A diet is an option for many people in Australia’s busy post-work society, but what if the goal was to lose 10 kilograms in a year?
It’s a concept that is often used in the news media to highlight people’s weight loss potential.
In Australia, the concept of a ‘dirt diet’ has become so popular that a ‘Dirt Diet Plan’ has been developed by a Sydney university.
Students at the university’s Department of Food Science and Nutrition have spent the past two years researching the concept and are looking to find a ‘health food’ to help people achieve their weight loss goals.
“There are a lot of people out there that have a huge desire to lose a certain amount of weight and we think that’s great,” University of Sydney Professor of Nutrition Dr David Williams said.
“[But] they may find that it’s not feasible for them, or the diet doesn’t work, or they’re just not that motivated.”
The Dirt Diet Plan was developed by Dr Williams and his team, who will be presenting their research at the Obesity Australia conference in Sydney next month.
Dr Williams said the concept is similar to a ‘junk food diet’, which involves eating junk food while exercising.
But the Dirt Diet is focused on a specific type of diet, which focuses on the food choices, techniques and lifestyle choices that help people lose weight, instead of just trying to lose some weight.
When the researchers set out to explore the concept further, they decided to explore what foods people eat to lose their weight, and what types of diets were successful.
They asked more than 300 people in Sydney’s CBD to weigh themselves and then give them a ‘dry’ or ‘dried’ meal for three weeks.
The study also found that a diet that includes the foods described in the Dirt diet plan was more effective at losing weight.
Dr Williams said a diet of the types used in his team’s study is particularly effective because the foods are simple, easy to prepare, and the goal is to lose just 10 kilograms.
While the Dirt Food Plan is a diet focused on eating a specific amount of foods per day, Dr Williams told ABC Radio National the idea was to create a ‘mosaic of food’.
“We know there are a number of different diets out there, but to make the diet a mosaic is really helpful because you get all of the nutrients from the food that you’re eating and it’s just a matter of how you combine all those nutrients together.”
Dr Michael Schmitt, a dietitian at the University of Western Sydney, is one of the co-authors of a paper published in Obesity in 2017 that found a diet based on a ‘dirty’ diet, such as the Dirt, resulted in an average of just three kilograms of weight loss per week.
‘The Dirt diet is not for everyone’ Dr Williams believes that a person who wants to lose the weight can only achieve a 10-kilogram (22-pound) weight loss on the Dirt diets.
However, he said he is still concerned about people who have already tried a dirt diet before.
“I’m really concerned that people who are already very strong in a certain aspect, they’ve tried to lose more weight, but that hasn’t been enough,” Dr Williams added.
For Dr Williams, one of his main concerns is that people in the public are not aware of the Dirt foods that are available in Australia.
“It’s really important to understand that the Dirt is a product of Australia and it is a lifestyle, not a diet, and if you’re interested in a diet you should know what’s in it,” Dr Schmitt said.