The Diet From Down Under (cont.)

"As there was little research in the area at the time," says Noakes, "we embarked on a body of research to establish the most effective and healthy ways to lose weight."

A Growing Continent

It's no surprise that the Australian government took action. The rate of overweight and obese adults in Australia has almost doubled over the last 20 years, making the country one of the heaviest developed nations, according to the Australian Department of Health and Aging.

Funded by organizations including Meat and Livestock Australia, CSIRO conducted studies to determine whether weight loss diets higher in protein were at least as good, if not better, than high-carbohydrate diets when it came to fat loss and muscle preservation, according to the CSIRO web site.

Researchers found that women lost more weight and twice the amount of body fat on a higher-protein, low-fat plan than women on a high-carbohydrate, low-fat plan, and as a result reduced the risk factors relating to heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Thus the Total WellBeing Diet was born.

The Meal Plan

"It is essentially a nutritionally balanced diet with a higher level of lean protein to prevent hunger," says Noakes. "Most of the protein is derived from lean meat, fish, and low-fat dairy foods. The diet also contains adequate fiber from whole grains, fruit and vegetables."

Noakes tells WebMD that the Total WellBeing Diet is a lifelong lifestyle change. A best-selling book called The Total WellBeing Diet provides a sample menu for 12 weeks, with meals such as these:

Breakfast

  • 3/4 cup of high-fiber breakfast cereal with 250 milliliters low-fat milk
  • 1 serving of fresh fruit
Lunch
  • Egg-and-salad sandwich on two slices of whole-grain bread with two boiled eggs, lettuce and spring onions
  • 1 banana
Dinner
  • Coat a 200-gram chicken breast fillet in Moroccan spices, fry in 2 teaspoons of canola oil
  • Serve with 11/2 cups of steamed sweet corn, broccoli, and pumpkin While the menu looks appetizing, how does the plan compare to Atkins and South Beach?

Other than the telltale sign of carbohydrates, one of the biggest differences is exercise.

Total WellBeing vs. Atkins and South Beach