An American doctor has sparked a potentially dangerous diet trend by creating a drastic, quick fix weight-loss programme that involves the dieter feeding through a nose drip.
The ‘K-E Diet’ (or the Ketogenic Enteral Nutrition diet), created by Florida-based Dr Oliver Di Pietro, promises to shed 20lbs in just 10 days and has so far proved popular with brides-to-be wanting to shift weight leading up to their wedding.
But how does it work?
According to the video presented by Dr Di Pietro, dieters have a small nasogastric tube inserted into the nose, which constantly deposits a liquid solution, containing a mix of protein, fat and water, into the body.
The solution contains 800kcals and, after a few hours, triggers a process called ketosis, which begins to burn body fat caused by a lack of carbohydrates. The process only burns fat and retains muscle.
Dedicated dieters have to carry the bag of fluid around with them and must keep the nose drip attached for the full 10 days in order for the diet to work.
Although this starvation diet isn’t brand new to Europe and the UK – this is an emerging trend among image-conscious brides who follow this diet in the lead-up to their weddings.
And although the diet has the desired effect after a 10-day period, it does have its downfalls: bad breath, constipation, lack of energy and potential kidney problems to name a few.
Nutritionist Suzy Weems, from Baylor University in the US, believes the ‘eating through the nose’ diet could cause long-term damage to health.
“It seems very extreme because of its potential for infections and irritation. It seems to be illogical to do this for one fairy-tale day when most brides have plenty of time before their weddings to lose weight in a healthy way. The long-term solution to maintain a good weight is to eat right and exercise,” Weems said in a statement.
Talking about his diet plan, Dr Di Pietro says: "What’s important is you don’t ever feel hungry as it is a 'hunger-free' way of dieting”.
“Within a few hours, your hunger and appetite go away completely, so patients are actually not hungry at all for the whole 10 days. That's what is so amazing about this diet,” he told ABC News.
“Patients typically burn around two pounds of fat per day. In every 100,000 patients I treated in Europe, nearly every one lost 20lbs in 10 days. It’s absolutely painless – the stage of ketosis causes no pain. In fact, during the ketosis stage, you feel no hunger and have a suppressed appetite,” Dr Di Pietro says in the diet’s promotional video.
“After the diet has completed, it’s important to continue a low-carbohydrate diet to maintain the weight-loss.”
Dr Di Pietro is such a firm believer in the diet, he is even trying it himself.
The no-food 'liquid' diet originates in Italy and was invented by Gianfranco Cappello, associate professor of general surgery at the University of Rome’s La Sapienza Hospital. The diet was later introduced in the UK by Dr Ray Shidrawi, a consultant gastroenterologist at the NHS Homerton University Hospital in London.
However, the diet's main aim was to target obese patients needing to lose a significant amount of weight - not normal-sized people wanting to drop a dress size.
Take a look at one bride's bid for the 'perfect' body for her wedding...
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