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Professor loses weight on snack-food diet


Trainee Maintainer

Saw this online and wondered what you thought. I thought, if I start eating this stuff I just won't stop:(.

Nutrition professor drops two stone on snack food diet

Calories count more than nutritional value




Wed 10 Nov, 2010 12:00 am GMT
© Dr Mark Haub

It sounds like a dieters fantasy - lose weight by eating junk food and sweets - but in the case of university professor Mark Haub, it really worked.
Dr Haub, who teaches human nutrition at Kansas State University, lost 27 pounds in two months on a diet of chocolate bars, chips, biscuits, pizza, doughnuts and sugary cereals. He occasionally ate some low-calorie vegetables.
At the start of his snack food diet Dr Haub said: “It’s portion controlled. I’m eating foods that are deemed by many to be unhealthy; we will see if they are."
He restricted his diet to 1800 calories per day, compared to the 2600 an average man consumes.
Dr Haub wanted to show that the calorie content of food mattered most, rather than its nutritional value, when trying to lose weight.
And who can argue with his results? Dr Haub's body mass index fell from 28.8, considered overweight, to 24.9, which is within the normal weight range.
As a professor of nutrition, Dr Haub was well aware of the health risks involved. Blood cholesterol and glucose levels were monitored throughout his diet, as well as blood pressure and body composition.
Despite his diet of sugary, salty and fatty processed food, his health indicators actually improved. His LDL-cholesterol, which is linked to a greater risk of heart disease, fell 20 per cent, while his 'good' HDL-cholesterol rose by 20 per cent. Dr Haub's body fat also fell from 33.4 to 24.9 per cent.
"All I know is that my bad cholesterol has decreased on my diet, and my good cholesterol has increased," he said.
If cholesterol is a valid marker of cardiovascular disease risk, then it would appear my risk for cardiovascular disease decreased," Dr Haub added.
The diet was not an indulgence, Dr Haub said, but an experiment aimed at making the point that what matters in weight loss is the number of calories, rather than the quality of the food you eat.
Dr Haub whose diet cost around $5 per day said: “I am not promoting this or recommending it; it’s just an exercise in nutrition.”
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S: 25st0lb C: 13st1lb G: 13st1lb BMI: 24.1 Loss: 11st13lb(47.71%)
I read this, I find it hard to believe. What about that documentary, super size me was it called?


Gold Member
C: 11st3lb G: 10st0lb BMI: 25.3
and the portions cant have been very big. and omg all that sugar! you would have a sugar crash and crave more surely?


from FAT to FIT
S: 20st7lb C: 16st10lb G: 11st11lb BMI: 37.8 Loss: 3st11lb(18.47%)
I read this, I find it hard to believe. What about that documentary, super size me was it called?
In supersize me he ate in excess of 5000 calories a day :/ yikes.. i feel sick after one bigmac.. lol

and yeah i couldn't do this diet either.. i mean i'm watching calories, but i'm watching where the calories are coming from, healthy nutritional choices... i wouldn't have any self control for this diet either Amanda.. i would eat a box of twinkies at a time ! lol
S: 25st0lb C: 13st1lb G: 13st1lb BMI: 24.1 Loss: 11st13lb(47.71%)
He must just have a good metabolism is all I can think.


Trainee Maintainer
Quote "...Dr Haub wanted to show that the calorie content of food mattered most, rather than its nutritional value, when trying to lose weight..."

Well obviously, but it is hardly sensible, is it? I think that diabetes is lurking just around the corner if someone has this type of diet.

Quote "...And who can argue with his results? Dr Haub's body mass index fell from 28.8, considered overweight, to 24.9, which is within the normal weight range...."

Which just goes to show, really, that 'slim' people are not automatically healthy, particularly if they have the Professor's diet, and overweight people (according to BMI) are not automatically unhealthy eaters if they follow a balanced diet, but eat a bit more than they can work off.



On A Mission!
S: 17st9lb C: 10st9lb G: 10st7lb BMI: 23.3 Loss: 7st0lb(39.68%)
If you starve yourself completely with no food whatsoever, you are going to lose weight lol. And no doubt your cholestrol levels would come down too as a result. He was on this for 2 months, so no great harm done, but no doubt long term this would be a bad idea. No mention in the report if he was deficient in other areas of nutrition.

It cant have been easy doing this sort of diet, as the level of carbs must have had him craving for more food. Personally i would be craving salad i think lol.

It says in the report that he was trying to prove that calories count more than nutrition when trying to lose weight. Thats the bit that got me thinking the guy is a complete nutcase and should be struck off haha


Full Member
S: 10st0lb C: 9st11lb G: 8st7lb BMI: 23.5 Loss: 0st3lb(2.14%)
Am thinking of that programme Supersize Vs Superskinny on channel 4. A lot of the time it is the skinny one that is eating the junk food, living off of cakes and chocolate etc. It is usually the bigger one that has the more nutritional diet. The programme shows that you need a balance.

You can be slim and very unhealthy just as the other way round.

Can't see many takers on his junk diet as it is not just about being slim but healthy too. :rainbow:
S: 15st13lb C: 14st11lb G: 11st0lb BMI: 33.4 Loss: 1st2lb(7.17%)
Yeah i think hes just makin the point that portion size is really important. If ur eating healthy enough food like chicken/potatoes etc, you're not gona lose weight if u eat tonnes of it.
S: 12st6lb C: 12st6lb G: 8st8lb BMI: 29 Loss: 0st0lb(0%)
Before I started losing weight my diet mainly consisted of huge quantities of sugar laden food.

Since I have joined lighterlife lite I have stopped eating chocolate and other junk. Nevermind the weightloss side of it I have benefitted from having more energy, my skin has cleared up and my teeth no longer feel furry! I'm also less ratty!!! I may be wrong but I also feel that I look less wrinkly!

Excessive amounts of sugary foodstuffs in the diet are in my opinion detrimental to your body regardless of whether their fat content is less.
S: 12st5.5lb C: 10st10.0lb G: 9st10lb BMI: 24.6 Loss: 1st9.5lb(13.54%)
I also think you have a leaner body when you eat low fat foods, eating all this junk would give you very bad cellulite and lots of spots probably!


Full Member
C: 11st7lb G: 11st0lb BMI: 21.2
There was a woman on a BBC biology programme recently who'd lived on Monster Munch for years and years. Purely Monster Munch. She was slim, but her hair was falling out and her gums bled.
While I agree with everyone here that the diet he went on was unhealthy (in fact he himself said he doesn't recommend it), but it does at least present a counter-argument to generalisations about foods that make you fat. Eating all the "right" things, and never any "wrong" things, still won't make you lose weight if you're taking in more calories than you're using. Portion control is also very important.


Silver Member
S: 20st13lb C: 13st9lb G: 12st7lb BMI: 29 Loss: 7st4lb(34.81%)
Very interesting. I recently watched "Fat Head", the documentary "response" to Super Size Me. It tries to prove that fat isn't the problem, it's carbs. The guy eats junk food (burgers, cheese) but leaves the carbs (buns and fries), loses weight, and his cholesterol levels improve.

Well, this experiment seems to knock that theory over too. Basically, it seems it's just a case of calories in vs calories out, regardless of whether it's carbs, fat or protein.


Full Member
S: 16st8lb C: 13st7lb G: 12st8lb BMI: 27.1 Loss: 3st1lb(18.53%)
One diet is to eat 90% fat. A sutdy showed that participants all lost weight even though they ate the calorific amount required for sustaining. I remember tho that participant said how hard it was to eat just fat, and wondered on why you would do this study (I think it was UCL did this work, might be wrong). I see now that conditions like epilepsy can under certain conditions be aided by very high fat diets or ketogenic I think they call them.

So I guess we need the knowledge and often taking extremes shows us new ways of understanding our bodies.
It's more like eating the right foods FOR YOU as an individual. I have learned from long personal experience that limiting carbs works far better for me than only limiting calories. Limiting both - but not severely limiting calories - works best for with me when trying to lose weight.

We all know thin people who can snack on sugary stuff and doughnuts and burgers and not gain weight. They seem just fine. I can guarantee however that I would definitely gain weight on a sugary diet, in fact it has been a real problem for me since childhood. I cannot tolerate large amounts of sugar or other carbs and even hope to remain slim. That's just a fact so I work around it to maintain. And sugars in particular make me very very hungry and perpetuate my worst cravings.

This doc is obviously not like me - therefore this high sugar high starch hi junk diet worked for him. But of course a mere two months is nothing. Were he to eat like that for lifetime or even a year I bet the malnutrition symptoms would be obvious.
S: 19st7lb C: 19st7lb G: 11st0lb BMI: 45.4 Loss: 0st0lb(0%)
I honestly think sugar is the 'baddie', speaking personally although in saying that I have found myself binge-eating on LC. *rolls eyes*
For me sugar is most definitely the 'baddie'! If I eat sugary foods I begin to crave more, and chocolate, sweets, biscuits and cakes, if taken in only small amounts, set up cravings I very often cannot resist.

A lot of people find that they binge when low carbing, perhaps because they are not in proper ketosis, or perhaps because, once they have given in and had a few carby things, their cravings are back in force. This is why it is important to fight the urge to eat sugary stuff. It takes low carbers out of ketosis and lands them right back where they started!

Having said that, diets such as Atkins are very forgiving. Ketosis is always there, waiting for us, when we decide to come back.

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