Man Loses Weight Eating Twinkies-- Rush Limbaugh Approves (And Gives Bad Advice In The Process)

 On November 8, Rush Limbaugh said the following on his radio show. 

"What have I told you about diet and exercise?  Exercise is irrelevant.... "How do you know all this?"  One of the reasons I know what I know is that I know liberals, and I know liberals lie, and if Michelle Obama's gonna be out there ripping into "food desserts" and saying, "This is why people are fat," I know it's not true.  "Rush, do you really believe that? It's that simple to you, liberals lie?"  Yes, it is, folks.  Once you learn that, once you come to grips with that, once you accept that, the rest is easy.  Very, very simple.  Now, my doctor has never told me to restrict any intake of salt, but if he did, I wouldn't.  I'd just spend more time in the steam or the sauna sweating it out."

Now that you've picked your jaw up off the floor and are probably in the process of commenting below that this can't possibly be true, let me present you with a link to the transcript.  Oh yes, it's true.

The story that brought up the initial conversation was the one about the college professor who lost 27 pounds eating nothing but twinkies for six months.

I've received a few e-mails asking for my take on the subject of losing weight eating nothing but junk food.  I still stand by my initial words:  this just helps prove that weight loss is all about calories in vs. calories out.  If you burn more calories than you take in, you will lose weight.  I'm not disagreeing with this in the slightest.  So, yes, the man lost 27 pounds and 2/3 of his diet was twinkies.  However, what several of the news outlets failed to highlight was that the professor was supplementing with a multivitamin, daily protein shake and eating vegetables as well.

So, what's my beef?

My beef is not with this man.  If he wants to eat junk food and lose weight, that's fine.  He's not healthy by any means.  He did, however, lose weight. He didn't watch his fat intake, he watched his caloric intake only.   I would like to point out not just to Rush Limbaugh, but to anyone agreeing with this misinformation, that just because one has low body fat doesn't make one healthy. Just because this professor's bad cholesterol lowered and his good cholesterol raised doesn't make him healthier.  This is just a side effect of having a lower body fat percentage.   There is a huge difference between being skinny and being healthy, a line that that Rush can't seem to correlate.

Rush has a huge following of listeners, but no matter what your political affiliation, bad advice is bad advice.  If you take your fitness & health information from Rush Limbaugh, then I suggest you get your financial advice from M.C. Hammer and your rehab coaching from Lindsey Lohan.

I'd also like to address Rush's statement that exercise is irrelevant to weight loss.  This is false.  If you exercise while maintaining the same caloric intake you did before you starting exercise, you will lose weight.  I have doctors, nutritionists, dieticians, and fellow personal trainers that can attest to this.  I will also have you reference my huge list of clients that have lost tons of weight by just adding exercise to their routine-- some of which haven't changed their dieting habits (yet!).

Exercise burns calories, which in turn assists weight loss.  This isn't a debated opinion.  This is a scientific fact.  If you weight train, you gain muscle mass.  Muscle mass, at rest, burns more calories on average than fat at rest.

Should you try the Twinkie diet?

Why?  Why on earth would you eat nothing but junk food to try to lose weight?  If you don't care about your physical appearance and eat unhealthy anyway, then that's on your own accord.  If you attempt to lose weight with empty calories with a low benefit-to-calories ratio, you won't be any healthier.  There are so many other alternatives out there that have ingredients that can actually assist you in weight loss!

If you disagree with me and think that exercise doesn't make you any healthier, like Rush Limbaugh does, then let me know in the comments!  This is a case of someone taking something that have absolutely no understanding about and running with it.  Unfortunately, this person has a huge following of listeners that will take his advice.  Listeners that can develop early onset diabetes, high blood pressure, heart attacks, and several other health-related risks because of this absolute false nonsense.


  1. Wow Justin, you really tore all sorts of holes in his "argument". I think you just ripped this guy a new one! Great post! One of your best yet!!

  2. great post justin... you are such a talented writer and you make excellent points.

  3. I firmly believe in Darwins theory, and I have no problem with his listeners following his dietary advice if they are unable to see through the stupidity of his arguments :)