Just about every morning, Justin Woolverton wakes up to a big bowl of ice cream. Lately it’s been oatmeal cookie, but really, any pint in his freezer will do. As the founder of Halo Top Creamery, his obsession makes sense: He’s so willing to stand behind the product that he’ll eat it on the daily.
What surprised him, though, was when he realized there were people even more hardcore than he is. Namely, an intrepid GQ reporter who decided to take elimination diets to the next level, eating nothing but Halo Top — Woolverton’s low-calorie, low-carb, high-protein ice cream — for 10 days straight. Not long after GQ published the feature, Halo Top’s notoriety, and revenue, went through the roof (2016 sales were up a whopping 2,500 percent over 2015, according to Adweek), and it’s inspired others to test out eating the lightened-up ice cream themselves, much to their nutritionists’ chagrin. Here’s what went down:
Test No. 1: The 3-Day Diet
The Subjects: Yahoo editors Summer, Alex, Mia, and Kelli
Their Tactic: Eat five pints a day, averaging about 1,400 calories per day
What Happened: Only one person didn’t cheat during the 72-hour timespan, breaking the diet to eat something other than Halo Top
The Bottom Line: “I have to say that [Halo Top] actually has fairly good quality ingredients, if you’re going to go for a light version [of ice cream],” nutritionist Keri Glassman told Yahoo. “Even though some people might lose weight, because it could be a lot less calories than they’re consuming normally, it’s not a good idea. It’s not sustainable, it’s not healthy, and the person might even probably feel sick after.”
Read more The 1,200 Calorie Diet Is 1,200 Percent Stupid
Total Weight Lost: 8 pounds combined (so, about 2 pounds per person)
Get the full scoop on their highs (and popcorn-sneaking lows) here.
Test No. 2: The 5-Day Diet
The Subject: Spoon University reporter Meredith Davin
Her Tactic: Eat between 1,240 to 1,280 calories of Halo Top, with 120 grams of protein, per day
What Happened: At first, Davin “could hardly contain [her] excitement,” she said, but as you might expect, an ice cream-only diet started to wear on her mid-week. In five days, she went through 25 pints of ice cream.
The Bottom Line: Davin doesn’t recommend eating only ice cream, instead suggesting a balanced diet and regular exercise. “Even after my experiment, I will undoubtedly eat this low-calorie ice cream again,” she wrote.
Total Weight Lost: 1.4 pounds
Get the full scoop on her experience here.
Test No. 3: The 10-Day Diet
The Subject: GQ journalist Shane Snow (AKA the reporter who started it all, back in January 2016)
His Tactic: Eat five pints a day, aiming for 120 grams of protein, 80 grams of carbohydrates and 60 grams of fat
What Happened: Snow’s friend, a ripped fitness trainer, admitted to eating a pint of Halo Top each night, which inspired the writer to embark on what he called a week-and-a-half-long brain freeze. You know, for science.
By Day 5, a coworker compared him to Leonardo DiCaprio in The Revenant, as he shivered through another pint of ice cream while wearing a wool poncho to stay warm.
The Bottom Line: Snow craved anything savory — even cartoon burgers in subway ads — and celebrated breaking his diet with the opposite of a cheat meal: spinach and eggs.
Read more Kale crackers and hibiscus tea: My five days on a ‘fasting diet’
Total Weight Lost: 9.9 pounds
Get the full scoop on his journey here.
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