Turns Out, This Weight Loss "Hack" Is Just Marketing for a Diet Supplement


Feb. 7 2024, Published 2:08 p.m. ET

Viral videos claim that a certain ice water hack, aka the Alpine ice diet, is the next best way to lose weight — but is it really? We're doing a deep dive on this alleged diet to see what the research says.

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That said, before trying anything at home, read more about the ice hack for weight loss. Remember, this isn’t a recommendation or medical advice, so consult your doctor if you have any questions about your weight and health history. They’ll know much better than any influencer if a health trend will really work.

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What is the ice hack for weight loss? The "am ice ritual recipe" is actually all about taking a supplement called Alpilean.

The ice hack for weight loss — aka the Alpine ice diet — is a viral trend that makes it seem like drinking a glass of ice water each morning will cause significant weight loss. However, these videos often end with a reference to taking weight loss Alpilean supplements with the ice water — which is the real "hack."

The Santa Cruz Sentinel wrote about how the weight loss supplement is supposed to raise a person’s body temperature to burn more fat without requiring exercise. Alpilean's marketing references the eLife study, which found that on average, adult body temperature has slightly decreased with each generation in the last two centuries, along with obesity rates increasing.

However, that does not necessarily mean that body temperature and weight are correlated.

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Experts are skeptical of the ice hack for weight loss.

Experts aren’t impressed with Alpilean’s primary ingredients, which include dika nuts, golden algae, drumstick tree leaf, ginger, and turmeric.

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“The dika nut may have a laxative and blood glucose-lowering effect,” Kate Zeratsky, a registered dietician nutritionist with the Mayo Clinic, told USA Today. “But people taking diabetes medications or those planning or recovering from surgery are cautioned not to take it as it may cause low blood glucose levels.”

She also told the outlet that there isn't enough legitimate info data on drumstick tree leaf and golden algae.

Using the bathroom more frequently after taking Alpilean supplements might make people think they lost weight because they’ll feel less bloated. However, no research shows it causes the same weight loss results as other options that increase caloric burn by raising the heart rate. For example, high-intensity interval (HIIT) workouts have been scientifically proven to be effective for losing weight, such as in a 2021 study published in Exercise Physiology.

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There’s no peer-reviewed research showing the efficacy of Alpilean supplements either, which is pretty standard for weight loss products.

“I have yet to see the National Institutes of Health or any other federal government department placing a seal of approval on weight loss supplements,” Kelsey Latimer, Ph.D., an eating disorder specialist and registered nurse, told Forbes.

Always consider trends like these alongside your doctor’s recommendations.

The ice hack for weight loss might seem like the next easy way to lose weight, but no evidence supports its claims. Your doctor can walk you through any questions about the trend and provide more medically accurate guidance if you have specific health goals inspired by trends like the Alpine ice diet.

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