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College of Human Ecology

Three-week follow up: Haub down 10 pounds

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Mark Haub reports thatĀ his novel diet of snack foods is having better than expected results.

The professor of human nutrition has been on a diet of foods high in saturated fats and sugar for three weeks. He says he has lost 10 pounds so far.

"The healthy aspect of diets depends on perception," he said. "All I know is that my 'bad' cholesterol has decreased on my diet and my 'good' cholesterol has increased. If cholesterol is a valid marker of cardiovascular disease risk, then it would appear my risk for cardiovascular disease decreased."

Energy in, energy out

Most people consider products like peanut butter-chocolate bars and doughnuts to be unhealthy and cause weight gain. But Haub says that eating fewer caloriesĀ  than you expend - no matter where those calories come from - is the key to weight loss.

He said his diet shows there is no strong definition of healthy weight loss.

"It doesn't matter where the macronutrients are derived from as long as essential nutrients are consumed at the recommended levels, and the fuel is consumed at a level at or below energy expenditure," he said.

Haub is not sure that he will try a different diet next semester to counter this one, but he did say he might extend his snack food diet for a few more weeks. He had planned to stick to the diet for four weeks.

"I've gotten a few comments that four weeks is not long enough to really establish worth," he said. "I may, however, keep to the diet during the day and just eat a sensible dinner at night with my family."

The ruling sweet tooth

Haub said that he misses steak and hamburger the most, but he is not yet tired of sweet food.

"At this point I don't mind it," he said. "As with any diet, people generally become bored with their food options. I think this is one reason why some diets work, but also a reason why they fail."

Haub said he has received numerous supportive comments from dietitians and people recovering from eating disorders.

"Is it irresponsible to learn more about nutrition and push our understanding of health?" he asks.

Haub's diet progress can be followed on Twitter.

This article was posted on Wednesday, September 15, 2010, and is filed under College News, Food, Nutrition, Dietetics and Health.