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K-E Diet: Ketogenic Enteral Nutrition: Feeding Tube Diet

Updated on November 8, 2013

Where Did the Idea for the K-E Diet Come From

The idea for this diet developed from the medical practice of enteral nutrition which was developed to feed patients with various health conditions who were unable to feed themselves.

This method of delivering liquid nutrition through a tube straight into the stomach is also used to feed anorexic patients who refuse to eat.

The K-E diet plan was developed in Italy and has been used successfully more than 100,000 times.

K-E Diet Comes to US

This weight loss method has now been brought to the US by Dr Oliver R Di Pietro at his clinic in Bay Harbor Islands, Florida. The K-E Diet is apparently very popular with brides who want to lose weight fast in readiness for their wedding day.

K-E Diet Popular with Brides

The K-E Diet appears to have gained great popularity with brides who are prepared to go to almost any lengths in their efforts to look the best they can on their special day.

Other Weight Loss Plans to Consider

If you are looking for a diet plan that you can follow but the K-E Diet is not for you why not check out some of the other weight loss plans that I've written about.

How Does the K-E Diet Work

No food is eaten for ten days and all nutrition is deliver through a nasogastric tube which is passed through the nostrils, down through the esophagus into the stomach.

The liquid nutrition is delivered via a pump into the stomach 24 hours a day at the rate of 85cc per hour throughout the 10 day period.

The high protein, carbohydrate free solution provides just 800 calories and also contains fats which helps suppress the appetite. The very low level of calories provided mean that the body is forced to utilize body fat to provide the energy it needs to keep going. The burning of body fat is a process known as ketosis and this is why the K-E diet is also called Ketogenic Enteral Nutrition.

The Details of the K-E Diet

This diet has to carried out with close medical supervision. Apart from the insertion of the tube the patient is also expected to visit a Clinic on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday throughout the ten day period.

The patient has to dilute the powdered supplement with water and use the pump to deliver the solution.

Throughout the 10 day period the patient is required to drink only water or tea of coffee made without milk, cream, lemon, sugar or sweeteners.

Laxatives are taken twice a day to prevent any constipation.

The patient needs to measure the levels of ketosis each day using provided urine dipsticks and fill in a daily record sheet.

Liquid Meal Replacements to Aid Weight Loss

How Much Weight Can Be Lost on the K-E Diet

The system is said to result in "most patients losing approximately 1% of their weight in 10 days" provided that the program is followed correctly and completely. The average weight loss is in the region of 20 pounds but it can be higher.

Who Can Use the K-E Diet

The official literature doesn't appear to exclude anyone as being unsuitable although patients with high blood pressure, diabetes or kidney failure have to let the Clinic know as certain additional precautions may be needed. The literature also advises that patients who have had bariactric surgery can also use the treatment.

What Are the Dangers or Side Effects of the K-E Diet

The insertion of the nasogastric tube is a medical procedure and as with all medical procedures there are risks involved.

The most common side effect is the feeling of some mild discomfort when the tube is inserted and within a few minutes patients find themselves getting used to the tube being in place. An extremely rare complication could occur if the nasogastric tube was incorrectly inserted in a way which caused the lungs to collapse which could ultimately result in death.

There is also a small risk of choking. This is because the tube leaves the upper and lower esophageal sphincters open thereby allowing the possibility of the stomach contents entering the pharynx and causing choking. It is also possible for bacteria from the stomach to cause an infection by colonizing in the upper respiratory tract.

Other side effects, include bad breath, constipation, headaches, weakness, dehydration and fatigue as well as potential kidney problems or gout.


What Does the K-E Diet Cost

The cost of the 10 day course is $1,499.00 or $149.90 per day. Given the average weight loss of 20 pounds this works out at $74.95 a pound!

Is the K-E Diet a Step Too Far

There are certainly many medical practitioners who think that the K-E Diet is a step too far and they feel very strongly about it.

Dr. Mona Khanna feels the diet to be an “abuse of the practice of medicine.”

David L. Katz, MD, MPH, founding director of Yale University’s Prevention Research Center considers that “it is appalling… because it opens up a whole new world of shockingly bad ideas.” He also says, "There is truly no limit to our weight-loss idiocy, and the willingness of the unscrupulous to capitalize on it.”

Dr. Michael Aziz, an internist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City and author of "The Perfect 10 Diet," considers the diet to be "very dangerous" and says "it's just a very crazy way to lose weight".

What Does Dr Oliver Di Pietro say in Defence of the K-E Diet

"It is a hunger-free, effective way of dieting. 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."

He believes in the method so much that he actually followed the diet himself as the video above confirms.

What do You Think of the K-E Diet

What do you think about the method of losing weight? Why not vote in the poll below and leave a comment to let others know your opinion? If you've not got time to leave a comment why not just complete the poll.

Personally I'm in the step too far camp. If I had $1499 to spare and 10 days to hide away from the world I think I'd go for a short 3 day stay in a health farm instead and then spend the remaining seven days at home just taking it easy!

Would you follow the K-E Diet to lose weight

See results


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