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. afb

    What are processed foods full of? Preservatives. I recently attended a nutrition seminar with Dr. Pamela Peeke. She mentioned that she visited Thailand shortly after the massive tsunami hit. One thing that really opened her eyes was the status of the corpses. The native peoples corpses were disintegrating rather quickly. These people ate no processed food because they grew their own food. The westerners (specifically American corpses) were disintegrating at an unnaturally slow rate...and it's due to all of the preservatives we consume from processed foods. You literally are what you eat.

    August 30, 2011 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • rufud

      sooooo, preservatives are unhealthy because they make our bodies decompose slower?

      August 30, 2011 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • afb

      So Armin Meiwes was a dick? LOL! Thanks for clearing that up for me.

      August 30, 2011 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kjcube

      I'm not sure why but it posted my comment under your name... weird 😐

      August 30, 2011 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Humorator

      Sounds like a ding-dong to me. hee hee.

      August 30, 2011 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      This is purely anecdotal as well as meaningless. This doesn't show that processed foods are bad at all.

      August 30, 2011 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • MissLara

      So going along with your argument, life expectancy in Thailand is 69.1 and the life expectancy in the United States is 78.7. Yes, you are right, preservatives, do exactly what they are supposed to do, they preserve us and give us a long life.
      Therefore they are a good thing. Is that what you were trying to point out?

      August 30, 2011 at 6:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Schmedley

      "...how vitriolic people can be when they take a stance, whether it's low-carb or paleo diet. It's like politics"

      I guess this post illustrates it pretty well. People are going to believe what they want to believe. People here eat processed foods and our life expectancy is 72. Farmers in Thailand grown their own food but I'll bet their life expectancy is about 50.

      Weight gain is a simple equation: Calories in versus calories consumed. That's it.

      As far as nutrition goes, I think that you can eat anything you want in moderation and nothing bad is going to happen. If you eat McDonald's or BK once or twice a week, nothing bad is going to happen. On the other hand, if all you eat is steamed broccoli and nothing else, I can't imagine that is good for you.

      Do everything in moderation, exercise when you can and you'll be fine. Yes even if you eat processed foods with preservatives in moderation, nothing bad is going to happen.

      August 30, 2011 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Californian

      Aft, you bought tat malarky? I've got a bridge to sell you....

      August 30, 2011 at 6:53 pm | Report abuse |
  2. ieat

    You can lose weight eating bark too. It doesn't mean it's good for you.

    August 30, 2011 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • a beaver

      What ??

      August 30, 2011 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tyler

      Beaver you just made my day lol

      August 30, 2011 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Californian

      Beavers don't eat bark. They eat the cambium layer just beneath it. It's full of nutrition.

      August 30, 2011 at 6:56 pm | Report abuse |
  3. forgetthis

    He didnt learn anything. If he had he wouldnt be gaining weight would he?

    August 30, 2011 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robert

      He is up 2 lbs

      August 30, 2011 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Smarter not Harder

      He did it to prove a point to his students

      August 30, 2011 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • ionymous

      2 lbs is nothing. You can gain/lose that by varying your water intake over a few days.

      August 30, 2011 at 5:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • UFC iTard

      so educated people don't ever gain weight?

      August 30, 2011 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Reality1

      Apparently YOU didn't learn anything. 2 lbs can be nothing more than a bowel movement.

      August 30, 2011 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mer

      When's the last time you took a 2 lb crap? Never mind, don't tell me.

      August 30, 2011 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Jordan scene

    Just another fad diet to prove a point. Just like that girl last year that came up with the taco bell diet for losingweight. Its not what you eat, its how much and how often that controls your body fat storage. I'm sure the pizza and beer diet mentioned above could also yield weight loss but you'd probably be limited to a beer and a slice of pizza a day lol.

    August 30, 2011 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bimbo the Birthday Clown

      Just one? Then no flippin way!

      August 30, 2011 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Smarter not Harder

      This wasn't a fad diet, he did it to prove the very point you are making, to his students.

      August 30, 2011 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Robert

    Very true ... but the real debate is which is really better.

    August 30, 2011 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Michael

    I've learned many things while working at a R&D building of one of the biggest US food companies some time ago.

    1. Scientists there work relentlessly to produce safe and healthy food with the CHEAPEST food components they could find.

    2. Expert chemist (usually one or two working at a huge food company) mix many different chemicals to produce flavors. Usually these chemicals are harmful in large amounts, but the amount involved is usually under FDA regulated levels so they don't get listed on the labels.

    An example of a combination of above two things would be coffee. The processed coffee you buy from groceries may be from the cheapest beans (that no one would consume in their raw form) but with a lot of flavor. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? You decide.

    August 30, 2011 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ben

      Water is harmful in large amounts. The dose of any substance is just as important as what the substance is.

      August 30, 2011 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Johnny

    Nice world we live in; people debating carbs and calories while others starve to death.

    August 30, 2011 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      So, we should all either be morbidly obese or starving to death? What is wrong with trying to be healthy just because people in other parts of the world don't have enough to eat?

      August 30, 2011 at 6:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • oldboldgold

      Talk about melodrama! Did you skip 3 meals today so you could starve with them?

      August 30, 2011 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      I'm not sure the point you are trying to make. Just because other people don't have enough food doesn't mean that we in the US, who have plenty of food, shouldn't discuss the issues about what is healthy and what isn't healthy. Your point is rather pointless.

      August 30, 2011 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse |
  8. timd

    I have been eating my own urine and feces and my weight has stayed exactly the same.

    August 30, 2011 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Reality1

      According to some of the nutcase on here, you're eating the best diet in the world....since it doesn't contain those evil "preservatives".

      August 30, 2011 at 6:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tastes Great

      @Reality, Wouldn't that depend upon what he ate before recycling his waste?

      August 30, 2011 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse |
  9. wendy5

    when is body becomes acidic from the sugar he could possible regret it

    August 30, 2011 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Dave

    Smaller portions is the key! Eat less.

    August 30, 2011 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
  11. banasy©

    @raven:

    Thank you, luv!

    August 30, 2011 at 6:12 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Johnny

    It's not what you eat. It's how much you eat and how much you exercise. I've hardly changed my diet (other than smaller amounts and no soda), and I've lost 35 pounds in two 1/2 months.

    August 30, 2011 at 6:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • DT

      Agreed, I did the same. Cut out all soda and consumed only water and tea, with the occasional hot chocolate or something to that affect. I also started the gym 5 days a week for an hour a day. Lost 35 lbs in about 2.5 months myself and my body fat % is stable at 14! I still eat my pizzas, ice creams, and snack foods, but its just all about moderation.

      August 30, 2011 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Tha Chikin

    Twinkies – 1
    Apples – 0

    AWESOME!

    See... men can lose weight by simply thinking about it. Women however, can't lose weight to save their lives. If I were to go on a twinkie diet, I would wind up being a shut-in. What works for some, will not work for others. So, it's back to the treadmill!! Now if only they could come up with a way to generate electricity from all those endless hours spent running nowhere.

    August 30, 2011 at 6:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • oldboldgold

      They have already. From a stationary bicycle, too. You can use manpower to generate electricity, and store it in a battery for later use. A villager in Africa made one run a television and the villagers take turns riding the bike so everyone can watch TV. Nice.

      August 30, 2011 at 6:31 pm | Report abuse |
  14. JRH

    Does this man have some kind of credentials? If so, they should be revoked. But it's his choice. If he likes processed foods and wants to eat them, it's just more job security for all of us in health care. I hope he enjoys his cancers, chemotherapies, radiation therapy, surgeries, etc. And I hope he has good insurance.

    August 30, 2011 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Mike

    Just goes to show, the biggest thing to worry about when dieting in calorie consumption. If your goal is to simply loose weight than this is the only thing to worry about. I laugh when people say they are going on low fat or low carb diets, in the end its only about calories, losing weight is a simple game of numbers. People need to realize this so they will stop complaining about how hard it is to lose weight.

    August 30, 2011 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
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