ghlcom.com

  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size
Home Diets For Weight Loss Twinkie Diet

Twinkie Diet

E-mail Print PDF

There has been much in the news of late about the "Twinkie Diet".

This is the result of a college professor doing an experiment for his students.  It has been widely miss-characterized by just about everybody.

Let me explain.  I've been able to glean many of the details from the different news stories and interviews that have been done concerning this.

Mark Haub, a Human Nutrition Professor at Kansas State University, went on a diet for 10 weeks and lost 27 pounds.  It has been characterized as a Twinkies diet, but he actually ate very few Twinkies.  He did get to a point where about 2/3 of his calories were from what most would consider junk food.  He actually ate only 3 or 4 snack cakes a day.

If you look at the 2/3 figure you would say that he was eating more junk food than anything else.  But that isn't necessarily true.  Remember that the 2/3 number refers to calories.  What were the other 1/3 of calories from?  Dairy based protein, and vegetables.  You can eat a lot of vegetables and not get that many calories.  He also consumed things with no calories, like water.

Note that he is a nutrition professor.  He didn't just eat junk.  He took supplements for vitamins and minerals, protein powders for protein, and he drastically limited his intake of junk food.  He admits that it was very hard.  Before starting this experiment he was eating about 2600 calories a day, and for the experiment he cut it back to 1800 calories a day.  Why was it very hard?  Because junk food makes you crave more food.

Did he do anything else?  Yes, he exercised, the major key to all health.

What else do we know about this professor?  Well, he has experimented with many diets and lost and gained repeatedly.  Thus we have further proof that any extreme diet can work to lose weight over the short term.  And yet all these extreme diets have rebound effects with the participants generally gaining back more weight in the long run than they lost in the short term.

So obviously this was not really a "Twinkies" diet, but a diet and exercise program that included good nutrition and some junk food.  We don't even know if he was eating more or less junk-food than when he was eating 2600 calories.  I'm guessing it was a toss up.  (How come the interviewers never ask the important questions?)  Plus in eating mostly veggies for his evening meal, he may well have been eating more veggies (at least proportionally, if not total) than before starting the diet.  Fiber always helps in weight loss.

This diet has also been characterized as proof that only calories matter in weight loss.  This also is not true!  Calories matter if you are eating junk food, but they actually don't matter if you are eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, exercising, and drinking plenty of water. (Which he was doing!)

The calories-in/calories-out formulas used in weight loss schemes all ignore the simple fact that you have bowel movements.  In other words the formulas are not based in reality.  Everybody knows some people who eat like horses but never gain weight.  If the body is given proper nutrition, along with exercise and plenty of water, it will use the food that it wants to use and dump what it doesn't need.

Of course, overeating is never a great idea.

This is not a diet he his planning to stick with for the long run, it is just something he did for fun with his students.  But again remember that he is a nutrition professor and made sure that he was getting good nutrition through supplementation.  He exercised regularly (around 80 minutes per week) and used lots of will power to keep from eating more.

Does this prove that supplementation is a good way to get your nutrition?  No, it shows that it can keep you going in the short term.  But from many other studies we know that whole foods are always much better sources of nutrition than supplements.

This is not a diet that is good for, or could even be followed by other people.  Just another bad idea in the name of experimentation.

Don't listen to the hype that has arisen around this experiment.  It nearly all misses the details, and misrepresents reality.

 

Last Updated on Friday, 19 November 2010 22:41  

Login Form

Create an account to leave comments and questions.

Sponsors


Join GHL Email List

If We Have Helped You ...

Amazon Recommendations