A large CSIRO survey has found that a scientifically backed 'digital diet' can result in significant weight loss.

Almost 60,000 Australians following the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet from 2015 through to 2019 have been studied to understand how the scientifically formulated eating plan translated to the digital age.

Participants who completed the 12-week online program lost an average of 5.3 per cent of their starting weight, which was three times more than participants who started the program but didn’t reach the end.

The study also found that more frequent use of the Total Wellbeing Diet's system was associated with greater weight loss. The most successful participants, who on average lost 21 per cent of their body weight, used the system almost four times more during the 12-week program than those who only lost a small amount of weight.

Dr Gilly Hendrie, the CSIRO research scientist who led the study, described the findings as very encouraging for the millions of Australians looking for successful, sustainable weight loss.

“We have known for over a decade that the higher protein, low GI carbohydrate eating plan made popular in the Total Wellbeing Diet books resulted in clinically significant weight loss,” Dr Hendrie said.

“Now we have evidence, in a very large sample, that combining the diet with a specially designed system including online tools, results in weight loss for even more people. The results show that the more you use, the more you can lose.

“Interestingly we saw similar weight loss achievements across all demographics, with older participants aged 51 to70 years losing around 5 per cent which was about the same weight as the younger participants aged 18 to 30 years.”

Analysis of the data found those participants in the high-risk obesity group lost 6 per cent of their starting body weight.

“There is a wide body of research that shows for overweight and obese adults, the greatest health benefits come from losing the first five per cent of body weight,” Dr Hendrie said.

The study insights led to a major overhaul of the Total Wellbeing Diet for 2020, with the release of a new Protein Balance Plus program and a suite of digital tools optimised for greater weight loss.

The new online program includes nutritionally balanced recipes to help reduce cravings and boost fat loss, plus all the digital tools associated with successful weight loss including meal plans, food diary, weight tracker, a personalised dashboard and support forums.