The Ice Diet: Can Chewing Ice Really Make You Slimmer?

Living / Health & Fitness

The Ice Diet: Can Chewing Ice Really Make You Slimmer?

By: Nicole Capo

It’s everyone’s dream situation: You don’t really do anything and suddenly, you’ve lost a ton of weight. No exercise necessary. But, is it real?

Dr. Brian Weiner, a practicing gastroenterologist, swears he’s found the answer: Chew on ice. Oh, yeah — you may want to give up on some of the fatty foods you love as well. But, mainly, you should be chewing on ice.

Weiner first came up with his diet idea when he decided to change his diet regimen to lose weight. He gave up ice cream and replaced it with Italian ices, which clock in at about 100 calories per cup. What he soon realized is that the person who manufactures the ice and calculates the nutritional facts does not take into account the amount of energy expended in consuming the treats. And, in this case, it makes a huge difference (according to Weiner). Why? Because your body uses up extra energy when it needs to turn cold into warmth. By Weiner’s calculations, the supposed 100 calorie Italian ices ultimately wind up being a mere 72 calories — or “icals,” the Doc’s preferred term for net caloric content of icy foods after taking into consideration the amount of calories burned by the body’s conversion of cold into heat.

"I found that no one has clearly identified this oversight," he's quoted explaining. "I could not locate references to considerations of the implications of the energy content of ice as food."

So he wrote up his findings and submitted them to the Annals of Internal Medicine, who, in turn, went ahead and published them. According to Weiner, the ice diet is meant to be supplemental to a healthy diet and exercise lifestyle while serving a dual purpose — burning calories and allowing the dieter to eat a negative-calorie food.

And Weiner has released his diet strategy in book form online for free because (according to him) he doesn't want to be lumped in with other “fad” diets. Oh, and he wants users to be safe. Weiner is warning potential ice dieters that ingesting ice at at about one liter a day appears to the safest limit (it amounts to burning 160 calories, or the equivalent of running one mile), any more than that and things starts to delve into the scary category. Apparently, eating more than a liter of ice would likely be a “toxic dose,” preventing bodily organs from functioning correctly because they get too cold.

What do you think? Will you be hopping on the ice trend? As far as beauty trends go, you  could  be doing way worse.

[Pic via Flickr - Kevin Saff]

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