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Why we're still in love with the wellbeing diet

WHEN Professor Manny Noakes was creating the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet book, she joked one day about how great it would be if the publication beat Harry Potter on the bestseller lists.

This joke actually came true.

Prof Noakes did not expect the Total Wellbeing Diet book to receive as much hype as it did in 2005, beating Harry Potter and the Da Vinci Code in the bestseller list in the early days.

Initially, the book was designed to answer people's questions about high-protein diets and allow Prof Noakes and her co-author Peter Clifton to be left alone to continue their research.

But that's not exactly how it happened.

Prof Noakes said it all started when she was researching high-protein diets; how more protein increased metabolism and helped people burn more calories.

Volunteers who were part of the study wanted to know more about weight management, so the researchers started looking into it and came up with an eating plan.

As more people became interested, they decided to publish a book.

And soon the whole country jumped on board.

There was some criticism about the diet but Prof Noakes said this added to the interest.

"It allowed more media exposure and led to more book sales," she said.

The Total Wellbeing Diet is based around a high-protein and low-GI eating plan.

The high-protein element of the diet helps control hunger and prevents muscle loss, which helps during weight loss.

Lower GI carbohydrates give people more sustained energy and make them feel fuller for longer.

Prof Noakes said the diet gave the best outcome for body composition, which was more important than a person's actual weight on the scales.

The diet is now more than a decade old but it has not changed much. Prof Noakes said the amount of calcium and red meat had been altered slightly and now fitted in with national guidelines.

The plan is also not just about watching what you eat. As Prof Noakes says, "it's never just about dieting".

When it comes to exercise she said weight resistance exercise was the most beneficial with the Total Wellbeing Diet.

Looking ahead to the next few years, Prof Noakes said she was researching another high-protein eating plan involving meal replacements and how people could reset their eating habits.

Prof Noakes said it was interesting to see how much nutrition had developed over the years.

Diets, health and fitness are always popular subjects and Prof Noakes believes it is because weight issues affect so many people.

ARM NEWSDESK



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