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Nutritionist loses 27 pounds on Twinkie and Oreo diet — no, really

A professor’s experiment with the so-called “convenience store diet” had some surprising results. But no one’s recommending this plan as a substitute for Weight Watchers.

Mark Haub is a professor of human nutrition at Kansas State University. To prove his point that it’s solely the number of calories consumed, not the quality of calories, that causes weight gain, he put himself on a strict regimen of junk food: Every three hours, Haub ate one Twinkie, doughnut, small bag of chips or similarly healthy treat. He supplemented that with a daily multivitamin. To avoid setting a bad example for his kids, he chowed down on a small portion of vegetables (such as three stalks of celery or a can of green beans) at home each night.

Overall, Haub cut his daily caloric intake from roughly 2,600 calories a day to 1,800 for two months.

The results were, in his own words, head-scratching. Haub lost 27 pounds, his body fat dropped from 33.4% to 24.9% and his body mass index went from an overweight 28.8 to a normal 24.9. Even more shockingly, his LDL, or “bad” cholesterol dropped 20% and his HDL (“good” cholesterol) increased by 20%. His triglycerides dropped 39%.

One theory is that just losing the weight — even if it’s done by eating near-garbage — allows the body to improve those key markers of health.

But no one, including Haub, recommends his diet as a way to lose weight. Such a nutrient-free diet is likely to have longer term effects that outweigh any improvement in weight, cholesterol levels, etc.

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  1. […] yeah, what about the Oreo thing? A while back a nutritionist lost 27 pounds eating mainly oreos and twinkies. How the heck does that work? Simple: The total calories were lower than what he had been eating. […]

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