Revolutionary New Weight-Loss Diet! Not. The Ice Diet


As if we needed another diet, there’s a new one on the scene that claims it’s a way to “snack guilt-free and burn some calories while doing it.”  And of course, it’s promoted as a “revolutionary new weight-loss diet.”

The Ice Diet – New? Revolutionary?

Sthe ice dieto what is it? The Ice Diet. It recommends snacking on ice. And it claims to call into play the metabolic power of the body, in that when cold things are consumed, the body must speed up its metabolism to maintain its temperature. If that’s all that’s required, what have those geniuses at MIT, Harvard and Yale been doing with all those NIH dollars on weight management research?

The gist of it is this: If you eat about a quart of ice a day, you’ll theoretically end up burning about 160 calories more than you usually do. Do that over the course of a year, and you could theoretically end up burning an extra 58,000+ calories, which theoretically equates to about 16 pounds lost.

Extending that logic, if you did it for 10 years, theoretically you’d lose 160 pounds. That could be a real problem for some of us. Fortunately, that’s where all the “theoretically”  in the above paragraph comes in.

The Ice Diet Perpetuates Myths About Metabolism

The idea that our bodies are machines that metabolize calories precisely to result in weight gain or loss according to how many calories we eat or burn is a myth of bad science, although one that has long been the basis of typical weight-loss plans and so-called weight loss programs.  And it’s also a myth that we are all alike metabolically in how we burn calories.

True experts now agree that weight management is a much more complicated picture that can involve a number of physical, neuro-endocrine and psychological (emotional) factors, especially in people who struggle with higher weights that aren’t healthy for them.  For example, will speeding up your metabolism really help you overcome emotional or binge eating?

Ice Diet Not A Real Solution For Healthy Weight Management

Funny How New & Revolutionary Rarely Means Effective

What I really take issue with, however, is the claim that eating ice offers any kind of real solution for someone who has struggled with eating and weight. Of course, that’s the primary market for these types of schemes.

A normal eater who might have gained a bit of weight that’s not right for them would probably just look at their eating habits and lifestyle and see if there’s a small tweak that might be needed. Maybe they’d start feeding themselves a bit better and getting some physical activity or even get more sleep. It’s doubtful they’d make eating ice a part of their standard routine.

But a person who has struggled with weight for a long time? They’re often prey to the next thing that comes along that promises a solution. But it’s rarely a solution, leaving them struggling with eating, their weight, their health, and their self-esteem.

To say nothing of what a continual diet of ice might do to their teeth.

“Chewing on ice…can cause wear and tear on the tooth and enamel surfaces covering the tooth. If your teeth are worn or chipped already, the ice can crack and damage the tooth structure,” states Robert Sorin, DDS clinical instructor, department of dentistry and oral surgery, New York-Presbyterian Hospital (source: WebMD)

What say you? Do you think eating ice might be a good strategy for long-term healthy weight management?

And where’s the Ice Cream Diet now that we need it?

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About the Author

Marsha Hudnall, MS, RDN, CD

If you’re looking for an embodiment of dedication disguised as obsession, look no further. Marsha is a registered dietitian who has spent the last four decades working to help women give up dieting rules and understand how to truly take care of themselves. Her mission in life is to help women learn to enjoy eating and living well, without worries about their weight. She encourages women to embrace their love of food, which you might call being a foodie. If so, it’s appropriate because being a foodie means you pay attention when you eat. That’s a recipe made in heaven for eating well. Marsha is the President and Co-Owner of Green Mountain at Fox Run.

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