The South Beach Diet, the Grapefruit Diet…the Twinkie Diet?

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Yep, it’s true and the even more bizarre truth behind this diet is that it was created by A NUTRITION PROFESSOR! Mark Haub set out to prove that how much you eat is more important than what you eat in terms of weight loss so he designed what he calls “the convenience store diet” based on Little Debbies, Doritos, Oreos, sugary cereals and yep, Twinkies. He feels that it is “unrealistic” to believe that most Americans will be willing and able to trade their convenience store items for fresh fruits and vegetables so he wanted to show that you could still lose weight basically, I have to say it, eating CRAP.

 

He Lost Weight!
And in 8 weeks he did just that. He went from a BMI of 28.8 which categorized him as obese to a BMI of 24.9, which is in the normal range. More importantly, his LDL, HDL and triglycerides counts all improved leaving him to believe that this diet could be healthy for everyone. But, here are the challenges that he somehow failed to consider…shocking though it is that a nutrition professor could miss these!

Short-Term Fix
This was a short term fix- what about the long term ramifications of a diet that is low in essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber and high quality protein? This could put someone at risk for a variety of diseases, including osteoporosis and cancer.

Body Fat
He failed to check the change in body fat. If he lost weight but didn’t change his overall body composition, then he didn’t get healthier and he is setting himself up for rebound weight gain.

Diversity
He failed to consider biochemical and genetic individuality. Sure, he temporarily improved but what about someone who had a genetic predisposition to elevated blood sugar and cholesterol and the genotype that called out for a low carbohydrate diet. It is unlikely that they would see the same benefits.

Unfair Comparison
He admitted that he overate on healthy food previously. Too much healthy food is unhealthy so to compare his blood lipids based on overeating to now, when he is undereating, isn’t a fair comparison. You would have to keep calories neutral to take the impact of weight loss out of the equation to really see the effect. Most likely if he had followed the same calorie diet but with healthier options, he would have seen an even bigger improvement in his blood lipids.

People CAN Eat Healthy!
Finally, I find it almost hopeless that a nutrition professor feels that it is unrealistic for people to stop eating convenience foods and eat fruits and vegetables. Honestly, if he feels that way he is in the wrong profession. I just pray the American public is smarter than this professor and shame on him for putting this information out there as it is inevitable that there will be people going on this kind of diet. This would not be the legacy I would want to leave from career.

About the Author
2010 JJ Virgin & Associates, Inc. JJ Virgin, PhD, CNS is a nutrition and fitness expert, author, public speaker and media personality. She is the author of Six Weeks to Sleeveless and Sexy and the co-star of TLC’s Freaky Eaters. You can download her Top Ten Tips to Get Slim and Sexy Fast at www.jjvirgin.com (see link below)

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