(NEW YORK) -- Brides-to-be looking to shed that final 10 to 20 pounds in order to fit into their dream wedding gown have taken a controversial approach to crash dieting that involves inserting a feeding tube into their noses for up to 10 days for a quick fix to rapid weight loss.
The K-E diet, which boasts promises of shedding 20 pounds in 10 days, is an increasingly popular alternative to ordinary calorie-counting programs. The program has dieters inserting a feeding tube into their nose that runs to the stomach. They're fed a constant slow drip of protein and fat, mixed with water, which contains zero carbohydrates and totals 800 calories a day. Body fat is burned off through a process called ketosis, which leaves muscle intact, Dr. Oliver Di Pietro of Bay Harbor Islands, Fla., said.
"It is a hunger-free, effective way of dieting," Di Pietro said. "Within a few hours and your hunger and appetite go away completely, so patients are actually not hungry at all for the whole 10 days. That's what is so amazing about this diet."
Di Pietro says patients are under a doctor's supervision, although they're not hospitalized during the dieting process. Instead, they carry the food solution with them, in a bag, like a purse, keeping the tube in their nose for 10 days straight. Di Pietro says there are few side effects.
"The main side effects are bad breath; there is some constipation because there is no fiber in the food," he said.
Although the K-E diet is new to the United States, it has been around for years in Europe. Dr. Di Pietro charges $1,500 for the 10-day plan, and says the before-and-after pictures sell themselves.
But critics warn that losing too much weight too fast can be dangerous, and it ultimately won't last. Di Pietro warns that people with kidney issues should avoid the diet.
Many doctors also say that with so much pressure on brides to be perfect, it's easy to understand why this kind of rapid weight loss might seem appealing, but might not be healthy.
"If you lose the weight too quickly your mind is not going to be able to catch up with a newer, skinnier you," psychoanalyst Bethany Marshall of Beverly Hills, Calif. said.
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