Update: Weight up, cholesterol up for man who lost 27 pounds on Twinkie diet
August 30th, 2011
04:00 PM ET

Update: Weight up, cholesterol up for man who lost 27 pounds on Twinkie diet

Nutrition professor Mark Haub, who lost 27 pounds eating mainly Twinkies, powdered donuts and Oreo cookies, is back to an average American diet.

Since ending his junk food experiment in November, he has gained 2 pounds and his cholesterol has also increased a little bit, he said. He also has gained a new insight into the debate over healthy eating.

"People have a hatred towards (processed) foods," he said. "I like them. I eat them. It's amazing how people believe if it's processed, it's not food."

What also caught Haub by surprise was "how vitriolic people can be when they take a stance, whether it's low-carb or paleo diet. It's like politics. Those discussions can get heated. It's the same thing with religion, I'm right. You're wrong."

Last fall, Haub shed 13% of his weight over two months restricting his diet to 1,600 calories while eating "junk food." Surprisingly, his cholesterol readings improved and his level of triglycerides, which are a form of fat, decreased. This could have been explained by the decreased consumption of calories.

November 8, 2010: Twinkie diet helps nutrition professor lose 27 pounds

Today he eats three meals a day, consuming about 2,200 calories with food choices like turkey sandwiches, peanut butter, and snacking on pears.

"The main thing I did was reduce portion size," he said about what he learned from the diet. "It's that concept of mindfulness or mindful eating - I eat relatively the same. I just eat less."

And he still munches on an occasional Twinkie or snack cake.

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Filed under: Food • Health • Nutrition
soundoff (283 Responses)
  1. Headspin

    Consuming less calories does result in weight loss. Nutritionists have been saying this for years. What often isn't discussed, however, is that your metabolism adjusts to the lower calorie intake and weight gain may occur after a couple months. As for exercise, I do 9 different exercises, 3 rep of each, with <1 min breaks after 3 exercises. Cardio + Muscle Building = Win!

    August 31, 2011 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
  2. Jeffrey Baker

    if I did the twinkie diet I would lose lots of weight and also starve to death, I don't like the way twinkies taste

    August 31, 2011 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
  3. Dr. Philip

    There is one and only one process known to science that can remove excessive fats from a human cell...and that is your own body producing a a chemical once you've ingested live green vegetables and have been exposed to direct UV light to your eyes for more than 20 straight minutes. Notice that most obese people don't like live greens, and are pale from lack of sunshine. It takes a lot of energy to produce this toxin-shedding chemical that also dissolves fat...so lowering your energy intake, aka caloric intake, also inhibits your body from producing it.

    August 31, 2011 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Won 3rd grade spellimg bee...

      Dr. Philip, some may not appreciate your subtle humor, but I do! Thanks for the laugh.

      September 3, 2011 at 1:35 am | Report abuse |
  4. Dr. Philip

    ... wearing UV blocking sunglasses to make yourself look cool also inhibits your body from producing this little-known chemical.

    August 31, 2011 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Photosynthesis?

      What the hell are you smoking man?

      August 31, 2011 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
  5. Dr. Philip

    (let's see if anyone googles this info. and replies with the name of this 'hidden from you by doctors and dieticians' chemical. They can't make any money from telling you how to really shed those extra pounds...but they make loads of cash selling you what you've been sold on.

    August 31, 2011 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
  6. Sara

    There is more to health than just weight – that is only one factor. Cancer, diabetes, autoimmune disease, heart attack and other common diseases are the result of the junk food diet. His choice, but when he is 70 years old, sitting in a wheel chair drooling, he'll have brought it on himself. The problem is, all of society pays the price for the collective poor health of our population. It is also worth noting that while we spend billions of heart disease – the #1 killer of Americans, many don't get a second chance – for them, the first sign of heart disease is sudden death.

    August 31, 2011 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
    • thinkingitthrough

      Diabetes is an autoimmune disease and neither are caused by junk food. What I think was important in his study and ignored by you was that his cholesterol went down. Everyone, even this professor thought the opposite would be true. He knew he would lose weight, but expected to show that he wasn't healthy. That didn't happen. What the study showed was that in fact your health is more a product of your weight than what you eat.

      September 9, 2011 at 10:09 am | Report abuse |
  7. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    @ Bruce:
    Don't worry about my having 5% bodyfat.
    My bodyfat stays about 6%, so I'm fine.
    What is yours?

    August 31, 2011 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
  8. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    @ Sara:
    It may surprise you to learn that most guys and girls who spend six days a week in the gym don't do it solely to attain better health.
    I do it because I enjoy the multiple benefits of looking great. Guess some of them.
    As for six days a week, I often go seven.
    I once had a serious trainer (of several professional bodybuilders) who asked the hard-core gym not to let me in on Sundays. Of course, they couldn't stop me.
    When I had more time, I often went twice a day, once for weights, the other time for aerobics.
    I'm a musician, but I enjoy studying other fields. I have three personal-training certifications and one in sports nutrition.
    Jealousy is a terrible thing, isn't it.

    August 31, 2011 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    I went to the gym between my earlier posts and those last two.
    Today I did chest and back, then upper and lower abs. I do calves every day. I did 15 minutes of rowing for aerobics, although a real aerobic session should be 25 minutes. It's been reduced to 20 minutes for the...shall we say, for those who are not "vain."

    August 31, 2011 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Grammar Nazi

      Dude, you are compulsive and vain. There's an app for that.

      August 31, 2011 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
  10. banasy©

    *Sigh*

    *Facepalm*™

    August 31, 2011 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Kisa Kisa

    The stuff that people are willing to try...smh...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y7m56YH-lHw

    August 31, 2011 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    Achtung, Grammar Nazi!
    Most of the fat, obese, and ugly persons whom I know are not vain.

    August 31, 2011 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    I doubt that I have ever eaten a single Twinkie in my entire life.
    I don't think that I would do that.

    August 31, 2011 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
  14. smart & healthy

    I will never touch twinkies again. This guy is a researcher? Well there's no accountint for smarts. There is NOTHING healthy about twinkies! this guy is lucky he's not diabetic or worse. 2200 calories a day mean zilch if they are the wrong calories. Very little to no weight will be gained eating vegetables with little meat or bread. avoid all processd flour and use spelt or rye or whole wheat flour & there won't be problems with tryglicerides.

    August 31, 2011 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Suzy

    This is one of the least scientific "studies" I've ever seen. Of course if you lower your calorie intake, you're going to lose weight, and even a 5% decrease in body weight will lower your cholesterol. You could eat 1600 calories of nothing but butter and hamburger grease every day and lose weight! The interesting thing is, once your body adjusts to eating the same type of thing every day, your weight loss and blood levels will plateau and then begin to change to resemble what you've been eating. This is why a balanced and varied diet is so important to good health. This experiment was stopped right around the time we should have seen the weight loss level off. And this guy is a professor? Scary.

    September 1, 2011 at 8:42 am | Report abuse |
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