God bless the New York Times. They certainly know how to dig up interesting stories. One which made my mouth drop (and sinuses seize up) talks about the crazy diets that soon-to-be-brides use. One diet which seemed crazier than most is the Feeding Tube Diet (A.K.A. The Nasal Drip Diet or the K-E Diet), a new and increasingly popular diet which costs about $1,500 and involves one of the most bizarre methods of eating… as I show below.
It’s no secret that soon-to-be-brides tend to lose their head a bit (or a lot) as their big day approaches. They can lash out at their family, burst in tears over the smallest hiccup in their wedding plans, and fuss over every little detail. Most of all, they are concerned about how they will look in their wedding dress. Losing weight is often a big part of that.
The Feeding Tube Diet is becoming a popular method among brides to try to lose 20 pounds in 10 days or even less. It’s incredible that women are willing to try this considering how extreme, uncomfortable, and outright freaky this method is.
How Does The Feeding Tube Diet Work?
The entire method is very simple:
- You’re not allowed to eat any food in the traditional way, via your mouth. This is deemed to be too risky and uncontrollable.
- You’re fitted with a nasogastric tube which is connected to a bag of fluids. You carry this around you at all times.
- From this bag, you’re fed 800 calories daily via the tube which goes through your nose, down your esophagus and into your stomach.
- You lose weight very quickly due to the low amount of calories that you consume.
- You stay on the diet for 10 days at the most (though some may have tried it for longer than that in Europe).
The method, officially called the K-E Diet was brought to the United States (from Europe, apparently) by Dr. Oliver R. Di Pietro who has used it with many brides in his clinic. He claims it is a hungry free way to lose weight. Here is a video of Dr. Di Pietro in which he talks about the method:
Does The Feeding Tube Diet Work?
Of course it does. Why wouldn’t it?
Any diet that cuts your calories down dramatically will work, at least in the short run, whether you’re fed through your nose or your mouth. This is true for the GM Diet plan, the 2468 Diet, the Israeli Army diet and practically any other very-low calorie diet. It’s simple math: if you cut your calories so low then you will surely end up in a calorie deficit and this will lead to weight loss. Why you need to do this via a nose tube is beyond me. You can just eat less. I guess that the tube provides control over the amount of calories, but still, it is not really necessary.
What About The Long Term Results?
Most brides who try the K-E Diet are not really interested in the long term results. They want to look thin on their wedding day. They plan to worry about the future… in the future. So, I’m not sure if a discussion of the long-term potential results of such a diet is applicable.
However, I will say this: starving yourself to lose weight is not really a good idea so this is not a program that can be a long term solution. Will it lead to a slower metabolism? If you stick to it for too long it might. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you will gain all the weight back, but this seems likely because this is what happens with extreme diets: you lose a lot of water weight which you quickly regain once you start eating normally again. If you went on an 800 calories diet without a feeding tube things would be similar.
Is This Healthy or Are There Risks?
Since this diet was publicized a lot has been said about it. There is a natural aversion to what this diet is and how people look when they walk around with a nasal tube. However, in addition to the natural response there are some valid concerns that need to be addressed:
- Ketosis – As Greg Archer points out, this kind of low calorie, low carb diet may lead to ketosis, a condition with various health ramifications. However, ketosis may also be caused by regular low carb diets, so this is nothing that’s particular to the Feeding Tube Diet.
- Infection – There is a risk of infection due to the feeding tube being placed in your body, not to mention that it may be very uncomfortable to have inside of you.
- Injuries – As CNN reported, there is a risk of GI bleeding, perforated throat, and lung damage. Basically, this is an invasive procedure which is not required to lose weight.
My Own Two Cents
Feeding tubes were never meant to be used to lose weight. They are intended to be used by unconscious patients who can’t eat. When I see a healthy woman trying to lose weight with a tube stuck in her nose I get a deep sense of revulsion. I can’t help it. So, my judgement in this issue may not be as fair as I would like it to be.
I will say this: this diet can and does work. Women report excellent results with it. As I said, this is to be expected. It has to happen. However, I don’t recommend this diet at all. First of all, it’s expensive. You can go on a crash diet without paying $1,500. True, the Feeding Tube Diet is monitored by a doctor and, supposedly, the food you get has a good balance of nutrients, but the risks of this diet are real and should not be discounted.
Second, this is simply unnatural and there’s no need for it. You can lose weight with other, less extreme measures. The best thing is to go on a balanced diet and follow a training routine to help you lose weight gradually and safely. This is also the best way to achieve long term results.
I think this the Feeding Tube Diet is crazy. Maybe it’s just an instinctive response, but this is how I feel. If you want to lose weight in a more sensible way, check out this resource on weight loss for women for more healthy ways to lose weight and tips on how to tone your body.