This blog was written by Mechelle Meadows. Meet our blogging fitness specialists at the NIFS website.
CNN recently reported on an experiment by Mark Haub, a professor of human nutrition, who attempted to prove that weight loss is dependent only on calorie restriction. To test his theory, for 10 weeks he followed a diet of two-thirds “convenience store” foods (mostly Twinkies, but also Doritos, Oreos, etc.) and one-third vegetables and protein. He restricted himself to 1,800 calories per day and dropped 27 pounds, lost a significant body fat percentage, and improved his cholesterol levels.
Will the Twinkie Diet Work for You?
Many people fall into the trap of thinking that because they eat healthy foods—including fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains—they are healthy. In reality, these people may still be overeating and thus gaining weight because they never find the balance between calories in versus calories out.
Haub lost his weight because although his past diet consisted of healthier foods, it was simply too much food for his body. However, he admits that he would not recommend this diet to anyone and is “not geared to say this is a good thing to do.”
Calories Matter—But So Do Nutrients
This article presents a great reinforcement that calories do matter. But before you load up your grocery cart with Hostess and Little Debbie goodies, consider your overall quality of life beyond the pounds. Many of these foods contain trans fats, which are notorious for clogging arteries and increasing bad cholesterol (LDL). These snacks are also low in fiber and protein, two nutrients that keep the stomach fuller longer, discouraging overeating.
So the fact remains: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.