Should You Start a Twinkie Diet?

Lisa Nelson, RD, LN Health Pro
  • A nutrition professor at my alma mater - Kansas State University - lost 27 pounds over a two month period by following a Twinkie diet.

     

    Professor Mark Haub's goal was to prove that weight loss is easy. It all comes down to how much you eat, not what you eat. In other words - calories count!
    He used himself as the guinea pig to prove his theory. He started the diet on August 25 with a body mass index (BMI) of 28.8 (overweight).


    He cut his total daily calorie intake from 2600 to 1800 calories per day. He also ate meals consisting of foods you'd usually find in vending machines. His daily diet recalls showed an average day would include Duncan Hines brownies, Hostess Twinkies, Cool Ranch Doritos, Little Debbie cakes, and Kellogg's corn pops.

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    Over the two month period he lost 27 pounds. His weight is now 174 pounds and BMI a healthy 24.9.


    Now, this is where it gets a little confusing. Other measures of health also improved, such as cholesterol levels. His LDL cholesterol went from 153 to 123 md/dl, HDL increased from 27 to 46 mg/dl, and triglycerides were reduced 39 percent.


    How did he eat junk and improve cholesterol levels?


    This shows just how much being overweight impacts your health. Even if you can't drastically change your diet to one high in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and no fast food you can still improve cholesterol levels (and potentially eliminate the need for medication!) by simply reducing calories to lose weight.


    What I haven't seen mentioned anywhere is how Professor Haub's felt. Remember the documentary Super Size Me, where Morgan Spurlock went on a fast food diet? Within days he was feeling physically awful. I'd be curious to know if Professor Haub felt great while on this diet of poor nutritional quality or if he felt just fine.


    He did include a protein shake daily as well as a daily multivitamin. Plus, he apparently did not include much soda on the diet and there was no set exercise regime included, other than his normal moderate activity level.


    So, what do you think? Is a Twinkie Diet for you?


    It's not something I recommend! What I'd like you to take away from these results is how drastically cutting calories and losing weight can turn around your cholesterol levels. I'd encourage you to do so with a diet rich in heart healthy foods!


    Be sure to sign up for the free e-course How to Lower Cholesterol in 8 Simple Steps provided by Health Central dietitian Lisa Nelson at http://lowercholesterolwithlisa.com.

     

     

Published On: November 10, 2010