November 29th, 2010
04:13 PM ET
Confused about diets? What else is new?
Here's one comment from the announcement about the Weight Watchers points overhaul.
Daniela: Make up your mind, CNN...you just wrote a story about the professor who proved to us that the Twinkie Diet works the opposite way. I know you are just reporting on this, but can you at least make some type of cross reference to the previous story so we aren't confused.
Earlier this month, CNN.com reported on a crash diet by a nutrition professor at Kansas State University. Mark Haub, the professor basically ate junk food and lost weight by reducing his calories.
This diet was a class experiment with a very, very small sample size – that’s right, one. This happened for only 10 weeks. This diet is not recommended for anyone and it’s not even endorsed by Haub.
It essentially showed that yes, you can lose weight by reducing calories. Technically, you could lose weight through all sorts of things - fasting, starving, cleanses, etc.
So this question was taken to Stephanie Rost, corporate program development director of Weight Watchers. Why bother trying to eat healthy foods like fruits and veggies when you can lose weight on Twinkies?
“When you lose weight on Twinkies, you’re not looking at long-term effects,” she said. “If you restrict calories, you lose weight, but it’s hard to stick with that for the long term.”
Here's how other readers answered the commenter's question:
Bob: Look, you could conceivably eat anything and reduce weight over a short period. That doesn't mean it's sustainable or healthy. A sustainable lifestyle change is the issue – and that's where fad diets fail.
Lisa: Lowered calorie levels will result in weight loss no matter where the calories come from. What Weight Watchers is aiming for is weight loss with good nutrition which results in a healthier lifestyle and overall better health.
Fruits and vegetables fill people up and give them proper nutrition, Rost said. After all, a diet higher in fruits and vegetables has been shown to decrease risks of heart disease, cancers, and a variety of chronic diseases, she said.
While creating a calorie deficit is key to weight loss, you should consider more than just calories if you're thinking long-term health. For more straightforward tips: The bottom-line diet: Eat less
About this blog
Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.