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The Twinkie Diet: Losing Weight with Junk Food

Updated on February 19, 2011

Junk food diets like the cookie diet or the candy diet are really nothing new. These fad diets have been quite popular with American consumers for many years because they claim that people can lose weight while eating the foods that they love. However, until recently, the claims made by these kinds of junk food diets have never really been put to the test. A nutrition professor at the University of Kansas conducted a study on what he referred to as the Twinkie Diet.

Professor Mark Haub ate nothing but Twinkies, Little Debbie cakes, and Doritos snack chips for a period of ten weeks. What he found may be quite astonishing to some, but it really makes perfect scientific sense. At the end of ten weeks, the professor had lost a total of 27 pounds. What’s more? He also lowered his bad cholesterol levels and raised his good cholesterols levels. His research proved that people can not only lose weight eating nothing but junk food, but they can also lower their cholesterol levels if one simple rule is observed: calorie consumption cannot exceed what is required in order to maintain a certain weight. 

In Haub’s case, this daily caloric limit was 1800 calories. Although he was eating nothing but junk food, the professor meticulously counted calories for everything that he ate, being careful not to consume more than 1800 calories per day. Realistically, this would have been about nine Twinkies or Little Debbie cakes daily. Haub also decided that those who use the Twinkie Diet as a means to lose weight should take daily dietary supplements in order to compensate for a loss of many vitamins and minerals in the daily diet.

This research confirms that dieting really is a lot simpler than many people make it out to be. Eating less and exercising more really is the hallmark of any successful weight loss program. Although the study confirmed that you really can lose weight on the Twinkie Diet, the professor, along with other nutrition experts, emphasizes that the Twinkie Diet is not effective as a long-term weight loss program. Those trying to lose weight should practice portion control and learn to eat varieties of fresh fruits and vegetables along with fiber-rich foods in order to keep the weight off for a longer period of time.

In addition, the Twinkie Diet research did not study the long-term effects of trans fats and other food additives found in many junk foods.

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  • Leslie Jo Barra profile image

    Leslie Jo Barra 6 years ago

    I can't imagine how awful I would feel only eating junk food. Yuck! Junk food is fine in moderation, but let's just practice a balanced, sensible diet! Imagine all the vitamins and minerals the Twinkie professor must have missed.

  • swedal profile image
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    swedal 6 years ago from Colorado

    Yeah Leslie, I can't imagine how run down it would make me feel only eating junk food.

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