The Real Twinkie Diet

March 21, 2011 § 9 Comments

Last night I was messing about on the Internet, trying to think of something to write for the next VoulezVous post when NB asked me if I had heard about the Twinkie diet. Ummm, no! Truth be told I’ve never even seen a Twinkie, but I was intrigued. So I Googled it, as we all do these days, and hot damn there was a man who had lived on Twinkie’s for six weeks and lost a whole bunch of weight. I stared at my rocket salad with barely concealed disdain. Here I am, day in day out trying to be healthy (ok maybe not day in AND day out) and this guy grabs his fill from a packet every 3 hours and ends up a skinny minny. Not cool dude! Anyway, I thought I would share my findings with you and maybe I’ll start listening to the little voice that keeps telling me how chocolate will make me happy…SupaSista – heard!

 

 

What have you eaten today? Was it poached eggs on whole wheat for breakfast or a tuna salad for lunch? How about Twinkies, Oreos or some Doritos? You might remember Mark Haub’s Twinkie diet from December last year, which saw the Professor of nutrition at Kansas State University shed 27 pounds over six weeks. Yep, a ‘guilt food’ made him drop 27 pounds. Why? Because one Twinkie every 3 hours was nearly all he ate.

This isn’t the first time someone has lost weight on a crazy diet, I once had a Pilates client who ate nothing but oranges for a week to lose weight while her husband was away. Others claim that the potato diet worked wonders for their waistline.

Yet realistically the food irrelevant,  it is the overall calorie reduction that has led to the weight-loss.

Of course the long-term health effects of permanently existing on these diets would be disastrous (hair loss, organ stress, loss of bone density, cognitive impacts, malnutrition and potentially even death), but they raise an issue that is very close to my heart. Portion control.

 

The people of Okinawa, Japan, one of the longest-lived and healthiest populations in the world, practice a principle they call hara hachi bu: Eat until you are 80% full. This is a sensible idea but how on earth can we tell when we are 80% full? By the time our mind has registered satiety, we have generally OVEREATEN, with majority of Americans (and many Aussies Blushers…) needing some visual cue as to when they should stop eating (when the plate is clean, when the package is empty, when the TV show is over). It’s time we start learning to react to internal cues, instead of those external reminders.

In his book, In Defence of Food, Michael Pollan, author, journalist and healthy eating activist, explains how eating less has repeatedly been shown to slow aging and prolong lifespan in animals. It is also linked to the prevention of cancer as cutting back on calories slows cell division and stifles the production of free radicals.

 

Here in America we face a culture of cheap and abundant calories, as well as a lack of formality or occasion surrounding meals. While the French eat modest portions and observe that second helpings are taboo, America continues to ‘Super Size Me’.

We’re also living in a society that’s low on time and big on outsourcing their food preparation, yet eating out can really be the killer. Did you know that restaurant portions can be up to four times the size of a recommended dietary serve? And don’t even get me started on free soda refills.

Remember the last time you were at an all you can eat buffet and ate until you feel sick, just to get your money’s worth? (NB’s cool aunt makes the joke that it’s All You Can Eat, not You Eat All!) Or when dining out in a restaurant and you make yourself finish all the sides for the table so they ‘don’t go to waste’. The Duck has a terrific saying for this: If your body doesn’t need it, it’s just going to waste anyway. Huzzah! Or my Nan will wrap up half a slice of bread to take home if she can’t finish it (she also washes Glad Wrap but that’s a whole other story.) I would feel confident in saying that no restaurant or cafe would refuse you a doggy-bag. By packing it up not only do you save your waist from overindulgence, but you save money on the next days lunch.

This is just a little food for thought. I think you can have your cake and eat it too, just maybe ask for half a slice.

 

 

 

 

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§ 9 Responses to The Real Twinkie Diet

  • Whaaaaaa says:

    Is this the post for me? Should I be offended? I’M CONFUSED!!!

  • I’ve never tried a Twinkie before, are they tasty?
    Im with you, have your cake, and eat it too…. But, you need to do all the other stuff as well, exercise, drink lots of water, get a good 6-8hrs sleep a night.
    Your nan sounds fantastic, please, you’ve just got to tell the washing glad wrap story?

  • Just thought I’d mention, though it might be possible to loose weight on twinkies, if that’s all you were eating, you’d become severely malnourished and be missing key vitamins and minerals. Eventually he’d become quite unwell.
    *kisses* HH

  • ducky says:

    Have sworn off the naughty stuff for ages then instead of soft boiled egg on sourdough for my Sunday brunch I lashed out and for some totally random reason had peanut butter instead(AND THEN I TUNE INTO YOUR BLOG AND SEE THE THUMB AND THINK ‘NO,NO,NO…)but of course it’s too late then(and to be honest the peanut butter was after a bowl of leftover pasta with chicken,chorizo and mushroom).It was actually a really nice breakfast……

    • I think it’s best if we don’t talk about peanut butter guilt! Else I must own up and post a photo of the jar I have devoured in the last five days! Mmmmm!! Sounds like a terrific breakfast, very us!

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