hwfl heart health banner

Program Overview

Program Phases

Measuring Waist

KicStart™ VLCD

Portion Control


Type 2 Diabetes

Important Safety Information

To help make sure members who are participating in the Healthy Weight for Life program, and also have other health conditions (such as Heart Disease, Type 2 Diabetes and Osteoarthritis), get the most out of the program and stay safe there are some important notices that must be covered before you get started.

IMPORTANT: This program has been designed to assist you and your healthcare team, optimally manage a range of your modifiable health risk factors such as Heart Disease, Type 2 Diabetes and Osteoarthritis. It does not replace the advice given by your own healthcare professional or medical practitioner. Please consult your GP before commencing this program and attend regular checkups to keep them updated with your progress.

With calorie (or kilojoule) restriction, increased physical activity and weight loss you may experience substantial improvements in your blood glucose control, blood pressure or cholesterol. As your measurements change it is important to regularly visit your GP or specialist as adjustments may need to be made to the dosages of some of your medications.

Pre-existing Health Conditions and Medications

Extra caution and close supervision by your regular healthcare provider is necessary if you have multiple co-existing conditions, have a history of gout, gall bladder, kidney or liver problems and those aged over 65.

For those taking regular prescription medication (in particular warfarin, insulin, oral diabetes medication and blood pressure medication), it is important that you and your doctor have already discussed a plan for how to best manage your medication whilst on the program.

The specialised allied health team at Healthy Weight For Life have extensive experience in helping people modify and navigate their programs to ensure they get the best outcomes whilst managing their co-existing health conditions so please call the team on 1800226180 if you ever have a query.

Exercise Precautions

Before you start any new exercises or significantly increase your level of physical activity more than usual, please check with your doctor first. They will determine if the additional activity or exercises are safe for you based on your health status and personal circumstances.

It is very important that you only do exercises within your physical capabilities. The exercises should not be difficult or cause you to be breathless – start slowly & take your time to build up gradually.

Some minor discomfort may be experienced during some of the exercises or stretches. This is normal BUT it is important that you do not continue exercising with increasing pain, or pain that is moderate to severe.

Dietary Precautions – lactose intolerance (bloating, wind pain, diarrhoea)

The protein used in the manufacture of KicStart™ is primarily dairy based therefore the shakes and soups do contain naturally occurring lactose. Those who have mild lactose intolerance or sensitivity may be able to utilise a lactase supplement (lactase is the enzyme that breaks down lactose) such as Lacteeze™ tablets to assist in reducing symptoms of lactose intolerance. Please discuss the available options with your local pharmacist.

Dietary Precautions - coeliac disease & gluten intolerance

For those with diagnosed coeliac disease, please be advised that the KicStart™ shakes are gluten free (no gluten detected to a sensitivity of 5ppm). The Pumpkin & Chicken KicStart™ soups however do contain gluten (detectable at 80ppm) and should not be used by those with a gluten intolerance or allergy. Please call our team on 1800226180 if you have specific queries about the nutritional content of the KicStart™ VLCD products.

Dietary Precautions - general

If you have been advised at any time to follow specific dietary guidelines eg. low protein, dairy free, gluten free, nut free etc. or if you have a known food allergy please speak with your supervising healthcare professional about your specific circumstances before commencing the Healthy Weight For Life program.
Weight loss and VLCD potential adverse effects

Some people who use a VLCD report minor side effects such as fatigue, constipation, nausea and diarrhoea. These conditions are usually transient in nature, should improve within the first week and rarely prevent people from completing the program. The Healthy Weight For Life have extensive experience in helping people overcome these issues so please call to discuss anything that is troubling you during the program.

Constipation & other bowel symptoms

Whilst KicStart™ contains 2 different types of soluble fibre, people who are accustomed to a reasonably high fibre diet or those who are prone to constipation may experience symptoms which can be quickly rectified by the addition of a daily fibre supplement such as Metamucil™ or Benefibre™.

Other supportive measures include drinking more water, getting plenty of regular exercise & ensuring any carbohydrates consumed are of the fibre-rich grainy variety eg multigrain bread, wholemeal pasta, brown rice, porridge oats or untoasted muesli.

For some individuals an increase in consumption of soluble fibre may result in flatulence and looser and/or more frequent stools in the first few days. The body usually becomes quickly accustomed to the additional fibre and rarely do people need to discontinue treatment.

If excess flatulence becomes a problem you may like to speak to your local pharmacy about using charcoal tablets for a few days to absorb the excess carbon dioxide being produced.


Some people may experience headaches in the first few days upon commencing a meal replacement program. For many, simply increasing their water intake will help alleviate this. For others, a simple analgesic eg Panadol™ will help. It's important to know also that the headaches will not be permanent and will most likely disappear after a few days. If they persist however, please consult your GP.


Individuals with a history of gout should be aware that ironically both obesity and weight loss can be triggers for increased uric acid levels and could lead to an attack of gout. A base line serum uric acid measurement should be taken in those who have a history of gout and in addition it is recommended that they have their serum uric acid monitored regularly during their weight loss program. Maintaining good hydration throughout the program will be the best prevention against attacks of gout.

If any signs or symptoms of gout are experienced (sudden and significant pain, heat or inflammation in a joint), please consult your GP as soon as possible.

Gall Stones

One common side effect seen with any method of significant weight loss (including VLCDs) is gallstone formation. The symptoms of gallstone formation include recurrent pain in the upper abdomen or the back, nausea and vomiting, indigestion, flatulence or general discomfort in the abdomen. The exact reason for this is unclear but it may be that rapid weight loss tends to decrease the gallbladder's ability to contract to release bile and so the bile stays in the bladder for longer and hardens into stones. The symptoms are felt when a stone gets stuck in the neck of the bladder. If you have a history of gall stones and your gall bladder has not previously been removed, please consult your GP before you commence a program of weight loss to confirm it is appropriate for you. Those who have had their gall bladder previously removed should experience no effects.

Additional Considerations for people with Type 2 Diabetes

>>>  Hypoglycaemia
>>>  What usually causes a low blood glucose level?
>>>  How will I feel when my blood glucose is low?
>>>  Why are "hypos" bad?
>>>  Treating "hypos"
>>>  How to avoid low blood glucose levels
>>>  Other Precautions
>>>  Additional precautions during exercise

Hypoglycaemia (“hypo”)

For patients with type 2 diabetes the term often used to describe the situation where blood glucose levels become too low is a "HYPO" - short for the medical term hypoglycaemia – which simply means low blood glucose level.

What usually causes a low blood glucose level?

  • Not eating enough food or not eating enough carbohydrate with your meal
  • Skipping or delaying a meal or missing snacks if they are part of your food plan
  • Taking too much insulin or too much diabetes medication
  • Introducing an exercise routine without making adjustments to your medication doses if your blood glucose levels start to go low
    It is important for you to exercise. But once your exercise is well in place you may find you and your doctor need to reduce either your insulin dose, or your dose of diabetes tablets
  • Losing weight without regularly consulting your doctor to review your medication
  • Drinking alcohol in excess or without taking carbohydrate food

Low blood glucose levels can happen even when you're working really hard to actively manage your diabetes. Although often you can't entirely prevent them from happening, low blood glucose levels can be treated before they get worse.

How will I feel when my blood glucose is low?

You may feel some or all of the following symptoms of a hypoglycaemic episode ("hypo"):

  • shaky
  • sweaty
  • feeling unwell
  • heart palpitations
  • tingling around the mouth and tongue
  • hunger
  • double vision or blurriness
  • confusion

On the other hand, you may feel none of these symptoms at all, and for those people who tend not to experience any symptoms, it is wise to ensure you are testing your levels regularly.

Why are "hypos" bad?

Your brain needs adequate glucose all the time to work properly. If the level of glucose to a person's brain gets dangerously low (less than 4mmol/L) they can become unconscious or slip into a coma.

Treating "hypos"

If your blood glucose is low you need glucose immediately to keep your brain functioning. People who take insulin or diabetes tablets are advised to:

  • Carry some glucose or simple carbohydrates with them at all times e.g. glucose tablets, jelly beans or a small box of fruit juice
  • Keep a blood glucose testing meter handy to check their blood glucose regularly

If you experience any of the above symptoms, are feeling unwell and you don't have your meter handy, it is safest to assume you are experiencing low blood glucose and treat accordingly by:

  • Immediately have some quick acting simple sugars eg glucose tablets, jelly beans or fruit juice
  • Wait 5 minutes and then have a meal or a snack containing more complex carbohydrate food eg a sandwich, a banana, 3 - 4 plain biscuits or a meal containing potato, pasta, or rice
  • After 15 - 20 minutes, check your blood glucose

How to avoid low blood glucose levels

  1. Be aware of what can cause low blood glucose levels and avoid or prepare for these situations
  2. Test and record your levels regularly & discuss them with your healthcare professional
  3. Visit your healthcare professional if you notice that your blood glucose levels are often low, or if you notice that they are often low at a particular time of the day

Other precautions

If you are on medication e.g insulin or tablets, wear or carry some form of identification that clearly states you have diabetes incase you need assistance and are unable to communicate during a hypo eg. Medic-Alert bracelets.

Additional precautions during exercise

Blood glucose levels respond variably to exercise. Early signs of a low blood glucose level (hypoglycaemia) are sweating, feeling faint and weakness which may be overlooked during exercise.

  1. Do not exercise if you are sick with flu, infection or any other illness that will affect your blood sugar levels
  2. Look after your feet. People with diabetes can readily experience complications because of nerve and circulation problems that result as a complication of high blood glucose. Buy shoes which are well-made for the type of exercise you do and which fit you well. Wear cotton, absorbent socks and change your socks immediately after exercising. Inspect your feet daily for signs of friction or pressure sores e.g. redness, blisters or cracks. Visit your podiatrist regularly to check the health of your feet.
  3. Visit your GP regularly to review your medications

Additional Help, Information, Support

For additional help, information or support please don't hesitate to contact the Healthy Weight For Life team at any time on

Phone: 1800 226 180 (free call)
Email:  hwfl@hwfl.com.au
Web:   http://diabetes.hwfl.com.au

Complaints or Concerns

The Type 2 Diabetes Healthy Weight For Life program is run by Prima Health Solutions Pty Ltd (Prima) for and on behalf of participating health insurance funds.

If you have a complaint or concern about any aspect of the Program please don't hesitate to contact Luke Lawler, Prima CEO and Scientific Director directly, on

Phone: 1800 226 180 (free call)
Email: luke@primahealth.com.au

About Prima Health Solutions

PRIMA is a quality certified health care organisation (AS/NZS ISO 9001:2015) that is dedicated to the research, development and remote delivery of specialised obesity related chronic disease management and prevention products and programs.

The PRIMA products and services include KicStart™ VLCD, the Osteoarthritis Healthy Weight for Life program, the Type 2 Diabetes and Heart Healthy Weight for Life™ programs.