Is anyone still following a post-New Year diet? I certainly am not and decided to boycott it this year and continue eating chocolate and sweet things. This article is about a man who decided to try a ‘junk food diet’! Read the article and see if you can answer the true or false questions at the end. Good luck!
By Caroline Devane
Name a diet, any diet and I will have tried it at some point in the past ten years. I also will have failed miserably on it. During a decade of attempted weight loss, not only did I not lose a single pound - I actually gained 3½st in the process because I am hopelessly addicted to junk food.
Take my attempt at the South Beach diet in which I was encouraged to eat small portions of fruit and skinless chicken. By day five, I’d - managed to reinterpret this as being ‘ok to eat KFC so long as you wash it down with a litre of orange juice’.
And I succeeded in turning the Atkins protein diet into an all-you-can-eat cheese fest and spent two months swelling up like a giant mouse.
However, this could all be a thing of the past thanks to the Snack Cake diet, which could be my great last hope of losing weight.
Invented by Mark Haub, Professor of Human Nutrition at Kansas State University, it revolves around eating the kind of food that your mother warned would kill you. Food that you can find in convenience stores: cream cakes, sugary cereals and big bags of Doritos tortilla chips.
The nutty professor’s intention was to show that whether you live only on whole grains and salad, or Monster Munch and Swiss rolls, the only thing that matters when it comes to ¬survival and weight loss are the calories you ingest: too many and you gain weight, too few and you lose it.
To further prove his point, he lived on Twinkies - a popular American cream-filled snack - and lost 26lb in ten weeks, causing a global gasp of astonishment when he made his experiment public.
But is his technique really practical, out here in the real world? Can you really eat junk and emerge as a hunk? And if so, what effect would it have on your health and sense of wellbeing?
Now let the trial by cake begin...
Just to be on the safe side, I first visit the Hale Clinic in Central London for a consultation with GP, Dr Mudassar Hussain. He, understandably, looks a little alarmed when I explain the diet and strongly advises me against going on it.
‘Even if you do lose weight, it’s likely that you will feel terrible,’ he says. ‘Your body is simply not designed to process this kind of highly refined sugar and flour. Not to mention the lack of fibre, vitamins and minerals.’
I am weighed (16st exactly), measured (height 6ft), and laid down on an examination bench so Dr Hussain can probe the gelatinous mass of my abdomen and I pray he doesn’t find any old boiled sweets or lost custard creams buried in the folds.
On day one the diet begins with a flourish of packet opening and curious chemical smells. My entire fortnight’s supply of food can fit into one small cardboard box — none of which required refrigeration as it’s packed with enough additives to survive a nuclear attack. I look at the Hula Hoops and Swiss rolls and smile — this is going to be my kind of diet.
I start each day with two cups of black coffee and a bowl of Nestle’s Golden Nuggets (slogan: ‘They taste Yeee Haa!’). I chose Golden Nuggets because the box is illustrated with a bearded man eating food from a shovel. I like his style.
The inside of the box smells like a recently sterilised hamster cage. The Nuggets are sickly sweet, resistant to saliva and hurt my mouth.
By 2pm I have a migraine and take to my bed with a Mars Mini Roll and a Galaxy Mistletoe bar. I get up a couple of hours later to knock back a protein shake, which has the consistency of drool.
The next few days glide by. The diet is simple to follow as the number of calories per 100 grams of Twinkie/Nuggets/Doritos is listed on every packet.
I crest into week two seven pounds lighter and ten times more miserable than when I started. I feel sluggish and have constant headaches. But here’s the astonishing thing. Despite all my unpleasant side-effects, I’ve lost weight. A lot - if my looks are anything to go by. My double chin and hamster cheeks have gone and I’ve lost two inches off my waist.
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