Diet & Nutrition

CSIRO Total Wellbeing diet review: A dietitian weighs in

Dietitian Melissa Meier reviews one of the most Googled and tried weight loss plans of the moment – the CSIRO Total Wellbeing diet. 

If you’re on a mission to lose weight, chances are, you’ve tried a lot of diets. Keto, low carb, sirtfood, paleo, gluten free, vegan… They all come in and out of fashion over and over again, and more often than not, leave you worse off than when you started. And that’s exactly why I’m not a fan of silly fad diets.

That being said, however, there are some diets that are relatively sensible and could help you reach your weight loss goals. One of them is the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet. Here’s what you need to know.

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The good

The CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet is in high protein and low GI – two things I’d recommend to anyone trying to lose weight as they help with hunger management. Foods that are rich in protein (think: eggs, seafood, tofu, chicken) are super satisfying because they take a long time to digest, while low-GI foods (like wholegrain bread, rolled oats and bananas) help to balance blood sugars and provide sustained energy. It’s a win-win.

The CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet also scores some points because it attempts to customise the program to each individual. To get started, you fill out a quick survey that identifies your ‘diet type’ through personality and behaviour-based questions. From there, you receive a diet guide for your diet type, in the hope that the changes you’re about to implement will last far longer than a one-size-fits-all recommendation.

The not-so-good

The very fact that the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet is a ‘diet’ – and a 12 week program, at that – isn’t my favourite thing. Why? The diet mentality can send many people into a never-ending spiral of restriction, feelings of deprivation and guilt when they finally cave in, which is why I promote sustainable lifestyle changes instead of quick fixes. Remember: it takes far more than a three month stint to improve your health for good.

The other drawback is that the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet costs a whopping $199. While you do receive a diet guide, meal and exercise plans and tonnes of recipes, the reality is that being healthy doesn’t have to cost you anything on top of a healthy grocery shop.

The verdict

Unlike most fad diets, the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet ticks a lot of boxes. It offers sensible eating advice, encourages exercise and attempts to tailor its plan to you as a unique individual. If you’re after some motivation or a bit of a kick-start, a one-off 12 week stint might be worthwhile to learn about healthy eating, find some new recipes and perhaps build a new exercise routine. But just like any other diet, I wouldn’t want anyone to do it long term. As they saying goes, the best diet is the one you don’t even know you’re on – and that comes from building lifelong healthy habits, not relying on endless quick fixes.

Melissa Meier is a Sydney-based accredited practising dietitian. You can connect with her on Instagram.