The College Professor Who Went On a Twinkie Diet

For 10 weeks in 2010, Kansas State University professor Mark Haub ate Hostess Twinkies, Hostess Powdered Donuts and Little Debbie Nutty Bars every 3 hours instead of meals. His premise: That in weight loss, pure calorie count is what matters most, not the nutritional value of the food. On his “convenience store diet,” Haub shed 27 pounds in 2 months. The 41-year-old took on the challenge for a class project, limiting himself to less than 1,800 calories a day. A man of Haub’s pre-dieting size consumes around 2,600 calories daily. So, he followed a basic principle of weight loss: He consumed significantly fewer calories than he burned. His BMI went from 28.8 (considered overweight) to 24.9 (normal). When he finished the project, he weighed 174 pounds. While you might think that his health would have suffered, you would be wrong. His bad cholesterol (LDL) dropped 20% and his good cholesterol (HDL) increased by 20%. He also reduced the level of triglycerides, which are a form of fat, by 39%. Despite his temporary success, Haub does not recommend replicating his snack-centric diet.