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Twinkie diet helps nutrition professor lose 27 pounds

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Author Topic: Twinkie diet helps nutrition professor lose 27 pounds  (Read 10556 times)

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Pinkmug

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Twinkie diet helps nutrition professor lose 27 pounds
« on: November 12, 2010, 02:15:56 AM »

This is surprising! Especially the part where his LDL and triglycerides dropped and HDL increased :S


http://edition.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/11/08/twinkie.diet.professor/

(CNN) -- Twinkies. Nutty bars. Powdered donuts.

For 10 weeks, Mark Haub, a professor of human nutrition at Kansas State University, ate one of these sugary cakelets every three hours, instead of meals. To add variety in his steady stream of Hostess and Little Debbie snacks, Haub munched on Doritos chips, sugary cereals and Oreos, too.

His premise: That in weight loss, pure calorie counting is what matters most -- not the nutritional value of the food.

The premise held up: On his "convenience store diet," he shed 27 pounds in two months.

For a class project, Haub limited himself to less than 1,800 calories a day. A man of Haub's pre-dieting size usually consumes about 2,600 calories daily. So he followed a basic principle of weight loss: He consumed significantly fewer calories than he burned.

His body mass index went from 28.8, considered overweight, to 24.9, which is normal. He now weighs 174 pounds.

But you might expect other indicators of health would have suffered. Not so.

Haub's "bad" cholesterol, or LDL, dropped 20 percent and his "good" cholesterol, or HDL, increased by 20 percent. He reduced the level of triglycerides, which are a form of fat, by 39 percent.

"That's where the head scratching comes," Haub said. "What does that mean? Does that mean I'm healthier? Or does it mean how we define health from a biology standpoint, that we're missing something?"

Haub's sample day
Espresso, Double: 6 calories; 0 grams of fat

Hostess Twinkies Golden Sponge Cake: 150 calories; 5 grams of fat

Centrum Advanced Formula From A To Zinc: 0 calories; 0 grams of fat

Little Debbie Star Crunch: 150 calories; 6 grams of fat

Hostess Twinkies Golden Sponge Cake: 150 calories; 5 grams of fat

Diet Mountain Dew: 0 calories; 0 grams of fat

Doritos Cool Ranch: 75 calories; 4 grams of fat

Kellogg's Corn Pops: 220 calories; 0 grams of fat

whole milk: 150 calories; 8 grams of fat

baby carrots: 18 calories; 0 grams of fat

Duncan Hines Family Style Brownie Chewy Fudge: 270 calories; 14 grams of fat

Little Debbie Zebra Cake: 160 calories; 8 grams of fat

Muscle Milk Protein Shake: 240 calories; 9 grams of fat

Totals: 1,589 calories and 59 grams of fat Despite his temporary success, Haub does not recommend replicating his snack-centric diet.

"I'm not geared to say this is a good thing to do," he said. "I'm stuck in the middle. I guess that's the frustrating part. I can't give a concrete answer. There's not enough information to do that."

Two-thirds of his total intake came from junk food. He also took a multivitamin pill and drank a protein shake daily. And he ate vegetables, typically a can of green beans or three to four celery stalks.

Families who live in food deserts have limited access to fresh fruits and vegetables, so they often rely on the kind of food Haub was eating.

"These foods are consumed by lots of people," he said. "It may be an issue of portion size and moderation rather than total removal. I just think it's unrealistic to expect people to totally drop these foods for vegetables and fruits. It may be healthy, but not realistic."

Haub's body fat dropped from 33.4 to 24.9 percent. This posed the question: What matters more for weight loss, the quantity or quality of calories?

His success is probably a result of caloric reduction, said Dawn Jackson Blatner, a dietitian based in Atlanta, Georgia.

"It's a great reminder for weight loss that calories count," she said. "Is that the bottom line to being healthy? That's another story."

Blatner, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association, said she's not surprised to hear Haub's health markers improved even when he loaded up on processed snack cakes.

Being overweight is the central problem that leads to complications like high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol, she said.

How well are you managing your diabetes?

"When you lose weight, regardless of how you're doing it -- even if it's with packaged foods, generally you will see these markers improve when weight loss has improved," she said.

Before jumping on the Ding Dong bandwagon, Blatner warned of health concerns.

"There are things we can't measure," said Blatner, questioning how the lack of fruits and vegetables could affect long-term health. "How much does that affect the risk for cancer? We can't measure how diet changes affect our health."

I was eating healthier, but I wasn't healthy. I was eating too much.

--Professor Mark Haub
 

On August 25, Haub, 41, started his cake diet focusing on portion control.

"I'm eating to the point of need and pushing the plate or wrapper away," he said.

He intended the trial to last a month as a teaching tool for his class. As he lost weight, Haub continued the diet until he reached a normal body mass index.

Before his Twinkie diet, he tried to eat a healthy diet that included whole grains, dietary fiber, berries and bananas, vegetables and occasional treats like pizza.

"There seems to be a disconnect between eating healthy and being healthy," Haub said. "It may not be the same. I was eating healthier, but I wasn't healthy. I was eating too much."

He maintained the same level of moderate physical activity as before going on the diet. (Haub does not have any ties to the snack cake companies.)

To avoid setting a bad example for his kids, Haub ate vegetables in front of his family. Away from the dinner table, he usually unwrapped his meals.

Study: U.S. obesity rate will hit 42 percent

Haub monitored his body composition, blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose, and updated his progress on his Facebook page, Professor Haub's diet experiment.

To curb calories, he avoided meat, whole grains and fruits. Once he started adding meat into the diet four weeks ago, his cholesterol level increased.

Haub plans to add about 300 calories to his daily intake now that he's done with the diet. But he's not ditching snack cakes altogether. Despite his weight loss, Haub feels ambivalence.

"I wish I could say the outcomes are unhealthy. I wish I could say it's healthy. I'm not confident enough in doing that. That frustrates a lot of people. One side says it's irresponsible. It is unhealthy, but the data doesn't say that."

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shovelqueen

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Re: Twinkie diet helps nutrition professor lose 27 pounds
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2010, 04:00:15 AM »

Short term loss, long term what???  Who know about the longer term consequences of such a processed, nutrient deficient diet?  You can't possibly know the increased coronary, diabetic or cancer risks associated with such an eating pattern in 2 months.  At least he was responsible enough to state that.  And he had the whole milk, protein shake and the vitamins and some vegetables to redeem his diet somewhat. 

On the other hand, all the health indicators went haywire when Morgan Spurlock ate nothing but MacDonalds for a month....
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goblyn

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Re: Twinkie diet helps nutrition professor lose 27 pounds
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2010, 06:26:23 AM »

I am inclined to believe that you could lose weight by eating nothing but junk food, after all a diet that nutritionally deficient would probably mimic the effects of starvation in your body and you'd start to use up fat reserves.  In a way, that's almost an SLD principle IN ACTION!  LOL.

My big point of caution here is the way that the guy estimated that prior to his twinkie diet he estimated himself to be consuming something like 2800 calories per day.  As we ALL know, there are plenty of people who consume, far less than 2000 calories and cannot lose weight.  Of course if you're routinely consuming huge amounts of excess calories, cutting those calories would probably lead to some short term weight loss.  And yeah, I'll admit, when I weighed 284, there were plenty of times where I was consuming huge amounts of calories, but I also can remember doing weight watchers for 6 months, losing 15 lbs right away, and then not losing anything else, despite having only consumed say, 1600 calories per day.

My biggest problem with this study, is that, a, people are claiming that its fact, how do we know that Dr. Haub isn't just blessed with a great metabolism?  How do we know if he only recently gained weight, and has always been naturally skinny? 

Its just annoying because this is being reported as proof to the calories in/calories out approach to dieting, when its, so far, only been tested on one person.

And then, of course, I've been reading about this study in several different places, and reading the comments readers have posted is disturbing, so many people are like "see fatties, there's no reason you're fat, stop being lazy" etc...  Its just annoying, because if you're lucky enough to get away with eating processed junk food all the time, then you probably have no idea what its like to see your weight balloon up every time you break down and have your once every three months snack sized bag of chips or fast food dinner! 
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Pinkmug

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Re: Twinkie diet helps nutrition professor lose 27 pounds
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2010, 07:58:00 AM »

SQ I agree as to the long term effects, anyway I'm following this guy on FB as he's still updating there.
As to Morgan Spurlock that's a different story because he didn't limit his calories, he just ate to satisfaction. And put on weight, contrary to Haub.

Goblyn I was just thinking that: many things in the Haub experiment are common to SLD! videlicet:
Haub lost weight by restricting calories.
SLD has that effect that too. Weight loss by calorie restriction.
In Haub's case most calories he did have came from sugary fatty foods.
In SLD many or most calories come from sugar water or oil. Or both.

and Haub did this as a self-experiment just like Seth Roberts.
Many things are different of course, the flavorless requirement, the time windows etc.

This twinkie diet wouldn't work fo rme, i'm sure, having seen the amount of food of his sample day, I would starve on that, I'd be hungry and light-headed all day.

To me it proves that for some people, limiting portions may lead to weight loss, even if it's junk food.
We don't really know what he ate before, just that he ate healthier, though he wasn't healthier; and that " a man of Haub's pre-dieting size usually consumes about 2,600 calories daily."

And that having our little occasional treat isn't bad, as long as we stay within boundaries... myself, I have crept back 2 kilos these last 2 weeks just because I've been eating more bread and chestnuts than I should  :x



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mpq

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Re: Twinkie diet helps nutrition professor lose 27 pounds
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2010, 09:56:56 AM »

I love twinkies! But, with all the preservatives in that food I would have migraines all the time. Products with that kind of shelf life are my worst trigger!

But it's kind of nice to think about as I eat my salad........ :D
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goblyn

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Re: Twinkie diet helps nutrition professor lose 27 pounds
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2010, 12:39:53 PM »

I suppose the one good thing would be that after two months of that diet a salad for lunch would sound heavenly.
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terio

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Re: Twinkie diet helps nutrition professor lose 27 pounds
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2010, 10:58:14 AM »

Quote
Haub lost weight by restricting calories.

Which is the way that anyone loses weight.  SLD dieters included.
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WarTiger

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Re: Twinkie diet helps nutrition professor lose 27 pounds
« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2010, 02:40:07 PM »

Here is a woman who lost 150 lbs eating McDonalds every day:

http://www.fastfoodlifestyle.com/
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An Alchemist

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Re: Twinkie diet helps nutrition professor lose 27 pounds
« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2010, 04:33:30 PM »

It does prove the obvious: if you consume less energy than you expend, your weight will decrease.
Highly ill-advised, however, since the nutrition of such a diet is likely to negate any potential health benefits achieved by losing the weight.

There was another similar story today, about a man who lost weight eating nothing but (supposedly fattening...) potatoes. Kinda takes the credibility off the anti-spud crowd.
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