What the hack: Busting claims of viral ice hack and carnivore diet trends- The New Indian Express


Express News Service

While social media serves as a valuable tool for staying informed, it also has its drawbacks, particularly in promoting unverified products and ideas. One such trend that went viral recently is the ‘ice hack’ diet. It revolves around the notion that individuals can enhance their fat metabolism by consuming a glass of iced water before bedtime. One is also supposed to take a weight-loss supplement called Alpilean. It comprises six substances, two of which are unrelated to weight loss, and the other four lack substantial research on their safety and effectiveness.

The diet relies on the regulation of core body temperature and the energy required to maintain it. It is achieved by consuming ice or very cold water and using the supplement. The company that makes Alpilean claims that each substance— golden algae, dika nut, drumstick tree leaf, bigarade orange, ginger, and turmeric—targets inner body temperature. 

Despite some social media influencers claiming success with the diet, experts caution against believing in its efficacy. Neha Gandhi, a Delhi-based nutrition consultant, acknowledges that consuming very cold water or ice can boost metabolism, but emphasises that there’s no scientific evidence supporting its effectiveness for weight loss.

“In theory, the body burns calories when melting ice to reach ideal temperature, but many studies have yielded unconvincing results. Some even indicate no impact on metabolism from consuming cold water or ice, while others suggest any effect is almost negligible,” she says, while also warning against chewing ice due to potential dental issues.

Another regime going viral is called the carnivore diet, which focuses on consuming significant quantities of high-fat animal products like beef and liver. Although followers of this diet may include fish and dairy in their meals, it strictly excludes fruits, vegetables and grains. The trend has amassed 650.5 million views on TikTok but remains controversial. Mumbai-based dietician Abhay Gupta expresses his disapproval by saying the elimination of specific foods may actually trigger adverse symptoms. 

“A diet heavily reliant on animal products while lacking in plant-based foods can reduce beneficial gut bacteria diversity. This, in turn, may impact aspects such as immunity, digestion, and weight management,” he says. 

For effective and sustainable weight management, experts say it’s essential to maintain a balanced diet, engage in regular physical activity, practice portion control, ensure adequate hydration, and prioritise sufficient sleep for optimal recovery.

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