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The Ice Diet: Is It Effective For Weight Loss?

What Is The Ice Diet?

Add one-two ice cubes in a glass of water and then drink the ice water. This not just helps in quenching your thirst but surprisingly aids in losing weight as well. How you may wonder. Brian Weiner, a gastroenterologist has created a weight-loss plan called the ice diet which involves the consumption of ice cubes, with the aim of losing weight. According to the book 'The Ice Diet' by Dr Brian Weiner, the ice diet involves the consumption of ice cubes in large quantities (at least one litre a day) which help the individual lose some weight.


Ideally, it is best to have two meals a day and three if you are a physically active person. The diet also points out that avoiding snacking in between is advised. Likewise, the ice diet promotes the consumption of spices and chilli or to flavour your foods with these to help stimulate the appetite and the activity of good brown fat in the body which helps burn calories. The diet encourages the incorporation of a healthy diet along with the ice diet so that your body does not become weak or malnourished [1] , [2] .


Impact Of The Ice Diet On Weight Loss

The mechanism followed in the ice diet is that consuming ice cubes can help improve and boost your metabolism because the body requires a lot of energy to melt the ice. That is, by burning off a large amount of energy in the process, your fat content in the body is also reduced [3] .

Consequently, consuming large amounts of ice cubes causes satiety and fills up space in your stomach and limit your consumption of food [2] . Consuming one litre of ice cubes burn about 160 calories. The ice diet promotes weight loss by increasing your basal metabolic rate. On ingesting one litre of ice cubes which are naturally cold, your body will be required to burn energy to warm the ice to become equal to that of your body temperature [4] .

While consuming cold food, your body expends energy to balance the body temperature and the temperature of the food consumed [5] . It has been asserted that following the ice diet can help reduce at least one kilo per month.

Ways To Follow The Ice Diet

The book does not specify a method or way through which one must follow the ice diet. Therefore, below mentioned are the different means through which one can include ice into their daily diet [5] .

1. Ice cubes in the tea

Being natural appetite inhibitors, ice cubes help is asserted to be beneficial for effective weight loss. You can add ice cubes in your green tea or ice tea, as the incorporation of caffeine along with the ice can boost your weight loss regime.

2. Chew ice after meals

After consuming food, chew on one or two ice cubes. Not only will this help shed some extra weight but also help limit your food intake. However, the ice diet does not require the individual to reduce their usual intake of food but in fact, restricts unwanted and extra consumption; the central cause of excess weight [6] .

3. Ice cubes in water

While following the ice diet, one of the best ways to incorporate ice cubes into your daily diet is by adding ice cubes into your glass of water. Whenever you are drinking water, add two to three cubes of ice.

4. Crushed ice

One of the other ways through which the ice diet suggest the incorporation of ice into your diet is to have crushed ice whenever you feel hungry. It can help control your cravings and has zero calories [7] .

Some of the other ways to use ice cubes for weight loss are as follows [8] :

  • Keeping an ice-pack around the waist: Take a few ice cubes and wrap them around your waist, and keep it for about 10-15 minutes. A lot of energy is used during the process of melting the ice cubes, which in turn help burn the fat and aids in weight loss.
  • Cold ice water shower: Yet another effective way to lose weight is taking a cold ice water shower. This help boosts your metabolism and thus aids in weight loss. You can add the desired number of ice cubes into the bucket of water.

Side Effects Of The Ice Diet

Apart from the possible benefit, it has in losing weight, ice cubes or the ice diet does not possess any other significant health benefit to your body. Some of the side effects of following the ice diet are mentioned below:

  • There are chances that you may gain the weight back once you stop the ice diet [9] .
  • Chewing on ice constantly can be harmful to your teeth, as it can wear down or crack the enamel and dentin and leave the teeth prone to decay and cavities [10] .
  • Too much of ice could dip your body temperature and interfere with the function of certain organs [9] .
  • Do not eat ice cubes in extremely cold weather condition and extremely hot climate [11] .

On A Final Note...

The ice diet does not require one to give up their eating habits and switch to an all-ice diet. As asserted by Dr Weiner, 'I'm not suggesting that people eat only ice and ice-based products, but that some ice and cold food consumption is a highly effective adjunct to exercise and a healthy diet'.

View Article References  
  1. [1]   Thompson, T. L., & Glenn, E. P. (1994). Plaster standards to measure water motion. Limnology and Oceanography, 39(7), 1768-1779.
  2. [2]   Horswell, R. R., Hargrove Jr, M. D., Peete, W. P., & Ruffin, J. M. (1961). Scleroderma presenting as the malabsorption syndrome: a case report. Gastroenterology, 40(4), 580-582.
  3. [3]   Dalle Grave, R., Sartirana, M., El Ghoch, M., & Calugi, S. (2018). Module 4: Addressing Obstacles to Weight Loss. In Treating Obesity with Personalized Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (pp. 89-115). Springer, Cham.
  4. [4]   De Luca, S., De Filippis, M., Bucci, R., Magrì, A. D., Magrì, A. L., & Marini, F. (2016). Characterization of the effects of different roasting conditions on coffee samples of different geographical origins by HPLC-DAD, NIR and chemometrics. Microchemical Journal, 129, 348-361.
  5. [5]   Zhang, Y., Zhang, M., & Yang, H. (2015). Postharvest chitosan-g-salicylic acid application alleviates chilling injury and preserves cucumber fruit quality during cold storage. Food chemistry, 174, 558-563.
  6. [6]   Boyce, J. A. (2006). Successful treatment of cold-induced urticaria/anaphylaxis with anti-IgE. Journal of allergy and clinical immunology, 117(6), 1415-1418.
  7. [7]   Kolata, G. B. (2007). Rethinking thin: The new science of weight loss--and the myths and realities of dieting. Macmillan.
  8. [8]   Mac Auley, D. C. (2001). Ice therapy: how good is the evidence?. International journal of sports medicine, 22(05), 379-384.
  9. [9]   Baker, L., Kaye, R., & Hague, N. (1969). Metabolic Homeostasis in Juvenile Diabetes Mellitus: II. Increased Ketone Responsiveness to Epinephrine. Diabetes, 18(6), 421-427.
  10. [10]   Baker, D. C., & Haskell, T. H. (1975). Synthesis of tritium-and deuterium-labeled 9-. beta.-D-arabinofuranosyladenine and the tritium-labeled 5'-monophosphate ester with increased metabolic stability. Journal of medicinal chemistry, 18(10), 1041-1044.
  11. [11]   Çaglar, E., Onder Kuscu, O., Selvi Kuvvetli, S., Kavaloglu Cildir, S., Sandalli, N., & Twetman, S. (2008). Short-term effect of ice-cream containing Bifidobacterium lactis Bb-12 on the number of salivary mutans streptococci and lactobacilli. Acta Odontologica Scandinavica, 66(3), 154-158.

Story first published: Thursday, May 30, 2019, 16:30 [IST]
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