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The Truth About the Ice Hack Weight Loss Diet: Does It Work?

Mar 4, 2024
The Truth About the Ice Hack Weight Loss Diet: Does It Work?

If you’re an adult in the U.S. and want to lose weight, you are not alone. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that nearly half of U.S. adults are trying to lose weight each year.1 Consequently, new weight loss fads are constantly emerging, and people are anxious to get on board, hoping to lose weight quickly and painlessly. 

One such weight loss fad is the ice hack weight loss diet, also called the weight loss alpine ice hack. This new diet is trending on social media. But can it live up to its claims to safely help you drop pounds quickly and effortlessly? This article explores this question with science-backed evidence to answer your questions about the ice hack for weight loss.

What is the weight loss Alpine Ice Hack?

A hand holding several cubes of ice for the ice hack weight loss diet

The ice hack for weight loss is not an eating plan but more of a weight loss routine. The weight loss ice hack purports to supercharge weight loss by using cold temperatures (e.g., drinking ice water or applying ice directly to fatty areas of the skin) and taking a supplement called “Alpilean” to promote weight loss. The supplement capsule comprises ingredients from the Himalayan Alps, so the diet is sometimes called the weight loss Alpine ice hack. 

There are many captivating claims of the weight loss ice hack’s efficacy on TikTok and other social media apps aimed at making the ice weight loss hack attractive to consumers. These statements include: “Melt away belly fat,” “Lose weight quickly,” and “Flush one pound of belly fat every day!” But, like many other diet trends, many of the ice hack diet’s supplement ingredients may be ineffective.

The diet is loosely based on a 2020 Stanford University report showing that the average temperature of humans is decreasing over time.2 Advocates of the fad diet claim that a low inner body temperature is associated with a slower metabolism and is more common in overweight men and women. A correlation between a drop in inner body temperature and a rise in obesity is used as evidence that the cause of belly fat is low core body temperature.

Ice cubes next to an empty pill bottle

How the Ice Hack for weight loss works

According to the creators of the ice hack for weight loss, declining inner body temperature has caused an increase in obesity rates in the U.S. However, while it’s true that body temperature is a rudimentary marker of metabolism and that the average body temperature has declined, other, more influential factors impact a person’s weight. 

Research shows that an increase in sedentary lifestyles and a change in the Western diet with more processed and high-caloric foods are primary factors in rising obesity rates today.3

A woman using a treadmill

Scientific evidence showing that there is a direct link between decreasing body temperature and weight loss is lacking. For example, an animal study found that while moderate, intermittent exposure to cold increased brown adipose (fat) tissue and energy expenditure in mice, there were no changes in body weight or composition.

Studies on Alpilean ingredients

Alpilean supplements are part of the ice hack for weight loss plan. The supplements include the following active ingredients:

  • Golden algae (Prymnesium parvum) – certain algae and seaweed species may benefit weight loss and obesity treatment, but more human studies are needed to show definitive efficacy.5
African mango seeds
  • African mango seed (Irvingia gabonensis) – African mango seed appeared to have fat-modifying properties in clinical trials, but very little clinical evidence is known to support evidence of its effectiveness or safety.6 
  • Bigarade orange (Citrus aurantium L.) also called bitter orange, is a fruit extract used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat nausea and constipation. As an active ingredient in the supplement Alpilean, it’s said to be an appetite suppressant to promote weight loss. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) reports insufficient scientific evidence to show whether bigarade orange effectively promotes weight loss.7
  • Moringa leaf (Moringa peregrina) – is a plant used as a food source and for medicinal purposes. Animal studies show that moringa can enhance fat breakdown and reduce fat formation. However, there is not enough study data to support whether these effects translate to humans.8   
  • Ginger and turmeric (Zingiber officinale and Curcuma longa) have gained research evidence supporting their impact on metabolism and the body’s thermal effect, but further studies are needed to confirm how these spices work and how effective and safe they are as a weight loss supplement.9  
Ginger and Turmeric

Alpilean supplement safety

The most concerning of the supplement’s active ingredients is bigarade orange (Citrus aurantium), also called bitter orange, which the National Institutes of Health (NIH) says is commonly used in dietary supplements as a substitute for ephedra (mau hang). Bigarade orange contains synephrine, a compound similar to ephedra. Ephedra is banned in the United States because it raises blood pressure and is linked to severe side effects such as seizures, heart attacks, strokes, and sudden death.

Alternatives to the Ice Hack Weight Loss

A graphic of weight loss

Overall, there is not much evidence to support the use of Alpilean supplements for weight loss. The best option for weight loss is always choosing a nutritious, well-balanced diet and incorporating movement throughout your day. Prescription weight loss medications such as GLP-1 receptor agonists are well-tested in multiple clinical trials. 

If you want a safe, effective alternative to the latest diet fads, consider a national wellness clinic called Invigor Medical. We focus on common wellness issues for men and women, including weight management. Medical doctors supervise our science-backed weight management programs. You can receive one-stop, convenient packages, including telehealth services like consultations, an individualized care plan, and prescriptions, all online.

Once approved, your prescription is dispensed from one of our pharmacy partners and shipped directly to you. The startup process is simple. Click the link to get started, and our system will walk you through the rest.

Disclaimer
While we strive to always provide accurate, current, and safe advice in all of our articles and guides, it’s important to stress that they are no substitute for medical advice from a doctor or healthcare provider. You should always consult a practicing professional who can diagnose your specific case. The content we’ve included in this guide is merely meant to be informational and does not constitute medical advice.

References

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).Attempts to Lose Weight Among Adults in the United States, 2013–2016. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db313.htm
  • Bai, N. Stanford University. Normal body temperature is personal, Stanford Medicine researchers find. (2023).
  • Shook RP, Blair SN, et al. What is causing the worldwide rise in body weight? Eur Endocrinol. 2014 Aug;10(2):136-144. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5983083/
  • Ravussin Y, Xiao C, Gavrilova O, and Reitman ML. Effect of intermittent cold exposure on brown fat activation, obesity, and energy homeostasis in mice. Aguila MB, ed. PLoS ONE. 2014;9(1):e85876. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0085876 https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0085876
  • Wan-Loy C, Siew-Moi P. Marine algae as a potential source for anti-obesity agents. Marine Drugs. doi: /0.3390/md14120222 2016;14(12):222. https://doi.org/10.3390/md14120222
  • Egras AM, Hamilton WR, Lenz TL, Monaghan MS. An evidence-based review of fat modifying supplemental weight loss products. Journal of Obesity. 2011;2011:1-7. doi:10.1155/2011/297315 https://www.doi.org/10.1155/2011/297315
  • National Center for Complimentary & Integrative health. Bitter Orange. https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/bitter-orange
  • Alkhudhayri DA, Osman MA, Alshammari GM, Al Maiman SA, Yahya MA. Moringa peregrina leaf extracts produce anti-obesity, hypoglycemic, anti-hyperlipidemic, and hepatoprotective effects on high-fat diet fed rats. Saudi Journal of Biological Sciences. 2021;28(6):3333-3342. doi:10.1016/j.sjbs.2021.02.078 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sjbs.2021.02.078
  • Arif Icer M, Acar Tek N. Effects of Red Pepper, Ginger, and Turmeric on Energy Metabolism: Review of Current Knowledge. Altern Ther Health Med. 2023 Apr;29(3):81-87. PMID: 33789250. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33789250/

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