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The TEMPO Diet Team

Achieving better and longer-lasting weight loss outcomes

We conduct multidisciplinary clinical weight loss trials to discover better ways for people to safely attain and maintain an optimum body weight and composition throughout life.

Our vision is to improve the dietary management of overweight and obese individuals around Australia and the world. We do this by enhancing implementation of the best available dietary obesity treatments that are effective but underutilised due to unsubstantiated concerns about potential ill effects. We also identify novel dietary obesity treatments that optimise weight loss and minimise potential harms.

Our team is named after our flagship clinical trial, the TEMPO Diet Trial (Type of Energy Manipulation for Promoting optimum metabolic health and body composition in Obesity).

As our name TEMPO suggests, our focus is on varying the timing and intensity of dietary energy restriction (‘dieting’) in order to achieve better and longer-lasting weight loss outcomes.

We conduct multidisciplinary clinical weight loss trials to discover better ways for people to safely attain and maintain an optimum body weight and composition throughout life. This promotes long-term cardiometabolic and psychological health, musculoskeletal strength and independence. 

Non-surgical obesity treatments are often ineffective, in part due to adaptive responses to energy restriction that increase appetite and reduce metabolic rate. These adaptations oppose ongoing weight loss, and may also promote eating disorders. They can also adversely affect body composition via hormonal changes that favour abdominal fat accumulation with loss of muscle strength and bone mineral density.

We aim to find ways to reduce these adaptive responses so that more people can safely attain and maintain a healthy body weight and composition.

  • In the NHMRC-funded TEMPO Diet Trial, we aim to determine the long-term safety of ketogenic very low energy diets (VLEDs). As a result, more clinicians will use this effective but underutilised obesity treatment.
  • An upcoming clinical weight loss trial is the NHMRC-funded TANGO Diet Trial (Temporary phases of Accelerated weight loss for Noticeably Greater Outcomes). In this trial we aim to determine whether weight loss and metabolic outcomes from VLEDs can be improved by using them intermittently rather than continuously.
  • In the HAPIFED Trial we aim to determine whether a novel program based on hunger recognition and cognitive behaviour therapy can simultaneously reduce body weight and binge eating in real world clinical practices. HAPIFED is an acronym for a Healthy APproach to weIght management and Food in Eating Disorders.

All of our projects are conducted in close collaboration with the Metabolism & Obesity Services at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, the largest tertiary obesity clinic in Australia. This facilitates immediate translation of our findings into clinical practice.

Research group leader

Associate Professor Amanda Salis
Associate Professor Amanda Salis
“I decided to join the University of Sydney – and the Charles Perkins Centre – because of the strong emphasis of this institute on translating research into practice in the community.”
View Amanda Salis's profile