Monday, November 15, 2010

Is the Twinkie Diet Really your Best Weight Loss Solution?

(Article firs published as Is the Twinkie Diet Really your Best Weight Loss Solution? on Technorati.)
Much has been reported lately about the Kansas State University nutrition professor that lost 27 pounds in two months on his self-proclaimed Twinkie Diet. Reports in the media extol the virtues of his weight loss success as monumental and possibly even health promoting. Nothing could be further from the truth.

On the most basic level, weight loss occurs on a physical dimension where calories consumed are lower than our energy requirements. This experiment provides a simple example of how weight loss can occur when 800 calories are removed from your diet each day, regardless of what you eat. Permanent weight loss and good health require a much longer commitment and a well balanced diet.

It’s Just a Matter of Calories
Reducing 800 calories a day will force the body to metabolize stored fat for energy, even if those calories are in the form of one of the most horrific food sources imaginable. Our body is very sensitive to calories consumed and will feverishly release fat to meet the needs of our metabolic furnace. Eventually, though starvation mode will kick in and our body’s engine will begin to conserve every small amount of energy to prepare us for tough times.

Nutrition Professor Makes a Point
Dr. Mark Haub is an Assistant Professor of Nutrition at Kansas State University who decided to prove a point about weight loss. Tradition dictates a reduced calorie, well balanced diet to drop the pounds, and yet the professor dropped 27 pounds in 60 days by cutting his daily calories from 2600 to 1800 and eating mostly junk food and Twinkies. He did take vitamin supplements just to be certain he was receiving the most basic nutrients.

Is a Diet of Twinkies Really Healthy?
Common logic would say that eating nothing but 1800 calories composed of junk food would not be good for your health, but Dr. Haub found that his LDL cholesterol and triglycerides went down and his protective HDL cholesterol increased.

On the surface this all seems to be good, but the problem is that these apparent health benefits are likely just the result of lost weight over the short 60 day period and would become negatively impacted over a longer period of time. Extensive research has shown the damaging effects of a processed food diet on all markers of health.

What’s the Right Approach to Weight Loss?
While Dr. Haub has provided the world with an interesting one-mouse experiment, nobody (not even the good Doctor) is promoting the Twinkie Diet as a good way to lose weight or improve disease risk factors. Eating 1800 calories a day for a man is the right approach to stimulate weight loss. Filling those calories with a Mediterranean style menu makes much better sense over the long run as it has been shown to deliver healthy weight loss results and dramatically lower your risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

2 comments:

Andrew Jen said...

Sounds like my ex-roomate. His daily food intake seemed to consist of cookie dough and brownies. He is skinny as a stick but I can't imagine his future being too bright.

Calotren said...

Though diet control is a best way to loose weight but this is not a quick result if someone is in hurry to loose weight then he or she have to take weight loss supplements.