Can you out-train a bad diet?

  • A conversation worth having: Mark Haub, a professor of human nutrition at Kansas State University, lost 27 pounds in 2010 on the “Twinkie Diet” (Photograph submitted)

    A conversation worth having: Mark Haub, a professor of human nutrition at Kansas State University, lost 27 pounds in 2010 on the “Twinkie Diet” (Photograph submitted)


A resounding no and a questionable yes can come from this question.

Let’s dig deeper into this idea. Your diet is incredibly important and the quality of that diet should be of the highest priority to you.

However, your body weight typically comes down to a calorie counting game.

Simply put, if you consume less calories than your daily expenditure, you will lose weight. Let’s consider Mark Haub, a professor of human nutrition at Kansas State University who became famous in the nutrition community for losing a staggering 27 pounds on what’s since been called the “Twinkie Diet”.

For the purpose of a class project, he consumed chips, sugary cereals and Oreos along with his Twinkies for ten weeks.

One-third of his diet, however, was a daily protein shake, multivitamins and typically a can of green beans or three to four celery stalks.

It is important to note that Mr Haub also limited himself to fewer than 1,800 calories a day — typically the average daily dietary intake for a man is 2,500.

The professor’s caloric deficit resulted in 27 pounds of weight loss.

An astounding result, it further reinforces the arguments of the calorie-counting community. Yes! Finally, I can eat junk food and lose weight! No. Well ... it depends.

Even with his amazing success Mr Haub does not recommend replicating his diet, pointing out that the long-term effects of consuming a low-calorie, sugary snack diet are unknown and therefore should not be undertaken by anyone.

Now that we are off that sugary rollercoaster of emotions we can now, safely say, that calorie counting is not just anecdotal advice.

There are a substantial amount of scholarly reports to back the calorie counting method for weight loss.

You can’t out-train a bad diet and, conversely, you can’t outdiet poor training either. Please speak to the dietitian and/or doctor of your choosing and pose the question of caloric deficit and its impact on weight loss and nutrition.

It is a conversation worth having. In the meantime, stay active, keep moving and eat towards your goals.

Dre Hinds is a retired athlete who is now a personal trainer, aerobic and yoga instructor and fitness “addict” with more than 20 years’ experience. She specialises in nutrition, weight and sprint training, operating out of HindsSight Fitness and Wellness at the Berkeley Cultural Centre. Contact her on: absbydre@gmail.com or 599-0412. Look for @Absbydre on Facebook and Instagram

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Published Sep 25, 2019 at 8:00 am (Updated Sep 25, 2019 at 7:59 am)

Can you out-train a bad diet?

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