Just in time for the hot summer, a new e-book is available called The Ice Diet, written by Brian Weiner, M.D., a gastroenterologist in New Jersey and assistant professor at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. The entire premise of this diet is about increasing our basal metabolic rate by the consumption of ice. "While eating ice, you are serving two purposes." Weiner explained to The Atlantic, “You are burning calories and not eating positive-calorie foods."
An avid ice cream lover who switched to Italian ices in pursuit of weight loss, Weiner came to the conclusion that the calories on the ices were actually lower than what was listed on the nutrition facts panel. His rationale was that in order to digest frozen foods, our body must first use its own energy to warm the ice to body temperature, and these additional calories being burned were not being considered. He then concluded that the consumption of 1 liter of ice would actually burn about 160 calories, the same amount of energy used for running one mile, while also causing an increased level of satiety.
There are so many problem with this, where do I begin?
First off, there was no actual clinical study conducted by Weiner, or any other to date, to substantiate his claims. Just because you have your “observations” published in the Annals of Internal Medicine (Weiner’s “Letter to the Editor" was published in 2010) does not mean that they are 100-percent proven. And if Weiner were correct about the 160-calorie deficit from the ice, you would need to consume roughly 92 1/2 cups of ice per week to lose just one pound. That is a lot of ice. I am not sure when someone is suppose to find the time to eat it. Or—seriously—where, at the office? And what about chewing all that ice? Give me a break (and hopefully not my tooth). I am not even sure my icemaker makes that much ice per week.
In any event, there is some research to suggest that drinking water with meals can play a positive role in weight loss. Therefore, I will agree that the ice perhaps can cause satiety, and yes it has no calories. However, I will always recommend drinking water versus chewing on ice. And if you don’t like the flavor of water, you can easily add some lemon, lime, watermelon, or other whole fruits to naturally flavor it. Or try the same with sparkling water or seltzer.
But overall, The Ice Diet in my opinion should be left out in the cold.