Can you lose weight on junk food? The answer is a very easy ‘yes’, as long as your energy intake is less than your expenditure.
In fact, a number of scientists (all of them men, strangely) have proved just this. What is even more interesting, is that although their diet was very poor, all of their health measures improved, just from the simple act of reducing their weight.
Mark Haub, an associate professor at Kansas State University, lost 12.1 kilograms from his original 91.3-kilogram body weight on a junk food diet. His blood pressure and other measures all improved. The but (and it’s a big one) is that he carefully controlled his calorie intake to a maximum of 1800 calories (7531 kilojoules) a day.
On September 10, he ate:
– a double espresso
– two servings of Hostess Twinkies Golden Sponge Cake
– one Centrum Advance Formula “From A To Zinc” pill
– one serving of Little Debbie Star Crunch cookies
– a Diet Mr Dew drink
– half a serving of Doritos Cool Ranch corn chips
– two servings of Kellogg’s Corn Pops cereal
– a serving of whole milk
– half a serving of raw baby carrots
– one and a half servings of Duncan Hines Family Style Chewy Fudge brownie
– half a serving of Little Debbie Zebra Cake
– one serving of Muscle Milk Protein Shake drink
– Total: 1589 calories
So it seems that weight reduction can be more important for our health than the perfect diet. At least in the short term.
Which means we can all relax a bit. We don’t have to eat perfectly. We can allow ourselves to eat those foods that we really enjoy, even if they aren’t on any nutritionist’s list. Let us permit ourselves to enjoy them, give ourselves the time to savour them, and in doing so, rid ourselves of ‘forbidden’ foods that can haunt more powerfully than any ghost.