Twinkies, cupcakes, Cheetos and an occasional vegetable are what one BYU-Idaho student considers a weight-loss diet.

Amy Singh, a senior studying communication, expects to lose at least five pounds after one month of starting this new diet.

“I learned about the diet through a friend who showed me an article about a professor at Kansas State University who lost 27 pounds after two months of using the Twinkie Diet,” Singh said. “I decided to give it a try and document my progress for a project in one of my classes.”

The idea behind the diet is that what matters is not what is eaten, but how many calories are ingested such as a Twinkie which contains 150 calories. Foods that are deemed unhealthy do not make one fat if they are eaten in proportion.

“I try to eat about 1500 calories a day, with three 300 calorie meals and various snacks in between,” Singh said. “I keep a moderate and normal exercise routine and raise my calorie count if I exercise more than normal.”

Singh’s daily meals vary but always include unhealthy items. An example of possible meals throughout a day consists of a multivitamin, protein shake and cupcake for breakfast, fast food for lunch and a hot pocket, donuts, Gatorade and some type of vegetable for dinner.

“I try to balance out my diet by eating two sweet items and two salty items every day along with a multivitamin, protein shake and plenty of water to provide me with daily nutrients,” Singh said.

Singh is following a less extreme version of the Twinkie Diet, which was first started by Mark Haub, a professor of nutrition at Kansas State University. She hopes to receive the same kind of results that he experienced regarding weight loss, improved cholesterol and lower heart rate.

“As you lose weight, no matter what you eat, then you will have better health benefits,” Singh said. “Eating Twinkies won’t make you obese.”

Physically, the diet has been proven to improve health. Mentally however, it can drag energy and doesn’t always satisfy hunger.

“While on this diet, my sugar intake has gone up, and I experience very high energy bursts and then later crash,” Singh said. “Also, many of the snack foods that I’ve been eating are not meant to fill me up, and depending on what I choose to eat, I can end the day very hungry.”

Singh has also found herself craving healthy foods that she has decided not to include in her diet as part of the experiment.

“I want a salad so badly,” Singh said. “I’ve already started planning out everything that I want to eat when I finish this diet.”

Socially, this experiment has been hard for Singh, as many social events and activities revolve around food. She accredits our food-obsessed culture with why so many people are overweight.

“In the culture we live in, restaurants give customers huge portions, we socialize over food and even many church activities include food,” Singh said. “We have this mentality we can’t waste food and must eat it all at once even though the lack of proper proportions cause us to be unhealthy.”

However fascinating, trying this diet is not recommended as there are many nutrients that are lacking in this diet such as minerals, vitamins, proteins, fats, phytochemicals, and other healthy parts of foods.

“There are too many parts of a healthy life-style diet that are missing, even if the calorie counting could cause weight loss,” Michael Hardy, a junior studying exercise physiology, said. “One can be overweight and still be more healthy than a person in the healthy weight range if they are    eating right.”

According to Harvard Medical School, there is one type of excess fat is much more dangerous than the others which is visceral fat. This type of of fat can raise blood pressure, blood sugar levels and cardiac risk.

As this diet is not recommended, many college students do struggle with unhealthy eating. Singh hopes students can remain healthy to the best of their ability by following some aspects of the diet.

“As many college students eat unhealthily, relying on ramen noodles or McDonald’s, it is important to stay healthy,” Singh said.