The Extreme Feeding-Tube Diet Fad: Not the Best Way to Lose Weight

Home / Weight Loss Methods / The Extreme Feeding-Tube Diet Fad: Not the Best Way to Lose Weight

One of the most recent and extreme ways to lose weight in the United States is the Feeding-Tube Diet also known as the  Ketogenic Enteral Nutrition (KEN) diet. Basically, dieters eat no food for ten days and live off nutrients from a portable feeding tube that’s inserted through the nose and down the esophagus into the stomach.

The feeding tube supplies about 800 calories a day in proteins and fats. Because there are no sugars or carbohydrates in the feeding tube nutrients, dieters are basically on a revved up version of the Atkins Diet,  which melts off fat quickly. The diet lasts up to ten days, and people can lose between 10 to 25 pounds. This type of extreme dieting is not the best way to lose weight and keep it off permanently. 

Feeding Tube DietThe founder of the Feeding-Tube Diet, Dr. Oliver Di Pietro, says he brought the diet to the United States from Italy. It was initially used for his obese patients to jump start a longer weight loss program. Now, people who only want to lose a few pounds can go on the diet as long as they are screened first and have urine and blood tests during the diet. Dr. Pietro says patients are also monitored for things like constipation, dizziness, and bad breadth.

The tube diet is popular among brides-to-be who want to lose weight fast to look good in their wedding dresses. The cost for the diet runs about $1,500 for everything including the equipment and a doctor’s care. Another drawback of the diet is unless you’re going to hide out in your home for ten days, you have to feel brave enough to wear the feeding tube in public.

Risks of the Feeding-Tube Diet

Many health experts think the diet is dangerous. Because it’s a no-carb diet, there could be side effects from ketosis. Ketosis is a condition when the levels of ketones in the blood are elevated because no carbohydrates are being consumed. Ketones are used for energy when you eliminate carbohydrates from your diet, and if the levels become too high it can be a potentially serious condition. Side effects include dehydration, kidney stones, headaches, and dizziness.

The biggest problem of the Feeding Tube Diet is you will most likely gain all the weight back as soon as you begin eating again.

What do you think of the Feeding-Tube Diet? Is it something you would do to lose weight fast?


“Bridal Hunger Games: Losing Weight in Time for the Wedding.” The New York Times. April 13, 2012.

Archer, Greg. “Feeding Tube Diet: Shut-up and Eat. Huffington Post. April 23, 2012.





One Comment

  • Melvin Glickson

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