Does it really work?
If you’re looking for a simple diet to follow than the Ice Diet might be your answer. Dr. Brian Weiner’s Ice Diet is very simple, combine crushed or shaved ice with a healthy eating plan. Basically, eat 1 liter of ice chips every day along with a balanced meal regimen. Seems easy enough but, the real question is does it offer real weight loss?
The theory behind the ice diet is that the body will burn calories while warming the consumed ice. Their calculations state that in the process of warming one liter of ice, the body would burn approximately 160 calories. This is also approximately the same energy that would be used to run a mile. Basically, the ice diet in theory increases the basal metabolic rate, it’s like exercise without the intense workout. Aside from that, because the ice has little or no calorie content, it could in theory be considered a negative calorie item. Meaning you will burn more calories just consuming ice than the amount of calories actually in the ice itself.
To answer the question whether the ice diet will really work, we need to first come up with a plan to use the ice diet. What will we eat with the ice diet and what are the possible problems that will arise?
Ice Diet Plan and Meals
Most important is that you need to eat a balanced healthy meal plan along with the 1 liter of ice per day. No one is suggesting just eating ice nor would this work if you consume large unhealthy meals along with eating ice. Since there really is no official menu for this diet, we’ve put together an ice diet eating plan below. You can choose to follow this plan or create one yourself using healthy foods you like. Since 1 liter of ice is equal to approx. 4 ¼ cups, we will split the ice throughout the day. We will consume a cup of ice at each meal including one with an afternoon snack.
Try to stick with low calories for breakfast. Eat an apple or a banana. One small bowl of whole grain cereal might be ok also. 1 cup of crushed ice.
Soup or salad are decent ideas or opt for a tuna sandwich hold the mayo. Include a side of fresh vegetables like carrots, celery sticks or even fresh fruits like apple, orange or melon. 1 cup of crushed ice.
Mid Afternoon Snack:
Again, a small helping of either fruit or vegetables is ideal. Opting for unsalted nuts or seeds are also healthy choices. One serving or low fat yogurt is another choice. 1 cup of crushed ice.
Lean meats including chicken, turkey, or even steak are healthy main dish choices. Include a side of fresh vegetables like broccoli, green beans or other green fresh vegetables of choice. Also include a side of long grain rice or a baked potato. 1 ¼ cup of crushed ice.
Remember, this is just an example of a healthy eating plan that might work with the ice diet. You can create your own eating plan with foods you prefer as long as they are healthy options and keep the portions small.
Possible Problems with The Ice Diet
First, the ice diet is new. There really is no studies that we are aware of that have proven this to work. The ice diet a theory at this point but raises some interesting questions.
If the ice diet works, couldn’t you just drink ice cold water instead? In fact, wouldn’t it take more calories for the body to warm a whole glass of ice water rather than small ice chips?
Maybe, I think the idea behind the ice diet is that the small ice chips are a less amount than a whole glass of water. The result is less intake and more energy usage to melt down the ice.
If the body uses energy to melt/warm the ice does that mean I can eat ice cream or flavored ice instead and get the same result?
Probably not, as ice cream and other such foods have sugar and a lot more calories than just standard ice chips.
Wouldn’t a healthy meal plan like the one above work to lose weight without the ice?
That all depends on the person, but yes, most likely eating a continuous healthy diet with low calorie intake with or without ice chips would aid in losing weight. I guess the idea here is your body is burning calories by warming the ice, resulting in more calories burned with the ice than without.
Another possible issue with eating this much ice is your teeth. It is not recommended to chew on hard ice as it could chip teeth or cause damage to fillings.
Just like any new virtually unstudied diet, the ice diet has its non-believers. Could the ice diet really help you lose weight? Does the body really use this much energy warming ice? It is true, the body will need to exert energy to warm the ice. The amount of energy is where the question comes in. Our opinion is that this could work depending on the foods eaten daily along with the ice. Many dieters might get confused thinking that their diet may only consist of a liter of ice and that is not healthy or even sustainable. You will need to eat a balance meal plan along with the ice diet if you are going to attempt it. You cannot substitute ice cream or other high calorie food item in place of the ice or you might get adverse results. The ice diet needs more studies before it can be determined as fact as a weight loss diet. However, it is a promising idea and since it’s believed the body does use energy to warm/melt ice the ice diet could be the next big thing in weight loss.
More Resources About the Ice Diet
Official website for Dr. Weiner’s Ice Diet
Does drinking ice water burn calories?
The Ice diet – TheAtlantic.com