World's Best Diet

Reporter: Sally Obermeder

It's the world's largest weight loss study 800 people in 8 countries.

An analysis of the all the popular diets, every fad program that's ever promised the weight loss miracle has been put under the microscope. As Sally Obermeder discovered ....

"I've lost 7 kilos in 2 months & this has been the easiest diet that I have ever followed & i've just lost cm's everywhere. What I like about it the most is that it's instant results." Says Chris Symond

"You know anyone can lose weight on any diet. The real challenge is to maintain that weight loss over the longer term." Says Professor Jennie brand-miller

Australians will spend over $750 million this year on low-calorie foods and shakes, diet books, supplements, lap bands and liposuction. But is most of it a waste?

For the first time ever the world's biggest diet study has proven that if you want to lose weight and keep it off then steer clear of the gadgets and gimmicks.

"What they found was that both high protein and lower gi diets were helpful, equally helpful. But when you combined them together then you got the best outcome overall. People actually, without trying, continue to lose weight when they're simply eating to appetite." Says the Professor Jennie

It was the early noughties when the low gi diet came to prominence and since then it's effectiveness has been undisputed. The other weight loss strategy to gain mass appeal was the high protein diet.

It's only now, thanks to this study, that we know that it's the combination of the two which provides unbeatable results that last.

"It's really a landmark study because the findings are so clear cut." Says Professor Jennie

The glycemic index, gi for short, indicates how quickly food is converted to energy. Measured on a scale of 1 to 100, foods that are 55 and below are classified as low gi, and they're the foods that are better for you. Professor Jennie brand-miller pioneered the low gi diet.

"A diet that requires a lot of discipline and sacrifice is doomed. This diet makes you feel fuller for longer and the reason is because the food stays in the gut for longer, it takes longer for it to be digested and absorbed. It's easy for people to follow this higher protein, lower gi diet." Says Professor Jennie

The findings of this world first study undoubtedly confirm that the famous "kickstart diet" was completely on the money. Introduced on today tonight by Dr John Darcy in 2003, the 28 day, two stage program promised and delivered weight loss of 1 kilo a day. The first stage was a soup diet, while the second part followed a low gi plan. The results that were achieved made it a weight loss phenomenon.

Chris Symond says "it kickstarted my life, it's got me on track and i'll never go back. I feel fantastic i've felt the best i've felt all my life."

To help consumers identify low gi products there's now a low gi symbol found on a wide range foods to assist us in making better choices, and to help avoid the dangers of high gi foods.

'A high GI diet promotes a higher insulin response. And that insulin drives fat accumulation, especially around the waist which is the dangerous place."

"What about high carb foods like bread and potatoes, does that mean they're off the list?" asks Sally

"Breads should be low gi breads. They should look for the symbols, potatoes people love. Australians love - everyone loves potatoes. Unfortunately most of them are really high in gi scale. They're up close to 90 and 100."

Traditionally a low gi diet has meant no potatoes, but farmers have acknowledged that the gi message is sinking in and they're responding accordingly. A new naturally occurring potato has been found. Non genetically modified, it's available exclusively at Coles and it's sure to keep dieting spud lovers very happy.

"So recently Australian potato growers launched a new low gi potato, It's a natural variety that occurs and it has a gi of 55 instead of 90, it's called carisma." Says Professor Jennie

"You're not turning yourself upside down to lower the gi and that's a good outcome. It means that small changes make a big difference." Professor Jennie continues/