Saturday, October 01, 2005

New Australian Diet Should Disturb Low-Carbers

There's yet another new weight loss plan set to hit bookstore shelves in the United States very soon and this one hails all the way from the land "down under" known as Australia. Already a HUGE success there and elsewhere, this book is expected to be an instant bestseller in America, too. It's called "The Total Wellbeing Diet" and it was developed by researchers at CSIRO led by Dr. Manny Noakes.

My commentary about this new book is available to read as one of my exclusive columns at CarbSmart Magazine. The article is entitled "Is The "Total Wellbeing Diet" A Good Low-Carb Option?" and it is available for you to read right now at the CarbSmart Magazine web site. You will recall from this previous post that I will be writing one exclusive column per month for CarbSmart Magazine that will only be available there and this is my first one. Check it out!

I'd love to get your feedback about this topic because it is something that I think needs to be discussed more often in the low-carb community. Should we be combining low-fat and low-carb together? What do you think about that idea? Let me know your thoughts on this subject after reading my opinions in the column I wrote for CarbSmart Magazine.

If you would like to respond directly to the creator of "The Total Wellbeing Diet," Dr. Manny Noakes, you can e-mail her at

10-03-05 UPDATE: Dr. Manny Noakes was gracious enough to respond to my concerns about her new diet:

Dear Jimmy

Thank you for your comments

The purpose of the CSIRO diet is to ensure both good health as well as weight loss. It is certainly not the only way to lose weight but it is an approach we have trialled extensively in many people and published many papers on it. It is possible to include more unsaturated fat in the diet bit to achieve a reasonable level of fibre, one either has to eat more kilojoules or replace some carbohydrate which is not nutritionally ideal.

Fats are included in the plan as are nuts, There are also 4 levels of the plan for different energy requirements.

We base our recommendations on research that both we and others have done. Arne Astrup has also found a low fat high protein diet effective as has Donald Layman.

The CSIRO diet was developed for Australians and fits within Australian eating culture. It may or may not suit all but it has certainly been researched more comprehensively in terms of efficacy, safety and health benefits than current popular diets.


Associate Professor Manny Noakes
Senior Dietitian/Research Scientist
Stream Leader - Diet and Lifestyle Interventions
CSIRO Human Nutrition
PO Box 10041, Adelaide BC
Ph 61 8 83038827
Fax 61 8 83038899

THANK YOU, Dr. Noakes. I appreciate the explanation and wish people well who attempt "The Total Wellbeing Diet."


Blogger calgal said...

I had to laugh when I read the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" line in your column Jimmy. I'm a 53 year old 4'11" woman who has lost over 120 pounds on Atkins, but I never could have done it without paying attention to calories and lowering fat grams as my weight decreased.

At 235 pounds, this wasn't necessary for me, but at 112 (which is a very good weight for a person of my, urmmm, limited, stature), portion size and calories surely do count, and the best way I have found to be able to eat non-bird-like meals has been to gradually decrease the percentage of my daily intake that comes from fat as I increased my carb count in the way Atkins suggested we do it as we pass from induction, to OWL, to pre-maintenance, and finally to maintenance.

Eating in a high (but healthy) fat way was important to my early success, but the key to maintenance, for small, older women like me may just be different than it is for bigger folks. The combination of low carb and low fat seems to be a good maintenance strategy for me.

Vicki Smith

10/02/2005 9:42 AM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

Hey Vicki,

THANKS for your comments. I am so glad to hear that a low-fat/low-carb approach is helping you keep the weight off of your "diminuitive" frame now that you have lost weight (CONGRATULATIONS, by the way!).

But my primary concern with "The Total Wellbeing Diet" is that they are encouraging people to eat that way to LOSE weight. This can be very discouraging for someone who thinks they need to monitor their fat intake while watching their carbs. You just don't have to do it!

As your body gets smaller and smaller, you portion sizes and fat will go down as well. But it happens naturally and should not be mandated by any diet program.

THANKS again for sharing your thought!

10/02/2005 11:50 AM  
Blogger lowcarbergal said...

Jimmy, as someone who has made lowcarbing a way of life, I totally agree with you. I truly believe as we lose weight our portions (and therefore fat intake)will naturally go down. I too feel it should definitely not be mandated by any diet program.

And, please correct me if I am wrong, but wasn't Atkins MAIN emphasis on slowly increasing carb count until you find your critical carb level? Nowhere did I ever read that he blessed a low fat eating plan!

When I finally lose ALL my weight, I'll just slowly up my carb intake until I find a comfortable level.

In fact, remember the New York Times article What If Fat Doesn't Make You Fat? by Gary Taubes? Well he has a book coming out in March (do an amazon search), debunking the myth that fat makes you fat! And this coming from a well-accepted scientist! Can't wait to get my hands on that book Jimmy!

I could never do as well as I'm doing if I had to limit my fat and eat low fat protein as well. My gut instinct tells me that what works for me now, will work for me in maintenance. I have NO desire whatsover to return to the way I USED to eat, by drastically upping my carbs or lowering my fat. I would rather eat very low carb the rest of my life than do that! And believe me, it's not sacrifice!

Keep it up Jimmy! Great article in Carbsmart!

10/02/2005 12:10 PM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

Hey lowcarbergal,

THANK YOU for your comments. You are EXACTLY right about what Dr. Atkins called for regarding increasing your carbs. I currently eat about 75-100 carbs per day whereas that number was closer to 30 when I was losing weight. It really does evolve from weight loss to weight maintenance, but I have never lowered my fat intake.

I'd be interested in checking out that book by Taubes as well. It will turn the healthy industry establishment on its heels and could provide fuel for a very heated debate over the fat vs. sugar controversy regarding obesity. Don't you know I'll be voicing my opinion when that happens! LOL!

From all the research coming out about the positive impact of protein, I think people's minds will change (slowly) just as they have regarding carbs. This is a work in progress and we will eventually help educate people that livin' la vida low-carb is not such a bad idea after all.

THANKS for all you are doing to spread that message!


10/02/2005 12:24 PM  
Blogger calgal said...

I do though wonder if the journey is the same for folks who have only a relatively small amount to lose.

I know that by the last 10-20 pounds, the lower fat part of this had started to kick in as part of my push toward goal. If I had only been 10 or 20 pounds overweight to begin with, I don't honestly know if the high fat low carb way still have been a good strategy for me.

Those of us who start with lots and lots of weight to lose have one real advantage over our more light weight brothers and sisters, we have loads of time to make the adjustments, step by step, that (with luck and hard work) will get us not just to goal, but also to a real "in the bones" knowledge of how we need to eat to stay healthy and slim.

I don't know if I could have made the *head* part of that journey if I had a relatively small amount of pounds to lose, though perhaps I am just making lemonade out of lemons.


10/02/2005 12:30 PM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

Hey Vicki,

I think you have hit on something very important about the low-carb lifestyle that isn't talked about very much. While stories of people who have lost 100+ pounds on low-carb get our attention, most people don't have THAT much weight to lose and, thus, would not need to make the same kind of major changes in their eating habits.

While I cannot speak as a person who "only" needed to lose 20-30 pounds, I know that when you commit yourself to livin' la vida low-carb in the traditional manner that it will result in weight loss.

There's a friend of mine at work who is an avid volleyball player and he goes on Induction every year right before the season begins to drop that 15-20 pounds he picked up during the offseason. This guy is anything but fat, but he sees the benefit of following a low-carb plan (by the book without regard for fat, calories, or portions). Within two weeks, he ready to go.

I write about this in my book, but we really need to get over our fear of fat in this country. Fat phobia has been perpetuated by the government constantly ramming that message down our throats until now we believe eating ANY fat is harmful to us. I contend that SUGAR is much more of a health risk and danger than fat ever has or ever will be. The longer we ignore the role of sugar in the obesity epidemic, the longer we will continue to see obesity exist and in greater numbers in the U.S. and around the world.

For the most part, if people would just become a little more carb-conscious, then they could make a lot of headway towards improving their health and weight.

10/02/2005 12:44 PM  
Blogger lowcarbergal said...

Jimmy, the name of the book by Gary Taubes is "A Big Fat Lie: What if Fat Doesn't Make you Fat?"

It will be released March 31, 2006.

A search on amazon brings you to a book with a big steak on the cover covered with a pat of butter! Mmmm...looks good to me!

I believe I read elsewhere, in an interview with Gary Taubes, he said this book will certainly support lowcarbing.

Jimmy, if you could interview him for this blog wouldn't that be great? (Just wishing...)

10/02/2005 12:48 PM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

Hey lowcarbergal,

I'm already working on it. His publisher will probably be willing to do the interview when the release date gets closer. We'll be all over it I promise. :-)

I do like the cover. Kinda puts an exclamation point on the book's subject matter, don't you think? It's gonna drive the low-fatties crazy!

10/02/2005 12:52 PM  
Blogger lowcarbergal said...

...laughing so much I got the hiccups!!!

10/02/2005 4:56 PM  
Blogger Trish Landrum said...

Even Dr. Atkins (and other low carb programs) have said that calories count, even from fat, and that 3 eggs and 3 pieces of bacon for breakfast are too much. I really enjoy foods with lots of fat but cannot keep the weight off eating excess fat. If your body does not give you the satiety feeling you need, then you need to monitor the amount of calories in your diet, which means limited amounts of fat. But I try to include as much fat as I can and forego carbs and fiber instead (Benefiber works), since healthy fats are good for your skin and hair and help prevent arthritis as well. It is also proven that it takes fat to burn fat, which means you're burning mostly muscle when dieting if you don't have fat in your diet, which is not what most of us have in mind. So I guess the bottom line for me is to go semi-low fat since I cannot afford the calories.

10/03/2005 4:33 PM  

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