Diet & Nutrition

‘Proper meal planning helped me lose 29kg’

Usually pretty healthy, Melissa’s sweet tooth meant she had a weakness for chocolate bullets. The CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet not only made meal planning easy, but she could avoid the ‘naughty’ aisle at the supermarket. 

Melissa had always had a reasonably healthy diet, but she also loved to bake and admits to having a sweet tooth.

She walked, around 40 minutes a day, but when a friend took a photo of her last June, the 52-year-old realised she “had been kidding myself”.

Speaking with Body+Soul, she says her sugar cravings were “getting to the point I would eat a whole packet of [chocolate] bullets on the train on the way home” and “walking just wasn’t enough to burn off all the calories I was eating.”

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She adds: “Being tall, I always thought I was carrying my weight well, but this photo showed me the truth.”

At her heaviest, Melissa weighed 112kg.

But while scrolling through her news feed one day, the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet came up. She’d also known a friend for whom the lifestyle had been effective so she decided to give it a go herself.

“The meal plans and shopping lists played a big part in choosing it,” she says.

“Meal planning and shopping is often the hardest part of dieting, and these tools mean I don’t need to go down the naughty aisles anymore, I just go around the edge of the supermarket!”

In the midst of the pandemic, Melissa found lockdowns were actually good for her weight loss journey because “being able to avoid social occasions, such as pub lunches and drinks after work, has made concentrating on weight loss much easier”.

She’s also running, and proudly states she completed the Couch to 5k running program with three 30-minute sessions a week.

“It’s something I could not have done, or even contemplated, 8 months ago!” she says.

Melissa has lost 29kg and has discovered the importance of accountability in a weight loss journey.

“I found being honest about the chocolate or chips I ate was a more positive way to deal with the lapse than pretending it didn’t happen,” she says.

“So plan the occasional treat and enjoy it, and make sure you have a great support network!”

Melissa’s day on a plate


The breakfasts are much more filling than I was ever used to, and I love the combinations of smoothies and overnight oats.


Lunches are generally straightforward, though I have to be on top of the protein content and remember to get chicken out of the freezer the night before.


I have quite a few favourites among the dinner menus too. The chicken korma with zucchini and peas is delicious, and the lentil ratatouille is another one I look forward to!


I have discovered that I am not much of a snacker and can manage between meals without needing anything extra.