Photo of woman cooking and holding the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet book.

The CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet

The CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet is a nutritionally balanced, scientifically proven eating plan that can help you feel less hungry and lose weight.

  • 4 August 2011 | Updated 16 December 2013

About the books

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As a leading authority in dietary research, CSIRO was a logical place to start for the many dietitians who contacted CSIRO with concerns about the promotion of high protein diets without reliable supporting evidence.

The CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet is a nutritionally balanced eating plan that can help you feel less hungry and lose weight.

Research at CSIRO's Clinical Research Unit in Adelaide, South Australia, led to the development of the higher protein, low-fat diet that is nutritious, facilitates sustainable weight loss and is supported by scientific evidence.

Dr Peter Clifton and Dr Manny Noakes are internationally recognised scientists whose work in dietetics enabled them to convert clinical research results into an worldwide bestseller – The CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet book.

Cover shot of the CSIRO total wellbeing diet book.

Recipe for success: CSIRO’s bestselling diet book.

The CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet

Published by Penguin in 2005, The CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet (TWD) offers an easy-to-follow structured eating pattern and includes mainstream foods. It's a way to eat less, but eat well without feeling hungry, because it provides the necessary vitamins and nutrients (including dietary fibre).

It does exclude some foods during the active weight loss period but sets an eating pattern that is adaptable after that time.

It offers people an eating pattern without being too general about what not to eat and gives direction about what should be eaten.

The TWD book has been phenomenally successful for Australians with over 600 000 copies being sold in just one year.

The diet is based on Australian research and local food availability. It may not suit cultures with very different eating preferences, even though from a metabolic perspective the effect of the diet would be similar. There would be variants in cost and culture to the diet from country to country.

Cover of the Total Wellbeing Diet Book 2.

The CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet Book 2

Following on from the phenomenal success of the first book, a companion volume was released in 2006 to help readers keep on track with a healthy lifestyle.

The CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet Book 2 includes:

  • summary of the essential principles of the diet
  • over 80 delicious new recipes
  • healthy ideas for packing lunch for school and work
  • tips on eating out
  • structured exercise program (watch the step-by-step guide to performing the seated row exercise).

As with any complete wellbeing program, exercise is a key factor. Book 2 introduces an exercise program designed to assist and encourage the most resistant people off the couch with simple and easy-to-follow exercises.

Book 2 aims to renew enthusiasm for a healthy lifestyle for those who have already taken the initiative, and motivate others to take the first step to a better lifestyle. It answers questions from the first book, such as 'How appropriate is the diet for me?' and 'Can certain foods be substituted to accommodate personal taste?'.

The recommend requirements for vitamins and minerals have been revised by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).

As always, the scientists at CSIRO assisted in reviewing these requirements. The major changes recommended by this review were an increase in calcium and folate intake.

The first book met the original requirements, but the revisions have meant that we now recommend one extra dairy unit in the basic plan each day, to ensure adequate calcium intake. The level of kilojoules is slightly higher, but this will make very little difference to your weight loss.

The increase in recommended folate intake simply means that the minimum daily 2½ cups of vegetables are now even more important.

The CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet books 1 and 2 (RRP A$34.95) are available at most book stores or through CSIRO PUBLISHING.

Image of the front cover of the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet Recipe Book

Front cover of the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet Recipe Book.

The CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet Recipe Book

In 2010, CSIRO released the long-awaited cookbook supplement to the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet.

This book allows the followers of the program to extend their culinary repertoire, as well as integrate the diet into all aspects of daily life. With over 130 recipes, there are healthy ideas for breakfasts on the go, simple lunches, quick weeknight dinners, meals on a shoestring, comfort classics and meals to stock and store.

There are lots of great tips for getting a kitchen organised, along with recipes and advice for all levels of entertaining.

The book includes an introduction from Associate Professor Manny Noakes, co-author of the Total Wellbeing Diet, Healthy Heart Program and Wellbeing Plan for Kids books.

The CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet Recipe Book (RRP A$35) is available at most book stores or through CSIRO PUBLISHING.


Noakes M, Clifton P. 2005. The CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet. Penguin, Australia. 225 pp.

Noakes M, Clifton P. 2006. The CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet Book 2. Penguin, Australia. 240 pp.

CSIRO. 2010. The CSIRO Total Wellbeing Recipe Book. Penguin, Australia. 208 pp.