Finally, A Diet that Works?

by Anne Bennett on November 9, 2010

Have you heard the one about the guy who lost weight on a diet of Twinkies, Little Debbie cakes and Doritos?

Don’t look for a punch line; this isn’t a joke. According to CNN, Mark Haub, a professor of nutrition at Kansas State University, lost 27 pounds in ten weeks on what Haub calls a convenience-food diet. How was he able to lose weight eating only junk food, and why would he even want to?

It was all part of a class project to prove that restricting calories is the key to weight loss, and that neither the kind of food consumed, nor its nutritional value, is relevant.

He limited himself to 1,800 calories a day, eating a Twinkie every three hours and supplementing them with his other stash of goodies, which included Doritos when he needed a salty hit.

Results? He reduced his BMI from 28.8, considered overweight, to 24.9, in the healthy range.

Here’s the surprising finding: his bad cholesterol, or LDL, which you’d assume would skyrocket from all the sugar and saturated fat, dropped 20 percent, and his good cholesterol increased 20 percent.

The bottom line is this: weight loss is caused by calorie restriction, and it doesn’t matter whether those calories come from a chicken breast or a donut. It also appears that losing those extra pounds is what helps make you healthier, not what you eat.

Does this mean you should devise your own Dorito diet? Probably not. Remember that we eat healthful foods for reasons other than weight control, even if Haub’s preliminary results show otherwise.

But, damn, wouldn’t it be nice to actually have one’s cake and eat it too?

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Rachel Ciordas November 11, 2010 at 11:36 am

Wouldn’t you be starving on a diet like that? I know I would… Twinkies are not filling at all!

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