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Is the Ana Boot Camp Diet Safe?

written by: Ann Olson • edited by: Rhonda Callow • updated: 8/7/2009

What if someone told you that anorexia was a great way to lose weight? With the Ana Boot Camp Diet, it essentially teaches you how to lower your calories to dangerous, starvation-like levels, promoting weight loss but causing physical and mental harm. Is it worth it? Experts agree—it isn't.

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    What Is It?

    Also called the ABC Diet, the Ana Boot Camp Diet is a low calorie diet plan originally promoted in pro-anorexia communities as an introduction to pro-anorexia. Many girls, usually of a young and impressionable age, use it to drastically reduce weight. The diet plan dwindles the amount of calories consumed per day to under 600 calories on average, with several one day fasts thrown in for extra measure. It is rumored it is based on the 2468 Diet, another diet plan promoted in pro-anorexia communities.

    Is the Ana Boot Camp Diet safe? Is this plan reliable for short or long term use? Experts and nutritionists strongly believe it simply doesn't work, not to mention the physical and mental harm it causes. However, pro-anorexics strongly favor it because of its simplicity and long duration.

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    Instructions

    There are 50 total days in the ABC Diet, each day numbered with the amount of calories to consume. Each day the calorie limit varies from 800 to 0. The numbers typically range from 200 to 600, however. Several fast days are also included.

    The only requirement is to stick to the calorie amounts every day for 50 days. There are no information available about how much weight loss is expected, but many pro-anorexics comment that it causes drastic, sudden weight loss. The goal is to become underweight or "ana".

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    Difficulty

    Although the Ana Boot Camp plan itself is fairly straightforward, it is extremely stressful on the body. It does not allow enough calories to constitute a healthy plan, reducing the number of vitamins, protein, and healthy fats consumed every day. The plan essentially promotes self starvation, and many dieters end up binging and starting over. Succeeding with this plan is extremely difficult.

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    Cost

    There are no special foods or equipment to buy. Access to websites which talk about the Ana Boot Camp, such as pro-anorexia websites, are free to join but promote other dangerous pro-anorexic behaviors.

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    Chances of Success

    Completing this plan is extremely difficult because of the strain it puts on the body. Pro-anorexics report losing weight but it is not known how muchor how fastthe weight was lost. It is too difficult to complete because it essentially puts the body into starvation mode.

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    Safety

    The Ana Boot Camp Diet is very unsafe, despite rumors it causes extreme weight loss. It reduces the caloric intake to anorexic-like amounts, causing anorexic complications such as dizziness, fainting, extreme hunger, mental distress, heart palpitations, and depression. It is too risky for anyone to use for any amount of time.

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    Overall Value

    There is little value to the Ana Boot Camp. It essentially promotes starvation as a reasonable plan, which is not recommended by any dietitians or nutritionists, and promotes anorexia as a healthy lifestyle. It's not. This plan is not safe under any circumstances. It can cause mental and physical complications, including depression and fainting, and promotes anorexic-like behaviors.