One Mom’s Journey from Fat to Skinny to Confident

INSIGHTS

Of Course the Twinkie Diet Works…

27 Comments 2217 views

he was eating LESS.

Have you seen this –> Twinkie diet helps nutrition professor lose 27 pounds


Image courtesy of CNN

I saw it on the news this morning and just had to jot down some thoughts.

I have no doubt that the "twinkie diet" “worked”. He decreased calories therefore he lost weight.

It’s really not rocket science.

The problem is… if I tried to only consume highly processed snack cakes all day I’d feel like a slug. I’d crave more. And I’d eat MORE.

For me, when I eat a little healthier and make more conscious food decisions I do end up eating less, but less in a different way…..

These examples (and I can come up with tons more) are not less food but less calories and that’s what counts at the core for weight loss.

In most cases I’m actually able to eat MORE of my substitutes and still consume LESS overall cals. That’s the beauty of eating a bit more consciously. Especially when you are an eater like me yet trying to lose or manage your weight.

Being smart where you spend calories and finding or making treats that satisfy what you crave is a key to losing weight.

At least it is for me.

Ok, small rant over. Back to FitBloggin’ prep.



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Discussion

There are 27 comments so far.

    Alex Quintana

    May 18, 2011

    You go girl!

    Nikki

    May 18, 2011

    You’re completely right. How can you feel good about eating only greasy spongey “cake”, whether or not you’re losing weight? Blah, slug city!

    Tracy Hansen

    May 18, 2011

    I think he may be trying to prove the BS claim that people say they are overweight because all they can eat are processed, to-go foods. “It’s not my fault I am over weight when all I have available are Twinkies!” I guess he proved his point, but I bet he feels like crap! He is going to need some detox. It also did not mention if he did any exercise. That could be a factor. ??

    Lay Down My Idols

    May 18, 2011

    But for some people – the # on the scale is #1 (unfortunately). Ugh. I feel gross just thinking of eating all those Twinkies!
    Dawn

    bridget

    May 18, 2011

    I’m not even sure what point he was trying to make!?!?! He ate fewer calories, which would help him lose weight. He had to supplement those (in my opinion, non food items) because they have no nutritional value. I think if I took a vitamin, and a protein shake, and vegetables, and then ate fewer calories worth of ANYTHING (wood chips, perhaps? cat food? no, that has nutritional value. ) I’d lose weight. And, since cholesterol is an animal made product, subscribing to a vegetarian, or rather a meatless crapitarian diet, WOULD benefit one’s cholesterol levels. What a donkey. Ignore that. Donkeys eat better. Anyhow, I’m curious more about the REST of his body. I’d love to know his muscle mass v body fat ratios before and after. No doubt he lost muscle mass. And a crash dieting affects internal organs – he could well have weakened his heart pulling this stunt! And once he returns to his normal eating habits, what will happen on the scale then??!?!?!. sigh. I think I’m really bothered because people may just hear about the weight loss, and will think it’s an ok way to eat. We need to encourage GOOD food, not crap cakes loaded with hydrogenated fats (which may be linked to MS), fat and sugar. Which brings up the question, what were his glycemic levels throughout all this? And how did he FEEL? ugh. Sorry. Now my rant is over. ;-)

    Kim

    May 18, 2011

    He did this experiment to show his nutrition students that weight loss/gain is calories in and calories out, not the type of foods that you eat. But I completely agree with you- I’d have no motivation to get off the couch if I ate like that.

    Agnes

    May 18, 2011

    I saw this story a while back myself. What I liked about it is that it proved that calories do count. For me it was a validation, you see a couple of years back right after I had my daughter, my ob-gyn really got on me about losing weight. He was the first doctor that ever mentioned anything about weight. He was a low carb maniac and basically told me to eat all meat and very little carbs and I would be fine. When I asked him about calories he acted like they were totally insignificant and only folks who ate low carb would ever lose weight. I left his office feeling like I should just give up. I am not a big meat eater and I could not imagine eating meat all the time! Plus I refused to believe that carbs were that bad! We know traditional Japanese diets for example contain tons of rice! Yet most Japanese are not obese and in fact are healthier overall then us Westerners! As crazy as this twinkie diet was, it proved that calories do matter and that made me feel better. Now having said all that…ugh, can’t imagine eating all that junk! I too feel so much better when I eat healthy and I think I have finally found a good balance between a little bit of meat and the right carbs! I think that’s the key…finding what works for you!

    Patty

    May 18, 2011

    BRAVO! I’m so sick of hearing about these crazy diets. They minimalize the HARD WORK that eating consciously actually is.

    I’m struggling to get the last 40 lbs off and I’m at a crossroad where I can go back to prepackaged meal plan, put pressure on my finances to buy their food or I can restructure my schedule and make time to plan, eat real foods and stay on Weight Watchers. Ugh! No twinkie diet is gonna help in this case. But I have a feeling meeting some amazing folks at FitBloggin will give me some inspiration to figure this out.

    Jeannie

    May 18, 2011

    So agree! When I eat cleaner, whole foods I can eat so much more but less calories. I also feel more satisfied so I am less likely yo overeat. I would also be interested in his fat loss vs muscle loss. Sure, he lost weight with reduced calories but most likely it still left him flabby because his body consumed it’s own muscle in the process. This also most likely left him with a very sluggish metabolism which means he needs to eat even less!

    Mindy

    May 18, 2011

    I agree that obviously eating the way you do is much healthier and energizing. Obviously he was trying to prove that calories in being less than calories out will amount to weight loss. The thing I like about it is that it shows that food is not good or bad. It might be healthy or not so healthy but it’s not good or bad. So if you are trying to lose and you have a craving for a twinkie and you eat it, you don’t have to beat yourself up about the fact that you ate a twinkie. Move on and do your best, your journey is not ruined. Or worse, make you go on a binge or exercise like crazy or whatever remedy you feel like you have to put yourself through just to be back to balanced.

    RG

    May 18, 2011

    I saw this experiment months ago, but I also really like it. Vegetables are great, and having a full belly is nice, but the reality in my head is that dieting is not natural. My body will crave more calories, and I have to restrict them. I also think this is important for a certain class of dieters, people unused to vegetables or whole grains, to say “you can keep eating your favorite foods, just eat less of them” – and then once they’re hooked you can introduce eating more vegetables to feel more full. note – he did take a protein shake and vegetables in front of his kids to get some nutrition and not set a bad example.

    sabrina

    May 18, 2011

    Twinkies are gross anyway

    Susan

    May 18, 2011

    I like your point here — “The problem is… if I tried to only consume highly processed snack cakes all day I’d feel like a slug. I’d crave more. ” That is my problem. If I start eating highly refined carbs, then I just want more. It’s a vicious cycle. I have been doing reading lately about that cycle, eat-refined-carbs-want-more-refined-carbs-eat-more-refined-carbs, and I am convinced that it is true.

    Mehgann

    May 18, 2011

    @Mindy, I think you hit the nail on the head. Weight loss is about reducing your overall caloric intake and conscious eating, NOT perfection!

    Tara

    May 18, 2011

    you always inspire me to do more in the kitchen! Love it! :) Haven’t made it there yet, but you ignite that desire in me to start diving in..

    RG

    May 18, 2011

    I forgot to mention what I thought was fairly important in his diet: he used mass produced foods with built-in portion control. One of the biggest pitfalls to dieters, new and experienced, is accurate calorie estimation. There are 3 things that help with this: using a scale (which you do), using foods with low calorie density (underestimating an apple by an ounce does less damage than underestimating your cheese by an ounce) and using pre-packaged, individually wrapped foods. Each twinkie may not weigh/ have the exact calories written on the package, but the nature of mass producing is that it’s probably accurate to within 10%. I’ve seen an intelligent person write down 1/4 cup of rice as 50 calories – ignoring the fact that it was 1/4 cup before cooking, so it was more like a cup or rice, or 150-200.

    Tami@nutmegnotebook

    May 18, 2011

    Amen Roni! I too am a “volume” eater! I don’t think that will ever change.

    Losing weight and being thin does equate – being healthy!

    I like to have a lot of food, but like you I have figured out how to do that in a healthy way that is also nutritious for my body.

    When I see “diet” or low calorie food plans listed in magazines, I just have to laugh because there is no way I would be content with the meager meal plan options they list.

    Yes it does take more work to cook healthy meals and snacks that are not derived from mass quantities of convenience products but if that is what it takes to be healthier, maintain my weight loss and not be craving sugar and junk food I am willing to do it.

    After all, I finally have figured out that my health and peace of mind are worth it!

    to Mr Haub I have this to say…you are what you eat…

    s

    May 18, 2011

    hmm … that diet didn’t work on me. :)

    s

    May 18, 2011

    oh, he also had vegetables, protein shakes, and a multivitamin for 23% of his diet. this makes it seem significantly less “fast food nation”-y. anyways, i’m with you on this post.

    Paula

    May 18, 2011

    You are so right. I too am an eater and I cut calories and fat in my diet. It is what works. Thanks for pointing out the misleading information in this Twinkie Diet.

    Roz

    May 18, 2011

    Agree 100%!! What a ridiculous plan!! Happy prep Roni!

    Laura Jane

    May 20, 2011

    Agreed. If you eat less calories you will lose weight even if all the calories come from junk. (I’ve done it, and I don’t recommend it.) The thing is this: it’s super, super hard to actually eat fewer calories if you are eating more junk food. It would be difficult to feel full on 1500 calories of Twinkies, but 1500 of fruit, vegetables, and meat and you’d feel full and satisfied.

    Megan

    May 20, 2011

    Yes, you will lose weight if you eat fewer calories than you need, but like so many other people said… how do you feel when you consume sugar-loaded, carb-loaded, fatty foods? I know for myself I feel drained, tired, depressed, unmotivated, irritable and have headaches… among many other things. I’ve learned over the years that the numbers on the scale don’t matter nearly as much as my overall health.

    Fitsu Fitness

    May 22, 2011

    Yes I agree to megan calories food make me hard to let go….
    I know it’s necessarily to avoid or minimize. But thankx for the informative information.

    Mark Haub, PhD

    July 12, 2011

    Great comments…I’ve kept the weight off via portion control, haven’t checked blood variables in a while though. Of the 27 lbs, 21 lbs was fat and my % fat decreased by 9% (34-25). Not sure how much muscle was “lost”, but lean mass (water, protein/muscle) decreased 6 lbs. I would estimate that half was water weight due to less glycogen and half was protein. If they are higher, does that mean I was healthier eating “c” foods (cake, cookies, chips, carrots)? I felt fine and my wife has actually mentioned my mood/energy being better living that lifestyle than portion control. With the anniversary approaching, I will likely apply to join the National Weight Control Registry.

    As mentioned by someone, a point (as there were many) of the project was to illustrate the “eat this, not that” and “good/bad” concepts regarding obesity are flawed. It’s how we eat, not what we eat. Some understand the calorie issue, but many still do not. This also assumes that weight loss and changing cholesterol/lipids/glucose are healthy outcomes (another point we discussed in class – “Health at Every Size”)

    I haven’t found many women that think this approach would work for them, just as a vegan plant-based diet is not preferred by me. We all need to find our own paths to health, right? Best wishes for each of you on your journeys, may it be pleasurable and offer great learning experiences. Great to see the passion discussing health, nutrition, food, and life — probably the best public outcome of the project by far.

    Cheers — Mark

    p.s. — I didn’t really eat many Twinkies, ate more Nutty Bars and Raspberry/coconut Zingers :-)

    roni

    July 12, 2011

    “We all need to find our own paths to health, right? ”

    Exactly!

    I have to let you know I wasn’t ranting about you in this post. It was in direct response to the media coverage of it. I can’t stand how they hop on things like “The Twinkie Diet” and distort the idea just to create a buzz. It’s a pet peeve of mine and that morning if I heard “Twinkie diet” one more time I was going to scream! lol

    Thanks so much for commenting. I appreciate your input!