(Picture: MDWfeatures / Phil Flock)

Phil Flock transformed his body in just two months by following the controversial ‘snake diet’ – which involves fasting for long periods and fuelling your body with only water and a salt-based drink.

The 28-year-old from Germany, even followed the plan on Christmas Day last year, eating nothing all day and just consuming one drink in the evening.

The filmmaker decided to embark on the drastic diet change after realising that his busy work schedule didn’t leave him much time to work out – but is this a healthy or safe way to get in shape? The experts are unconvinced.

Nutritionist Ruth Tongue, founder of Elevate, thinks the diet should definitely be avoided.

‘This diet sounds extremely dangerous and at best could leave you feeling horrendous, and at worst could cause serious health consequences,’ Ruth tells Metro.co.uk.

Phil lifts weights every day (Picture: MDWfeatures/Phil Flock

So what exactly is the snake diet?

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On this diet you basically fast for up to three days at a time, and consume only ‘snake juice’ within a one-to-two hour window.

Snake juice is made up of water, salt, potassium chloride, baking soda and magnesium sulphate salts. It’s claimed that it helps to deplete sugar levels in the liver, which then encourages the body to burn fat as energy.

Experts are keen to warn of the dangers.

‘The jury’s out as to whether the benefits of fasting, even for short periods of time, are grounded in solid science,’ says Ruth. ‘Yet we know that when we don’t eat, our blood sugar levels drop dramatically, leaving us lacking energy, unable to focus and moody.

‘On top of this, all of our “non-essential” functions, such as fertility, will shut down as the body tries to conserve energy – so fasting is a no-no for anyone trying to conceive.

‘Anyone who’s tried dieting will know that going to bed hungry affects sleep, and the combination of Epsom salts, and baking powder in the ‘snake juice’ will leave you sitting on the loo when you should be enjoying your Christmas dinner. Doesn’t sound much fun to me!’

Snake Diet has its own YouTube channel (Picture: Snake Diet/YouTube)

On the snake diet, Phil was existing on just one meal every few days. He said he started seeing results within just a week, but he also experienced vomiting as his body experienced carb-withdrawals.

‘I spent two Christmas dinners without food, so I could get back into ketosis as fast as possible, and they were the hardest days ever, but I made it,’ says Phil.

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Ketosis is the process when the body uses ketones out of fat for energy, instead of carbs – and it only happens when you cut out all carbohydrates entirely.

‘It was really hard to not eat anything all day and sit at the table, seeing all of the delicious food, knowing I had to wait 24 hours until I could eat again.

‘The longest I’ve fasted for was eight days where I only drank water, which had sodium and potassium.

‘I am pretty lean right now, so I have one small no carb meal a day, unless the meal becomes bigger than I intended so then I fast for 48 hours to maintain my body weight.’


What is snake juice?

Snake juice ingredients:

  • Water
  • Sodium chloride (Himalayan pink salt)
  • Potassium chloride
  • Baking soda
  • Magnesium sulphate (food grade Epsom salts, optional)

The Snake Diet website encourages people to drink snake juice within a one-to-two hour window for ‘as long as you feel good’.

It recommends starting with a 48-hour fast and then repeating with a 72-hour one.

But experts are certainly not sold on the idea of fasting for long-term health and weight benefits.

‘Although I think many of us could benefit from going longer periods without eating in an attempt to control daily calorie intake, fasting for more than 48 hours is not a good idea,’ explains Matt Durkin MSC, expert nutritionist at Simply Supplements.

‘There are numerous reasons for this. Firstly, as you are not consuming food you will inevitably be low on energy and it will be impossible to meet all micronutrient requirements.


‘This is likely to negatively impact immune function, and metabolism as well as a whole host of other normal bodily functions.

‘This diet will certainly lead to weight-loss, but a significant proportion of this will be muscle mass, as the diet will provide no protein and therefore lack the essential amino acids.

‘In addition to the obvious effects of muscle loss, this will decreases metabolic rate and make maintenance of a healthy weight in the long-term all the more difficult.’

So the physical risks seem pretty clear, but experts are also concerned about the emotional and psychological effects of long-term fasting.

‘As this diet is very extreme, it will likely lead to a poor relationship with food,’ Matt tells us.

‘Food shouldn’t be seen as something to avoid and abstain from but seen as essential for health and wellbeing and something to fuel and nourish our bodies.’

Any new diet should be looked at critically and carefully – particularly extreme ones. The best thing to do is talk to a qualified doctor or nutritionist if you want advice on losing weight safely and effectively.

MORE: Vegans warned lack of nutrients in some diets could lead to malnutrition

MORE: Why a soy sauce ‘cleanse’ is a dangerous idea

MORE: Can you manage a chronic illness and be vegan at the same time?

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A trend called the ‘snake diet’ where you eat one giant meal a day then fast for 22 hours is gaining popularity — but here’s why experts say it’s a bad idea

Snakes eat one giant meal then fast for 22 hours. Butterfly Hunter/

  • Self-described “fasting coach” Cole Robinson is touting the benefits of the Snake Diet, which entails eating as a snake does.
  • Snakes eat one enormous, fat and protein-packed meal a day, and then don’t eat again for another 22 hours.
  • People are trying the extreme weight-loss diet and posting their results on Instagram.
  • A registered dietitian says no one should fast for a full 22 hours and that the “snack juice” required for the diet is incredibly high in sodium.

Despite the fact that they are dangerous, creepy predators, snakes are having a bit of a moment in the wellness world. This week, “Insider” posted a video of a “snake massage” being offered at the Wholeness Center near Valley Cottage, New York, which made everyone’s skin crawl (apparently it’s a thing in India and Indonesia, the idea being that having snakes crawl over your body will somehow be relaxing).

And now, self-described “fasting coach” Cole Robinson is touting the benefits of the Snake Diet, which literally involves eating like a snake. Because that’s the first thing you think of when you see a snake, “Oh, how nice and svelte you are! What are you eating?”

Basically, snakes eat one enormous, fat and protein-packed meal a day, and then don’t eat again for another 22 hours.

In a 2016 YouTube video, Robinson describes the benefits of his Snake Diet as follows, “Hey, fatty! I’m gonna explain why there’s no other diet out there that is like my snake diet…The main focus of my snake diet is fasting. Fasting is like the holy grail. It speeds up your metabolism.”

He goes on to explain that the Snake Diet isn’t like the popular ketogenic diet, because that focuses on eating high-fat foods, and that’s it’s not like intermittent fasting, which offers a “big eating window” in which to binge on carbs. The Snake Diet, he says, is meant to let you “fast as long as possible while still getting all of the calories and macro/micronutrients your body needs.” He goes on to say that in the “best case scenario,” you ingest all of your calories for the day in 30 seconds, and then don’t eat again until the following day, which sounds like a really great idea if your objective is to throw up and make yourself sick.

To get started, you have to do a special 48-hour fast where you clear out your toxins, rid yourself of sugar addiction, and shift your body into fat-burning mode, by consuming nothing except water and a concoction called Snake Juice, which consists of a liter of water, 2 teaspoons of pink salt, and 2 teaspoons of NoSalt, a salt replacement product. Robinson invented this delicious drink himself, and even if you aren’t a medical expert, it’s easy to see why it would be extremely bad for you.

“A day’s worth of Snake Juice contains a whopping 4,000 mg sodium—nearly double the amount you should be consuming in a day. That could exacerbate health problems like high blood pressure or pre-existing kidney issues,” St. Louis-based registered dietitian Sarah Pflugradt told Prevention.com.

Pflugrat added that while intermittent fasting, which involves not eating for 12 to 18 hours a day, has some scientific backing as a good method for weight loss, not eating for 22 hours straight is extreme and will likely deprive you of essential nutrients, not to mention leave you feeling cranky and constipated.

Despite warnings from medical experts, some people have been touting the effectiveness of the diet on Instagram, saying it helped them lose as much as 16 pounds in just two weeks.

Any diet that involves drastically cutting down calorie intake will inevitably result in some weight loss, but the whole point of a diet is to adopt eating habits that are healthy and sustainable, which clearly this isn’t.

Also, and I can’t believe I have to say this, but, um, we are not snakes. We have completely different digestive systems. If you don’t believe me, try eating a small animal whole and see how it goes (please don’t do that). And for more diets that you shouldn’t try, check out the 15 Most Dangerous Diet Fads You Should Avoid at All Costs.

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Is snake diet a healthy way to lose weight?

Snake diet is one of the latest additions to the list of fad diets. We have seen a lot of other diets that promise weight loss and snake diet does nothing different. Cole Robinson, who is the founder of this diet, says coaches and clients in the fitness industry do not understand how our body metabolises food and converts it into fuel. But with this diet, Cole promises people that they will achieve their weight loss goal. Read on to know about the diet in detail.
The diet
The snake diet has three steps, where you take only apple cider vinegar for 48 hours, fast for next two to three days and then eat normally.
First phase
In the first phase, you fast for 48 hours and take apple cider vinegar and snake juice.
Snake juice is considered as an essential mineral replacement which helps to clear toxins from your liver.
Snake juice is a mixture of 1 teaspoon of pink salt, 1 teaspoon of no salt and 2 caps of cayenne pepper in 1 liter of water.
Second phase
In this phase, you follow a flexible fasting routine which means fasting for as long as you can and fasting on and off. For example, you can fast for 23 hours and 40 minutes and then eat for 20 minutes.
The basic concept of snake diet is to fast. People think fasting makes their metabolism slow but if done ideally, it is not the case. When you fast for longer hours and later feed your body with healthy high-fat food and all the essential macro and micro nutrients, then the case is not the same. In this case, your metabolism gets a boost.
Third phase
In the third and the last phase, you start listening to your body’s natural signals for hunger and follow them.
Other benefits of this diet
Cole also claims that this diet can help cure herpes, type 2 diabetes and inflammation. He even claims that the diet is superior to keto, which is another famous diet.
Basic concept
The basic concept of this diet, as mentioned above, is to fast for as long as possible. This means fasting for most part of the day and eating all the calories at once. The only one meal that you have during fasting should be high in fat and low in carbs as carbs have very less number of calories.
Is the diet safe?
The diet is definitely not safe. “We are not snakes so we shouldn’t eat like one,” say critics. This diet, according to doctors, is just a fad as it has no scientific backing. The long period of fasting is not a great idea for healthy living.
Claims are that once you stop fasting, you will regain all the lost weight. The diet can be dangerous as it can lead to loss of nutrients and can adversely affect your metabolism.
In short, any diet which promises to make you lose weight in a jiffy is definitely not a healthy diet. Eating clean and green and exercising regularly would a better option at any time.
No one can eat enough in one meal to sustain for the next 24-36 hours. This would be miserable for your body and the results won’t even last. As soon as you start eating normally, you will gain back all the lost weight.

Snake diet is a new approach to weight loss that promises a fast process to shed pounds. However, there has been a growing debate between health experts and the diet community over the safety and effectiveness of the diet. The snake diet was introduced by Cole Robinson, who describes himself as “fasting coach” and fitness trainer. The approach mimics the diets of reptiles, which only involve one big meal in a single day and not eating for another day or two.


Snake diet limits food intake into one meal every other day and a prolonged fasting several days a week. The weight loss plan also involves the drink called “Snake Juice,” made with a powdered electrolyte mixture dissolved in water.

The restricted food consumption aims to put the body into the state of nutritional ketosis, which forces the body to use ketones for energy instead of carbohydrates, according to DrAxe.com.

Robinson said dieters should follow the three phases of snake diet. In the first phase, people should focus on ketosis and fasting for 48 hours or longer after a giant meal.

The next part of snake diet involves fasting and short meals from 48 hours to 96 hours. At this phase, the body should start losing weight, according to Robinson’s guidelines.

The last phase of the eating plan is for the “maintenance” of the desired weight. Fasting and short refeeds should continue until the lost weight meets your goals.

Snake diet has been proven effective to reduce fats since it significantly cuts calories. Robinson claimed that he lost 8 to 9 pounds in the first week of starting the diet.

Other health benefits of snake diet include improvements in mood, blood sugar regulation and blood pressure. These effects occur due to the fasting periods.

Intermittent fasting has also been linked to lower bad cholesterol, blood pressure, glucose and insulin levels.

Is Snake Diet Safe?

Despite promoting weight loss, critics and health experts described snake diet as a “bad idea” and one of the “strangest diet trends” created. The highly restricted food consumption cuts not only fats but also important nutrients in the body.

The very low levels of calories could put the body into starvation mode and cause slower metabolism. These changes may encourage you to eat more and digest food slower.

Extreme calorie restriction may also cause fatigue, hypoglycemia, mood changes, sleep problems, poor concentration and headaches. Women may also experience more constipation.

Also watch: 7 ways to get rid of diarrhea fast

(Video by Health.com)

See: Food myths that are causing you to gain weight

(Slideshow by Eat This, Not That!)

Disclaimer: Views expressed in this article are the author’s own and MSN does not endorse them in any way. Neither can MSN independently verify any claims made in the article. You should consult your physician before starting any weight loss or health management programme to determine if it is right for your needs.

What Is The Snake Diet? 7 Reasons It’s One Of The Most Harmful Diets For Your Health

It’s exactly what it sounds like.

By Joni Edelman, RN

I know. I know that being fat is hard. It’s hard to buy clothes. It’s hard to be in a room of smaller people who you know might be thinking about all the ways you are lazy or stupid or undisciplined. It’s hard to move through a world that is not designed for your body.

I know; it’s hard.

It’s hard to live in a culture that so values thinness that it would encourage you to harm your body to achieve it.

Before I tell you how harmful this new “diet” is, let me tell you two things about myself.

1. I am fat.

I have not always been fat. I have been all sizes from very thin to pretty fat. I have attained thinness through diets, eating disorders, obsessive exercise, eating very limited types of food, and eating no food at all.

2. I’m a Registered Nurse.

I have training in anatomy, physiology, eating disorders, and nutrition (in nursing school, but also above and beyond what we learn in nursing school.) I’m not saying I’m more intelligent or educated than the “Snake-Diet” founder, I’m just saying if you had to pick, which of us would you trust with your life? A yoked up dude in a muscle shirt screaming at you from his kitchen? Or a medical professional with literally no vested financial interest in your weight loss?

I’m telling you those two things because I want you to know that I know how it feels to be fat and desperate. I also know both intellectually and logically how harmful some of what we do to our bodies is — because I’ve done it. Further, I know that education is not necessarily an inoculation against the genuine, profound pressure to be thin. That is to say, you are not stupid. You are a product of a culture that hates your body and has made you hate yourself.

Another thing I know is that being thin will not solve your problems. It will not automatically make you happier than you are fat and it might harm you — very gravely — in the process.

This culture so values thinness that there are people whose real job it is to verbally, emotionally, physically abuse you into weight loss. Every so often there is a new “diet,” a new fad, that claims to cure you of your fat — grapefruit, Special K, Slim Fast Weight Watchers, The NEW Weight Watchers, The NEW NEW Weight Watchers, Keto, Paleo, fasting, pineapple, cabbage soup. In many ways, the “Snake-Diet” is just another of these — but it’s also different, it’s dangerous. I’m going to tell you why.

First, what exactly is the “Snake-Diet?”

It’s essentially fasting under a fancier name (with some added features.) You stop eating. You mix up what amounts to some flavorless Gatorade which you can drink when you feel like you’re going to die (but first you drink your urine).

BUT BUT BUT, JONI, you lose weight!

Of course, you lose weight. That’s what happens when you don’t eat. That doesn’t make it a good idea though.

Here’s why.

1. Well, you are not a snake.

I know this is pretty obvious. But just in case it wasn’t, let me tell you some of the ways snakes and humans differ.

Snakes are cold-blooded reptiles. They rely on the temperature of their environment to regulate their body temperature (and thus, metabolism). This means when it’s cold, they don’t digest food at all. This also means that most snakes you see in captivity are under a heat lamp. They require it.

Snakes also don’t give live birth, don’t nurse their offspring, don’t perform advanced anatomical functions (like walking), and have brains the size of your thumbnail.

2. Your body needs fuel to operate.

Fasting in and of itself is not automatically harmful. You fast every day. That’s right! You eat dinner. You go to bed. You wake up. You break the fast with, yep, breakfast.

Fasting just means going without food (or drink, depending on the fast) for a period of time.

Fasting is not inherently bad. It’s actually an important way that your body resets its levels of things like insulin.

However, going for several days (or weeks, as the “Snake-Diet” founder yells at us fatties to) is not the key to optimal human function.

3. Also, drinking urine is a terrible idea.

If you’re hydrated, IF, then your pee is about 95% water; not too bad. But if you’re not, and if you’re fasting you WON’T BE, then it’s not. Urine is what happens after your kidneys do their job of filtering. What is left is waste — nitrogen, potassium, and calcium. These won’t kill you. And yes, some folks have survived very grave circumstances by drinking their pee. Like, remember that guy who had to cut off his own arm in a canyon in Utah? He drank his pee. He also CUT OFF HIS OWN ARM.

Your day to day life is not a dire circumstance. There is water available almost everywhere you turn. There are entire companies whose business model is hydration. You do not have to drink your pee. WHY WOULD YOU DRINK YOUR PEE IF YOU DO NOT HAVE TO?

4. The alternative beverage suggested is not nutrition.

It’s called “Snake Juice,” and it’s a mix of potassium chloride (KCl), sodium chloride (salt), and sodium bicarbonate (baking soda). This is like Gatorade, only gross (without sugar or flavor). Without going into a physiology lesson you don’t care about, let me just tell you, it’s essentially the bare minimum of electrolytes you need to keep your heart pumping and your muscles moving (sodium and potassium, mostly).

This will only keep you from feeling like you’re dying. Your body is meant to function that way. Not to lose weight. Not even to just survive.

5. “Fad” diets are “fads” because they are neither tried nor true.

If they were, they wouldn’t be a fad, they’d just be how we eat.

If it’s a fad, that’s your first indicator that you should be wary of it.

6. If you have had an eating disorder, this is an almost surefire trigger for another one.

Because it IS one. But even if you can fool yourself into thinking it’s somehow “good for you,” not eating is a very slippery slope.

7. If you have never had an eating disorder, you do now.

You can dress it up in whatever language you’d like, but this is an eating disorder.

eat·ing dis·or·der (noun): any of a range of psychological disorders characterized by abnormal or disturbed eating habits (such as anorexia nervosa).

Not eating for days at a time is abnormal. The end.

I am sorry we live in a world that has made you feel so fundamentally bad about yourself that you’d stop eating to try to fix the body it has made you believe is broken. I want a life of happiness for you and I want you to know that this is not how you’ll get it. The first step to a life of peace and joy is to shelf the idea that your body is the problem.

Ravishly is a media company that celebrates the mess of being human.

This article was originally published at Ravishly. Reprinted with permission from the author.

WTF Is the Snake Diet?

Photo: vinap / Getty Images

A big part of my job as a dietitian and health coach is to demystify food trends and field questions about the latest health crazes and fad diets cropping up online. I’ve been getting a lot of questions recently about the Snake Diet. Heard of it? Wondering what in the world this is and if it has you eating snakes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner? Now that you’re officially creeped out, learn more about the Snake Diet and if it’s legit.

What Is the Snake Diet?

So no, the Snake Diet is not a “slither away the pounds” meal plan or an “eat what a snake eats” gimmick (swallowing mice whole sounds pretty brutal), but rather a structured plan with a detox period, timed fasting portion, and maintenance phase.

I was actually relieved when I heard the name started out as a joke. The Snake Diet is meant to imitate the eating patterns of wild animals. It promotes eating one large meal and then fasting for the rest of the day—or even several days or, I kid you not, “as long as f***ing possible,” according to the diet’s founder, Cole Robinson. It’s this kind of language that had the hosts of The Doctors stunned and even a bit angry when Robinson appeared on the talk show recently. “If you’re f***ing fat, you don’t need to eat,” he screams into the camera. “Drink water and f***ing salt. You don’t need anything more than that.” He goes on to argue his theory to the panel of medically trained doctors that “fat people don’t need to eat any food because they have more calories than they could ever use in like weeks on the gut.”

If that kind of hurtful talk weren’t bad enough, Robinson goes on to inaccurately claim that following the Snake Diet can actually cure cancer. Robinson shared that a female client of his who had a brain tumor adhered to a strict fasting schedule and because of that she was able to “melt that tumor down in two months.” I don’t need a medical degree to know that “melting” tumors isn’t possible, and plastic surgeon Andrew Paul Ordon, M.D., immediately tells him, “No, you didn’t melt that tumor down. That would defy science.”

So let’s back up an explain a little more:

Here’s how the Snake Diet is supposed to work: You fast for the first 48 hours and drink something called Snake Juice, which sounds really suspicious but is actually just water, sea salt, and potassium chloride (a salt substitute) and is intended to help replenish your electrolytes.

After those first two days, you focus on a low-carb, high-fat diet with plates filled with mostly nonstarchy veggies with a little meat and fat. Here’s the thing that many people misunderstand about low-carb, high-fat diets, though: Fat intake doesn’t have to come from meat, and this interpretation doesn’t help clear up that confusion. Why can’t we just say “fill most of the plate with nonstarchy vegetables, include a small serving of meat or fish, and include a serving of healthy fat like avocado or olive oil”? That sounds like a reasonable, balanced, nutritional meal to me.

The goal is to get your body into ketosis. Sound familiar? Yep, that’s the same fat-burning state that’s associated with the keto diet. (As a refresher, while in ketosis, your body relies on fat ketones as its first source of fuel instead of using glucose from carbohydrates.)

Next, Robinson recommends you do another 72-hour Snake Juice fast fairly early on in the diet to “break your fear of fasting.” During this fast, you’ll drink the Snake Juice and a tonic of apple cider vinegar and lemon juice. He also recommends fasting for longer if you find that you’re not losing weight. Hmm, it sounds like there’s a lot of fasting and very little actual eating happening on this diet.

Does the Snake Diet work for weight loss?

In the short term, yes, you’ll lose weight on this diet because you’re depriving yourself of calories and going into ketosis. But as with pretty much any restrictive diet, the risk of regaining lost pounds is high when you return to your usual habits.

Even if he didn’t use such harmful language that is essentially promoting starvation, intermittent fasting is a difficult habit for most people to sustain. Beyond just messing with your metabolism, seriously depriving yourself of calories in this way can be dangerous, especially if you’re feeling lightheaded-not helpful if you’re trying to build up a regular workout schedule as well. Fasting-induced mood swings and hunger-related irritability can also derail your day. You’re also looking at digestive disturbances like constipation, especially if you don’t take care to get the recommended 25 to 35 grams of fiber per day. It’s also worth noting again that the type of fat and protein matter-routinely going to town on butter and bacon is very different from consuming avocado, nuts, and wild fish. Call me old-fashioned, but losing weight at the expense of your heart and other organ systems just doesn’t sound worth it.

Also, if your schedule changes a lot, it can be hard to get into a consistent routine. Consuming a very large meal in one sitting may trigger some people into binge eating behavior. You’re the expert on you, but in practice, I’ve seen timed fasting regimens to be mentally and emotionally challenging even for people without a history of disordered eating. It may also be risky for someone with diabetes who needs to space their eating (especially of carbohydrates) throughout the day to promote stable blood glucose levels. (More: Why the Potential Intermittent Fasting Benefits Might Not Be Worth It)

It goes beyond the physical aspect too-the emotional piece is just as important. Which brings me to the next question:

So, should you try the Snake Diet?

I tried really hard to look for good things about the Snake Diet, but there weren’t any. So the short answer is no. The long answer? Hell no! This idea of I’m not losing weight by fasting so I should fast for longer just doesn’t sound okay to me. Worse than not okay, it sounds like opening the door for the disordered eating and overthinking food monster.

As a dietitian who works closely with people who have a history of disordered eating patterns or who struggle with loving and trusting themselves, I find Robinson’s abrasive approach to be downright alarming. I mean, he starts most videos by shouting, “Hey, fatty!” It sounds like the diet advice is coming from a grade-school bully. Not to mention his advice is not based on science. “You’re confident, you’re well-spoken, you’re charismatic,” says Jedidiah Ballard, D.O., an emergency medicine physician on the show. “If I didn’t have an exercise science degree, a medical degree, and 20 years of intensive self-study, I would personally believe you, but what you’re telling people is bulls**t. It’s not safe.”

Gimmick or not, his shaming tone has the potential to do way more harm than good. It’s one thing if you’ve had lots of education and support in the past around health and diet and can take his approach with a grain of salt (even then, proceed with extreme caution). But for the many people who are just starting their weight-loss or wellness journey who have no idea where to start, stumbling upon Robinson and the Snake Diet during a Google search or social media scroll could be incredibly damaging to their mental and physical health.

When you’re making lifestyle changes, having guidance from someone who’s supportive and understanding is key to success. At one point during the video aired on The Doctors, Robinson tells viewers: “Don’t be a crybaby” in reference to fasting and weight loss. Not exactly what I’d call supportive.

Online, you’ll find lots of Snake Diet fans talking about how they’ve lost weight and have all this energy now. But when it comes to fad diets, I like to think of it the way I think of Yelp restaurant reviews: The people who leave comments are usually those who either had a really great or a really bad experience-or they’re being paid to post.

I’m sure it’s not shocking that my recommendation is to take a more moderate approach to reaching your weight and fitness goals. I know it’s never the sexy answer, but seriously-there’s no quick fix without a catch. (BTW, the anti-diet movement is not an anti-health campaign.)

That said, if there’s something about the Snake Diet (or any trendy diet plan) that appeals to you, get clear on what that is, and see whether there’s a way to make that thing fit healthfully into your real life. For example, instead of eating one massive meal a day, you could think about what time of the day you need to fuel the most. If it’s the afternoon before a hectic evening or workout, make lunch the shining star of your nutrition for the day.

As always, if you’re struggling to find a sustainable eating plan or style that allows you to meet your goals without feeling miserable, work with a registered dietitian to help you come up with a diet that works for you.

5-Days Of Snake Juice Fasting Transformation

4 Steps To Start Snake Juice Fasting

Here is a quick guide to get you started with the snake juice fast:

  1. Prepare yourself two days before your actual fast by eating only protein meals without carbs. Doing this will make fasting easier for you. You will avoid the uncomfortable side effects of low blood sugar.
  1. On day one, mix 1.5 liters of water with 1/4 teaspoon of Celtic sea salt. Or pink Himalayan salt, I recommend Sherpa fine ground. I like to heat the salt in a tiny bit of water to melt it – and then pour it into the water bottle. Add 1/4 teaspoon of potassium powder. Drink two of these 1.5 liters bottles throughout the day.
  1. Working out while fasting: don’t aim for failure and fatigue. You won’t be able to build muscle. But you can maintain. Perform high-intensity workouts using heavyweights and short reps.
  1. On your last day, you will break your fast in the evening. It’s essential to break the fast correctly with a protein meal and no carbs. Your body is super sensitive to insulin right now, so stick to one ingredient to make it simple for your gut. I had two scoops of plant-based protein powder around 6 pm. And two hours after that, I had my first solid meal consisting of a block of non-GMO Tofu (270 grams). That’s all; then I went to bed.

The last tip to comfortably keep track of your fasting. Is to download the free fasting app called Zero. It got one of the biggest fasting platforms, and it will keep a countdown of how many hours you have left until finished.

What Is the Snake Diet, and Is It Safe?

Healthline diet score: 0.79 out of 5

People seeking quick fixes to achieve weight loss might be tempted by the Snake Diet.

It promotes prolonged fasts interrupted by a solitary meal. Like most fad diets, it promises quick and drastic results.

This article tells you everything you need to know about the Snake Diet, including its safety and whether it works for weight loss.

How we rated this diet. X

We considered six important standards and assigned a rating to each, with 1 being the lowest score and 5 being the highest. The Overall Rating for each diet is an average of these ratings.

Weight Loss or Weight Gain: This rating considers how fast the diet will make you lose or gain weight, whether the weight change can be sustained for 3 months or longer, and whether the diet is a crash diet. A crash diet is a very low-calorie, restrictive diet that comes with lots of health risks. Crash dieting can cause muscle loss, a slowed metabolism, nutritional deficiencies, dizziness, and more. They’re not safe or healthy.

Healthy Eating: This rating considers whether the diet limits entire food groups, and whether it disrupts your daily life with complex, specific requirements on what to eat or how to track your food. It also considers whether the diet focuses on long-term lifestyle changes and encourages habits like eating more whole foods, cooking at home, eating without distractions, etc.

Nutrition Quality: This rating considers whether the diet is based on whole foods rather than processed ones. It also considers whether the diet will cause nutrient deficiencies or a calorie deficiency if you do it for longer than 2 to 3 months. Though you can add vitamin and mineral supplements to any diet, it’s best to focus on getting what you need through a balanced diet.

Whole-Body Health: This rating considers whether the diet sets unrealistic goals, makes exaggerated claims, and promotes an unhealthy relationship with food or appearance. It also considers whether the diet promotes exercise and focuses on overall health rather than just weight. While you may have a weight-related goal you hope to achieve through dieting, it’s important to nourish your body and make sure you’re staying healthy regardless of how you choose to eat.

Sustainability: This rating considers how easy the diet is to follow, whether you can get support for it, and if it can be maintained for 6 to 12 months or longer. It also takes cost into consideration, since some diets require buying premade foods or paying membership fees. Diets that are sustainable are more likely to be healthy in the long term. Yo-yo dieting can contribute to health issues.

Scientifically Backed: This rating considers whether there’s evidence to support the diet’s health claims. We review scientific research to see whether a diet has been clinically proven by impartial research.


Overall score 0.79

Weight Loss 1.0

Whole Body Health 0.2

Healthy Eating 0.0

Sustainability 1.0

Nutrition Quality 1.5

Evidence-Based 1.0

Though it promotes rapid weight loss, the Snake Diet is based on a starvation model and has many adverse effects, including severe nutrient deficiencies. It cannot be sustained without posing a significant risk to your health.

The Snake Diet promotes itself not as a restrictive diet but rather a lifestyle centered around prolonged fasting.

Founded on the belief that humans historically endured periods of famine, it argues that the human body can sustain itself on just one meal a few times a week.

It was invented by Cole Robinson, who calls himself a fasting coach but has no qualifications or background in medicine, biology, or nutrition.

The diet involves an initial fast of 48 hours — or as long as possible — supplemented with Snake Juice, an electrolyte beverage. After this period, there’s a feeding window of 1–2 hours before the next fast begins.

Robinson claims that once you reach your goal weight, you can keep cycling in and out of fasts, surviving on one meal every 24–48 hours.

Keep in mind that many of these claims have not been tested and are scientifically suspect.


The Snake Diet was invented by a fasting coach and makes untenable health claims. It involves prolonged fasts interspersed by very brief eating periods.

How to follow the Snake Diet

Though the Snake Diet may superficially resemble intermittent fasting, it’s much more extreme, even reframing a standard meal pattern — breakfast, lunch, and dinner — as supplementary food.

Robinson sets several rules for the diet on his website but continually revises them via his YouTube channel. What results is a scattered set of guidelines.

The diet relies heavily on Snake Juice, which can either be purchased on Robinson’s website or made at home. The ingredients are:

  • 8 cups (2 liters) of water
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2 g) of Himalayan pink salt
  • 1 teaspoon (5 g) of salt-free potassium chloride
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2 g) of food-grade Epsom salts

Dosage guidelines don’t exist for the homemade version, but you’re limited to three packets of powdered electrolyte mix per day for the commercial product.

Robinson also makes sweeping calorie recommends, claiming that a newcomer to the diet needs no more than 3,500 calories per week.

That’s significantly more than Robinson suggests, meaning that people on the Snake Diet run the risk of severe calorie deprivation.

Once you reach your goal weight, Robinson recommends 8,500 calories per week (distributed across 5 meals) for active women and 20,000 calories per week (across 3 total eating days) for active men.

Throughout the diet, you’re encouraged to measure ketones with a urine strip.

Ketosis is a metabolic state that results from starvation, prolonged fasting, or a low-carb, high-fat diet. During ketosis, your body burns fat for energy instead of glucose (blood sugar) (4, 5).

The diet is divided into three phases.

Phase 1

Phase 1 is the initial fast for newcomers to the diet. In this phase, you’re meant to reach and maintain ketosis.

The initial fast should last at least 48 hours and is supplemented with unspecified amounts of an apple cider vinegar drink, as well as Snake Juice.

Then, you’re allowed to eat for 1–2 hours — though variety is deemed unimportant and there are no guidelines for what to eat or avoid — before jumping into a longer, 72-hour fast, followed by a second feeding window. The goal here is to “detoxify your liver.”

Yet, Robinson doesn’t say which toxins are targeted. What’s more, your liver and kidneys naturally rid your body of harmful compounds, which are expelled in urine, sweat, and feces (6, 7).

Furthermore, there is scant evidence that detox diets purge any contaminants from your body (8).

Phase 2

During the second phase, you cycle through long fasts of 48–96 hours, broken up by single meals. You’re encouraged to fast until you can no longer tolerate it — which may pose several health risks.

You’re meant to stay on this phase until you reach your desired weight.

Phase 3

Phase 3 is a maintenance phase involving 24–48-hour fast cycles interspersed by single meals. You’re told to listen to your body’s natural hunger cues during this phase.

As the diet focuses primarily on ignoring hunger cues, this shift in attention may be difficult to achieve and seems contradictory to the diet’s message.

Further, leptin and ghrelin, two hormones responsible for hunger and fullness, may be altered by prolonged fasting (9).


The Snake Diet is comprised of three phases meant to drastically lower your weight and acclimate your body to a continuous cycle of long-term — and potentially dangerous — fasts.

Can it help you lose weight?

Fasting and restricting calories lead to weight loss because your body is forced to rely on its energy stores. Usually, your body burns both fat and lean muscle mass to keep your major organs nourished so that you survive.

Because the Snake Diet does not replenish these losses with food, it results in rapid, dangerous weight loss (10, 11).

On a fast, you generally lose about 2 pounds (0.9 kg) per day for the first week, then 0.7 pounds (0.3 kg) per day by the third week (10).

For reference, a safe weight loss range is about 1–2 pounds (0.5–0.9 kg) per week, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Furthermore, research shows that following a healthy, well-rounded diet and getting plenty of physical activity are the most important determiners of health (12, 13).

Because it relies primarily on prolonged starvation, the Snake Diet does little to promote healthy eating or to curb unhealthy behaviors that may have led to unwanted weight gain.

Plus, your body needs regular food intake to meet its nutrient and energy needs.

Essential nutrients, such as vitamins, protein, and fat, must come from food, as your body cannot produce them. As such, long-term fasting may endanger your health and increase your risk for a range of diseases (14).

Though the Snake Diet promotes weight loss, many other weight loss methods don’t involve starving yourself.


A diet primarily founded on starvation will lead to weight loss. However, it won’t meet your nutritional needs and may harm your health.

Does the Snake Diet have any benefits?

Robinson asserts that the Snake Diet cures type 2 diabetes, herpes, and inflammation. However, these claims are baseless.

While general weight loss is associated with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes in people with obesity or excess weight, it’s an overstatement to claim that the Snake Diet cures diabetes (15, 16).

Moreover, research on prolonged fasting is mixed regarding inflammation and diabetes (17, 18, 19).

That said, fasts of longer than 4 days are not frequently studied.

Though one recent study in 1,422 adults did note improved mood, better blood sugar regulation, and reduced blood pressure in prolonged fasts lasting 4–21 days, participants were allowed to eat 250 calories daily and were under constant medical supervision (19).

While the Snake Diet mimics some elements of intermittent fasting, it’s much stricter, with significantly shorter eating periods and longer fasts, making it unlikely you can meet your body’s nutritional needs (20).

Thus, it’s unclear whether the Snake Diet offers any benefits.


The Snake Diet is an extreme, starvation-based diet that offers few — if any — benefits.

Downsides of the Snake Diet

The Snake Diet is associated with numerous downsides.

Promotes an unhealthy relationship with food

Robinson employs problematic and stigmatizing language, promoting an unhealthy relationship with food and body image.

His videos endorse fasting “until you feel like death” — which could be extremely dangerous, especially for people with disordered eating or conditions that affect blood sugar control, such as insulin resistance or diabetes.

Very restrictive

Your body needs many kinds of nutrients to survive, even if you’re sedentary.

The Snake Diet devalues dietary variety and provides few food guidelines, even though variety helps ensure that you’re getting the nutrients you need.

In his YouTube videos, Robinson promotes occasional dry fasts, which completely restrict food and liquids, including water. It’s unclear at what point or for how long this method should be used.

Since the Snake Diet requires eating very little and irregularly, any limits on water intake raise your risk of dehydration and are extremely dangerous (21, 22).


Like many restrictive diets, the Snake Diet is unsustainable.

Instead of encouraging healthy lifestyle changes, it demands prolonged food restriction that isn’t backed by scientific research.

Ultimately, your body cannot survive on a diet built around starvation.

May be dangerous

The Snake Diet is not backed by evidence and is incredibly unsafe.

While Robinson claims that Snake Juice meets all of your micronutrient needs, each 5-gram packet provides only 27% and 29% of the Daily Values (DVs) for sodium and potassium, respectively.

Notably, your body needs around 30 different vitamins and minerals from food. Long-term fasting can lead to electrolyte imbalances and nutritional deficiencies (23, 24).


The Snake Diet poses extreme health risks, as it fails to meet your nutritional needs, may promote disordered eating, and is predicated on starvation.

The bottom line

The Snake Diet promotes rapid weight loss but comes with severe side effects.

Following this starvation-based diet leads to many risks, such as extreme nutrient deficiencies, dehydration, and disordered eating. As such, you should avoid it.

If you want to lose weight, you should pursue sustainable lifestyle changes, such as getting more exercise or focusing on whole foods.


JASON LOST 50 LBS ON THE SNAKE DIET! 34 y/o; 6 feet tall. SW 232 CW… 182 Goal – Be heathly! Jason here. I’ve always been around a gym, but have lacked focus and dedication, leaving nutrition and health as an afterthought. Over the last 15 years, my average body weight has been around 215-220, which I just accepted by feeding myself the nonsense excuses: “Oh I’m just big boned” ; “If I lost too much weight, I’d look sick!”, etc). After our first baby way born in Nov 2016, my nutrition really went out the window, ballooning up at one point to 241lbs. I was able to drop my weight down into the low 230s; however, that clearly wasn’t enough. I was lucky enough to stumble across Cole’s channel, and I could not be more thankful. Starting weight on 24 JUL was 232lbs. Despite lifting weights 5 days/week, I implemented zero cardio and my diet needed significant improvement. I started with 16/8’s, saw some progress, dropping to the mid-220s. Then OMAD, which helped me drop another 5-10. Then graduated into 48s, 72s, and several 96s. I now do mostly 48s, with an occasional 24 or 72, depending on how I’m feeling. (It’s funny how easy a 24 or 48 feels after doing a 96!). I lift heavy weights, with a focus on good form, for 5 days a week, and implement 2-3 mile runs twice a week. My daily reminders to myself: -“What a shame it is for a man to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable.” -Truly appreciate the gift of a healthy body; we only get one! -Embrace discomfort; it makes you stronger -Stop being shortsighted; (ie. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t lose 50lbs in 5 days…adopt a longer term approach) -Plan your refeeds (especially around weekends/the holidays) -Change your perspective about food. It is meant to fuel and nourish your body; if it’s in a bag or a box, it’s probably a ‘product’, not ‘food’ – Think of this as a lifestyle rather than a ‘diet’ -Reward yourself with giant refeeds, but be sensible (exclude/eat minimal pizza/pasta/etc) -Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. -Just fucking do it. THANK YOU, COLE! Pre-Mixed Snake Juice Electrolyte Power Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.com/SNAKE-Juice-E…/…/ 20 oz Glass Snake Juice bottle Amazon Link United States: https://www.amazon.com/SNA…/…/B081FKGRT7 20 oz Glass Snake Juice bottle Amazon Link Canada: https://www.amazon.ca/Snake-Juice-Gl…/…/ See More

Why I Love the Snake Diet!

Two months ago, I began to investigate and then follow the Snake Diet ‘Muscle Building Protocols’ as promoted by Cole Robinson. In this post:

  • my results
  • my thoughts on the Snake Diet
  • the results of others

In the past I’ve promoted intermittent fasting and ‘alternate day fasting’ as the best and safest way to lose weight and reduce blood sugars. Why? I’ll go into more detail in the post, but in short… muscle or lean mass preservation.

Over the last two months, I’ve seen REAL people turn their lives around, losing weight, improving their health and perhaps most importantly, regaining a zest for LIVING! It’s a beautiful thing.

Snake Diet: Results of Others

Like the lady in the picture above there have been MANY people changing their lives around using the Snake Diet protocols! Not only that, it’s not taking months or years, in many cases only weeks or a month or two.

Here is my friend Cindy Hampton, a Snake Diet Facebook Group Moderator.

Obviously she’s had great success and she’s still continuing her journey.

Here’s what she said in the caption to these photos.

“Sooo…I can’t say ENOUGH about this weight loss/health and wellness plan!! Done them ALL. No, I’m not selling anything, but if anyone is unhappy with their health or weight, especially at this point in our lives,. PLEASE check out Snake Diet videos on YouTube!! Amazing .”

I could go on and on, but you need to check out the Facebook group yourself. New people are posting their success stories every day. Link at the end of this post.

I LOVE fasting from an evolutionary perspective.

  • engages autophagy and other beneficial biological reactions
  • awesome for reducing blood sugars
  • great for weight-loss

If so… why have I only recommended intermittent fasting or at most alternate day fasting? Studies have shown that muscle loss can occur with extended fasting.

So why did I change my mind?

It’s all about the details and Cole Robinson, with his Snake Diet protocols has ‘dialed it in’ in my opinion.

First a little background.

Overweight or Over-Fat

Latest statistics from the CDC confirms what can be seen among the general population.

  • obesity, not just being overweight is widespread in the US. Nearly 40% are OBESE and another 33% are ‘just’ overweight. Think about that, almost 75%, 3 out of 4 are overweight or obese.
  • Even many who are ‘normal weight’ are ‘over-fat’. This is where I found myself in the spring of this year. I weighed 165 lbs at 5′ 10″ … and I decided to do something about it, “High Protein Diet for Weight Loss“, losing 12 lbs.How to know if you are over-fat? Waist to height ratio of less than .5 is a good way to tell. Simply measure your waist and divide that number by your height in inches, you want to be below .5.

Not only are people in the general population over-fat, over-weight or obese… many people who follow a ‘low-carb’ or ketogenic diet are still over-fat or over-weight.

Many have lost significant amounts of weight, but struggle to lose the last 10-20 lbs.

Enter the Snake Diet.

Snake Diet Gets it Done

What is different about the Snake Diet fasting protocols?

Cole promotes fasting until you are LEAN!

AND he strongly promotes weight resistance exercise.

This isn’t your run-of-the-mill, mamby-pamby fasting protocol.

As Cole suggests, fast hard, fast long, get lean and then begin building muscle!

If you do the protocols correctly, muscle loss should not be a concern. It won’t take years of fasting to lose a 100 lbs… while wasting away your lean mass.

Here’s a post by Cole in his Facebook Group.

This is GOLDEN! I love it!


Fat people keep asking about what they can eat on this diet. Don’t worry about eating, and start worrying about fasting.

For best fat loss results fast as long as humanly possible only drinking Snake Juice.

If I was 50 lbs overweight here is the fasting routine I would follow:

1. I would fast on Snake Juice combined with the ACV/baking soda shots until I could see a six pack no matter how long it took.

It would probably take about 3-4 weeks without eating any food for me to go from 225 lbs to 175lbs.

2. Once it hit my proper lean body weight I would do a slow re-feed with soft wet vegetables and fruit until I had a couple good bowel movements. Might take a few days.

3. I would begin a performance fasting focused lifestyle where I would be eating with a minimum of 22 hrs of Snake Juice fasting between meals, and completing at least one 48 hour fast per week.

I would dial in my calories and macros based on the scale trend, how I felt in the gym, and how lean I looked in the mirror.
This is exactly the routine I am going to follow for the movie we are working on.

It’s that simple folks!

There you have it. How to lose weight, lose fat, and regain your health!

RESULTS! He doesn’t do it half-assed. He pushes you to lose the fat so you can start re-building your body ANEW!

(Make sure to maintain truly normal blood sugars)

My Results

I left my results for last because… what I do or don’t do has NO bearing on what you should do.

I have a little fat to lose, but I do have fat to lose. I’m actually in Cole’s ‘muscle building’ protocol. My main goal is add muscle. After the first of the year I’ll go back to ‘cutting’, or leaning out.

Blood Sugar Results

I’ve had to tweak the timing of my meals to obtain the blood sugar levels I am accustomed to. Here’s an example this morning. 🙂

Strength, Energy and Stamina Results

Every thing has been great!

What the chart above shows?

  • Pull Ups – My highest ever pull up total (in a row) was 9 or 10. Then a permanent shoulder dislocation ended any serious attempts… until this fall.I will no doubt go higher, I’m working on building up grip strength which is my greatest hindrance at this point. Not lats or biceps strength.
  • Push Ups in 4 Minutes – Several years ago after MONTHS of working on push ups I achieved my goal of exceeding 120 push ups.I decided to add them back to this fitness challenge and in short order I equaled my multi-year personal record.
  • 600 Kettlebells for Time – My all-time best was 32:10… until this fall. :)I was shocked to be honest, I didn’t think I could do a sub 30 minutes, but I did.

So… at the very least, I have not lost strength, stamina nor endurance. If I had to guess I’d say I’ve GAINED while on the Snake Diet Protocol.

Snake Diet Connections

If you have fat to lose (and almost every one does) – check out these links below!

If you suffer from an ailment or illness – check out these links below.

If living according to our ancestral ‘design’ is important to you – check out these links below.

Snake Diet Motivation: Facebook Group

Snake Diet Facebook Page

Snake Diet on Youtube

Here is my Snake Diet Introductory Post, “Snake Diet… What?”

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Snake obesity isn’t really a problem. If you’ve ever noticed that all of the slithery creatures are pretty thin, you might’ve thought about whether eating like a snake might help you slim down too.

…Oh, you haven’t thought about this? Well, don’t worry. Canadian personal trainer and medical non-expert Cole Robinson has. And he wants you to give eating like a snake a try. The Snake Diet promises not only to help you lose weight, but also cure everything from diabetes to herpes.

Robinson also claims the Snake Diet will “challenge everything you thought you knew about food and the limits of the human body.” That might very well be true. The Snake Diet is a fasting diet that encourages humans to adopt the natural eating tendencies of snakes. That means you gorge on one large meal a day consisting mostly of fat and protein. Then you don’t eat again for at least 22 hours.

That doesn’t sound too bad. How do I start the Snake Diet?

Well, before you even get started, you need to do a special 48-hour fast where the only thing you consume is something called Snake Juice. This is Robinson’s DIY concoction of 1 liter of water, 2 teaspoons of pink salt, and 2 teaspoons of NoSalt, a salt replacement product. (Whether snakes drink this in the wild has yet to be documented.) Sipping this salty liquid will probably make you want to vomit, but according to Robinson, it’s essential for clearing out toxins, crushing sugar addictions, and transforming your body into a fat-burning machine so you start losing weight ASAP.

Just how much weight are we talking? Well, anything’s possible when you essentially starve yourself. But if you’re looking for hard numbers, one devotee quoted on the Snake Diet website said she lost 10.5 pounds in 4 days. (And was also cured of her diabetes in the same timeframe, natch.)

Is the Snake Diet safe?

You might instinctively sense that eating like a snake for any extended period of time might not be sustainable, let alone good for you. But just in case that wasn’t quite obvious, we’re going to spell it out. The Snake Diet is a truly terrible idea. “It’s not built on solid science, and I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone,” says Eliza Savage, a New York City-based registered dietitian with Middleberg Nutrition.

Fasting for 22 hours a day will likely leave you feeling pretty crappy and low energy. Of course, you’ll probably lose some weight, since you’re taking in considerably fewer calories than what your body is used to, points out Alissa Rumsey, New York City-based registered dietitian and founder of Alissa Rumsey Nutrition and Wellness. But when you eventually cave and go back to eating like a human, any pounds that did come off will pile right back on. By eating so little, “your body will respond with cravings and eventually you’ll overeat,” Rumsey says.

Not only that, the whole thing is pretty dangerous. A day’s worth of Snake Juice contains a whopping 4,000 mg sodium—nearly double the amount you should be consuming in a day. That could exacerbate health problems like high blood pressure or preexisting kidney issues, explains St. Louis-based registered dietitian Sarah Pflugradt. And even if you’re in great shape, you’ll almost certainly feel really, really thirsty. (During the Snake Juice detox period, the only other thing you can have is an additional 1 liter plain water per day.)

Bottom line: Do not try the Snake Diet.

As you move into the fasting phase, drastically slashing your calories will probably set you up for nutritional deficiencies. You’ll also probably end up constipated, since the calories you do get will be coming almost exclusively from fat and protein, Pflugradt adds.

That’s not to say the Snake Diet isn’t backed by good intentions. Intermittent fasting, where you go around 12 to 18 hours in between meals, has been shown to be successful for weight loss. “I like to recommend a shortened eating window that mimics the natural fast that occurs while we’re sleeping,” Savage says. “Try eating only between 8:00 A.M. and 8:00 P.M. This shuts down the kitchen early and prevents excessive snacking which can lead to weight gain.”

Marygrace Taylor Marygrace Taylor is a health and wellness writer for Prevention, Parade, Women’s Health, Redbook, and others.

Another day, another new diet that promises to help people lose a bunch of weight ASAP. This one’s called the Snake Diet, and it sounds…interesting.

The Snake Diet was founded by Cole Robinson, a trainer who says on the diet’s website that he got frustrated as he saw coaches and trainers give advice to his clients “without fully understanding how the body metabolizes food and converts it into fuel.” The plan claims to work in the way that snakes do—as in, you eat a huge meal and then live off it for a while.

Robinson has a bunch of videos on his YouTube channel about the diet. These videos claim that Snake Diet can cure type 2 diabetes, herpes, and inflammation, while making you more productive.

But back to the Snake Diet website! There, Robinson explains that his diet is done in a three-pronged approach. Phase one is a 48-hour fast that uses apple cider vinegar and “snake juice” (what the site calls an “essential mineral replacement”) to help “clear your liver of toxins.” Phase two includes “flexible fasting routines” (i.e., fasting on and off), and phase three is focused on “maintenance” and learning to listen to your body’s natural hunger cues.

Is The Snake Diet Safe?

Um, no. Definitely not. “I would not recommend it to anyone for even a short-term trial, as it is not based on any clear evidence nor does it have any clinical evidence that is peer-reviewed to support the program,” says Julie Upton, R.D., and co-founder of Appetite for Health. Not only that, it would be “nearly impossible” for anyone to follow for a significant amount of time, she says.

WomensHealthMag.com has reached out to Robinson for comment and will update if he responds.

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Beth Warren, R.D.N., founder of Beth Warren Nutrition and author of Living a Real Life with Real Food, agrees. “Although technically an otherwise healthy person can go two days without food, there’s no evidence that this diet will do anything other than make you hungry,” she says.

“You can’t live healthfully on a fast long term,” adds registered dietitian Sonya Angelone, a spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

But Real Talk—Will The Snake Diet Help You Lose Weight?

Of course you’re going to lose weight if you don’t eat, points out Upton. “You are fasting for virtually all of your meals and snacks,” she says. “You only eat one meal a day and then fast for 24 to 36 hours. Anyone who does that will lose weight.”

While the concept of eating “like a snack” may seem logical enough, no one can actually eat enough in one meal to sustain them for that length of time, Upton says.

Not only would you be totally miserable on this diet, but the results wouldn’t even last. “As soon as you begin eating again, you will gain your weight back and maybe more than what you’ve started with,” Warren says.

Seriously, don’t try this diet.

That said, you can use some of the principles of intermittent fasting to see weight loss benefits—without going off the deep end, as the Snake Diet does.

“It doesn’t need to be as drastic as this program,” Upton says. “Simply shifting more of your calories to earlier in the day and fasting from early evening to overnight has been shown in clinical trials to be effective.”

But…What If You’re Still Interested In Trying The Snake Diet?

Seriously, don’t do this. “This diet is not for anyone,” Upton says. “It is not even created by a nutrition or medical professional.”

BTW: Those claims that the first phase of the diet “helps clear the liver of toxins” is just “pure 100 percent B.S.,” Upton says. “The basic function of a healthy liver is to process by-products of metabolism,” she explains. “Unless you have cirrhosis or fatty liver disease, your liver is processing toxins just fine on its own—and no changes in your diet are going to impact how well your liver functions.”

Korin Miller Korin Miller is a freelance writer specializing in general wellness, sexual health and relationships, and lifestyle trends, with work appearing in Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Self, Glamour, and more.

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