Commonly Asked Questions

I have diabetes. Can I use KicStart™?

Losing weight has been shown to improve blood sugar levels and control diabetic symptoms. KicStart™ has been studied in, and is often recommended for, people with type 2 diabetes, however you will need to let your GP know that you are intending to lose weight as they will need to monitor you carefully and may need to reduce your dosage of medications especially if you use insulin to manage your blood sugar levels.

Can I use KicStart™ if I have high blood pressure?

Studies have shown that losing weight with KicStart™ can lower your blood pressure and or cholesterol levels so if you have either of these conditions, let your doctor know before you start losing weight as they may need to adjust or even cease some of your medications.

Can I use KicStart™ if I’m lactose intolerant?

The protein used in the manufacture of KicStart™ is primarily dairy based therefore all the shakes and 2 of the soups do contain naturally occurring lactose. The 2 soups that are lactose free are the Asian Beef and Pea & Ham. The very lowest amounts of lactose are in the Pumpkin & Herb and the Italian Style Tomato flavoured soups.

Those who have mild lactose intolerance or sensitivity may be able to utilise a lactase supplement to assist in reducing symptoms of lactose intolerance whilst using KicStart™ VLCD. Lactase is the naturally occurring enzyme that breaks down lactose in the gut and supplements of this enzyme are available so please discuss the available options with your local pharmacist.

If you have a history of severe lactose intolerance please first discuss with your doctor or dietitian whether KicStart™ is actually going to be appropriate for you.

Does KicStart™ contain Gluten?

For those diagnosed with coeliac disease, it is important to know that KicStart™ shake products have been tested to a sensitivity of 5 ppm - (parts per million) - and the gluten content was found to be undetectable, meaning that to all intents & purposes they are gluten free.

Due to legal requirements of food manufacture, as some of the trace ingredients of KicStart™ shakes are sourced from products that may contain gluten we are obliged to warn of the possibility that the powder may contain traces of gluten. However we have had a number of people with coeliac disease use KicStart™ shakes quite successfully. 

Note:- Some of the KicStart™ VLCD soup products DO CONTAIN GLUTEN  at a detectable level of up to 80ppm and as such MAY NOT BE APPROPRIATE FOR THOSE WITH COELIAC DISEASE OR GLUTEN INTOLERANCE.

If you have a history of gluten intolerance please discuss with your doctor or dietitian whether this product is appropriate for you.

Does KicStart™ contain any genetically modified ingredients?

All manufacturing of KicStart™ takes place in Australia. Our manufacturing facility follows HACCP guidelines, and in addition as part of their Quality Assurance policies, have a "no Genetically Modified Ingredients" policy. As such we can guarantee that no ingredient used in the manufacture of KicStart™ is sourced or derived from genetically modified raw materials.

Can I use KicStart™ whilst I’m pregnant or breastfeeding?

KicStart™ is not recommended for use by pregnant, nursing or lactating (breastfeeding) women. Please consult your doctor before commencing any program of calorie restriction or weight loss during this time. To assist with healthy food choices during pregnancy or breastfeeding we recommend you take a look at the Healthy Eating page.

I am prone to constipation, how can I prevent this from occurring?

Whilst KicStart™ contains 2 different types of soluble fibre to help reduce cholesterol re-absorption, maximise hunger satisfaction and decrease the likelihood of constipation, people who are accustomed to a reasonably high fibre diet may experience some constipation when they start using KicStart™. This can be quickly rectified by the addition of a fibre supplement such as Metamucil™ or Benefibre™, adequate intake of fruits and vegetables, drinking more water & ensuring any carbohydrates consumed are of the grainy variety eg multigrain or wholemeal breads, wholemeal pasta, brown rice, porridge oats or untoasted muesli.

Can KicStart™ cause diarrhoea?

For some individuals the increased consumption of soluble fibre in KicStart™ or the lactose content may result in flatulence, looser and/or more frequent stools in the first few days.

If it is due to the fibre, 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 activated charcoal for a few days to absorb the excess carbon dioxide being produced.

If the symptoms persist or become intolerable, stop for a few days then re-introduce the sachets gradually at a later stage eg 1 every second day, then daily, then twice daily.

If there is abdominal pain or discomfort, this may indicate that you could have significant lactose intolerance and should discontinue KicStart™. Alternately you could try a medicated product such as Lacteze™ to help break down the lactose.

I have just started the program and am experiencing headaches. Is this normal?

Some people may experience headaches in the first few days of 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 are usually transient and will most likely disappear after a few days. If they do persist for longer than a few days, please consult your GP.

What type of liquid should I use to make the shake with?

The sachets should only be made up with water. The quantity of water you add can be increased or decreased to suit your personal taste and won't alter the effectiveness of the product.

The KicStart™ soup mixes best with cold water in a shaker. The prepared soup can then be heated on the stove top or in a microwave (please note the HWFL shaker is not suitable for use in the microwave). The soups can also be made up with hot water by whisking in a large soup mug or bowl. NEVER put hot liquid into a shaker.

What if I find I initially don't enjoy the taste of KicStart™?

For some people drinks that are high in protein can initially taste or smell a little bit unusual for the simple fact that it is something they are not familiar with. Most people find a flavour that they are happy with or quickly become accustomed to the new tastes and before long will enjoy the flavour.

In the trials and across the thousands of people undertaking our programs using KicStart™, over 80% of patients were still on the program after 4 months, so the majority of people do work out a flavour profile that works for them.

There are a number of things that can be done to help people adjust the flavour of KicStart™ to their taste without taking away from the excellent nutritional aspects of the product.

Some tips are :-

    * use an electric blender with some ice cubes to make the drink icy cold.

    * pour the shake into a large drinking glass and drinking it with a straw

    * add ½ - 1 teaspoon of instant coffee to the vanilla or chocolate shake when shaking

    * add a sprinkle of spice when shaking (eg. nutmeg or cinnamon)

What can I do to achieve flavour variety?

KicStart™ is available in a range of shake and soup flavours. Some additional serving suggestions that people have tried and that we can recommend are:-

    * blending with crushed ice to make a “daiquiri”

    * blending the vanilla shake with a half dozen fresh or frozen berries

For other suggestions please refer to the KicStart™ Preparation and Flavours page.

What can I do to make KicStart™ less sweet?

Adding 1/4 teaspoon of instant coffee powder to an appropriately flavoured shake will reduce the sweetness of the shake.

Blending with crushed or cubed ice to make the shake very cold dimishes the sweetness.

Alternatively you could try the savoury KicStart™ soup varieties.

What can I do to make KicStart™ sweeter?

There are a number of commercially available natural or artificial sweeteners that can be added to KicStart™ without increasing the calorie content significantly, eg Stevia, Nutrasweet®, Extra®, Splenda® etc.

What can I do to make KicStart™ taste less salty?

Some people may find the unique formulation of KicStart™ a little salty. This is due to the very important inclusion of essential electrolytes, vitamins, minerals and trace elements that go into making KicStart™ nutritionally complete.

By making the shake very cold (adding ice cubes when mixing) the unusual taste of these vital ingredients will be less detectable.

Can I make  a warm drink with KicStart™ Chocolate or Cafe Latte shakes?

You can drink KicStart™ shakes warm. We do recommend however that you prepare a cold shake as normal then transfer to a heat-proof container and heat in the microwave to the desired temperature. Do not heat KicStart™ in a plastic shaker, do not shake hot water in a shaker and never add boiling water directly to the dry shake powder.

Can I freeze KicStart™ to make a sorbet?

Freezing a prepared shake makes a refreshing “gelati”. You could also blend ice cubes with the powder and 100ml of liquid to make a “slushie”.

How much weight will I lose?

The amount of weight you lose will be dependant upon several factors.

These factors are:-

  • How much you weigh to begin with. 
  • How many meals you replace with KicStart™.
  • How much activity you are doing each day to burn off the energy you are consuming.
  • What quantity and type of food you are consuming in addition to KicStart™ during the day. For healthy food choices we recommend only free foods.

How many meals should I replace per day?

We recommend only replacing a maximum of two meals per day with KicStart™ unless your medical practitioner has presribed a more intensive weight loss regime as part of a supervised total meal replacement VLCD program.

What else can I eat while using KicStart™ to lose weight?

If you are using KicStart™ as a partial meal replacement ie replacing 1-2 meals per day, your third meal should be high in fibre, contain moderate portions of carbohydrate and lean protein and be low in fat. 

In addition, refer to the Healthy Eating For Life page for food suggestions and a list of free foods that can be enjoyed any time without detracting from your weight loss efforts. 

Can I have a drink of alcohol when using KicStart™?

It is important to remember that alcohol has no nutritional benefit and does contribute to your overall energy intake for the day which can’t be overlooked when you are trying to lose weight or even maintain a healthy weight.

In addition, in some people alcohol can stimulate appetite and/or reduce inhibitions leading to more food being eaten than initially intended. It is preferable especially during any program of weight loss, that you try to limit or avoid alcohol if possible.

If you do choose to have alcohol, in order not to sabotage your weight management efforts,  we suggest that you try to balance it out with some extra activity. The energy in 1 full strength beer or a standard glass of wine equates to approximately 30 minute walking. So enjoy a glass of wine with dinner, but make sure you also do an additional 30mins of brisk walking for the day (over and above your usual planned activity) and your energy balance should be about equal.

If you would like some more information on safe alcohol consumption you can refer to the NHMRC's Australian Guidelines to reduce Health Risks from Drinking Alcohol

If you have a question with regards to KicStart™ or any of our other products or programs, that is currently not answered within this site, we would love to hear from you.

Please email your questions to