Normally I’d expect a story like this to appear with Bat Boy and the latest Elvis sightings, but having it come from CNN raises some eyebrows. Apparently, Mark Haub, a professor of human nutrition at Kansas State University, spent 10 weeks eating a Twinkie every three hours, instead of meals. To augment his Hostess and Little Debbie diet, he also consumed Doritos chips, sugary cereals and Oreos in order to prove that pure calorie counting is the most important factor when losing weight – not the nutritional value of the food.
Apparently there’s some truth to his claim, as he reportedly lost 27 pounds in two months.
For a class project, Haub limited himself to less than 1,800 calories a day. A man of Haub’s pre-dieting size usually consumes about 2,600 calories daily. So he followed a basic principle of weight loss: He consumed significantly fewer calories than he burned.
His body mass index went from 28.8, considered overweight, to 24.9, which is normal. He now weighs 174 pounds.
As if this isn’t stunning enough:
“Haub’s “bad” cholesterol, or LDL, dropped 20 percent and his “good” cholesterol, or HDL, increased by 20 percent. He reduced the level of triglycerides, which are a form of fat, by 39 percent.”
In addition to Haub’s diet of junk food, he also ate vegetables, consisting of a can of green beans or three to four celery stalks, and consumed a multivitamin pill and protein shake daily.
Even with his success, Haub doesn’t recommend his diet:
“I’m not geared to say this is a good thing to do,” he said. “I’m stuck in the middle. I guess that’s the frustrating part. I can’t give a concrete answer. There’s not enough information to do that.”
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