Over the years people have tried some crazy and downright stupid things in the name of weight loss. Diet fads come and go, but they linger around long enough for us to laugh and write lists like these. While there’s absolutely nothing funny about the dangerous consequences they bring, we can all appreciate how creative someone has to be to come up with these things. In no particular order, this is a list of the Top 7 ridiculous diet fads that should have never happened.
#7 SWALLOWING TAPEWORMS
Yes, you read that correctly. People physically buy tapeworm eggs, swallow them and pray to the Weight Loss Gods that they don’t die in the process. Averaging anywhere between 10-30 feet (yes, you read that right!), tapeworms are parasites that live in your digestive tract. Because they don’t have their own digestive system, they survive by feeding on already digested food, a.k.a. the food people feel guilty eating. The theory behind this diet is that you will not have to compromise what you eat because the worm will eat half the food for you. Plain and simple, that is not how it works. Now not only do you have a raging reproducing parasite living inside of you, you’re at risk for indigestion troubles, protein deficiencies, bloating, intestinal blockage and the occasional death here and there.
#6 SWALLOWING COTTON BALLS
Swallowing things are apparently a big trend in this crazy weight loss business. As opposed to a nice filling meal, some models opted for some juice-soaked cotton balls instead. The point of this is to use the cotton balls as a filler, ultimately tricking your body into thinking you are full. The juice was there as an added bonus, giving your stomach something to absorb and occupy itself with. This is basically the same concept of starving yourself, except without the sharp pains that come from severe hunger. This method is unbelievably dangerous. Issues include blockages and the bursting of intestinal linings. These blockages are extremely painful, even more so than hunger pains. They can also lead to your stomach or intestines bursting, ultimately spreading undigested food, acids, and feces all around the inside of your body. Does this sound like it is worth losing a few pounds for?
#5 IPECAC SYRUP
Ipecac syrup is a wonderful thing to have around the house if you tend to keep many harmful chemicals and cleaning agents nearby. In the time of accidental ingestion, this syrup’s vigorous vomiting components can rid the stomach of any deadly chemicals. However, the trend inspired more stupidity and people taking advantage of it’s power of release. Another method stemming from the modeling industry, people take ipecac syrup to essentially throw everything up that they just finished eating. This is intended to give you the satisfaction of actually eating your food without the absorption of the fatty components. Ipecac syrup isn’t just regular vomiting, but it also leads to spasms of violent and painful vomiting after it’s taken. Not only is the body not able to absorb minerals and nutrients, it produces irregular heartbeats, difficulty breathing and even heart attacks are accompanied by constant use of this syrup. Again, this method is very less than smart.
#4 URINE INJECTIONS
Okay, this one is downright disgusting! People are physically injecting themselves with pee, all in the name of losing weight. If you can stomach injecting yourself with someone else’s urine, then you can potentially lose about a pound per day. The urine comes from pregnant women, which contains high levels of human chorionic gonadotropin, which in turn tricks your own body into thinking you are pregnant. Your body gets fooled into boosting your metabolism and helping you to burn calories faster. Combined with a limited 500 calorie diet, many people swear by this method.
#3 ABUSING INSULIN INJECTIONS
This one was oddly popular within the diabetic community. When the pancreas either under-produces or overproduces natural insulin, medical insulin shots need to be administered to pretty much stay alive. Dieting teenagers sought out this method to take matters into their own hands and decided to give themselves an extremely low dosage instead of the doctor’s recommended amount; just enough to keep them alive, but not enough to keep their blood sugars low. Why? Carbohydrates become indigestible, thus making stored fat the main source of energy. Weight loss through this method occurs extremely fast and results are noticeable very quickly, making it easy to spot someone who is abusing their insulin. Again, like everything else on this list, this is extremely dangerous. With internal damage to the kidneys, bladder and liver, abusing insulin is definitely not the smartest thing to do.
#2 TONGUE PATCH
Patches aren’t just sewn onto an old pair of ripped pair of jeans anymore. People nowadays are opting to get patches sewn into their tongue! Yes, their tongue! This stamp sized square of polyethylene mesh gets sewn into the patient’s tongue, making it excruciatingly painful to eat solid foods. This forces the dieter to stick to a low carb liquid diet. People have reported losing up to 20 pounds in one month, which is often times the average time period of having this patch sewn into your mouth. The long term goal is to train your brain to be thoughtful and cautious of the food you put in your mouth. This patch does increase the chances of malnourishment and infection, not to mention uncomfortable pain. Long term success isn’t guaranteed, so why is this even worth it?
Bottom line, you’re pooping out your extra fat, or in other words, food that could potentially become extra fat. It serves the same concept of vomiting, except through a different bodily function. Laxatives are basically medication that relives constipation by forcing the body to go “ number two.” Extreme dieters rely on a constant stream of laxatives to push food down the digestive tract before it fully gets digested into the body. The consequences of this greatly outweigh the positives. Dehydration, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and eventually complete loss of bowel control and even death is a reality of constant laxative use. It’s crazy to think that some people can justify all this with the possibility of a smaller pants size!