Twinkie Diet REVIEW

CNN recently exposed the world to the exploits of a college professor [Mark haub], a nutrition professor, nonetheless, who lost 27 pounds through his so-called “Twinkie Diet”.  For 10 weeks Mark Haub limited himself to 1,800 calories a day by eating a Twinkie (or sugary cereals, Oreos, Doritos, or Little Debbie snacks) every three hours, instead of meals.

*A recent study in JAMA indicated that the average male eats approximately 3700 calories per day

I am assuming that Haub was smarter and healthier than that, but one could easily assume Haub was eating at least 2800 calories per day.  That puts him at a calorie deficit of at least 1000 calories per day. Please note that just because Mark was a Nutrition Professor it does NOT mean he was a healthy individual as clearly indicated by his BMI.  I wonder if Mark recently just packed on the pounds in order to prove his theory correct and get mass media attention.

The proof, according to Haub is in the results. He lost 27 pounds in just over two months (10 weeks). His body mass index [a horribly inaccurate measurement of health] went from 28.8, which is considered obese, to 24.9, which is considered normal. Even more interesting is the fact that his bad cholesterol dropped by 20% and his good cholesterol increased by 20%.

This could be evidence of overeating causes dramatic challenges and high stress environment within the body.  Or it could point that Haub had a very bad diet to start with compounded by high calories.

If nothing else, the results highlight the importance of calorie counting in any diet. Quite simply Mark was able to lose weight by limiting the calories he put in his body. These calories were less than the amount of calories he burned each day.

Simply Stated: Calories IN / Calories OUT


While most of us would love to quickly jump on this diet concept hoping it works, we have to take a closer look at the Twinkie diet (as we do with any diet) and understand the full story:

Unlike most individuals who would live on twinkies and junk food, Mark started off with a very good health history and diet [as reported by Haub, without evidence and documentation]. The healthy basis [or knowledge of] gave him a proper foundation, allowing him to veer off his healthy lifestyle for a short period of time.

Remember even if you eat healthy you can still consume too many calories and thus be a very healthy fat person.

Even though Mark lived on junk food, he kept active, which is an important piece of the equation.

Mark supplemented his “Twinkie Diet” with vitamins and protein shakes.  Does “vitamins” include an Advanced Fat Loss Formula or Burner?

Mark also ate a fairly substantial amount of vegetables daily.

The story makes no mention of Mark’s energy, satisfaction and mental clarity, all of which can be depleted due to a high calorie, low nutrition diet (of the Twinkie Diet variety) and during the diet this was not tracked, which can also leave one completely drained, sick and unhealthy.

Mark only went on this diet for 10 weeks. The results would surely be different if he continued this diet continuously for months on end, as, unfortunately many people do.

Eventually this could lead to a skinnier fatter version of one’s self.

So what are we to take away from the Twinkie Diet?

There are several important notes:

1.Calorie Counting is important for any diet

2. A healthy basis and background is important and can help protect against short-term malnutrition, and

3. Just because you are losing weight, that doesn’t mean you are healthy.

Ideally, we’d love to know the full results of Mark’s research, including the long-term effects of such a diet (what happens if he lives on this diet for more than 10 weeks?), the effects if Mark were to also eliminate protein shakes, vitamins and veggies from this Twinkie Diet (which is much more likely in the real world), and the effects on his energy level (which most likely was drastically depleted from the Twinkie Diet).

What many people do not realize is that another BIG factor in this Twinkie Diet equation is that Mark Haub began taking protein powder.  This would most likely put his protein count much higher than it was before his Twinkie Diet and when you look into the details of how protein works you will quickly realize that PROTEIN may have been the reason for such a positive outcome.

Protein can increase the release of glucagons.  Glucagons are partially responsible for the release of fat stores for energy.  Releasing more fats for energy on a low calorie diet would account for the changes in Mark’s measurements and BMI.

So in conclusion one would have to ask the question:

“Was it the Calorie Cutting, the Twinkies or the Protein that was responsible for Mark Haub’s Twinkie Diet success?”

I want to hear from you on this one.  Join the conversation below and let me know your thoughts.

I think you are way to intelligent to fall for this fad diet.  What it comes down to is intelligent game plan that incorporates the three pillars for performance: Nutrition, Exercise and Supplements.

MOST importantly is the Nutrition that includes consistent timing of intelligent, healthy, calorie restricted meals.  If this makes sense to you, check out this months SUPER SPECIAL.  You can get our biggest Transformation Package with a Vacation.

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  1. Jordan
    7 years ago

    Well, it was an experiment, not a “fad diet.” But nobody should be surprised if someone decides to turn it into a fad diet! Or that a lot of people would try it! lol.

    It was definitely the calorie cutting. According to the “sample day” given in the CNN article, his only protein sources on that particular day were one serving of milk and one Muscle Milk shake. Doesn’t sound like a heckuva lot of protein to me. Certainly not significantly more than a regular diet with meat, dairy, grains, eggs, etc. I don’t know how much protein he was eating before the experiment, but it had to have been more than that.

    He also didn’t eat a lot of veggies on that day either. Just some baby carrots.

    As far as what would happen if he ate this way for man ten weeks, does it matter? Weight loss is temporary, not permanent. He lost 27 pounds in ten weeks, so now the diet’s over. Sounds okay to me. He could just eat a “normal” diet now, at a maintenance level of calories, if he wants to. Of course, if someone has much more weight to lose, say 100 or 200 pounds, weight loss would take much longer than ten weeks, and this approach would not be optimal for them. But ten weeks isn’t a long time. It’s an aggressive approach, and an aggressive approach shouldn’t be long term.

    Of course, we don’t know if his energy was “drastically depleted” during the diet. We can only speculate.


    • Patrick
      7 years ago

      Thanks Jordan.

      His sample day for that CNN report was very low calories. I have seen some other days that were much higher in protein, but I think we can both agree that its more the calories for this guy, than it was the Twinkie.


  2. Jade
    7 years ago

    Well, Dr Haub’s diet has certainly proved that it is the amount of calories which produce weight loss. His blood profiles also seem to be good. I have always eaten healthily, but I am overweight. I have tried everything from calorie counting to low carb and nothing works for long. Obviously, when you return to the pattern of eating that made you fat in the first place, you are going to get overweight again. I would like to know if Dr Haub has remained slim since going off the twinkie diet. I think that this is the crux of the dieting dilema … what happens when you stop dieting and how can you remain slim after dieting. I would love to try Dr Haub’s diet, but my mind is so entrenched in healthy eating that I don’t think I could do it. However, my excess weight is certainly not good for me. I don’t seem to lose weight on 1200-1400 calories a day, but maybe eating food that has the calorie content clearly written on it, as it is on a Twinkie bar, then maybe I would get a different result. Mmmmm … food for thought. Well done Dr Haub, you proved your point CALORIES COUNT.


  3. Anna
    7 years ago

    Very interesting and well done, but is it healthy long term?


    • Patrick
      6 years ago

      Totally healthy, easy to follow and very effective. No worries. Think about the alternative…. dying slowly from over eating?

      Remember this is primarily a quick start to a healthy lifestyle. For an easy to follow set of meal plans try my Empowered Nutrition Fat Loss Meal Plans