Twinkies for breakfast, lunch and dinner? Sounds kind of gross (and, OK, delicious) to us — and it’s also the diet Mark Haub used to shed more than 27 pounds. The Kansas State University nutrition professor ate a steady diet of Twinkies to prove that it’s calorie consumption — not nutritional content — that makes us lose weight. Now, before you run out to the grocery store and purchase every Twinkie in stock, you should know that Twinkies were just part of Haub’s diet. He also took vitamins, ate a can of vegetables and a protein shake a day — and decreased his caloric intake from 2,600 to 1,800 calories a day.
The amazing part?When not scarfing Twinkies, he snacked on Oreos and Doritos, and still, all of his health indicators improved. His body fat percentage dropped from 33.4 to 23.9 in two months, plus he increased his good cholesterol and decreased his bad cholesterol by 20 percent. He also decreased his triglyceride levels (bad fats) by 39 percent.
Experts say Haub’s improved health condition is mainly due to shedding the pounds. When you lose weight, your health markers tend to improve, though Haub’s study doesn’t account for the long-term effects of eating a junk food diet. Even Haub is slightly baffled by the results — decreasing calories should result in weight loss, but not necessarily positive health indicators. Still, he says, “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.”
And, he contends, eating healthy isn’t necessarily a good thing if you’re eating too much. “There seems to be a disconnect between eating healthy and being healthy,” Haub said. “It may not be the same. I was eating healthier [before the Twinkie diet], but I wasn’t healthy. I was eating too much.”
We’ve never tried a Twinkie diet — though we have done some crazy things in the name of trying to slim down. (The Master Cleanse, anyone?) What about you? What’s the weirdest way you ever tried to lose weight? [CNN]