BODY TRIM

REPORTER: SALLY OBERMEDER

The low carbohydrate money train rolls on -- first the Atkins Diet told us low carbs, then the CSIRO Diet advised moderate carb intake, and now we've got the Body Trim Diet.

The Body Trim Diet is fast becoming one of the most popular on the market, but the debate is raging.

Hard bodies doing the hard sell -- the diet's creators are regularly appearing on morning show advertorials peddling its weight loss benefits.

Body Trim sells itself as the weight loss secret -- eat more, exercise less, lose more. So, what is the secret? Don't eat carbs after lunch.

Basically, for four DVDs, a recipe book and food diary, 60 000 Australians have spent around $140 for the Body Trim pack. It claims it's a scientifically proven system the "weight loss industry don't want you to know about", but many believe its no secret. "The low carb diet is definitely a lot of hype. People today want a quick fix for everything and if you can lose anything quickly, they'll try it", said dietician and nutritionist, Arlene Normand.

The woman known as the "Diet Nazi" says don't buy into the hype -- its all common sense and it's all free. "Low carb, you do lose quickly, because you're cutting out the calories of the carbohydrates but it's not sustainable and that's the biggest problem", Arlene said.

"The body needs carbohydrates, it needs glucose. Certain organs can only work when it has glucose, the brain, so when you're on low carb, the brain doesn't get sufficient glucose so the body breaks down fats", Arlene said.

But the success stories are plentiful -- every morning they wheel them out, all extolling the virtues of Body Trim. Founder, Geoff Jowatt says: "We're told you have got to train very hard to lose weight. Wrong. It is all food".

So what do you get for your money? "It's an information product, so it's designed to teach people the food in weight loss -- what to eat, when to eat it and why to speed up a person's resting metabolism".

And the Body Trim secret is just that -- instead of putting 90% of your effort into the gym, focus it all on your eating -- low to no carb eating.

Protein with every meal is the key -- a portion of chicken, fish or red meat and as much salad or vegies as you can eat. Starchy foods like rice, potatoes that are high carbohydrates, are out. "What hinders the weight loss phase is a truckload of starchy carbs, a heap of sugar. That's the problem. Your vegies are your best mates -- they're going to taste better with the sauces".

Body Trim's poster girl is actress, Alyssa Jane Cook. "At forty, I was really a full figured woman, who was carrying excess weight. I didn't have enough energy to be a good mum and to work as well", she said.

Alyssa says she tried everything, but after her third child, the weight wasn't moving. "I tried small portions, considered lipo, thought about doing other weight loss programmes. I was right on the verge of saying you know what, I'm just going to have to buy bigger clothes", she said.

Then Alyssa says she bought into the Body Trim philosophy. "And the secret is increasing your metabolism to the point where you're fat burning all the time", she said.

In between meals, snacks of protein, like a small can of tuna or some nuts. At breakfast 1 piece of fruit and 1 portion of carbs -- say a slice of brown bread -- after that, no carbs whatsoever.

Rob Stoutley attributes the Body Trim philosophy to saving his life. "It's not just about losing weight. There are so many other psychological issues, social issues, falling into depression. I didn't even know where I'd gone", Rob said.

After falling ill with a lung condition, Rob put on over 60 kilos -- his weight ballooning to 155 kilos. He spent 4 days in the gym training two hours a day and began a strict diet. "All that slogging at the gym and after four months, I'd only lost three kilos", he said.

Within a week, the high protein plan turned his body into a fat burning machine. "In one week to lose 7 kilos, when all I did walk 30 minutes a day and eat -- I was totally shocked. I really didn't think that would happen in my wildest dreams", Rob said.

For more information visit the website at: www.bodytrim.com.au