For a class project, Haub limited himself to less than 1,800 calories a day. A man of Haub’s pre-dieting size usually consumes about 2,600 calories daily. So he followed a basic principle of weight loss: He consumed significantly fewer calories than he burned.
I’m not all that surprised. If you eat less, you’ll lose weight. As for the cholesterol, let’s do the math. He is eating a 1800 calorie diet. 2/3 of that was junk food, or 1200 calories. The other 1/3 is made up of veggies and protein shakes, which have almost no fat. The junk is primarily “Hostess and Little Debbie snacks Doritos chips, sugary cereals and Oreos,” all of which have far more sugar than fat. Even Oreos, with that creamy, white middle, only derive 1/3 of their calories from fat. So, being conservative, let’s say 1/4 of the calories from the junk food are from fat. That means that, out of 1800 calories, 300 came from fat, which is 16%. Believe it or not, Taub appears to have been on a low-fat diet for the last two months. It stands to reason that his cholesterol would go down. Further testament to this is the fact that when he started eating meat again, his cholestrol started climbing.
And there are a ton of questions left unanswered here. Taub isn’t a serious exerciser. What would happen if a jogger or a weightlifter tried this plan? Also, as the CNN points out, what about the risks of cancer and diabetes? Two months isn’t much time to really grasp an experiment like this.
Truth be told, even with all the sweets, Prof. Taub was probably eating healthier diet than most Americans. He had a calorie deficit. He ate veggies daily. He wasn’t eating high-fat fast food. (If you’re curious about an all fast food diet, check out the documentary Super Size Me. Very different results.) And he wasn’t porking out. A moderate amount of junk food isn’t society’s problem right now; It’s a massive amount of junk food. As David Kessler points out in his brilliant manifesto The End of Overeating, junk food today has been engineered to make us want to eat more and more and more. Most people will blow through 1800 calories of junk in a single meal, let alone a day. If you want to eat an Oreo, eat a damn Oreo. God knows I’ve been picking at my daughter’s Halloween candy for the last two weeks – but I eat a Tootsie Roll a day. If I’m feeling naughty, maybe I’ll throw a bite-sized Snickers in the mix. That’s not going to kill me or make me fat or mess with my cholesterol.
I just don’t understand the mystery of this experiment. The lessons within seem obvious. Sometimes, I think more Americans understand Klingon then they understand moderation.junk food, Star Trek