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Q&A Topics

Weightloss


Melissa Usher Dietician View profile


Melissa Usher Dietician View profile

Hi Cindy Many thanks for your query. As you probably aware, Insulin Resistance is a disorder of glucose metabolism. It occurs because body cells no longer respond well to the instruction of the hormone insulin to move glucose from the blood to the cells for energy. When glucose clearance from the blood is delayed and has become difficult, the cells have become resistant to insulin. To compensate for the reduced responsiveness of body cells to insulin, the pancreas (the organ that produces insulin for us), starts to produce more and more insulin in order to force the glucose into body cells. Our diet can effect the ability of the body cell’s to respond to insulin appropriately. I would advise you to resume the Low GI Diet, rather than the High Protein Diet. There is little evidence to show that High Protein Diets are beneficial in Insulin Resistance. Choose high fibre, low GI starchy foods, limiting refined starchy foods and sugars. Try to keep fats and fatty fast foods to a minimum. Choose fat-free or low fat dairy products. Increase your intake of fruit and vegetables (aim for 5 portions per day). Reduce your intake of red meat and increase your intake of fatty fish such as salmon, sardines and pilchards (2-3 days a week). Weight loss and exercise both increase insulin sensitivity, and increased sensitivity results in lower blood insulin levels. Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise at least five times a week. Good luck! Kind regards, Melissa

Melissa Usher Dietician View profile

Dear Nicci

Many thanks for your query.

Many of us find that when we are trying to lose weight, all we can think about is food.

The most important advice I can give you is to have regular meals. Aim for 6 small meals rather than 3 large ones. Limit your intake of fat - choose fat-free or skimmed dairy products, remove all fat from meat, boil, bake or steam instead of frying, limit added fats like oil, margarine and butter and try to avoid high fat snacks like chips and chocolates. Reduce your sugar intake -limit sugar added at the table and opt for sugar-free versions of every day foods and drinks. Choose wholewheat varieties of breads, rice, pasta and cereals. These are low in Glycemic Index (GI) and will help to keep you fuller for longer. Try to have a source of low GI carbohydrate at every meal. Fruit is a great between meal snack. Fill up on vegetables and salad at meal times and aim to have these take up half of your plate.

Remember that alcohol contributes to calories so try to limit yourself to 1 glass a day.

Some people find having a treat day once a week helpful. Choose something that you really enjoy, but without going overboard. Weight loss may seem like an uphill battle and you may feel like you are being deprived of your favourite foods. A treat day is great as it gives you something to look forward to without feeling that you've slipped with your diet and resuming old eating habits.

Often we mistake hunger for thirst. Before heading for the fridge when you feel 'hungry,' try having a glass of water and see how you feel after that. You may find that you were actually thirsty rather than hungry.

Excerise is essential to any weight loss plan. To really burn off those calories aim for exercise that makes you perspire and slightly short of breath.

Rate of weight loss is different for everyone, but for sustainable weight loss you should aim for 0.5-1kg weight loss per week (2-4kg per month).

Good luck!

Kind regards,

Melissa

Melissa Usher Dietician View profile

Hi Ronel

Many thanks for your query.

I am unsure whether your hypothyroidism is the main cause of your slow weight loss, as you mentioned that your blood results are now normal.

My advice would be to continue on the Weigh Less eating plan and focus on limiting your portion sizes. Aim for 6 small meals rather than 3 large ones. Limit your intake of fat and sugar and choose wholewheat varieties of breads, rice, pasta and cereals. These are low in Glycemic Index and will help to keep you fuller for longer. Fruit is a great between meal snack. Fill up on vegetables and salad at meal times and aim to have these take up half of your plate. Remember that alcohol contributes to calories so try to limit yourself to 1 glass a day. Excerise is essential to any weight loss plan. Going to the gym and running are great. To really burn off those calories aim for exercise that makes you perspire and slightly short of breath. Rate of weight loss is different for everyone, but for sustainable weight loss you should aim for 0.5-1kg weight loss per week (2-4kg per month). Good luck!

Melissa Usher Dietician View profile

Hi Chelain.

Many thanks for your query.

I would suggest focusing on a healthy eating plan and exercise regime first, before including diet products. Lifestyle changes will help you to lose weight and keep the weight off!

Your eating plan should consist of 3 meals a day with healthy, nutritious snacks between meals. Aim for a diet low in fat – choose fat-free or skimmed dairy products, remove all fat from meat, boil, bake or steam instead of frying, limit added fats like oil, margarine and butter and try to avoid high fat snacks like chips and chocolates. Try to limit sugar intake by limiting sugar added at the table and opting for sugar-free versions of every day foods and drinks. Aim for a diet high in fibre. This will help to keep you regular and help keep you fuller for longer. Choose oats, wholewheat or brown cereals, breads and pastas. Remember portion control. Small, frequent meals are better than 2-3 large ones. Exercise is vital to any weight loss programme. Aim for 40 minutes 3-5 times a week, over and above your daily activities. Aim for exercise that leaves you a little out of breath. Remember: energy in = energy out, so the more you exercise the more calories you will burn, the more weight (and centimetres) you will lose.

Dietary supplements should only be taken in conjunction with your healthy eating and exercise plan. It is important to check the labels of supplements. Taking supplements in addition to your meals may result in excess calorie and fat intake.

Kind regards,

Melissa

Yesheen (dr.) Singh Medical Doctor View profile

Dear S

Thank you for your question. Three-monthly contraceptive injections have been associated with a 2.5-5kg gain in weight, so I would not exclude the influence of the injection on you inability to shed those extra kilograms. But to place all the blame solely on the injection would be too limiting. A healthy weight-loss regime incorporates equal attention to healthier food choices, calorie restriction and increased aerobic- and resistance-based exercise regimes.

I would also pay attention to your bone density as the three-monthly contraceptive most commonly used in South Africa has been associated with increased incidence of osteoporosis, which increases the longer you are on the injection.

Find yourself a lifestyle modification coach and approach losing that unhealthy weight in a healthy manner!

Many thanks and warm regards

Yesheen

Yesheen (dr.) Singh Medical Doctor View profile

Hi H

Thank you for your question. From what you write I gather your main problem at the moment is the difficulty you are experiencing in loosing the weight you accumulated during the course of your pregnancy and subsequent steroid use. To complicate matters you also have been diagnosed with hypothyroidism. It is not clear from your question whether you are currently on the steroid medication, or whether you still have a low platelet level. In a case as complicated as this, especially as I do not know what other medication you currently are on, I would be hesitant to recommend the addition of any drug, natural or otherwise, to boost your metabolism and allegedly assist in increasing your rate of weight loss.

What I can say though is that in my experience anything that sounds this good is hardly ever 100% true, and the only real and sustainable result I have seen in the fight against the bulge is a well thought out lifestyle plan that incorporates:

1. Diet modification

2. Appropriate supplementation, which may include Lipo Cut

3. Adequate daily activity levels

4. A healthy stress management system

This type of plan is easily obtainable through consultation with a dietician or nutritional therapist you trust (look for one trained in FLT), or through your local gym. As your case is complicated by the concomitant medical ailments I would begin at your GP, asking him or her to check what risk factors you have that may impact on your lifestyle modification program, and what warning signs to look out for as you go through this period of transformation.

To come back to your question on Lipo Cut, I do not see any harm in the composition of the supplement itself, but care needs to be taken when combining something like this with other medication and in certain medical conditions, for which some of the ingredients contained within the product may be contra-indicated. So to answer you I would say please take all the medication you currently are using as well as a list of the ingredients listed in Lipo Cut to your GP and ask them to cross-check before you begin using this as a supplement to your lifestyle modification plan. Remember that a pill alone will only result in disappointment and money ill spent.

Many thanks and warm regards

Yesheen

Gabriell (dr.) Prinsloo Medical Doctor View profile

Hi

I know that is very frustrating; however I do not think that it is a good idea to use Lipocut or any other fat burning product. These generally contain large quantities of caffeine and generate a stress response which can be detrimental on an ongoing basis. In addition, I haven’t found any good studies on the long term effects on the body of fat burning products such as Lipocut.

Most important is to treat your low thyroid function as this is a common cause of weight gain. If your thyroid function is very low then it is advisable to use medication such as Eltroxin (which your GP will prescribe if required). If only slightly low you can use complementary therapy including homeopathy and/or herbal supplements.

My advice is to avoid weight loss supplements and rather to develop new healthy lifestyle patterns including healthy eating and regular exercise. The key is to eat 5 to 6 times a day regularly (3 full meals and 2 to 3 snacks) with each meal containing small amounts of slow release carbohydrate and protein. This leads to sustainable weight loss and improved health. As your thyroid function normalizes it will be much easier to lose weight and maintain your ideal weight.

In situations like yours where you have already tried many different methods to lose weight, it might be useful to go to a dietician, nutritionist or holistic practitioner for specific guidance and support while you manage your thyroid function, develop a new lifestyle and lose weight.

You have been your ideal weight before, so you will be able to be that again!

Warm regards

Gabriell

Melissa Usher Dietician View profile

Many thanks for your query.

Exercise is essential to any weight loss plan. For effective weight loss, one should aim for 30-40 minutes of exercise 4-5 times a week. Try to focus on cardio-type exercises. Used regularly, vibration-type exercise equipment, like The Maxxus 800 will assist with weight loss and muscle toning. Exercise need not only be in the gym. Increase cardio activity during the day, by taking the stairs instead of the lift, walking instead of jumping in the car, taking part in sports at school and activity-type games at home.

Diet and exercise go hand in hand. The Glucophage 500 will help to reduce blood sugar levels. It is therefore essential that she eat small, regular meals that are low in fat and sugar and high in fibre. It is important to include a low GL source of carbohydrate at each meal in order to prevent blood sugar levels from falling to low.

Good luck!

Melissa Usher Dietician View profile

Many thanks for your query. Whey protein is beneficial as it helps to repair and build lean body mass after exercise. It is important to remember that while the whey protein supplement will help to improve lean body mass, it may cause an increase in body weight as your lean mass increases and body fat decreases. While whey protein supplements provide high quality, complete protein with essential amino acids, they also provide calories and fat. One serving of whey protein supplement is approximately equal in calories and carbohydrate to an in between meal snack. I would recommend 1-2 servings of the whey protein per day, taken after exercise. Perhaps combine the first serving with breakfast, ie. make a smoothie with the whey protein, fruit and oats. By combining the whey protein into your meals or taken instead of snacks, you will be consuming the beneficial protein without the additional calories. Remember to focus on cardio exercises to increase metabolic rate and burn fat. Regards Melissa

Melissa Usher Dietician View profile

Many thanks for your query on the hCG diet. hCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin) is a hormone produced during pregnancy to help the uterus sustain the foetus. There is very limited scientific evidence for it’s efficacy in weight loss. The hCG diet also recommends a very low calorie diet of 500kcal, around 700-1000kcal less than is normally recommended for weight loss. Due to the lack of scientific evidence and the difficulty in sustaining (not to mention the potential nutrient deficiency) of the very low calorie diet, I would not recommend that you follow it to lose weight. Instead, I would recommend a healthy eating plan and exercise regime. Your eating plan should consist of 3 meals a day with healthy, nutritious snacks between meals. Aim for a diet low in fat – choose fat-free or skimmed dairy products, remove all fat from meat, boil, bake or steam instead of frying, limit added fats like oil, margarine and butter and try to avoid high fat snacks like chips and chocolates. Try to limit sugar intake by limiting sugar added at the table and opting for sugar-free versions of every day foods and drinks. Aim for a diet high in fibre. This will help to keep you regular and help keep you fuller for longer. Choose oats, wholewheat or brown cereals, breads and pastas. Remember portion control. Small, frequent meals are better than 2-3 large ones. Exercise is vital to any weight loss programme. Aim for 40 minutes 3-5 times a week, over and above your daily chores and activities. Aim for exercise that leaves you a little out of breath. Remember: energy in = energy out, so the more you exercise the more calories you will burn, the more weight (and centimetres) you will lose. Aim for 0.5-1kg weight loss per week. Good luck! Kind regards. Melissa (Dietician)

Angela Lombard Nursing Practitioner View profile

This is difficult to say, as there are a number of factors that contribute to weight gain. As one ages, one’s metabolism also slows, making it harder to maintain ones ideal weight. This means, one needs to be more vigilant on the kinds and quantity of food one eats. You also needs to maintain regular exercise, performing at least 3 x 45 minute aerobic exercise sessions per week. As Yasmin worked for you in the past and you are wanting to continue on an oral contraceptive, it could help. You could also consider other forms of contraceptive such as the progesterone only pill or the depo injection.

Kind regards Dr Sean Gomes

Melissa Usher Dietician View profile

Many thanks for your query. Congratulations on your 5kg weight loss! I understand your frustration now that the weight loss has petered off. It is important to understand that any weight loss product needs to be taken as part of a healthy eating plan and exercise regime. Your eating plan should consist of 3 meals a day with healthy, nutritious snacks between meals. Aim for a diet low in fat – choose fat-free or skimmed dairy products, remove all fat from meat, boil, bake or steam instead of frying, limit added fats like oil, margarine and butter and try to avoid high fat snacks like chips and chocolates. Try to limit sugar intake by limiting sugar added at the table and opting for sugar-free versions of every day foods and drinks. Aim for a diet high in fibre. This will help to keep you regular and help keep you fuller for longer. Choose oats, wholewheat or brown cereals, breads and pastas. Remember portion control. Small, frequent meals are better than 2-3 large ones. Exercise is vital to any weight loss programme. Aim for 40 minutes 3-5 times a week, over and above your daily chores and activities. Aim for exercise that leaves you a little out of breath. Remember: energy in = energy out, so the more you exercise the more calories you will burn, the more weight (and centimetres) you will lose. Aim for 0.5-1kg weight loss per week. Good luck! Kind regards. Melissa (Dietician)

Sean (dr.) Gomes Medical Doctor View profile

Weight gain is listed as potential side effects in both these medications. Interestingly, weight loss is also listed as one of the potential side effect of Cilift. Minesse has one of the lowest doses of hormones of the combined oral contraceptive pill and hence it is reported as having less side effects. It does sound like your mood and energy levels have improved some what, so I would not recommend changing your medications at this stage. Losing weight takes perseverance and unfortunately there are no quick fixes. Increase the amount of aerobic work daily and try reduce the amount of calories in your diet. For further advice on dietary changes, I would recommend you visit our Kloof Store and have a chat to Taryn our Nutritional Therapist. She is available in the Foodmarket Monday-Friday afternoons. Kind regards Dr Sean Gomes

Sean (dr.) Gomes Medical Doctor View profile

Colopril is a colon cleanser & should not be used over a long period of time.

The Acai Berry is high in antioxidants & definitely boosts the metabolism.Hence will assist weightloss.There is also a known Acai Berry Diet, endorsed by Oprah Winfrey.

Acai Berry is known as a Superfood. We stock the brand Phyto Organix, which is organic, & available from our on-line shopping. Alternatively you can email onlineshop@wellneswarehouse.com


Kind regards, Felicia (Senior Pharmacist and Natural Medicine Consultant)

Angela Lombard Nursing Practitioner View profile

Weight loss is definitely not a side effect from using the Nur-Isterate contraceptive injection. There may be another medical reason as to why you are losing weight. I suggest that you book an appointment to see me at either of our two Well Clinics for a consultation. This will be inclusive of a comprehensive medical history and a proper physiological assessment, so as to determine the cause of your weight loss. Alternatively, you could see your general practitioner. Take care. Kind regards, Angela, Nursing Practitioner.

Melissa Usher Dietician View profile

The Patrick Holford Diet is a healthy and balanced eating plan.
It is also important to reduce your fat intake by choosing low fat food options (dairy, meat, snacks) and limit added fats (oil, margarine, butter). The GL of a banana is 16, but a chocolate is only 13…remember to look out for FAT! Remember to control your portion sizes and avoid those late night snacks.
In any weight loss program diet goes hand in hand with exercise. Try to increase your physical activity to at least 30min 3-4 times a week.
I suggest that you consult with a dietitian or our in-store naturopath as they will be able to assess your diet and determine deficiences which may need supplementation with certain vitamins and minerals. A change in your medication for hypothyroidism should only be made on consultation with your General Practitioner or Specialist.
Good luck, Melissa

Chase (dr.) Webber Naturopath View profile

The contraceptive pill can cause some women to put on weight, but given your comment on your nutrition it may well be the cause.
The best approach to losing weight is to begin a combined plan of daily exercise with a sensible nutritional plan. The exercise can be a daily walking program of 30-45minutes at a pace that gets your breathing slightly out-of-breath; and nutritionally - eat breakfast, lunch and supper made up of one third portion of: 1.A good lean protein such as fish, eggs, lean grain fed chicken, lean beef or lamb. 2.A good unrefined starch such as potato, rice, yams, butternut or pumkin. 3.A good salad vegetable such as tomato, carrots, spinach, watercress, rocket etc. or a good fruit such as apples, pears, peach, plum etc. By eating 3 meals made up using this one-third principle will give your body sufficient nutrition but because you stick to the correct proportion the body will correct its composition and you will slowley develop more natural taste cravings. Remember being CONSISTANT is better than being fanatical. regards Dr Chase.

Chase (dr.) Webber Naturopath View profile

That you have taken the first step by improving your nutritional choices and lost 12kg in 4-5 months is very positive. It is better to loose slowly yet consistently than to yo-yo with quick weight loss. It is not really possible to lose more than 1-2kg of (fat) a month, the rest is excess water in the tissues. So rather set a target of 2kg weightloss a month over a longer period and cultivate permanent lifestyle changes such as better nutrition and regular exercise. This creates permanent change. Your next step is to remain consistent and start exercise, even if this means just walking on a daily basis for 15-30minutes as a pace you can cope with in the beginning but slowly increasing as you get more confidence and your muscles strengthen. Exercise is vital at this stage so I would recommend you join a walking group to be supported and motivated in a safe way. Slowly but steadily is the best way….so congratulations and continue! best wishes Dr Chase Webber ND


Please Note:

The Wellness Q & A is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to diagnose or provide treatment for any condition. If you have any concerns about your health, you should always consult directly with your healthcare professional. Wellness Warehouse will not be liable for any errors in the Wellness Q & A, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon. The advice on the Wellness Q & A is not comprehensive and does not replace the assessment and advice of your own healthcare professional. Consultation with your healthcare professional is extremely important if you are experiencing persistent or severe symptoms.

Caution:

Consult your doctor, healthcare professional, and/or pharmacist before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. If you have a chronic illness or routinely take prescribed or over-the-counter (OTC) medication, or you are pregnant or breastfeeding, it is extremely important to consult your doctor, healthcare professional, and/or pharmacist before taking any new medication. Do not stop taking any prescription medication without consultation and guidance from your doctor.

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