Eat ice cubes to lose weight

This article on the caloric math behind drinking ice water to lose weight reminded me of something I wrote a number of years ago.

My friend John was at Comedy Central doing on-air promos at the time, and they were running a contest for “Absolutely Fabulous,” looking for story ideas.

The idea I submitted was that the two stars take up eating ice as a fad diet, which would lend itself to any number of gags suitable for that show. But what I liked  most about the idea was that it wasn’t as silly as it sounded.

According to How Stuff Works, drinking 8 8-ounce glasses of ice water per day would burn a net 70 Calories per day. If, however, you had an equivalent amount of ice cubes (for the purposes of this comparison, it’s assumed that the ice cubes would be in your mouth rather than in a glass of water, since that would allow heat loss to the atmosphere), you would burn an additional 79.7 calories per gram of water/ice, or an additional 150 Calories per day for a total of about 220 Calories/day.

That’s equivalent to 1 pound of weight loss every 16 days for ice, vs. 1 pound every 50 days for the ice water-only diet. On an annual basis, the ice diet would lead to a loss of over 22 pounds vs. 7 pounds for ice water.

I haven’t had a chance to confirm  how many typical ice cubes are equivalent to 64 ounces of water (the ice would have about 9% greater volume), or how long it would take an ice cube to melt in your mouth. It might be that you’d have a lot of ice in your mouth all the time. UPDATE: 8 oz of water is about 14 smallish ice cubes, and my unscientific test was 3 minutes to full melt, with just a little chewing at the end to hit the 3 minute mark. So, 14 cubes x 8 glasses = 112 ice cubes x 3 minutes = 336 minutes, or about 5 1/2 hours a day with ice in your mouth.

That sounds crazy, but some people will go through a lot of effort to avoid exercising.