These days, it seems like the internet is constantly spewing out different methods for weight loss. While taking ozempic and juicing celery continue to reign supreme as Hollywood trends, the Alpine ice hack diet is the latest TikTok influencer discovery, claiming to help you shed pounds without the aid of diet or exercise. Although there are a plethora of natural ways to snatch that waist, the ice hack diet may be a quick way out, or at the very least, a helpful head start. But can it truly deliver the results it promises? We spoke to a couple of experts to investigate the science.

What Is the Alpine Ice Hack?

The #icehack, which has amassed over 122 million views on TikTok, makes some pretty big claims as far as weight loss goes. According to registered dietitian Catherine Rall of HappyV, “The basic idea behind the diet is that exposure to cold will encourage your body to generate more heat, which requires it to burn calories. This heat generation is known as thermogenesis.” While the theory may seem out of left field, it stems from some pretty solid ground. According to a 2020 study conducted by researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine, our collective inner body temperature in the United States has decreased an average of 0.05 degrees Fahrenheit every decade since the 1800s, correlating with a rise in obesity. This could be used as evidence that the real cause of belly fat is low inner body temperature. 

However, there’s more to the diet than just ice-cold glasses of water. You’re also urged to purchase an expensive supplement called Alpilean, which are capsules full of “miraculous“ fat-burning ingredients derived from the Himalayan Alps: dika nut, golden algae, moringa leaf, bitter orange, ginger and turmeric root.

Does the Ice Hack Work?

With testimonials on how the ice hack can miraculously melt belly fat, we’ve gotta know: does the Alpine ice diet actually work for weight loss, or is it playing up on its so-called science? 

Rall claims the hack may carry a few caveats. “First of all, some bodies simply run hotter than others due to their size, their diet, their genetics, and their microbiomes, among other factors. Raising your body’s temperature is no guarantee of actually losing weight. Second, one of the body’s responses to repeated exposure to cold is to increase your appetite. Thermogenesis is nice when you need it, but your body would much rather keep you warm with an extra layer of fat.“

Certified nutritionist Rahul Malpe discredits the diet as well. “The Alpine Ice hack is based on the idea that low inner body temperature is the cause of belly fat and that increasing your body temperature with Alpilean and ice can help you lose weight. However, this is not true. Your body temperature is regulated by your hypothalamus, a part of your brain that maintains a stable core temperature of around 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. Your body temperature can vary slightly depending on factors such as age, gender, activity level, and environmental conditions, but it does not affect your weight or metabolism. 

It’s important to consider that there’s a significant motive for those behind the Alpilean supplement, with a viral weight loss hack leading to a massive increase in revenue. Similarly, YouTube recently removed a video ad for Alpilean that had been viewed more than 1.5 million times, claiming it violated the company’s policy on “spam, deceptive practices, and scams.”

While some TikTok influencers are claiming to see results, Malpe says its effects are very minimal and insignificant for weight loss. “According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, drinking 17 oz of cold water increased the metabolic rate by 30% for about 40 minutes, resulting in an extra 24 calories burned. This means that drinking 68 oz of cold water per day would only burn about 96 calories, which is equivalent to a small apple or a slice of bread.“

Is the Alpine Ice Hack Worth It?

You always want to consult a professional who is aware of any current medication and previous medical history before venturing onto a new regime. In general, however, there are some risks associated with the hack to consider. “Drinking too much water can cause hyponatremia, a condition where the sodium level in your blood becomes too low,” shares Malpe. “The Alpine diet hack may also cause gastrointestinal problems, dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, and nutrient deficiencies.”