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“We Lost 17 Kilos”: What IQS Members Are Saying About the 8-Week Program

So, you know the science behind the 8-Week Program, but what about the faces? We’ve spoken to our members to find out how they feel about the program – and the verdict is in. From weight loss to pain relief, our community have revealed their wins in light of our all new app launch. 

But first, why quit sugar? Well, the research is in – it’s killing you slowly. From your brain to your heart to your gut, it’s all connected, and sugar is at the heart (pun intended!) of our chronic disease epidemics. Obesity rates have tripled since 1975, with research showing the daily added sugar intake in 1750 was around a teaspoon, just a fraction of today’s numbers with Aussies consuming around 17 teaspoons of added sugar each day, far exceeding the 6-teaspoon recommendation, leaving many at risk of developing obesity. Studies prove that excessive sugar intake is a contributing factor in obesity, along with causing insulin resistance, which leads to diabetes. 

Just take a wander through your supermarket and you'll see why so many Aussies are hooked on the sweet stuff! It's convenient, easy and cheap (but only in the short term!) and the results are anything but. 

Obesity is a major public health issue in Australia, with the rates of obesity steadily increasing over the years. According to the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, around 31% of Aussie adults were classified as obese, with a further 37% classified as overweight. That means almost 70% of the adult population around the country is overweight or obese. One of the biggest culprits may look small and unassuming, but sugar is anything but. But we’re not just talking physical health. Research shows the incidence of depression is higher in those who consume excess sugar, and another study found anxiety was increasingly reported in those over 60 who have higher sugar intakes. With the global anxiety rate surpassing 7%, it’s a wide-spread health crisis with a range of causes – but sugar is a known contributor. It’s not just long-term conditions either, excess sugar consumption can also lead to a number of short-term consequences like blood sugar spikes. But that’s not all the sweet stuff does:

  • Increases our risk for brain degeneration
  • Worsens skin health – from wrinkles to acne
  • Leads to liver disease – yeah, even if you lay off the liquor!
  • Spikes your risk for nutrient deficiency
  • Encourages addictive behaviours

Ever noticed you can’t just stop at one piece of chocolate? There’s a reason for this. While sugar addiction hasn’t been confirmed in the scientific community, it is generally accepted that highly palatable sweet foods can elicit addictive behaviours. We also know that sugar has a strong effect on the reward system in the brain. Research has shown sugar triggers this system, provoking a stronger reward response than cocaine in some animal studies. It works by prompting the release of dopamine, the “feel-good” hormone, into the brain and triggering a reward-seeking cycle which leads to a number of addictive behaviours around seeking out sweet foods and struggling to control consumption. Researchers also note that many experience withdrawal symptoms when quitting sugar, from headaches and mood swings to cravings and even anxiety. One study found people who consumed excess sugar had higher cortisol levels, the “stress” hormone, and this can cause distressing feelings that further encourage us to seek out sugar to get that reward system firing.

From this effect, it’s not hard to draw the conclusion that we crave the sweet stuff because it triggers that “feel-good” hormone. The concept of addiction to food entails that people may have similar brain activation to that which occurs with alcohol or other drug use as a result of excessive consumption of palatable foods like sugar. The elements of addiction outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders include the following:

  • Loss of control of substance consumption
  • Growing motivation to consume the substance
  • Continued consumption of the substance in spite of health, social or other life consequences

Sounds familiar, right? Many of us struggling with sugar addiction recognise these signs, so it’s pretty clear to see the power of sugar.

That’s where we come in. Let’s take a look at how eating whole, real foods and enjoying hearty recipes – think lasagne, pasta bakes and curries – along with delicious desserts, minus the sugar crash, turned these former sugar addicts’ lives around.

What Members Are Saying About the 8-Week Program

So, what's everyone saying? From weight loss to improved skin, we see all manner of improvements on the program! 

The Weight is Sliding Off

Jess Munns: "I’ve always struggled with my relationship with food," Jess says. "Over the years, my weight went up and down as I tried different diets or just being “good”, only to fall into the shame spiral of dieting and bingeing.

"So for me it was more about the calmness not being stuck in a sugar cycle has brought to my life and for the first time not feeling guilty about eating." 

Tamsin: "Even my kids have said, 'Mummy’s big tummy has gone,' which just feels absolutely amazing,” Tamsin said. My husband has also lost 7 kilos! While admittedly, he struggled more than me because his colleagues were always offering him cake and biscuits, he pushed through, and now he looks fantastic.”

    The Food is Satisfying + Craving Crushing

    Sam Tomlinson: "The food was filling, so I didn’t feel the need to stand staring in the fridge and the pantry every night for half an hour every hour, and because the results were relatively instant for me, I felt motivated to keep going.

    "I lost 8kg over the 8 weeks, it felt like a steady gradual decline all the way through," Sam says. "Sometimes the scales didn’t move, but I could see from my face and the look of my clothes that I was losing weight everywhere."

    Alice: “I found the whole process ridiculously easy. Easier in fact than leaving me to shuffle through recipes at 5pm wondering what the heck I could whip up. The structure really is the total making of the program. ‘Here’s your recipes, here’s the shopping list, go.’ How could anyone with a family not be in love with that? It’s like mum porn basically. 

    “The initial intention was to try it by myself. My husband was nonchalant about the idea, but cooking separate meals just wasn’t going to happen. Hence everyone being dragged along for the ride!”

    Alice and her family have all benefited from the program.

    Yep, your whole family can benefit from the program. Keen to boost your gut, combat sugar cravings and feel fuller for longer? Come join us for the 8-Week Program. You don’t have to buy exotic ingredients or splash your cash on new appliances; every tool you need, you’ve likely already got, and our ingredients are easily found at your local grocer. Because we know how challenging it can be to make a change in your life, and it’s the little things that make it that much easier (and fun!). Take a look at some of the exciting recipes members enjoy:

    • Kale + Cauliflower Curry Puffs
    • Raspberry Breakfast Muffins
    • Prawn + Mango Tacos
    • Swede + Cannellini Bean Soup
    • Minty Salmon Brain-Boosting Bowl
    • Savoury Crepes
    • Spiced Sicilian Stew 

    Chronic Pain is Improved

    Danielle Maurice: “I have PCOS and with that comes very irregular, very heavy and very painful menstrual cycles and PMS. Since doing the 8-Week challenge my cycles have regulated, the pain only lasts a day rather than days and they are much lighter. I'm not needing to curl up in a ball with a hottie on my back and stomach.

    “I loved how everything was done for you,” she says. “The weekly meal plans and the shopping lists make quitting sugar much easier than if you were to try to go at it on your own.”

    Danielle enjoying her wedding, pain free!

    Jess Munns: “I haven’t had a migraine since I quit sugar.”

    Feeling Better Mentally + Physically

    Luisa McGrath: “I did not enjoy the slight headaches earlier on in week 1, but if anything, that just shows you how addictive sugar really is,” she says. “Once you get past the first few weeks of detox you realise your mood is affected by what you eat. I felt really good, not just in the achievement but the energy levels, feeling good in my body and the knowledge I now have.

    “Once you get past the first few weeks of detox you realise your mood is affected by what you eat.”

    Janice Mangas“I used to eat whatever I wanted, the junkier, the better,” Janice said. “I realised that my anxiety was making me binge when I was down, and it only made things worse.”

    “It changed everything, my overall bowel health is much better now, and my anxiety levels are more under control."


    Discovering a healthier, happier you has never been easier with the IQS 8-Week Program app. How does it work, you ask? Let's break it down. Personalised programs tailored to your health goals await at your fingertips after your answer a short quiz, and voila – you're matched with the ideal program crafted by the top experts in diet and nutrition.

    But that's not all. Need extra support? Say hello to 1-on-1 health coaching. Our dedicated team is here to guide, motivate, and arm you with the tools you need to succeed, every step of the way.

    Plus, with personalised meal planning and instant grocery lists, mealtime stress becomes a thing of the past. Easily track macros and calories with a single click, and dive into a treasure trove of delicious, easy-to-make recipes for every meal of the day. But perhaps the best part? You're never alone on your journey. Join our amazing community for unwavering support, hundreds of hours of instructional videos, and stay on track with supportive emails, notifications, and easy-to-do tasks. With the IQS 8-Week Program app, achieving your health goals has never been more achievable – or enjoyable. 

    Your wellness journey starts here – and we couldn't be more excited to embark on it with you. Sounds good, right? Register your interest here; the all-new app is launching FRIDAY .


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