May 19, 2005

if i mayo

My friend Tim was wondering how long he could live eating only water and mayonnaise.

I think it's a question that deserves an answer.

After that raging banana debate, I'm hoping some of you guys are science-minded enough to form a decent conclusion about what would happen to Tim.

Here's the nutritional info from the back of a jar of "Hellmann's Real Mayonnaise." (Know as "Best Foods" West of the Rockies.)

I can also tell you that according to the manufacturer, one serving of their regular mayo is NOT a significant source of fiber, iron, calcium, Vitamin A or Vitamin C.

Assuming Tim is an average, healthy individual-- how long could he theoritically survive and exactly what from this diet would eventually do him in?

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Posted by Steven | Archive

Probably a long time if he didn't do much physical activity. I'd say 8 months to a year.

Posted by: garrett at May 19, 2005 8:01 AM

Wait, it depends on how fat he is. Once the body goes into ketosis, you are burning mostly fat. Once that's gone, he'd probably have to eat LOTS of mayo to keep alive......

Posted by: garrett at May 19, 2005 8:04 AM

With 0 carbs and almost all his calories coming from fat he can develop ketoacidosis (during ketosis brought on by the lack of carbohydrates, the blood becomes overly acidic to a critical point). This can lead to coma and death without medical attention. Assuming this doesn't do him in, the lack of vitamin C will cause scurvy within 20 to 40 days. Rough estimate: I'd give him a 45 days.

Posted by: crash at May 19, 2005 8:12 AM

Wouldn't you think malnutritional diseases like scurvy and rickets would set in before 8 months? Mayo doesn't appear to have much by the way of vitamins and minerals.

Posted by: Jeremy at May 19, 2005 8:13 AM

If Tim only ate mayo and water I would think he might suffer some serious side effects. "Calcium Disodium EDTA (USED TO PROTECT QUALITY)" These are the kinds of ingredients that catch my attention...something that makes the food last years at room temperature. Google EDTA...and you find this:

There are many reports in the literature on kidney damage by parenteral over-dosage of CaEDTA. A review was given by Lachnit
Lesions simulating "versene nephrosis" in man have also been produced in rats. Disodium EDTA in doses of 400-500 mg i.p. for 21
days caused severe hydropic degeneration of the proximal convoluted tubules of the kidneys. (Reuber & Schmieller, 1962).

If I were you Tim I'd pass on the Mayo Diet myself.

He might live for awhile but he'd have kidney trouble...I bet.

Posted by: Jerry at May 19, 2005 8:24 AM

This can not, CAN NOT, end well. I think pirates had healthier diets than this.

Posted by: Will at May 19, 2005 8:26 AM

He'd have the runniest crap of his life with all the oil and fats in this stuff. I don't think he could keep it down after three days of eating mayo only. Bleh.

At least it isn't Miracle Whip.

Posted by: Marissa at May 19, 2005 8:26 AM

This might interest you:

Posted by: J.W. at May 19, 2005 8:29 AM

He shouldn't get rickets (or osteomalacia, as the adult form is called), cos that is caused by a deficiency of vitamin D, which is mainly synthesised by the skin. Also, you can go without for a while because the body stores it. Although maybe the lack of calcium might cause it. He would also be at higher risk if he lives too far north, stays inside too much or tries the experiment in winter. Oh yeah, if he's very dark skinned, this would also increase his risks cos he won't be able to make as much vitamin D.

He will also get constipation from the lack of fibre, and he'd get high blood pressure from the fat and cholesterol.

Posted by: hotrockhopper at May 19, 2005 8:38 AM

Living on mayo would not be all that different to complete starvation since mayo has no carbohydrates, no protein and no sugar (but has fat). Survival during starvation depends strongly on the liver glycogen reserves the individual has. If he is fit and doesn't do much activity, I give him 3-4 months. I would guess carbohydrate starvation would get him.

Posted by: Dan Nicolau at May 19, 2005 8:41 AM

Incredible! 0 protein and yet “whole eggs and yolks” used. Who’da thunk it.

Posted by: Christie at May 19, 2005 9:27 AM

Hey, at least Miracle Whip (mmm...that tangy zip) contains a few carbs.

I found the nutritional data, including % of carbs, fats, and protein for both LITE mayo and lite miracle whip:

Light Mayo

Light Miracle Whip

Miracle Whip has lower fat and higher carb ratings.

Posted by: sanantonerose at May 19, 2005 9:40 AM

I think Hellmans mayonnaise would be hard to keep down, Miracle Whip at least tastes good!!
Go for it ;)

Posted by: Amanda at May 19, 2005 9:44 AM

I estimate a lifespan of about 5 minutes. You CAN die from uncontrollable vomiting, you know...

Posted by: Mars at May 19, 2005 9:48 AM

Imagine the laundry...

Posted by: Keith at May 19, 2005 9:52 AM

Well, that depends. Do you mean packaged Mayo (such as your Hellman's example) or real Mayonnaise? Real Mayo is made fresh from 2 egg yolks, 2 cups of oil, and a little sugar, pepper, dry mustard and vinegar. Should you make that Olive Oil, it's even a bit healthier. I'm sure the ratio in packaged mayonnaise is a lot more oil to egg ratio than the true recipe, so you might last a bit longer on the real thing before the aforementioned scurvy and the ketosis get you. But it would be a messy, smelly death in a few months. I recall a few years ago a couple of college guys (go figure) actually contracted scurvy from eating nothing but pizza every day. It was reversed with regular Vitamin C once it was figured out what the idiots were doing (unintentionally - even funnier) to themselves.

Posted by: Heather at May 19, 2005 9:54 AM

I suggest a new column for the Sneeze....
Tim...DON'T EAT IT!!!! really man, don't.

Posted by: Caper at May 19, 2005 10:03 AM

I certainly wouldn't give him long, but I don't believe he'd actually be able to keep up with the mayo diet... unless he is insane or lacks the ability to taste and feel the texture of the food he consumes.
oh and mayo (like actual mayo, not "whipped dressing") is gross... absolutely vile.

Posted by: Jen at May 19, 2005 10:13 AM

forever, in my heart.

but, like, 2 months in real life.

oh, and to spice up his eating choices during those 2 months, here's a recipe for a delightful starter:

mayo soup

3 cups water
2 tbsp mayo

bring water to boil. add mayo. simmer on medium. add more mayo to taste.

serves 1

and there are more where that came from.

Posted by: brimley at May 19, 2005 10:15 AM

given the insufficient source of Vitamin C...


Posted by: kensey at May 19, 2005 10:36 AM

To sustain a 2000 calorie/day diet he would have to consume 22.22 Tbsp/day (288.88g). Yuk!

I'd give him 4 weeks. The no fiber/high fat diet would probably cause a major back-up of shit. I think he'd die from constipation!

Posted by: Zclone at May 19, 2005 10:44 AM

This is what my mother wrote me when I asked what she thought: do you have too much time on your hands recently? I think he'd die in very little time from electrolyte imbalance and dehydration due to vomiting. Water and mayonnaise? Gag me!

I, instead, think he would quickly die of shame.

Posted by: gregory at May 19, 2005 10:56 AM

Who picks Hellman's over Duke's? He'll die from being lame.

Posted by: Kati at May 19, 2005 11:18 AM

Ugh...reading this makes me laugh and want to puke simultaneously.

Posted by: Daniel at May 19, 2005 11:26 AM

Well now that sounds entertaining... if you do end up going with the whole "puke/laugh" could you try and tape it... I mean at very least the sound. I'm interested to see/hear that.
Although it might spark off a debate about what exactly the "puke/laugh" would be called. (I think "Luke" is already being used but "paugh" doesn't sounds alright....)

Posted by: Jen at May 19, 2005 11:42 AM

Well now that sounds entertaining... if you do end up going with the whole "puke/laugh" could you try and tape it... I mean at very least the sound. I'm interested to see/hear that.
Although it might spark off a debate about what exactly the "puke/laugh" would be called. (I think "Luke" is already being used but "paugh" doesn't sounds alright....)

Posted by: Jen at May 19, 2005 11:43 AM

oops... didn't mean to post that twice.... sorry guys.

Posted by: Jen at May 19, 2005 11:44 AM

how about "upchuckle?"

Posted by: brimley at May 19, 2005 11:46 AM

upchuckle made me shoot a snot rocket on my keyboard.

Posted by: Kurt at May 19, 2005 11:56 AM

Didn't Howard Hughes live about 20 years on an extremely similar diet?

Posted by: Stacia at May 19, 2005 11:59 AM

go figure, "snot rocket" made ME do an upchuckle on MY keyboard.

Posted by: GenSpecific at May 19, 2005 12:16 PM

Obviously, the saturated fat in the oil and the eggs are what's gonna do him in, but there are a lot of health benefits the body can derive from NATURAL FLAVORS. I say he makes it, oh, twelve years, provided he exercises and gets proper rest.

Posted by: perry iampietro at May 19, 2005 12:29 PM

I give him two weeks before he runs, naked and screaming, into traffic.

Posted by: Ru at May 19, 2005 12:33 PM

Contrary to many of the posts here, you don't actually need carbohydrates to live. The body can adapt to all the fat and crash's post about ketosis is about a different phenomenon then the dietary induced one. Many people exist for years on the very high fat ketogenic diet to control seizures. Anyone who's done atkins type diets for a while can tell you this stuff.

You do however, need protein and vitamin c. Those would probably the first deficiencies to kick in. The ingredients ilst shows whole eggs (which is a complete protein) and lemon juice (which contains vitamin c). The serving size, 1 tablespoon, does not contain enough protein or vitamin c to make the amount listable under FDA guidelines. It still contains some protein and vitamin c, just not enought to be listed.

If Tim ate 2000 calories per day, about 22 tablespoons, of mayo would he get enough protein and enough vitamin c to stave off scurvy? Who knows, maybe. If that's not sufficient, he could always eat more mayo until he got enough of those. Sure he'd get fat, but you can get really really fat and still live for decades. Given peoples experience on low carb diets, tim would probably lose some of his appetite making it difficult to stuff down the cup and a half of mayonaise he needs

Posted by: Jeff at May 19, 2005 12:35 PM

I think the real question is 'how long will Tim's friends and family live once his funkified diet makes him produces odors humans were never intended to produce?'

Posted by: JB at May 19, 2005 12:37 PM

Good lord, I'd hang myself before I had to survive on Mayo.

Just pulling the crap out of the fridge to make tuna salad grosses me out. I mean...the chemicals, the fat? The ew! The whole not-solid, not-Jello, not-liquid consistency is vomit-inducing.

mmm, colloids for all!

Posted by: Karen at May 19, 2005 12:38 PM

Hmm. I don't see any potential problems with it. Sounds good!

Posted by: Derek at May 19, 2005 12:57 PM

Upchuckle, snot rocket, funkified.... thanks guys, you just made my day!

Posted by: Jen at May 19, 2005 1:00 PM

I'd say the saturated fat would do it. Otherwise, it seems like it wouldn't do too much...

Posted by: Tom at May 19, 2005 1:10 PM

I strongly believe that Tim will likely turn into a vegetable. Which leads me to my philosophical question for the day:

"If a person becomes vegetablized (brain-dead or otherwise mentally retarded and immobilized; i.e. Terry Schiavo), is it alright for vegetarians to eat them?"

But yeah. He will soon become a new Terry Schiavo, and people will both hate and love him. He could make millions, though.

Posted by: Jesus at May 19, 2005 1:12 PM

SOOOO disappointed when after the first line of the post I discovered there was no mention of Tim's intention to actually take on this experiment first hand, a la Supersize Me.

Posted by: Sebastian at May 19, 2005 1:55 PM

I think the question is, will he die first of the malnutrition, or the heart attack?

Posted by: Gus at May 19, 2005 1:56 PM

It probally be really similair to that guy on super size me, who ate nothing but Mc'Donalds for 30 days, and he was really damaging his liver with that high fat diet.
Hmm soo I think I give him 2-3 weeks before he really needs to stop.

Posted by: Danielle at May 19, 2005 2:13 PM

That doesn't sound too different from my diet. I'm 37, so there you go.

Perhaps he could supplement his diet with some Natto.

Posted by: Eric at May 19, 2005 2:20 PM

Well, if it were me, not long - since the amount of mayonnaise going in would be directly proportionate to the amount of throw-up coming out!

Posted by: Misty at May 19, 2005 2:23 PM

I bet he could survive for a few months... I just watched a few movies on the holocaust for one of my classes at the University of Oregon, and those people didn't get any food! Yeah, i'd say 3 months...

Posted by: Annette at May 19, 2005 2:32 PM

ketoacidosis is normally associated with diabetes, but supposedly can also be caused by a diet consisting of all or almost all fat (aktkins fans eat protein, which is what keeps them alive).

Regardless if he gets ketoacidosis or not, ketosis alone can kill Tim if Mayo doesn't get enough protein. Without carbs, ketosis forces your body to create glucose (brain food) from protein. If he doesn't get enough, his body will break down muscle to create it, which will eventually run out, followed by coma & death.

Your point about Mayo containing protein & vitamin C is a good one, though. I think the FDA cut off is less than 1% rda or 0.5 grams, but I'm not sure. So maybe he'll live longer than I thought.

Assuming Tim can somehow keep the Mayo down, his body would still break down in a matter of months as it runs out of other important vitamins and minerals (little things like red blood cells need them). I think his best bet would be to eat the Mayo sparingly, and try to fight off starvation as long as possible. I guess it depends on how big he is when he starts, but I'll revise my estimate to 6 months.

Posted by: crash at May 19, 2005 2:50 PM

Bust out the mortar and pestle. I’m grinding up a handful of one-a-days to mix into Jeff’s Hellmans just to prolong his gelatinous suffering. Shhh ...

Posted by: Kerry at May 19, 2005 3:42 PM

Maybe young Timmy should first ask himself why he would even contemplate such a feat.

Is he trying to beat David Blaine to the next worthless stunt?

Hmmm... Ponder that, will ya?

Posted by: Wilma at May 19, 2005 3:44 PM

I'd say it depends.

Is the water flavored?

As a side note, why is always a "Tim" in these situations? Little Timmy has the raunchy question in class. Tim can't go play because he has ring around the collar. Timmy fell down the well. Why? Why? Why not a Bob or a Dick or a Beauregard? What has the world against Tims? And I'm still waiting for an answer on my flavored water question.

Thank you for your time. Signed, a Tim's wife

Posted by: Christy at May 19, 2005 4:05 PM

Wouldn't eating dirt be a lot healthier?

Posted by: OEE at May 19, 2005 4:32 PM

That's exactly what I was thinking about - the Supersize Me movie and remembering just how f***ed up the guy ended up.

I'm hoping that he doesn't actually do this, and it's just a hypothetical question but, in reality, I can't see anybody being able to do this longer than a week (if that).

Posted by: jafer at May 19, 2005 4:46 PM

That Hellman's stuff is a scam. I bought better mayo from the health food store and it was really good.

Posted by: Jewboy at May 19, 2005 5:33 PM

MY guess would be he would begin vomiting uncontrollably after 3 days. All it has is sodium for gods sake. You ahve to wonder what the "natural flavor" is though. That could be ANYTHING. ANd you know, there is only one thing I can think of that has the same color, smell and conistency of mayo.....
can you say S M E G M A?
Ok then.. can you read it?

Posted by: Bananaman at May 19, 2005 6:15 PM

Just get to the point. Tell him to get a mayo enema, it's a low-carb high-colonic.

Posted by: Dave guy at May 19, 2005 6:25 PM

Perhaps he can eat a teaspoon or so a day and call it the Mayo-Fast Cleansing Diet or something. He could make millions!

Posted by: Michelle at May 19, 2005 7:27 PM

I'd say a long time. I once survived an entire semester on taco bell mild sauce packets.

Posted by: taughnee at May 19, 2005 7:43 PM

Steve and Tim, this question sounds a lot like an algebraic formula to me. That and the fact that it involves the DREADED MAYO makes me wanna hurl!!! And now I can't get the nasty 'naise image out of my poor brain...ugh, and now my brain is starting to combine that image with all the other delighful images from some of the comments gods


Posted by: LL Locke at May 19, 2005 8:09 PM

My question is "Why is Tim wondering this?" And also, what does his Zio Luigi in Roma have to say about it?

Posted by: atmikha at May 19, 2005 9:55 PM

I'm gonna let you in on a little known fact about mayonnaise. It's just one of those things you learn as a kid unsupervised after school living in suburbia. Ya know like how sharpies make you dizzy in a good way and burning plastic makes your eyes puffy.

Anyways, it was the summer of '05 and America was in the depths of the depression. Mayo was a rare commodity in those days. If you were lucky you could find a packet or two of it under an abandoned sandwich stand. One day, while scavenging, a friend and I discovered a 5 gallon industrial size jar of mayo in a derelict and foreclosed tuna salad factory. Needless to say, we gorged ourselves on this delicacy. That was the first time we were "visited".

Long story short.

Mayonnaise makes you schizophrenic.

It's true.

Posted by: Alex at May 19, 2005 11:19 PM

I think that Tim would live exactly three days. At sunset of the third day, with a white crust built up in the corners of his mouth, Tim would supress his gag reflex to gulp down a heaping spoonful of what is essentially tangy, spreadable fat. While doing this, he would begin to ponder the meaning of his existence.
And Tim would think to himself, "Christ, I've eaten nothing but mayo for three days!"
And Tim would promptly jump off of a cliff to his death, mayo spoon still clenched in his hand.

Posted by: SassyCat at May 20, 2005 12:12 AM

Why would anyone want to even think about doing this in the first's like "Fear Factor" for retards! Mayonnaise is one of the only foods (and I use the term "food" in it's broadest possible definition) that looks like pus, or one of the pus-derivatives. Think about that the next time you're about to spread a nice thick layer of mayo on an unsuspecting'll be eating something that looks (and possibly smells) like pus.

Bon Apetit!

Posted by: Philboyd Studge at May 20, 2005 3:17 AM

I've got a Key!

Posted by: loki at May 20, 2005 4:43 AM

The problem I see is where the body will get glucose. It prefers to get it from carbohydrates, but there won't be any of those. Failing that, it will get it from protein, but he'll not be able to keep up high enough protein levels to run his brain entirely off of that. When there's not enough protein to form the glucose the body needs, it will begin to break down muscle cells for it. The problem with this isn't the loss of muscle, as you'd expect; it's the fact that breaking down large amounts of muscle forms a chemical that's poisonous to the liver. He'd die of liver failure in 6-10 weeks, depending on how healthy he is now.

Posted by: imrik at May 20, 2005 6:22 AM

I'm not a nutritionist, but without fruit and veg, in addition to something containing a decent ammount of proteins and nutrients, I wouldn't recommend it. The lack of fibre and roughage would cause some spectacular bowel movements. The diet in itself isn't very sound even for a couple of days as it's high-fat, so it's not even like the body will be burning excess fat while you're on the diet. Even without the repercussions of a lack of vitamins etc from "supersize me" we can see that high fat low actual food content meals can cause liver damage. He could see how long it takes of drinking slimfast only instead of actual meals to be so depressed and hungry he feels suicidal, but again, not recommended. It's entirely possible to construct a balanced diet out of unusual foodstuffs, but does it not say in the bible, Man cannot live in Mayo alone.
I think the fact that Tim (as well as the supersize me guy) has a healthy diet normally could cause more problems as his body won't be as used to processing junk as say, someone who eats big macs every day. The sudden system shock would present a problem before you start to go into the lack of nutrients etc.
What do I know though, I forgot to eat yesterday.
I rest my case.

Posted by: AngelCat at May 20, 2005 6:24 AM


this is my WORST nightmare. i get nauseous just SEEING that jar of mayo!

please don't let your friend do it. for the sake of all that is good in this world. DON'T DO IT!

mayo is the work of satan. i'm convinced.

Posted by: honey bunny at May 20, 2005 7:41 AM

What if he ate nothing but Miracle Whip and water? At least his diet would taste better.

Posted by: Zclone at May 20, 2005 8:18 AM

One condition hasn't been clarified yet: is Tim allowed to consume/recycle his feces/urine? Coprophagia seems to be the one variable that hasn't been considered in the equation.

Posted by: wg at May 20, 2005 8:34 AM

Hm. That's an interesting point. Intestinal flora create various vitamins, but not the ones we need in quantity. For example, the vitamin K he'd get from coprophagia would prevent him from bleeding out and dying of a papercut, but that would take so long to kill him anyway that it wouldn't matter. I'd say, coprophagia would only prolong his life by reducing his risk of injury.

Posted by: Mike at May 20, 2005 9:06 AM

Call Nasa, due to budget cuts they have stopped using tang and are using this diet on the international space station.

Posted by: tjet at May 20, 2005 9:14 AM

I missed the raging banana debate, but this seems pretty scientific to me.

Posted by: JW at May 20, 2005 10:42 AM

I'll give the poor guy a week. Taking into account the time it takes him to realize that life is not worth living, induced by a mayo-like trance. He'll be swinging in 7 days, 10 days tops.

That not taken into account, I'd give him 3 to 4 months.

Posted by: KB at May 20, 2005 11:21 AM

probably the same length of time as if he consumed only water and miracle whip.

Posted by: inconspicuous attack toad at May 20, 2005 11:35 AM

I hope he isn't fat because no matter how long he eats it he'll get a (bigger?) stomach.Does throwing up count?Because I'll bet he'll be sick.I give him 2 1/2 months.:-)

Posted by: Sylvia at May 20, 2005 1:55 PM

Maybe a renaming of 'Hellmann's' to, oh, let's see, 'Upchuckle' or 'Snotrocket'.

Posted by: Jungs at May 20, 2005 8:41 PM

Have any of you even tried to eat straight mayo?

It's all well and good discussing the science and the biology behind it (oh, he'll last, in my professional opinion, 10 days before ketosis kicks in and then the vitamin deficiency will create a blah blah blah), but its all irrelevant if the poor guy cant even get a moutful down without spewing his guts all over the place.

Mayo in any sort of quantity makes you barf, a lot. It's yucky stuff. Maybe I'm underestimating his resolve though.

Posted by: Timmy at May 20, 2005 8:55 PM

I agree, he wouldn't last long, and EW! Why would you even want to try? lol

Posted by: Katrina at May 20, 2005 10:05 PM

Actually, he'd have a much better chance with Vegan 'mayonnaise'. As it's made with tofu, it's high in protein. It also tends to have actual lemon juice, so there's the vitamin C. If you look around, you can even find some fortified with calcium.

Not that I think this is in any way a good idea.

Posted by: Edward at May 20, 2005 10:21 PM

In my professional opinion as the fake editor of "Generic Health Zine", he'd survive for approximately 2 days and fifteen hours, before he'd split his head open by vomiting in a manner so violent, that he hit the 'porcelain bus'...

The End. - Related material.

Posted by: Baron at May 21, 2005 3:32 AM

Using Super Size Me as a nutritional control, I'd say at least a month. However, I think the taste will kill the challenge in less than a week.

Posted by: Michael Moore's Prostate at May 21, 2005 8:26 AM

Watch out for scurvy - no vitamin c will cause scurvy. His connective tissue will start to deteoriate, his hairs will become deformed, and his gums will beleed and teeth fall out. Plus no iron = anemic, so he'll get really tired after a while. also, mayo doesn't have much solidness to it, so he'll either be having diahreah like crazy or not crap at all - he can just pee out the waste. All in All, sounds like your friend Tim is gonna melt, what with the scurvy and runs.

Posted by: seymour bibbons at May 21, 2005 11:01 AM

I think he will survive up to the day he explodes, which is not a good thing!

I eat mostly Suzi-Q's, and I'm still alive, but if I touch my moms Twinkies, I'm dead!

Great blog Steven, nice to meet you!

Posted by: Rockchild at May 21, 2005 11:43 AM

doesn't that guy who made the supersize me have his own show? why don't you mail him that idea and make him do it for 30 days and see the results first hand?

make someone else do it first.

lol, or you could be cruel and feed it to a rat...

but that would be cruel...
though in the interest of science-

Posted by: Katie at May 21, 2005 5:12 PM

is the mayo warm or cold?

Posted by: Rob at May 21, 2005 5:26 PM

Warm or cold? I should hope cold! Because warm mayo would be gross.

Posted by: Amanda at May 21, 2005 6:32 PM

I've been repressing my desire to upchuckle since the day this idea was presented. OMG. How disgusting can a diet of Mayo be?

However, in the interest of science, someone above (sorry, I can't recall who and I can't locate the comment again) mentioned the idea of eatting slim fast for every meal. I think I'm going to give this a try and tell you all later on how long it actually lasted. I'll come up with the terms and conditions and such and if this comment board is shut down by the time I give up in dispair, I'll email Steve with the final results.

Thanks for the idea, I've been looking for a different way to lose weight.

Posted by: Serpentia at May 21, 2005 7:17 PM

i once had scurvy. it was really mild cos i went to the doctors when my hair went all wierd gums wouldn't stop bleeding, it was pretty messed up. He said i should eat oranges, but it wasn't very bad...yet. The doctor also said i was an idiot.

Posted by: joshy at May 21, 2005 9:24 PM

I think he would absolutely get sick of it. Until he's seriously starved. For god's sakes I saw a himalaya trek documentary thing where they had SOLE SOUP. Sole as in your shoe sole. They had water cuz there was lots of snow but thats it. So other than them drinking their own piss they would just drink sole soup. "Hmm this is a rather interesting rotting carcass." "Step on it see if we can get some of the flavor on the sole for the soup."

Posted by: rafael at May 21, 2005 10:08 PM

Well, considering the nuntritional value of the meal (Slim to none), he will probably die of malnutrition in at most 2 months. Counting in the amount of calories one needs to retain energy to use muscles to breathe and such, I'd give him 3 months before the horrible, deadly malnutrition sets in. After that, if he has a really good imune system, perhaps another month for the malnutrition to really set in. I'd give anything between 1 to 5 months.

Posted by: B-BopMan at May 22, 2005 7:38 AM

Keotacidosis is a diabetic complication and wouldn't affect a healthy individual on a fat diet. Inuit indians mange to survive on a 85% diet with no ill health, they refer to scurvy as the white mans disease. The cholesterol and saturated fats would have little effect since cholesterol is formed into bile and used to digest fat in the gut (rather necessary on this diet) and the saturated fats would be burned for fuel. The major problem would be a lack of protein, although the body becomes highly protein sparing in the starving state (which this "diet" would mimic) so your friend should survive for quite a time. However, there is a problem of potassium insufficiency and posibly sodium as well. this would lead to severe problems in a few weeks and would most likely cause your friend to have heart failure. so maybe you should suggest some Lo Salt to spice it up (contains both potassium and sodium chloride)

Posted by: Adam at May 22, 2005 7:56 AM

Where is Tim? I'm ready to end this now.

Posted by: atmikha at May 22, 2005 8:41 AM

i'm enjoying how everyone is trying to sound smart after the banana debate...unfortunately, i don't know anyone knows what would actually happen.

however, has anyone seen "supersize me?" yeah....just don't do it.

Posted by: lovely at May 22, 2005 9:49 AM

Now that I think about it, I really am disgusted by the idea of this.

I think I would rather take a metal slug to the noggin than spend the rest of my life eating mayo.

Damn. I would feel sorry for the dude's girlfriend. God bless them.

Posted by: KB at May 22, 2005 8:07 PM

I remember reading an article about two friends who had a ridiculous contest- if one of them went a full week eating nothing but peanut butter and frosting, the other one would spend an entire weekend in a Home Depot. Here's a link-

Naturally peanut butter and frosting is going to sustain you a lot longer than just mayo, but according to the logs in the challenge the poor guy felt like absolute crap by the end of the week and didn't have any energy to do anything. In terms of how sick you'll end up feeling, think about how painless it would be to eat a spoonfull of peanut butter or frosting. Now compare that with a heaping, greasy spoonful of mayo. As much as the jokes are flying around about it, I really think the psychological trauma would kick in long before the physiological.

Posted by: Zebraplant at May 23, 2005 1:25 AM

KB, you made my day! LOL!

Posted by: LL Locke at May 23, 2005 7:32 AM

How can this discussion go on without mentioning Oleg Zhornitskiy, the "undisputed World Mayonnaise Eating Champion"?!

He ate 4 32-ounce bowls of mayo in eight minutes. And, judging by his photo, the only ill-effects he suffered were a mullet and lockjaw. Eat away, Tim.

Posted by: chocky at May 23, 2005 11:02 AM

I think there should be an amended diet, wherin Tim eats whatever he wants, AND must eat a large jar of mayo daily. He can put it in and on anything, but he must complete a full jar daily.

I would estimate that at 5 years.

5 fatty, creamey, slippery years.

Posted by: Aaron at May 23, 2005 11:05 AM

Tim will live forever.

As an average adult male, Tim should consume half a quart jar per day, which will provide 2880 calories, so starvation will not be an issue.

Hellmann's/Best Foods mayonnaise is 90% soybean oil, and includes roughly one egg per quart jar. While one serving has no measurable amount of important nutrients, half a jar does. Look what one egg provides:
% of Recommended Daily Intake:
Vitamin A- 8%
Vitamin D- 2%
Vitamin E- 6%
Thiamin- 2%
Vitamin B6-2%
Vitamin B12-30%
Pantothenic Acid-15%

Okay, it's not a model diet, but it's better than 80% of the world's population, many of whom live long, but less interesting and greasy lives.

I should also add that the fat compostion has a very healthy polyunsaturated-to-saturated ratio of 4-1, far better than the FDA recommended 1-1 level. This will lead to a reduction in serum cholesterol levels which will greatly lessen the risk of coronary heart disease.

Posted by: Slimey at May 23, 2005 11:07 AM

Maybe for a few months, 4 at the least. The body needs all food groups to survive properly.

Posted by: Yaanu at May 23, 2005 1:49 PM

Who cares how long Tim will survive? The important question here is: once he's been driven insane by the monotonous diet, how many people is he going to kill?

Posted by: Juli at May 23, 2005 2:19 PM

I think that after eating nothing but mayo and water for a week, he will promply jump off a cliff...and ironically into the roof of a hellman's mayo factory.

I am too sadistic.

Posted by: gianna at May 23, 2005 4:38 PM

I once remember reading that the only food you could live off was avocado's (and obviously, water.) I remember it saying they contained enough fat and other nutrients to keep you alive. Anyone know if that is true?

Posted by: oracle at May 23, 2005 6:03 PM

I'd say it's possible to live on water and mayo ... my wife's fashon magazines are filled with picture of women who obviously survive on a lot less.

Posted by: doug at May 24, 2005 6:06 AM

The real question is how will Tim react when he gets to the bottom of the mayo jar and finds a condom?

Posted by: trinamick at May 24, 2005 7:57 AM

so, mayo would really suck as a diet, but i put it on par with a friend, let's call him Torpor, who tried to eat only bleu cheese and beer for a six week period. he died of congestive heart failure--a violent, explosive heart attack--brought on while straining on the toilet.

eat up, tim.

Posted by: nate at May 24, 2005 9:20 AM

Hell, why not just give it a go and do a large jar in one sitting and be a real man! My buddy bignorm could do it!

Posted by: Hoby at May 24, 2005 12:45 PM

Who would want to live on Mayo? Truly one should try the Miracle Whip (The Bread Spread from Kraft) and Water diet. Superior in every way!

At the end of the month when the child support check was late my Mom and I feasted on Miracle Whip and Crackers. Ahh... Good Times

Posted by: Geb Buxton at May 26, 2005 7:09 AM

i think the word scurvy springs to mind ... as does rickets ... and a whole heap of other diseases he might not care to encounter. but hey, he could theoretically still LIVE ... he'd just be totally screwed that's all.

Posted by: Zvi at May 29, 2005 5:04 AM

Oh man.... upchuckle... I may not recover from that.

It's really hot here today, so I wanted to offer a summer recipe for Tim's diet.

Gently stir together 1/2 cup of mayo and 1/4 cup luke warm water. Pour the mixture into a clean ice cube tray and freeze. use your "iconaisse" cubes for fancy ice water. For a treat for the kids, cover the tray tightly with plastic wrap and and poke toothpicks into each cube,then freeze-- viola--Mayo-cicles!

Posted by: Puck at May 29, 2005 12:12 PM

theoretically.. i think he would still live for atleast a year... His life would probably suck big time because his immune system would be so weak from lack of nutrition he would be forever sick, lathargic, and then he would probably slowly start to deteriorate. My sister thinks three years and my mum says about 6 months

Posted by: kathryn at May 30, 2005 4:15 AM

C'mon. Haven't you ever seen pictures of people in Africa? They go their whole lives without eating any food. Tim gets Mayo. I think he'll be around for years

Posted by: Zach at May 30, 2005 11:07 AM

i work in health care and i have seen people live off of virtually nothing for years, and these people are elderly, so they are already in a comprimised state, i think you could live off of mayo and water for years, it would probably be the death of you in the very end, but it would take a very long time to happen.

Posted by: bri at June 1, 2005 6:03 AM

Not that anyone really cares...but it's definitely true that Tim would probably not last on the Mayo and Water diet for very long. I tried the Slim Fast thing (nothing but SF and H2O)...and didn't make it for two entire days. I was especially pissed when I stepped on the scale the first day and had lost three pounds (my mind said..."Woo Hoo!") and the very next day I stepped on the scale and found that I was back at my original weight. That was basically enough to discourage me thoroughly.

So Tim, if you're out there, Rock On buddy, I hope you make it!!!

Posted by: Serpentia at June 2, 2005 10:57 PM

OMG - pain... can'tstoplaughing... ... ...upchuckle... ... ...snotrocket... ... ... ...[my daughter's staring at me... looks positively freaked out... ...]

i have to close this window now...

Posted by: Beth at June 3, 2005 11:28 AM

eat what you want buddy! its america and either way mayonnaise is just utterly disgusting.i mean look at it.
enough with that though im thinking maybe a few weeks to a month before he starts to feel the effects of neglegence to his body.he may be feeding it but theres nothing his bod needs there.not even in the water.

Posted by: Jake at June 8, 2005 3:20 PM

He will survive, he might not enjoy the creamy greasefat taste of mayo afterwards, but he will survive.

Posted by: Eric at June 10, 2005 8:19 AM

I give him 10 days.The first seven days he will starve himself then just kill him self on the tenth.But you should make it interesting by putting him and someone else in a cramped space then making them both live off of mayo and water.

p.s. thanx you guys for making my day with snotrocket and upchuckle.

Posted by: Alyssa at June 11, 2005 3:50 PM

I know I'm coming a tad late to this Mayo party, but this question reminded me of The Stinky Meat Project --

The "scientist" tests what happens to various kinds of meat when they are left in various places for extended periods of time. Complete with pictures.

It's very funny. He also did the Fat Project (where people signed up to gain 30 pounds in 30 days and documented everything) and the Stinky Foot project (where he endeavored to give himself Athlete's foot, and documented all of it).

Awesome stuff.

Posted by: Karen at June 12, 2005 7:23 PM

He would die within a week. Mayo is one of the most vile substances known to man.

Posted by: James at June 13, 2005 12:56 PM

Only one way to find out.

Posted by: Ashley at June 17, 2005 3:59 PM