The Strange Things People do to Lose Weight

There is no industry in the world stranger than the weight loss industry. Food fads and weight loss gimmicks are nothing new, but the fact that people actually follow some of these ridiculous weight loss schemes is hard to believe. Here are some of the strangest and most unusual food fads and weight loss gimmicks you’ve probably never heard of. Don’t try these at home.

You Didn’t Really Eat That, Did You?

Feeling full and eating less is the goal of many dieters. A crash diet purportedly used by some professional models consists of eating cotton balls dipped in orange juice. Apparently the combination of orange juice and cotton balls fills the stomach, prevents hunger and provides energy. Cottonseed oil is healthy cooking oil, but cotton balls are not food and eating them is not only unhealthy, it’s dangerous.

Derek Nance is a proponent of the raw meat diet. A derivative of Weston Prince’s Paleo diet of the 1930s and popular again today, Nance’s raw meat diet consists of eating nothing but raw meat; no fruit and no vegetables. After five years on the diet, Nance reportedly feels great and no longer suffers from chronic nausea.

There’ve been a lot of diets that consisted of eating only one thing over the years. Unbelievably, it is possible to lose weight on the eat nothing but Twinkie Diet. The problem is you’ll burn through those sugar-laden calories in no time and deprive your body of essential nutrients.

Dying to Lose Weight

A truly horrific weight loss method of the early 1900s involved the eating of tapeworms. Tapeworms are intestinal parasites that eat your food before you get any nutritional benefit. People with tapeworms do lose weight. Unfortunately, an intestinal tapeworm infestation is lethal if left untreated.

Probably one of the most heinous diets ever promoted was in the early 1920s when cigarette manufacturers promoted the cigarette’s weight-loss benefits. To be fair, the promotion was long before the dangers of smoking were realized, but the idea persists today.

If it Looks Bad, Will You Still Eat It?

The Vision Diet is a simple concept. The idea is to make the food on your plate look so unappetizing you won’t eat much. How do you do it? Look at your food through blue-tinted glasses. The bluish hue makes your food look like alien goo, but will that keep you from eating it? Chances are no.

Popular Food Myths Debunked

Some of the worst fads were popular decades ago, but persistent ideas about a healthy diet persist today. According to nutrition therapist Theresa Kinsella, some of the ideas behind popular diets of today can lead to harmful effects. For example, carbohydrates get a bad rap, but if someone is not eating any or enough carbohydrates, they aren’t functioning optimally. The Paleo diet doesn’t fair well with Kinsella, either. She believes that eliminating beans, dairy and whole grains from the diet is a set up for nutrient and vitamin deficiencies.


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