'I lost nearly 2 stone in 24 HOURS': Sport scientist proves rapid weight loss IS possible (if you're prepared to exercise wearing bin bags, eat no carbs and drink nothing)
By Anna Hodgekiss 15:02 14 Nov 2013, updated 14:41 06 Mar 2014
- Ross Edgley, 28, set out to prove weight fluctuates based on many factors
- Spent 24 hours trying to reduce his water content to make him lighter
- Says experiment was to prove we shouldn't worry about weighing scales
- He used saunas, sweat suits, Epsom salt baths and diuretics
- He lost a total of 1st 11lbs but put it all back on within two hours
- He also lost 5 inches from his chest and 4 inches from his waist
How far would you go to lose weight? Cut back on junk food, forego a few glasses of wine?
In a bid to push his body to the limit, writer and sport scientist Ross Edgley decided to take things to an extreme level, losing 24lb in 24 hours.
The reason? He is on a crusade against weighing scales - and wanted to highlight how in reality, body weight can actually have very little to do with body fat.
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Last week MailOnline told the story of how Ross lost 1st 11lbs in 24 hours by drinking very little water and using saunas and sweat suits. He also lost 5ins from his chest and 4ins from his waist
And, 'more importantly, how your nutrition and self esteem shouldn't be governed by the weighing scales if you're on a diet'.
The 28-year-old said: ‘So many people are slaves to the scales and have their self-esteem and nutrition governed by them.
‘I hope this experiment will create a healthier relationship between people and the weighing scales and people will realise weight can fluctuate based on many factors, not just fat. ‘
With a carb-free, salt-free diet, saunas, sweat suits and Epsom salt baths, he managed to shed 1st 11lb in 24 hours.
So how did he do it? He explains: ‘As much as 50 per cent to 70 per cent of our body weight is made up of water. So weighing 95kg that means in theory 47.5kg of my body is water weight.
‘Cutting too much water could be fatal since it's needed for your vital organs to function and even maintain a healthy blood volume, but cutting a lot of water from the body through sweat suits, diuretics and not drinking any that day would dramatically reduce my weight.’
Mr Edgley used natural diuretics – such as Vitamin C, dandelion root and caffeine - to encourage his body to flush out water.
Mr Edgley said: 'I hope this experiment will create a healthier relationship between people and the weighing scales and people will realise weight can fluctuate based on many factors, not just fat'
This meant even though he only drank 100ml of water that day, he went to the loo about 20 times.
He stresses that using diuretics must be done with extreme caution.
He said: ‘They’re not recommended unless you know what you're doing since this can lead to serious health problems if you overuse diuretics.
SO HOW DID HE DO IT? HERE, ROSS EXPLAINS HIS RAPID WEIGHT LOSS
Cut out salt: Salt is known to store water in the body and promote water retention. So I had to make sure none of my food was seasoned.
Epsom Salt Bath: The body sweats under very hot, humid conditions and there's not many things hotter or more humid than a hot bath. Epsom salt is made from magnesium sulphate which is a kind of salt that further works to 'suck' all the moisture out of the body.
Sauna: This works on exactly the same principle as the Epsom salt bath in that it makes the body sweat and release water.
Carbohydrate depletion: Carbohydrates store in the muscles as something called 'muscle glycogen'. Muscle glycogen weighs 18 grams per kilo of muscle. So again you see by stopping your carb intake and also exercising to deplete the carbohydrates already in the body, you can dramatically reduce your weight.
Sweat suit: I exercised whilst wearing five layers of clothing and black bin bags sellotaped around me to increase the amount I sweated
Protein & fats: For the entire day I only ate protein, fats, multivitamins and supergreens powder.
This is because protein and fat doesn't store as muscle glycogen (additional weight) and the super greens and multi vitamins would help ensure my body had all the nutrient support possible whilst it suffered from dehydration and exhaustion. This was important as what I did was very dangerous and so it was important I gave my body all the supplement support possible.
He added: ‘I must stress that although I lost 25 pounds in 24 hours, absolutely none of this was fat and I immediately put it all back on within two hours after I finished the experiment.
‘What I did was very dangerous and was done under very strict conditions having consulted a doctor before the experiment. This was purely to prove the point that the number on those bathroom scales can fluctuate and has very little to do with your body fat.
While Mr Edgley's weight loss tactic is potentially dangerous, it is commonly used by jockeys and boxers desperate to drop weight quickly before a race or fight.
Here is his diary of how he managed the epic feat…
Losing over 24 pounds in less than 24 hours is a lot of weight to shift. Yet standing here on the scales with my now dehydrated, prune-like body I've done it, and all without losing a single ounce of fat.
I can assure you I didn't enjoy it and equally I don't recommend it. But I can sit here taking a victory sip from my four litres of electrolyte water because I have proven my point that weighing yourself is an inaccurate measure of body fat and self-esteem.
9:00pm the night before
I finish what is to be my last supper of pizza, chips and salad before jumping onto the scales for the weigh in and beginning my 24 hour weight loss quest.
Tipping the scales at a healthy and sizeable 14st 9lbs I then brush my teeth, get into my pyjamas and climb into bed content and with a stomach full of pizza but knowing by 9:00pm tomorrow I will be in a very different mental and physical state.
I wake up and consult the pages of notes I've been compiling from thousands of medical journals over the last few months in preparation.
The first note reads: ‘As much as 50 per cent – 70 per cent of our body weight is made up of the water content in your bodies.’
This means your level of hydration can also have a dramatic effect on how much you weight.
So put simply, if you were to sweat a lot in the gym or perhaps forget your water bottle, don't be surprised if you are two or three pounds lighter after the session.
It won't have anything to do with your body fat percentage, but the number on the scales may look better.
But with over 24lb to lose I know I needed to incorporate something a little more drastic than forgetting my water
bottle to the gym.
Mr Edgley began the experiment with a very hot Epsom salt bath which caused him to sweat profusely. He says he was so hot that when he got out of the bath he hugged the cold toilet bowl to cool down
Instead I begin my day with one ridiculously hot Epsom salt bath coupled with a 100ml bottle of water laced with diuretics.
This is the only liquid I am allowed all day. This is all because the body sweats most under hot, humid conditions and there aren't many things more hot and humid than being cooked like a giant lobster in a bath tub.
Plus the 'poisoned chalice' that was my diuretic-ridden water bottle would also make sure my body didn't store and hold the tiny amount of water I was allowed for the day – over the course of the day I would go to the loo 20 times
Mr Edgley used natural diuretics - such as caffeine and Vitamin C - to ensure that even though he was barely drinking any water, he would urinate about 20 times during the 24 hour period
The first five minutes of the bath were actually quite nice but around the seven minute mark this changed.
I started to feel faint as my heart rate went through the roof to cope with the extreme heat and the Epsom salt started stinging my eyes.
Climbing out of the bath I flung the bathroom door open to clear the humidity and pressed my head against the stone base of the toilet.
HOW DID THE DAY CHANGE HIS BODY?
Waist: 33 inches
Chest: 45 inches
Arms: 18 inches
Thighs: 29 inches
Weight: 14st 13lb (94.7kg)
Waist: 29 inches
Chest: 40 inches
Arms: 14 1/2 inches
Thighs: 24 inches
Weight: 13st 2lb (83.4kg)
As weird as it sounds this felt amazing and luckily no one was home to witness what was clearly not the proudest moment of my life, an intimate encounter with a cold, stone toilet base.
After five minutes I managed to get to my feet and thankfully my efforts were rewarded early in the day when stepping onto the scales I discovered I had already lost four pounds, now just 20 more to go.
Fortunately it's now time to eat. But instead of my usual nutritious breakfast of porridge oats, berries, yoghurt and a whey protein shake, instead I had what can only be described as homemade, green baby food.
Made solely with greens powder, whey protein and yoghurt the secret is it's very high in protein, minerals and key vitamins to keep my body functioning whilst it goes under this form of trauma, but at the same time is very low in water and carbohydrates so I didn't store any weight.
For the first time that day my stomach started to feel mildly full and satiated.
After the torture that was my burning hot Epsom salt bath I could now face the thought of the gym.
Now I was about ready to unveil the next trick in my weight loss arsenal.
Consulting my notes again it reads ‘carbohydrates stored in the muscle weigh 18g per kg of muscle and 1g of these is linked to 3.5g of water’.
So you don't really have to be a scientist or mathematician to see how drastically reducing the amount of both within the body can have a dramatic effect on your overall body weight.
After his Epsom salt bath, Mr Edgley went to the gym and ran for 45 minutes wearing a sweat suit - this would mean he lost as much water as possible
I drag my weary body to the gym and put it on a treadmill for 45 minutes, while all the time resisting the lure of the water fountain.
To make things worse, I was also wearing four layers of clothes with black bin bags sellotaped to my arms, legs and body to increase the amount I sweat.
Usually I quite enjoy the gym but those 45 minutes were some of the worst I ever spent down there.
Walking back to the changing room I step back onto the scales to find my treadmill session was worth it. 12 pounds lighter, 12 to go.
Mr Edgley tried to eat steak for his lunch but he was so dehydrated he was unable to force down more than a few mouthfuls
2:00pm - 6:00pm
I won't lie, this time was all pretty boring and consisted of more baths, more 'baby food' and me trying to force down a steak with absolutely no seasoning on.
Me and my stomach have fallen out because of the water famine and I could only manage two mouthfuls of steak and a few lettuce leaves.
Thankfully, even with the digestive conflict, I stepped onto the scales 19 pounds lighter on my feet. Now just 6 to go and the finish line is in sight.
After his dinner, Mr Edgley was 19lbs lighter but he had to return to the gym and do another session in the sauna before reaching his target of losing 24lbs in 24 hours
I visit the gym for one last time. Looking gaunt I actually feel surprisingly perky since I just took 150mg of caffeine to help get my body over the final hurdle, plus caffeine is a diuretic itself.
The effects soon wore off though and this time I was only able to manage 30 minutes on the treadmill before my feet would literally not leave the floor and I had to hit the big red emergency stop button.
Dragging myself to the changing room I then slowly got undressed and entered the sauna to lose the final six pounds.
I emerge from the sauna now feeling like half the man I was when I started. Plus, my body doesn't even sweat that much anymore since it just doesn't have much more to give.
Mr Edgley said: 'It was horrible and I won't be doing it again but hopefully it shows just how much the number on those bathroom scales can fluctuate and has very little to do with your body fat'
Standing on the scales for one last time I nervously await the scales decision as it flickers and calculates my number. 13st, I've done it! Over 24 pounds lost in less than 24 hours!
Wasting no time finding my underwear I ran to my bag and necked a pre-made four litre bottle of water with diluted multi vitamins and electrolytes, much to the amazement of full changing room who had no idea of the last 24 hours I've endured.
So there it is, over 24 pounds lost in 24 hours. It was horrible and I won't be doing it again but hopefully it shows just how much the number on those bathroom scales can fluctuate and has very little to do with your body fat.
So either throw them away or take what they say with a pinch of salt. But above all else don't ever let your diet or self-esteem be governed by them.