet healthfully. Many tend to get a bad case of ‘hanger’ and end up binge eating as starvation is not sustainable.

5# ISAGENIX 30 DAY CLEANSE

The 30 Day Cleanse Pak is a nutritional cleansing program formulated by a team of over 50 scientists to help the body’s natural detoxification processes to remove toxins and impurities. This is a popular program for weight loss and increasing energy levels.

Cost: $608.29 AUD per month outright or $449.90 on onto the AutoShip rewards program which saves you $158.39.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 without having the guidance of a qualified professional. This program gets results if you stick to it, but it is still pretty vague as to when to start your Cleanse Days and what you can and cannot eat on your Shake Days. Best used with a qualified professional providing education on incorporating healthy habits i.e., how to nourish your body with whole foods and fitness regimes. This program has the potential to help you reach your health goals in a safe, informed, supportive and open environment.

Pros: This is not one of those cleanses or detoxing programs that are full of laxatives so that you won’t be running or waiting by the bathroom. It has been formulated by scientists to assist with the body’s natural detoxification. When detoxing is performed correctly, it can result in increased energy, weight loss, sharper focus, reduced stress, improved sleep, the list goes on. Cleansing or fasting has been used in traditional medicine such as Ayurveda for thousands of years as it has been seen to improve overall health and contribute to healthy ageing. If you are doing this for weight loss, it’s recommended to commit to a 6 to 12 month program because remember, no one puts on an extra 10kg on overnight. It allows time to work on your weight loss goals along with education around keeping the ‘weight-off’ with the assistance of a qualified professional. The program has not been designed for just 30 days, this is a lifestyle and is easily followed with the Auto Ship Rewards payback scheme included. This means you will save around $158 AUD each month while working towards your health goals. For your peace of mind – the paks come with a full money back guarantee which you can read about the return policy click here. The entire Isagenix product range has been formulated by scientists as a food supplement rather than a diet. It contains essential nutrients to nourish the body on a cellular level, for example, the whey protein is undenatured, from pasture-fed New Zealand dairy cows which is a higher quality protein compared to other products on the market. The science and formulation of the product range are far superior to anything else on the market. However, the way it’s marketed and sold suggests otherwise.

Cons:   Cost – People are often turned off due to the price point, however if you break down the cost of daily living, i.e., daily coffees, chai teas, take out, supplements and groceries – you’re actually saving money or are at least on-par with what you might be spending on fast food and misleading groceries.

5# MICHELLE BRIDGES 12 WEEK BODY TRANSFORMATION

12 week online program with meal plans and fitness guidance to help transform your body.

Cost: $199 AUD for the 12 weeks or 12 weekly instalments of $19.99 (total $239.88).

Rating: 3 out of 5. It has a fitness guide to help you get fit and toned as well as a meal plan to keep you on track towards your goals. It requires more education to equip clients can with the knowledge to help them stay on track.

Pro: Guidance and motivation with meal plans and fitness guides. Weekly motivation from the program and other people doing the program. It is an online program so can be done from anywhere.

Cons: The meal plan is boring and limited especially after 12 weeks; recipes tend to be repetitive. People don’t gain any education or knowledge of what foods to eat after the program. While the fitness videos keep you motivated and on the right track, you can’t download them to do after the program where people find themselves back to where they started. This is the same for information around food as to what to eat after the program. Again lack of education. Lack of supervision with exercise. No one is watching to monitor if you are doing the exercise correctly.

6# I QUIT SUGAR

An 8-week online program which helps beat sugar addiction.

Cost:  $150 AUD to sign up for to an eight week online program.

Rating: 3 out of 5. Sugar is found in almost everything these days. The program provides support and education around where sugars are hidden in foods. There are four options with meal plans such as winter or summer (which makes it easy to quit sugar wherever you are in the world), and there are vegetarian or omnivore recipe options available. One thing that it lacks is an App to assist with your shopping list, preparing dishes and cooking methods or keeping you motivated to quitting when the sugar cravings kick in.

Pros: It offers an online program that has a team of wellness experts such a nutritionist, counsellors, dietitians, personal trainers, who all advise and support and guide you around how to break your sugar addiction. There are eight weeks worth of meal plans with recipes, along with education backed up by science on the effects of sugar on your body and where to find that hidden sugar.

Cons: Once you’ve gone through the eight week program of quitting sugar – now what? Where is the support once you need? Nowhere to be found… Many have reported that after the program they don’t feel confident to be on their own. This is where an App would be vital in supporting and motivating people. A shopping list guide for meal planning would be greatly useful as you’re led to believe your grocery bill should not exceed $100 per week. However, in reality, the cost is far greater. The online program is expensive verses to the book which is valued at $29.95 AUD.

7# KIDS HEALTH PROGRAM

There is nothing available that’s been tested or proven that works.

I believe that education is a powerful tool to educate kids on good food behaviours so they can lead healthier lives. This is especially important early in your child’s schooling and development. It is important to equip children with tools to help assist them in making healthy lifestyle choices so they don’t go on to develop Type 2 Diabetes into their adult life. I believe more education and resources are needed for parents and children to improve their quality of life.

As a qualified nutritionist I am a big believer in educating people of all shapes and sizes in a safe space; equipping them with the correct knowledge, tools and advice to make the best nutritional and lifestyle decisions. I commonly work with clients with goals ranging from weight loss, weight management (helping them to keep that weight off), improve sleep, reducing digestive discomforts such as bloating, increasing energy levels, and the list goes on.

I offer nutritional consults over the phone or via Skype and am happy to tailor the service for people with busy schedules.

I work with my clients to educate, motivate and keep everyone on track to achieving their health goals holistically; which means a slow and tailored process for your body type and metabolic type.

I do offer a Free 15 Minute Nutritional Consult but only by appointment.

If you have any further questions, advice, objections or queries, setup an appointment click here or leave your comments below.

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