The David Blaine Diet ~ Is it possible to lose 56 pounds in 44 days?

Any dieticians or nutritionists out there? Is this possible?

I’m not a skeptic really. I think its cool to believe that he did it - but I the number sounds a lil’ far fetched.

I’m neither a dietician nor nutrirtionist,but I once lost 18 14 days thru a lo-cal,basically starve myself,diet regimen for a weightlifting meet (long story),and actually came in 2nd at that weight!

I started from a lower base than the quoted 205 of Blaine’s weight,which I believe was some 20 lbs or more of his normal weight before the act in the box.

The loss under those conditions seems plausible to me.

Many middleweights walk around at around 190 when they fight at 160,(Duran did for his last welterweight fights)and none of them abstain ** completely ** from food for the 2 mos.or so they shed those pounds,as Blaine supposedly has.

Believe Blaine’s “stunt” as much as you believe that he had 1/3 of an inch facial hair growth over almost 2 months. If his stunt was that impressive, he would have had it verified by many doctors, and might have done it in his home country.

BTW, many if not all doctors wil tell you that starvation diets, do cause you to lose weight, but are very harmfull to your body. Typically, you lose the weight, then your body decides that that sort of crap should never happen again, and stores the fat away for the next time you try that silly shit. Either way you lose. I hope that a more concise, learned, and well phrased version of my story comes along, doesn’t mean that I’m wrong though.

Losing 56 lbs in 44 days sounds about right for someone having gastric bypass surgery. (Don’t know if that helps, I didn’t see the David Blaine thing, he starved himself right).

Losing 56 lb of fat in 44 days requires burning 4450 calories a day, assuming no intake. This is the order of magnitude of what a lumberjack requires. Is that plausible? Ok, a few lbs was water, so we still have to conclude that he burned over 4000 calories a day.

I have not followed Blaine closely, but what was he doing on that platform? When I fast, or even diet, my body goes into starvation mode and I am cold and uncomfortable all the time. That is one of the reasons dieting is so hard. So I would expect him to burn less than 2000 calories a day and to lose somewhere between 20 and 25 lbs. If he actually lost 56lb, I would want to know how he arranged to violate conservation of mass. He is, after all, a sleight-of-hand artist.

Thanks for all the opinions.

Anyone have The Straight Dope on this?

I had the same thought when I heard this last night. “All this time we’ve been laughing at that boob and throwing eggs at him—but he’s 56 pounds lighter and I’m not!”

Who’s laughing now?

To be more exact:

Guy supposably lost ~25 Kg (sorry, that’s how I know how to do math…)
1 g fat = 9 Kcal.
1 Kg fat = 9000 Kcal
25 Kg fat = 225000 Kcal

He was there for 44 days.

So he had to burn 225000/44 ~ 5100 Kcal/day

Not bloody likely!

Now, if he actually lost 25 pounds, we’d be talking about 2300 Kcal/day, which seems a lot more like it.

Is it possible someone made an erroneous translation (i.e., of a weight-loss number already in pounds, to pounds, assuming given number was in Kilograms)?

Unless he was in a completely sealed box, conservation of mass has nothing to do with this debate.

What was the average temperature while he was in the box? Did he have blankets? The ~2500 calorie/day rule assumes a person at room temperature wearing adequate clothing. If the box was unheated, he might have spent a lot of energy maintaining body temperature.

No, because he was weighed on British imperial scales - AFAIK, he was 15 stone when going into the box, and he was definitely 11 stone when weighed last night.

He had a blanket and a sweater (“jumper”). There are other news references to “a change of clothes”, so he could have been wearing, say, two pairs of pants and two shirts.

And given the relatively mild climate of London in September and October, I don’t think he would have been expending that many extra calories on keeping warm.

Maybe the assumption that he was burning body fat is wrong?
After a while, maybe no reserves of fat are left, and protein starts getting burned?
In that case, 1 Kg = 4000 Kcal, and in order to lose ~600g a day he would be burning 2400 Kcal/day. Yup - about right…

So, basically, it seems we’re looking at muscle-mass cannibalism here… Folks, don’t try this at home!

Dan Abarbanel

There’s no way he was burning only fat. On a 1,000 calorie/day diet, about half of the weight you lose is from lean mass, and he was below that.

I’d think it would depend on what weight you started at?

Me? No food for 44 days? 56 pounds? EASY. I’m built for famine.

Kate Moss? No food for 44 days? Death, no doubt.

Interesting -

The rule is generally 10 calories per lb of body weight per day for weight maintence given a relatively sedentary lifestyle. I have confirmed the accuracy of this estimate many times in dieting as I am a calorie counter.

He was super sedentary, but even so let’s give him the benefit of the doubt assume he needed 10 calories per lb per day even while super sedentary, This means that his calorie requirements were around 2000 (or less as he lost weight) over the course of his stunt x 44 days = 88,000/ 3600 calories = 24 lbs in a lb of fat. If we assume he has the metabolism of a shrew and is buring 13 calories per lb, even while super sedentary in order to handle temperature variations, that’s still only 32 lbs.

For him to lose 56 lbs in 44 days is beyond belief unless he managed to hide food on his body or clothing somehow when he was weighed in addition to eating an incredibly huge meal beforehand. If he did this the mystery of his huge weight loss and relative good health are not that mysterious after all.

He was doing a bit of yoga in the box, but I don’t think that’s particularly calorific exercise.

“His weight was recorded as 70 kilograms (11 stones) – about 25 kg (four stones) lighter than when he entered the box.”

A stone= 4lbs
Thus: 44lbs not 56lbs.

I don’t know if he could store enough salt for that period. The water going to him was checked, but not the water coming from him. Also, every night they completely covered the bottom of the box with a crane so they could clean the box, including the bottom of eggs & stuff (wink).

If you’re referring to urine, that was checked to make sure he wasn’t endangering his health.

oooops, a stone= 14lbs
Thus, 14 x 4= 56lbs :slight_smile: