Can a human body survive on just one meal a few times a week? That’s what you have to do while following the ‘snake diet’. This is the latest trend that has become popular amongst diet-conscious individuals or those who want to lose weight.
You might be wondering if you have to eat snakes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner with snake juice. Well, don’t panic, learn more about the snake diet and whether it’s even effective or not.
What is a Snake Diet?
Snake diet is not a restrictive diet but rather a lifestyle centered around prolonged fasting. A snake diet is a relatively new concept that has gained popularity among people who are indulged in a race against time to achieve their weight loss goal. This diet plan resembles intermittent fasting; however, it involves a much more tough diet routine that guarantees weight loss.
Cole Robinson, who calls himself a fasting coach, recently appeared on a TV program ‘The Doctors TV Show’. The talk show turned into a boxing ring where Robinson, not a nutritionist or a biologist, argued with a panel of certified doctors about the benefits of a ‘snake diet’. Robinson’s only concern was that ‘fat people should stop eating as they already carry enough calories to survive for weeks.’ To grab more attention of the viewers Robinson inaccurately claimed that by following the ‘snake diet’ regime, people can cure cancer.
The diet involves a lengthy initial fast spanning 48 hours with a 1-2 hour eating window. Robinson claims that once you reach your optimum weight level, you can switch between a fast and small portion diet, and can survive with one meal every 24-48 hours. On the other hand, the doctors didn’t buy the idea. They claimed that this diet plan might affect an individual’s health negatively.
Three Phases of Snake Diet
This diet plan consists of three main phases.
This phase is designed to make your body maintain a metabolic state, called ketosis. While following this method the human body starts to burn fat instead of blood sugar to gain energy.
Once you enter ketosis, you need to fast for 48 hours or more. To keep the body active, you can consume apple cider vinegar drink and snake juice. After long hours of fasting, you are allowed to intake food in 1–2-hour cycles before another long phase of fasting starts. It is important to note that you need to fast for 72 hours right after consuming the diet to detoxify liver and kidneys.
However, the doctors claim that this is not suitable, because the livers and kidneys are the natural detoxifiers that burn up all harmful compounds in the form of urine, sweat, and faeces.
This phase consists of both fasting and eating. The fasting period lasts for 48-96 hours which is eventually broken with one meal. In this phase, you should fast for long hours until it becomes intolerable. Moreover, you should follow the same cycle of fasting and eating till the desired weight is attained.
After gaining the desired weight, active men should have an average calorie intake of 20,000 and active women should consume 8,500 calories per week.
This is the maintenance phase. It is suggested that individuals should continue with 24-48 hours of fasting and consume one meal. It is important to keep track of the number of ketones to maintain ketosis.
Snake Juice Recipe
During the long fasting period, you should not consume any calories. Instead, go for snake juice. It ensures electrolyte balance in the body.
To make snake juice, you will need the following five snake diet ingredients:
- 8 cups (2 liters of water)
- ½ teaspoon (2g) of Himalayan pink salt
- ½ teaspoon (5g) of salt-free potassium chloride
- ½ teaspoon (2g) of food-grade Epsom salt
Does it help in Weight Loss?
Drastic calorie restriction and starvation will result in immediate weight loss as the body is forced to use its reserved energy. However, replacing food with snake juice won’t replenish the food that your body needs to remain active. Consuming snake diet may lead you to rapid yet risky weight loss.
The absence of essential minerals, nutrients, and vitamins makes it quite dangerous for the body to function properly. Several studies suggest that a well-balanced diet along with physical activity is necessary to sustain a healthy lifestyle. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a safe weight loss range is about 0.5-0.9kg per week.
After the schedule changes, it may be hard for you to get back into the routine. Consuming one large meal after one or two days might force you to indulge in binge eating habit. As soon you resume your daily eating routine, you will gain weight.
Snake Diet Benefits are Baseless
According to Robinson, a snake diet can treat various diseases such as diabetes type 2, inflammation, and herpes. Nevertheless, his claims are not true. It is still confusing whether there are any benefits except for the risky weight loss. The restriction on water intake may trigger dehydration which is highly dangerous. The long fast routine can have harmful effects on your nutritional needs.
The snake diet triggers rapid weight loss but also comes with extreme side effects. Following this starvation-based diet may lead to extreme nutritional deficiencies. Attaining weight loss requires much more than just consuming a snake diet or snake juice. It is important to note that the claims regarding snake diet to cure cancer are not true.