Tuesday, November 09, 2010

All New, 100% Guarantee! Weight Loss Solution! The Twinkie Diet!

By Monica

You're going to love this, if you haven't already seen it. Man loses 27 pounds eating 3/4 of his food as Twinkies and the like, daily. This is about as intelligent an "experiment" as the woman who is leaving 1 McDonald's burger out for 6 months and "proving" that it doesn't rot.

Most of my writing over the past month has been devoted to the "McDonald's doesn't rot" meme floating around the internet and getting picked up by the likes of major media outlets like CNN. But let's get real... just because McDonald's rots doesn't make it health food, and I would never use my experiment to try to make that point.

But wait... you can lose weight on Twinkies! The new health food!

This guy went from a diet of "healthy whole grains and fruit" to junk food, but with both diets having probably equal proportions of macronutrients. But he cut calories to around 67% of his needs and lost weight. He's a nutrition professor. You have to love that. Really, a nutritionist or a dietitian would be the only type of person stupid enough to abandon all common sense in order to subject themselves to this diet. I would never go on this diet, damaging my health, in order to prove that people in "food deserts" can lose weight on junk food.

You can lose weight be restricting your calories eating almost anything. This is news? Imagine eating only 2/3 the food you eat now. This would be tough. Of course, when you allow yourself a Twinkie every three hours when you're having a sugar crash, it might make things easier.

I was also fairly lean on a donut-, cookie-, brownie-, sandwich-, pasta-, and rice and beans-diet in grad school. I weighed quite a bit less than I do now, actually. Of course, I was also 6 years younger and a miserable, nervous wreck. My leanness didn't last, though. It also caught up with me until I was at an all-time high on the scale.

The big thing missing in this article is how he felt on this diet. I think this is an important indicator of health that people forsake for traditional measurements of "health" including cholesterol (I didn't realize anyone still cared about that) and the scale.

Do I really need to point out that this diet is a recipe for your body to burn lean muscle mass over the long term in order to satisfy metabolic requirements? Anyone who wants to see (literally, as pictures as provided) what the effects of this type of diet are over the long term need only read about Ancel Keys' starvation experiments in Good Calories, Bad Calories.

Gotta love this one:

"These foods are consumed by lots of people," he said. "It may be an issue of portion size and moderation rather than total removal. I just think it's unrealistic to expect people to totally drop these foods for vegetables and fruits. It may be healthy, but not realistic."

I love this. "These foods" he's talking about are Hostess Twinkies, Little Debbie snack cakes, and the like.

So let me get this straight.

It's "practical" to eat vending machine snacks every few hours and wipe out your food budget, but it's impractical to plan a little and eat real food that you bought and prepared from the grocery store, maybe 1-2 meals daily, and not be hungry all the time.

It's "practical" to have to be within 100 yards from a vending machine or a calculator most of the day to make sure you're not going over your limit but impractical to eat meats and vegetables like your grandparents did 70 years ago, and be a normal weight without even having to think about it because your appetite functions properly and will regulate how much you eat.

How times have changed. Now we have "nutritionists" telling us we can lose weight by eating Twinkies, so long as you eat few enough in terms of calories to force any outcome. Would anyone have listened to this sort of nonsense 70 years ago if it came from a "nutritionist" whose body fat is still almost twice what it should be, even after losing 27 pounds? No, instead they listened to this type of thing, from a man who looks like he knows what he's talking about:

Now, if Jack Lalanne were telling me to eat Twinkies in order to look like he still does, I might be listening.

Listen closely to what he says. Refined sugars (and wheat, notice!) as bad, sugars in fruit are not as bad because they come with other nutrition, i.e. minerals. Lalanne's prescription? "Protein and fruit" for breakfast, more protein and veggies for lunch, same for dinner. Basically? Paleo, primal, whatever you want to call it. This man was way ahead of his time, and so were our great-grandparents who had enough common sense to know that a steady diet of this type of stuff isn't healthy:


Every Monday and Wednesday, I teach 3 hours in the AM and 3 hours in the PM. I'm away from the house for 14 hours. Sometimes I don't eat anything on those days, and sometimes I have a small late lunch, which is my first meal of the day. Then I eat when I get home at 10PM. The only thing I have during my classes is some water.

Yet all the while I'm teaching, I'm watching students have to take frequent breaks, like drug addicts, to get their hits of vending machine snacks and sodas. They can't go even 3 hours without food. Almost all these students (young and old) eat junk, and that is all they eat during the class. I have seen two students this whole semester bring cut fruit or vegetables for snacks. By and large, they are almost all snacking on sugar, all the time. With "news" like this in the media, telling them they can lose weight by eating junk so long as they don't eat too much, it's not hard to understand why.

Let's use some common sense, people. Someone might be able to lose weight eating 8 Twinkies a day if that's about all they eat. And I might be able to show that Twinkies rot in my jars. Doesn't make 'em health food.

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