When it comes to losing weight, there are very few options that can beat good old healthy eating and regular exercise; that doesn’t mean people haven’t tried though. Whether it’s due to impatience, desperation, or even a mental disorder such as anorexia and bulimia, some people will go to whatever lengths necessary to shed a couple extra pounds. Unfortunately, a lot of diet fads can cause more harm than good. Here are 25 Crazy And Extreme Ways People Try To Stay Thin that will shock even the most desperate of dieters.
Popular in France, where it has become known as “l’air fooding,” the air diet is basically a fancy term for starving yourself. However, in an attempt to trick your brain into thinking it has eaten, you must still go through the motions of preparing a meal, setting the table, and smelling the food.
Disregarding the fact that it just plain won’t work, many people have tried injecting insulin in an attempt to lower blood sugar and break down fat instead of carbohydrates. Insulin injections are extremely dangerous, however, and if unmonitored, they can lead to the development of diabetes in non-diabetic users or even put abusers in a comatose state.
Apples and Coffee
The apples and coffee diet is about what it sounds like; eat nothing but apples and coffee for as long as possible. In theory, the coffee acts as a diuretic to thin you out while the apples provide your body with energy and nutrients to keep you moving. In reality, you’re unlikely to lose much weight and more likely to just have a really miserable time.
Waist wrapping or stomach wrapping is the practice of wrapping your belly in plastic saran wrap in order to sweat out excess liquid weight. Excess sweating, however, can be very bad for you and can result in severe dehydration, nausea, and even heatstroke.
Sleeping Beauty Diet
Designed to help people who struggle with dieting, the sleeping beauty diet suggests that whenever you begin to get cravings just pop some sleeping pills and pass out for a couple of days. While it’s true that when you’re sleeping you can’t eat, this practice can cause your muscles to atrophy, your body to become dehydrated, and there is a high possibility of overdosing on the dangerous medication.
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Bee pollen has been touted as a sort of superfood, containing all the essential nutrients your body needs as well as boosting athletic performance, treating asthma, and reducing fat. Despite being tested numerous times, none of its claimed effects have been proven, and in fact, bee pollen has been connected to a number of severe allergic reactions in people taking it as a dietary supplement.
The Color Blue
Studies have actually shown that the color blue is an appetite-suppressant, so if you’re somebody that is often overeating, try on some blue-tinted shades for a change. As bizarre as it may seem, it can’t hurt.
Baby Food Diet
Because one serving of baby food typically ranges from 20 to 100 calories, it isn’t hard to see why eating a couple jars each day in place of a regular meal will cause people to shed weight rather quickly. However, eating baby food can often result in nutritional imbalances for adults, and you may struggle to get the right amount of proteins, fibers, and other important minerals out of your foods.
Drugs are one of the oldest tricks in the book when it comes to losing weight, and while many just don’t work as advertised, some can even cause problems of their own. Many deluded people have even turned to hard drugs such as cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine in an attempt to lose weight, always with terrible results.
Mononucleosis is a dangerous virus that often affects your appetite, making you not want to eat while simultaneously sapping your energy, resulting in a lot of weight being shed quickly. Downsides include fever symptoms, sore throat, and the swelling of the tonsils, lymph nodes, and spleen.
Drunkorexia is basically cutting calories from food and replacing them with alcohol. Drinking to maintain body weight is almost never a good idea, and it can lead to serious health problems down the road.
If you think this is crazy, wait until you see number 7!
Gummy Bear Cleanse
While gummy bears aren’t usually considered a diet food, the sugar-free variety contain an interesting ingredient known as lycasin, a potent laxative. The cleansing process is simple: just ingest roughly a dozen of the gummy bears and wait, the results will be explosive!
Gummy bears don’t really have much to offer in the nutrition department. Looking for nutritional power players? Take a look at 25 Healthiest Superfood Combinations for some delicious and healthy ideas!
The Cabbage Soup Diet
Originating during World War II to protect against scurvy, the cabbage soup diet became popular in the 1990’s as a way to quickly lose weight. While on this diet, you will likely be taking in fewer than 1000 calories a day (as opposed to the 2000 average for healthy adults), so any sort of physical activity or exercise will be nearly impossible.
Ipecac Syrup is used in the medical inventory to empty the stomach of patients who may have been poisoned. In other words, it makes you throw up.
Wearing a Corset
Wearing a corset for a few hours each each day may seem like a good way to shrink your rib cage and trim some of the fat around your waist; however, there isn’t any medical benefit from wearing a corset, and wearing one too tight can put a lot of undue stress on your body and internal organs.
Typically used for stubborn patients in psychiatric hospitals, the feeding tube diet involves inserting a small tube through the nose and down the esophagus and pumping a low calorie-high fat solution directly into your stomach. The tube cannot be removed for days, and the diet will send your body into a state of ketosis, where body fat is burned for energy instead of food.
Injecting your body with the urine of a pregnant woman may seem ridiculous, and it is; however, that doesn’t stop many desperate people from trying it. The urine contains a hormone known as chorionic gonadotropin which can trick the human brain into believing that it’s pregnant, thus increasing metabolism speed and burning calories faster than usual.
The Spoon Diet
The spoon diet is a diet program in which you may only eat foods which can be eaten with a spoon. The goal is limit your calories and stick to healthy foods such as soups and yogurts, but most people just end up eating pudding all day and getting nowhere.
Ana Boot Camp
A highly dangerous and immoral craze sweeping the internet, anorexic boot camps are sites promoting the idea of living an anorexic lifestyle. With strict diet plans of 0 to 500 calories per day, these kind of eating habits can be detrimental to people’s health, and it can even lead to heart attacks and organ failures.
Technically referred to as vertical banded gastroplasty surgery, stomach stapling is a medical procedure in which doctors use staples to section of part of stomach and limit the amount of food passing through the digestive tract. People who undergo stomach stapling are typically at risk of life-threatening obesity, and the surgery requires a strict diet be followed or severe negative side affects could occur.
The Cotton Ball Diet
This diet involves soaking cotton balls in water or juice and eating them to trick the body into think you’ve eaten while you continue to starve yourself. In reality, this does little to trick the body, and the cotton wool can collect in the intestinal track to cause severe pain and discomfort.
The Tapeworm Diet
Literally growing a tapeworm in your lower intestines, the tapeworm diet involves ingesting a real tapeworm and letting it grow inside your body where it will feast on anything you eat. In case you are crazy enough to even consider this diet, just remember that they can cause lasting health problems, grow to over 30 feet long, and sometimes don’t want to come out.
The Master Cleanse
Also known as the lemon cleanse, the master cleanse is a liquid diet involving drinking a cocktail of lemon juice, cayenne pepper, and maple syrup. It’s goal is to cleanse your body of toxins and impurities; however, it is much more akin to downright torturing yourself.
If the master cleanse feels like torture, the tongue patch quite literally is. By sewing a small patch of fabric to the top of your tongue that makes eating solid foods unbearably painful, you will be forced to maintain a completely liquid diet as long as the patch remains. It should go with out saying, but this is definitely not recommended.
Looking for less-crazy, healthier ways to maintain a healthy weight? Check out 25 Awesome And Useful Tips To Help Busy Students Eat Healthier.
Starving oneself until you reach your desired weight will make you skinnier. Although skipping meals will make you skinny quickly, it is terribly easy to go overboard, and doing so will be incredibly bad for your body.
Photos: 21. Roydon Joe via Flickr, 20. Forest Wander via wikimedia commons via forestwander.com, 18. Parenting Patch via wikimedia commons, 14. Thomas Rosenau via wikimedia commons, 13. mariuszjbie via wikimedia commons, 12. JD Hancock via Flickr, 9. torange.biz, 6. Blausen.com staff. “Blausen gallery 2014”. Wikiversity Journal of Medicine. DOI:10.15347/wjm/2014.010. ISSN 20018762, 5. Quartl via wikimedia commons, 3. sagesolar via flickr, 2. mahdiabbasinv via wikimedia commons, 1. Jean Fortunet via wikimedia commons