Ten weeks of Twinkies, Little Debbie Cakes and chips as the mainstay of your diet. Does it sound like heaven? Kansas State University professor Mark Haub, Ph.D. recently did just that. His mission: to show that when it comes to losing weight, in the end, cutting calories is what REALLY counts, regardless of the nutritional value of the food.
For the experiment, two thirds of his diet consisted of eating what he calls "the convenience store" diet-- the cakes, and chips. He did supplement with a protein shake and some veggies each day as well.
The results: He lost 27 pounds! Basically, even though he was eating junk, he lowered his overall daily caloric intake to 1800 calories so he lost weight. Experts guess a man his size would've been taking in about 800 more calories than that as a daily average prior to the experiment.
Something that may be surprising: his overall cholesterol went down along with his bad cholesterol and his good cholesterol went up.
Our GalTime nutritionist Elisa Zied was quick to jump in on this one and remind everyone that, "Most people will lose weight if they cut calories, but if they don't choose mostly quality calories and choose mostly healthful nutrient dense foods like fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds, lean meats/fish/poultry, they're not protecting their hearts over the long-term. You can be slim and trim and still have a heart that's loaded with plaque that will eventually contribute to a heart attack and stroke down the road."
Professor Taub tells CNN , "I wish I could say the outcomes are unhealthy. I wish I could say it's healthy. I'm not confident enough in doing that. That frustrates a lot of people. One side says it's irresponsible. It is unhealthy, but the data doesn't say that."
What are your thoughts on this? Is it crazy to think people could/should lose weight on junk food, or is it purely calories that count? What about all the other issues that go along with junk foods. Would you try this? We want to hear from you...leave us a comment below.
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