Have you ever thought what it would be like to have the dietary habits of reptile? Well, now you won’t have to, thanks to an unproven dieting method called the Snake Diet. You may already be familiar with this dietary fad from people showcasing the effects of Snake Diet on YouTube or Instagram. But like a lot of things on social media, Snake Diet posts and Snake Diet YouTube videos conceal a lot of problems about this method of weight loss.
Unlike other weight loss management techniques, the Snake Diet is more dangerous than it seems.
Today, you can take a closer look on what exactly the Snake Diet entails, who invented it, and if the Snake Diet gets results.
What is the Snake Diet?
Contrary to what images your brain may have conjured, the Snake Diet does not entail eating live mice or squirming frogs. It refers to the fact that snakes and other reptiles usually have large gaps between meals.
The diet refers to a dieting method that promises weight loss through prolonged fasting periods with extremely short periods for eating. And it’s divided into three phases, each involving different lengths of fasting cycles.
It all begins with first phase, the initial fasts. Newcomers are supposed to reach a state of ketosis, which is when your body switches from burning carbohydrates and burns fat instead, with these first fasting cycles. The initial fast of the Snake Diet tells you that you should not eat anything solid between 24 and 48 hours. During this time, anyone who wants to get the Snake Diet’s results is encouraged to drink only apple cider vinegar and Snake Juice, a supplement available from the inventor of the dieting method, although there is a recipe for homemade version as well.
After the two whole days of fasting, you have only between one and two hours to eat. The Snake Diet offers no guidance on what you should eat during this window. You can eat as much as you want or as little as you want, although given the length of the fasting cycles involved, a hefty meal is desirable.
This window is followed by an even longer fasting period, and you will still be in the first phase. The Snake Diet dictates that you fast for 72 hours to remove toxins from your liver. Its results never specify which toxins these fasting cycles are supposed to cleanse, nor does it mention that your body naturally cleans your liver through sweat, digestion and urination.
The second phase is even more rigorous for those who are drawn in by Snake Diet YouTube videos. The second phase of the diet tells adherents to fast anywhere between 48 and 96 hours, with one meal between each fasting cycle. The diet says that you should fast for as along as you can, with absolutely no other indicators or guidelines. It only says this phase ends when you’ve reached your goal weight.
When you’ve reached your goal weight, you can enter the third phase of the Snake Diet. This phase involves reverting to fasting cycles between 24 and 48 hours long, depending on how long you can last without food.
This entire diet revolves around ignoring the body’s natural hunger cues and substituting real food with an abhorrent mixture known as Snake Juice. The product can be bought from the inventor of the Snake Diet, but it can also be reproduced at home. The recipe of Snake Juice is a trade secret but the homemade version is mostly just salt, potassium chloride and water, with little nutrients to supplement your body.
The recipe is as follows:
- Mix ½ teaspoon of Himalayan pink salt, a ½ teaspoon of Epsom salts for food and a teaspoon of potassium chloride without salt.
- Pour this mixture into 2 liters of water and stir.
The Snake Diet doesn’t have any guidelines for homemade Snake Juice, but you are supposed to only drink three of the commercial type mix per day.
Who Invented the Snake Diet?
Just who exactly invented the Snake Diet? Who is behind the Snake Diet YouTube videos that draw people to this fasting method? The man who came up with this technique is called Cole Robinson. He describes himself as a fasting coach, despite having no qualifications to support it.
He has not educational background in nutrition or medicine. During an interview on a talk show, Robinson claimed, in a profanity riddled rant, that people can fast for not just days but weeks and even months. He also claimed that overweight people can’t starve, comparing them to bears. This is misguided, as the body systems of humans and bears are completely different.
Even the inspiration for the Snake Diet’s name, the eating habits of reptiles, can be construed as a misguided interpretation of the nature of these animals. Snakes and reptiles only consume calories every few days because they have completely different body systems, particularly that they don’t generate their own body heat. This means they burn calories slower than mammals.
Does the Snake Diet Get Results?
But does the Snake Diet get results? Short answer, yes. Given the drastic calorie loss the diet expects from those who are willing try it, you will definitely experience some weight loss form the initial fasting period alone.
However, the Snake Diet can be unsafe and has a host of consequences that make it unsustainable and harmful to anyone to sticks to it.
What are the Consequences of the Snake Diet?
The dangers of getting swept away by the bodies of people in Snake Diet YouTube videos is that they may not be entirely truthful about what they’re going through. Some of the probable effects of the Snake Diets are clearly signs of declining health. Aside from getting a fasting headache, the diet could cause several very harmful effects.
This is because the Snake Diet ignores the fact that your body needs calories to function. Calories only become fat when you eat more than your body can burn.
According to experts from the United States Department of Agriculture, the healthy calorie intake for women in the country is between 1,600 and 2,400. For men, its between 2,000 and 3,000 calories per day. This is because your body will naturally burn these calories to maintain your muscles, keep your brain running and give you the energy to go through the day.
Without adequate calorie intake, your body will fall apart due to starvation and malnutrition. This can lead to muscle loss, exhaustion, hair loss and failing bodily functions. If you fast for too long, you can be hospitalized and even face permanent consequences due to the damage done to your body.
Why is the Snake Diet Bad for You?
Aside from the physical effects repeated prolong fasting and insufficient calorie intake, the Snake Diet can be bad for you for the following reasons.
There is no way the Snake Diet is sustainable. Given the absolutely bare minimum of food it provides you, and the length of the fasting cycles involved, you could be hospitalized long before you make it past a month. If you have underlying conditions, it could be very dangerous for you to aspire to get Snake Diet results. Even if you are the picture of health, the Snake Diet may corrode your well-being.
Dangerous Relationship with Food
The fasting cycles can either lead you to think that food is bad or develop binge eating tendencies which can carry over long after you’ve abandoned the Snake Diet. This can become a full-blown eating disorder, adding psychological strain to the already considerable physical harm the diet could cause.
The Snake Diet is simultaneously too restrictive and too lax, due to the creator having no background in healthcare and nutrition. What can you eat during the feeding windows? No idea. How often can you eat? Depends on your own constitution. The Snake Juice involved is also woefully lacking in any real nutrients, as the next entry will show.
Too Much Sodium
The homemade Snake Juice that’s your only source of energy during the fasting cycles contains too much sodium to be healthy. According to the Food and Drug Administration, the limit should be approximately one teaspoon of salt per day. But since the Snake Diet provides no guidelines for how often people should chug the homemade version, you can drink thrice the healthy amount. It also has no other vitamins and minerals necessary for people to function properly, which will definitely lead to malnutrition.
What are the key takeaways to learning about the Snake Diet?
First, that you should always be critical of dietary fads and health advice that you see on social media such as YouTube. Second, is that you should only trust diets that are created by people with the education and background to ensure you will remain healthy while following their regimens. And finally, you should only go on a diet after consulting with a medical professional. If you have an ailment or condition, you need to know if its safe to go on a diet.
Put your trust in medical professionals and do plenty of research if you want to keep your well-being intact.