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The Twinkie Diet 2.0 – Optimizing The Twinkie Diet For Everyday Use

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Twinkie Diet

When the twinkie diet hit the front page of every media outlet back in 2010, it was essentially a big fat middle finger to nutritionists and medical professionals around the world.

The diet pretty much said that it’s possible to eat twinkies every day and still lose weight, and let’s just say that pissed off quite a few people.

But if you’ve been living under some sort of messed up rock with no internet access for the past 2 years, here’s an overview of the controversial diet.

Who’s Mark Haub and what’s the twinkie diet?

Mark Haub is a professor of human nutrition at Kansas State University.

In 2010, he decided to embark on a 10 week  journey to a land where no fitness professional has ever been. Mark decided to prove once and for all that weight loss was simply a matter of calories in calories out and nothing else.

But to lose weight, Mark decided to take calorie counting to a whole new level and decided to only eat foods that were considered “junk foods.” These foods included Doritos, Oreos, and of course Twinkies, which Mark ate every 3 hours.

But in addition to the steady stream of junk food, Mark also ate a serving of vegetables, a protein shake, and a multivitamin every day to help combat against any potential vitamin/mineral deficiencies.

Mark’s calorie intake was approximately 1800 calories per day, down from the 2600 calories it takes to maintain his weight. This created an 800 calorie deficit per day.

Main points:

  • Diet lasted 10 weeks
  • Daily calorie intake = 1800
  • Majority of calories came from junk food (mainly refined carbs)
  • A multivitamin, protein shake, and a serving of vegetables were consumed as well

Did the twinkie diet work?

Well no shit it worked.

By the end of the 10 weeks, Mark was able to lose to lose 27 pounds. But not only did Mark lose weight, he also:

  • Lowered his BMI from 28.8 (overweight) to 24.9 (normal)
  • His body fat percentage dropped from 33.4% to 24.9%
  • His bad cholesterol (LDL) dropped 20%
  • His good cholesterol (HDL) increased 20%

Data taken from CNN article.

But it’s not healthy… right?

Now I’m not saying that the twinkie diet is the ideal solution for everything health and fitness, but I’m still surprised by how many people continue to bash it like every other fad diet out there.

Mark’s whole goal with the diet was to show that weight loss is simply about eating less calories. He was very upfront about that.

And seeing as though he lost 27 pounds, I would say Mark succeed with flying colors, don’t you agree?

Being overweight and having excess body fat is one the main reasons that people get high cholestorol, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.

And because Mark lowered his cholesterol levels, he also more than likely lowered his risk for those nasty aforementioned diseases.

So is it healthy?

In my opinion, it’s healthier than any diet that has you eating in a caloric surplus but because the diet is predominantly made up of refined carbohydrates, there are a few things that need fixing.

How to optimize the twinkie diet for everyday use

What is this? Are you saying that I can twinkies every day and still lose weight?

Why yes, but not in the matter that Mark Haub did so.

While Marks original diet was okay, it had a couple of flaws including:

  • Not eating enough protein (he only drank 1 protein shake per day which is only about 20 grams of protein)
  • He only had 1 serving of veggies and no fruits
  • He didn’t have any essential fatty acids

Introducing the Twinkie Diet 2.0

With the twinkie diet 2.0, you’ll do the following:

1) You still need to track your calories, so multiply your bodyweight in pounds by 10-12 kcals to get your daily calorie intake to lose 1 pound per week.

2) Aim for about 0.6 grams of protein per pound of bodweight per day. But don’t worry if you can’t hit this amount every day.

3) Take 6-10 grams of fish oil (I take krill oil) every day.

4) Take a multivitamin every day.

5) Eat at least 2-3 servings of fruits and veggies

6) After covering the above 4 steps, fill in the rest of your calories, with twinkies, Ding dongs, ice cream, or whatever else your heart desires.

And there you have it. By increasing the protein intake, adding in some fruits, veggies, and EFA’s while still maintaining the overall calorie deficit, you now have a long term dieting approach that still lets you eat your damn twinkies every day.

Zeke - October 5, 2014

That’s interesting. I’m in my mid 40s 6’2 and I think currently 340. While no doubt fat, I’m still a powerlifter and can bench 450 at the moment and dead lift considerably more. However, I can’t get rid of my gut. It’s still kinda cool though to see some of these young skinny fuckers come to the gym and the old fat bastard can carry several of them around at once.

I’ve yet to figure out the trick to get rid of my belly, I kinda look like a pregnant bodybuilder. My blood pressure, sugar, everything is fine save for the spare tire that never goes away. BTW, when I’m working out HARD, I use a lot of calories. I mean like maybe 5,000 a day, but about half that on my off days.

Some of these guys are 10-15 years older then me, and while none of them can lift what I can, they are still in incredible shape. In 10 years time I can’t see that happening with me. My daddy used to say I was a mule in human form.

I also love riding bicycles, I like the old Raleigh Sports with the 3 speed hubs. I’ve done a few centurys (100 miles a day) but these days ride about 10 miles every other day (off season, farm comes first) and usually a 50 mile ride Saturday or Sunday. Other then simply walking around here that’s about it for cardio. I don’t use any machines.

I never use protien shakes or none of that shit. I still live on the farm and my wife cooks good. Processed shit is expensive as all hell anyway. Hell, these young boys eat this whey stuff and Muscle Milk, and all that, and my post workout is a big glass of milk (unpastouriszed, it’s from my cows) some cheese and beef jerky. Occasionally some raw eggs (again, from my birds) but seldom these days.

Anway, I’d like to get to around 280 without loseing any strength in my arms, legs back or shoulders.

I rarely drink pop, when I do it’s a RC once in a blue moon, and don’t really like candy that my wife don’t make (which is pretty much seasonal). Basicly a meat and potateos guy. I have some sort of meat and potateos at every meal, as well as corn, squash, whatever is in since we grow and process much of our own food.

Reply
    Keith - October 5, 2014

    Damn total respect for being in your 40s and still being a powerlifter.

    Good luck on the weight loss 🙂

    Reply
Abby - July 31, 2014

So much head nodding in agreement. All I ate in high school were pop-tarts and oreos and somehow I was 5’7″ and 120 lbs (sports helped too). Difference was– I didn’t eat much at all, it was just all junk. Now I eat “grown up people” food in enormous portions and have reached 160 lb 6 years later. I never did buy into the whole “junk food makes you fat” thing… Getting rid of pop-tarts just made me reach for higher calorie bacon egg sandwiches and other food items that made me less enthused for breakfast. -shrug-

When I quit eating like a fat-ass, I lose around 8 lb in a week. Crazy.

Reply
lily - November 1, 2013

I am overweight. Im really short and i weight 115. If I multiply my weight by 12, it will be 1,380 calories. If i subtract that by 500, it will be 880 calories that I take in everyday to lose a pound per week. If i eat every 3 hours and together it adds up to 880 calories, isnt that very little? Also, won’t my body go in starvation mode if it’s under 1,200 calories? I have fat all over my body, I have a belly with chubby arms and legs and its hard to lose the fat. I tried eating very little before and it made me gain weight instead.

Reply
    Keith - November 1, 2013

    No, 1380 would be your daily intake. No need to subtract an additional 500.

    Reply
      lily - November 1, 2013

      My body won’t hold in fat or anything I eat ?

      Reply
        Keith - November 1, 2013

        Not sure I understand the question. You can’t hold fat if you’re in a calorie deficit, if that’s what you’re asking.

        Reply
          lily - November 1, 2013

          What if I eat less than 1,200 calories a day. Wouldn’t my body go to starvation mode

          Reply
          Keith - November 1, 2013

          Nope that’s one of the biggest myths in nutrition.

          Reply
          LilY - November 2, 2013

          People that I know who are big that want to be skinnier dont eat very much. Even though they dont eat very much, they dont lose weight and maybe gain some.

          Reply
          Keith - November 2, 2013

          Then they’re probably not telling you something. You need to be in a calorie deficit to lose weight, absolutely no way around it.

          Reply
          lily - November 2, 2013

          If I got rid of all the fat, what about the bulky muscles in my legs, especially in the calves.

          Reply
          Keith - November 2, 2013

          Not sure what you mean? Do you not like your legs? You can do HIIT to slim them down.

          Reply
gopi - February 25, 2012

hey..how did u arrive at this :

1) You still need to track your calories, so multiply your bodyweight in pounds by 10-12 kcals to get your daily calorie intake to lose 1 pound per week.

is it something u came up with or scientifically proven ?

Reply
    Keith - February 25, 2012

    Hey Gopi,
    It’s a pretty standard and effective formula. It simply gives you your calorie intake at approx a 500 calorie deficit below your maintenance levels.

    Reply
      gopi - February 26, 2012

      why is it 10 or 12 ? if i weigh 220 pounds * 12 = 2640 calories…is that my maintenance level ? so 2640 – 500 is the amount of calories i need to eat to lose 1 pound a week ?

      Reply
        Keith - February 26, 2012

        Hey Gopi,
        No 2640 calories will be the amounts you eat per day to lose weight. It is not your maintenance calories. Try eating at that amount for a week, and if you don’t seem to be losing weight at 2640 calories, start multiplying your bodyweight by 11 and if that doesn’t work, multiply it by 10.

        Reply

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