The snake diet is one of the new members of the rapidly growing diet world. Its founder is Cole Robinson. Basically, this diet program mimics the eating habits of a snake.
Snakes feed on protein and fat-rich foods all at once. After that, they don’t eat anything for around 22 hours. Similarly, the snake diet focuses on a fasting lifestyle that includes the proactive eating method. We argue what exactly the snake diet is, how it works and if it’s safe below.
We would like to underline that the snake diet has not been adequately tested on humans and has no scientific basis. Therefore, we recommend you consult this diet with a doctor or expert who has scientific background before starting the diet program.
What Is The Snake Diet?
The snake diet program is invented by Cole Robinson. Cole Robinson describes the snake diet as a lifestyle. In addition, he named the nutrition in the diet as proactive eating. Proactive eating simply means eating in periods called intentional eating windows. Interestingly, this diet system inventor has no background in science such as nutrition, biology, or medicine. This situation causes some doubts among individuals considering the snake diet.
The snake diet doesn’t propose to avoid some nutrients or apply some restrictions for weight loss. The logic of the snake diet is long-term fasting. So, It aims to lose weight by staying hungry for a long time.
The snake diet argues that people can continue their vital activities with only a few meals a week. Also, the main evidence on which this belief is based is that people have been able to withstand various famine periods throughout the historical process.
How The Snake Diet Works?
If we talk about the snake diet in general, the diet program starts with an initial fast that continues for 48 hours in the first step. It is important that you remain inactive during the 48-hour period. The only nutrient that will go to your stomach during this time is an electrolyte drink called Snake Juice. A snake juice consists of water, sea salt, potassium chloride, baking soda, and sulfate salts. It is for support to provide electrolyte supplementation.
Then, there is a feeding time of several hours before the next fasting period begins. It is not clear exactly what you should eat at feeding times on the snake diet. However, there are recommendations such as keeping meals simple and not overdoing food consumption for those who follow the diet.
One of the surprising recommendations of the snake diet program is that those who follow the diet can continue to fast as long as they feel well.
Is The Snake Diet Effective For Weight Loss?
Since the snake diet is based on long-term fasting, It can provide rapid weight loss. Because the body tries to obtain the calories required for all physical and vital activities from the available energy stores.
However, how healthy it is to follow this diet is open to debate. Because your body burns both fat and lean muscle mass to meet the energy needs. In the snake diet, weight loss occurs very quickly and dangerously because the body cannot replenish these deficiencies with new nutrients.
The weight loss we’re talking about here is around 2 pounds (1 kg) each day for the first week. Weight loss continues at approximately 0.7 pounds (0.3 kg) each day for the following weeks.
When weight loss is healthy and safe, we can say that the weekly weight loss amount should be around 1–2 pounds. Considering these data, the results obtained with the snake diet are at a frightening and alarming level.
According to research, healthy nutrition can be possible with a well-rounded diet. In addition, it is important to support your diet with plenty of physical activity. However, the snake diet recommends remaining inactive during fasting.
Your body needs regular consumption of essential nutrients such as proteins, fats, and vitamins to meet its nutritional and energy needs. Also, remember that your body can’t produce these kinds of nutrients on its own. This isn’t possible with fasting periods of the snake diet.
In short, although the snake diet promotes weight loss, it can lead to unwanted weight gain or some health problems because it includes long periods of hunger.
Is The Snake Diet Dangerous?
Your goal may be rapid weight loss. But, one of the worst-case scenarios is that while you follow the snake diet program, your physical and emotional health may be adversely affected.
If you wish, let’s move forward starting with the dangers and damages that can be described as milder.
Emotional and Psychological Risks
First of all, Robinson, creator of the snake diet system has problematic and derogatory language. For example, he uses the phrase “fatties” for individuals who have weight problems in his youtube videos. Also, he can share dangerous advice about nutrition, diet. Therefore, we can say that there is a risk of bad psychological ramifications of the snake diet. Besides, the bullying language Robinson uses can trigger some eating phobias and disordered eating patterns.
In addition, the snake diet program isn’t sustainable. Humans are not snakes, and they can’t mimic the eating patterns of snakes forever. Therefore, these extreme weight-loss methods such as a snake diet don’t provide sustained results. Many resources show that weight loss is regained after following this kind of diet program. Permanent weight loss requires a sustainable lifestyle. This does not seem very possible with a program with extreme methods such as the snake diet.
A diet program should be personalized and under the supervision of a healthcare professional. The prolonged fasting approach is very dangerous for people who have conditions that affect blood sugar control, such as insulin resistance or diabetes.
Depriving your body of essential nutrients due to prolonged fasting will adversely affect the organs and systems in your body, especially the immune system. Also, your body will lose lean weight in addition to body fat during fasting periods. It means you will also break down both muscle mass and organ cells to provide calories. Thus, it is possible to harm your health, as muscles and organs are weakened.
A diet that includes extreme hunger, such as the snake diet, can be risky for any individual. However, it will be more dangerous for people who have medical conditions and diseases such as diabetes, heart disease or digestive, and kidney issues. Don’t forget there isn’t any clinical research or analysis for the snake diet program.
One of the goals of the snake diet is to create a state of ketosis in which fat is used instead of glucose as an energy source. At this point, the snake diet is similar to the ketogenic diet. However, when it comes to ketosis, The biggest risk is the potential for ketoacidosis. When excess ketones build up in the body, the blood will become more acidic. Severe ketoacidosis can cause coma or death. Also, acidosis may lead to health issues such as headaches, dizziness, muscle cramps, constipation, and bone-density loss.
Pros And Cons Of The Snake Diet
- The creator of the snake diet claims that this program cures some health problems such as type 2 diabetes, herpes, and inflammation. However, we would like to emphasize once again that these assumptions are absolutely not based on scientific data. Maybe, general weight loss may be associated with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes in people. But, the claim that the snake diet program cures this disease is a bit of an exaggeration.
- It’s true that there are some benefits to time-restricted eating and certain methods of fasting. Intermittent fasting may assist to improve your gut health, resist oxidative stress which causes diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure and increase the metabolic rate. But a program that includes very long intermittent fasts, such as the snake diet, is more likely to do more harm than good to human health.
- Although some studies show that prolonged fasts have benefits such as improved mood, better blood sugar regulation, and reduced blood pressure, it isn’t possible your body can meet nutritional needs during the extremely long fasting periods of the snake diet which involves strict methods.
Although it is thought that intermittent fasting, applied under the control of medical experts, may have some health benefits, it’s unclear whether the snake diet offers any benefits. Even it may cause serious health issues.
- The program is very restrictive.
- The snake diet hasn’t sustainable methods.
- It may trigger serious and dangerous health problems.
The Bottom Line
Although the snake diet provides rapid weight loss, its serious side effects and risks should always be considered. Also, since the snake diet is based on long starvations, it may trigger serious health problems such as essential nutrient deficiencies, dehydration, and disordered eating.
If you want to lose weight in a healthy way, we recommend that you lifestyle which covers a balanced and well-rounded diet and exercises.