As the weather warms up and we venture out more, many of us start thinking about getting healthier and in better shape for the season ahead. In certain instances, some people may need to lose a lot of weight quickly (as is required leading into surgery in some cases).
So, how can we achieve our weight loss goals, whatever they may be, while ensuring that we maintain physical and mental health, wellbeing and a balanced nutrient intake? This month we spoke with Accredited Practising Dietitian and ambassador for BioSlim, Susie Burrell about the BioSlim range and her tips for effective weight loss that lasts.
Tell us a little bit about your professional background and how you came to work with BioSlim.
I’ve been a dietitian specialising in weight management for more than 20 years and, as such, regularly work with clients of various backgrounds with a wide range of weight loss goals.
With the research backing the use of very-low-calorie diets (VLCDs) as an effective way to support those who require rapid and large amounts of weight loss, the partnership with BioSlim presented as an amazing opportunity to support my clients while demonstrating the effectiveness and benefits associated with VLCDs.
VLCDs benefit most of those who require rapid weight loss when it’s essential to health and wellbeing and a) have significant amounts of weight to lose, or b) want to lose weight quickly.
What are some healthy strategies when it comes to sustainable weight loss?
When looking to lose a large amount of weight, it’s so important to work alongside a healthcare professional, such as an Accredited Practising Dietitian, who can work with you to develop a plan that suits you and your lifestyle, while helping you to achieve the weight loss goals you have for yourself.
Focus on the foods to eat more of, rather than what to avoid and restrict, and have the time and energy to focus on these weight loss goals for several weeks, so you can achieve initial success because this initial success is a strong predictor of long-term results.
What are your thoughts on some of the popular weight-loss trends, such as intermittent fasting, Keto, Atkins, calorie counting, etc.? Are these methods effective or are they largely fads?
All diets are effective if you’re able to stick to them. The issue with many diets, however, is that they’re not sustainable long term. The great thing about programs like BioSlim is that they have strong scientific evidence to support their effectiveness. Additionally, they’re flexible to adjust to fit into people’s lifestyles long term, once weight loss goals are achieved.
Tell us more about BioSlim’s VLCD products. What are these and what are the benefits of using these products?
The BioSlim range is a system of formulated shakes, bars and soups for individuals to either utilise a VLCD for a set time period to induce ketosis or use the calorie-controlled individual range to compliment calorie-controlled diets daily.
BioSlim is suitable as a full meal replacement for up to 12 weeks for those with a BMI over 30, as a steady weight loss option for those with a BMI over 25 when used to replace two meals per day, or as an upkeep option for those looking to maintain their weight loss results when used to replace one meal per day.
Why are VLCDs a great option for those looking to lose weight quickly?
VLCDs are proven to support relatively quick weight loss by inducing ketosis and support blood glucose control. In addition, they work exceptionally well in both the short and long term at supporting weight losses, with the average person achieving a 1-3kg loss per week.
I understand these are nutritionally complete, and also contain ‘SlimBiome’. Can you tell us more about this?
All VLCDs are nutritionally complete and will ensure adequate nutrient intake if they’re utilised as a complete meal replacement system for a period of time.
SlimBiome is a key ingredient in the BioSlim range – it takes up additional room in the stomach, stimulating the growth of healthy, positive bacteria in the gut. The SlimBiome blend of prebiotics and dietary fibre helps to create a longer-lasting feeling of fullness.
In addition, the trace mineral content helps to metabolise carbohydrates and fat, and maintain blood sugar levels. The inclusion of prebiotic fibres maintains gut microbiome diversity, providing improved gut health.
How do BioSlim shakes compare with similar products on the market?
While it’s important to note that the macro and micronutrient profiles of all VLCDs are similar, BioSlim has the added bonus of the SlimBiome ingredient, an ingredient shown to create a longer-lasting feeling of satiety. In addition, the range is extensive, with shakes, bars and soups, meaning that the program is varied and versatile, and easy to incorporate into busy lifestyles.
What are the indications for use? At which point would someone think about VLCD shakes versus healthy eating?
There can be many indications for starting a VLCD program. However, the range is designed for people requiring rapid weight loss when essential to their health and wellbeing.
Anyone who has a significant amount of weight to lose and a BMI greater than 25 – for example, more than 20-30kg – is a good candidate for a VLCD program. Before commencing any weight loss program, [seeking] advice from a healthcare professional [is always recommended] to determine if the BioSlim program is the appropriate weight-loss method for your circumstances.
However, we know that losing the first few kilos quickly is predictive of long-term compliance and success, which is where a VLCD can be helpful to get started. VLCDs are also great for busy people who want to shift a smaller amount of weight safely in a couple of weeks – here, BioSlim is an excellent option.
Are there any contraindications for using the shakes?
There is a range of contraindications to starting on a VLCD, including pregnancy, breastfeeding and other medical issues and/or medications, so it’s best to advise that interested parties consult with their GP or specialist before beginning a VLCD.
If someone is wanting to use a VLCD product, how do they get started? Do they need GP/dietitian supervision?
While BioSlim is available over the counter at community pharmacies, it’s recommended to use the product under the supervision of a healthcare professional.
In my professional experience, I also find that weight loss clients always do best when they have the ongoing support of an Accredited Practising Dietitian to support their weight loss journey and mould the VLCD to their weight loss goals and lifestyle.
How long would someone stay on the VLCD? How do they transition towards healthy eating?
Everyone is different, but anywhere from two weeks to three to six months, depending on the individual’s weight loss goals.
Once weight loss goals are achieved, working with your healthcare professional to integrate whole foods back into the diet is an important transition stage to maintain the goal weight.
Can weight loss be maintained when the person comes off the meal replacement products and starts eating healthily?
The BioSlim program offers a transition program that outlines exactly how to best move on from the program. The transition phase is an important one, which is why working with a dietitian is the best way to get the best results from a VLCD in the longer term.
This interview was originally published in the September issue of Retail Pharmacy Assistants e-magazine.