Insane fat loss? Reversal of chronic disease? Increased metabolic rate? When we heard about these touted benefits of The Snake Diet, we were intrigued. Never one to miss out on a possibly legit way to live a healthier, happier life, we had to check it out for ourselves.
Following the eating habits reptile for which this diet is named, you fast - and you fast for a long time. Your first fast is 48 hours. You eat nothing and you only drink Snake Juice (water, potassium chloride, Himalayan Pink Salt, baking soda and food grade epsom salts).
This concoction is supposed to help with water retention while replenishing your electrolytes. After this initial fast, you feed, and then you repeat with a 72 hour fast. When you do eat, your feeding window is only 1-2 hours, and you are told not to gorge yourself: just eat. The prescribed diet it predictably low carb, high fat and moderate protein. Your goal is to push your body into ketosis, where your body uses fat ketones as the primary source of fuel rather than glucose, which comes from carbs.)
Founder Cole Robinson purports the benefits of this diet go beyond fat loss and can actually reverse type 2 diabetes, increase human growth hormone, tighten skin, and provide cellular cleansing and an amped up metabolism. In one interview, he even said it helped melt away a woman’s brain tumour and cured his own herpes. Unfortunately for Robinson, anecdotal evidence is not scientific proof.
While it has been shown that intermittent fasting can do some of these things (namely, the cellular cleansing, diabetes control and increased metabolic rate), the Snake Diet pushes the envelope on intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasts usually last around 16 hours and allow for 8 hours of eating, and is a healthy and sustainable way to lose weight. The Snake Diet is a whole other animal.
And therein is one of the diet’s major problems: we are not snakes.
Nor are we, as Robinson likens us to on what can only be described as an embarrassing appearance on The Doctors, bears. Yes, humans are made to go periods of time without eating, but it is not healthy to go periods of timeall the time without eating.
Healthcare experts agree.
While people may get short-term results from The Snake Diet, it is not an advisable long-term lifestyle. In addition to be unsustainable for the majority of people, it can result in malnutrition and mood disorders (thanks to being so freakin' hangry all the time). Plus,when you do eat, you're less likely to make the best food choices, and we all know how poor food choices can take a toll on your body. (And if you don't, heart disease, cancer, diabetes make the short-list). And all these insults don't even compare Robinson throws at you. ("Hey, Fatty!")
All these downsides aside, there’s also the fact that during extremely long periods of fasting, your energy for your sweat sessions could suffer — and you don’t want to trade off the benefits of regular exercise for a diet that could do you more harm than good.
Listen, we're all for healthy eating, but not at the expense of our mental or physical health. If you want to learn more about The Snake Diet (or hanker to have scientifically unfounded and confidence crushing life-advice yelled at you for half an hour), by all means, go for it. But in our experience, the best way to lose unhealthy fat is to eat a balanced diet rich in whole foods, exercise regularly, drink plenty of water and get enough sleep.Want an honest-to-goodness way to shed excess fat? Stoke your fat burning fires with our Five Day Fit: Fat Melt series & get the gear to support your gains. Pair it with your meal and nutrition plan for maximum results.
Try this no-equipment back exercise in your next workout and start building a stronger back and core. Jenny Lam shows you how it’s done!
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