Top 10 Weirdest Diets and Weight Loss Plans
Many Americans crave instant gratification. This need has most likely attributed to the obesity epidemic in the United States. The desire for instant results also prompts Americans to look for easy and quick weight loss solutions. Because of this, fad diets and diet scams have continued to flourish.
You might be amazed at some of the crazy ways people try to lose weight. I've come across methods that range from the sensible to the downright bizarre. Here's my list of top 10 weirdest ways people try to lose weight:
#10 - All Celery Diet
Celery is considered a "negative-calorie food" (the process of eating celery burns more calories than the celery contains), so it seems only natural that you can lose weight by eating this wonder food. However, it's not that simple. The difference in calories consumed and calories expended is very small, so you'd have to eat hundreds, if not thousands, of celery stalks to burn the 3,500 calories it takes to lose a pound. By the way, you need to eat the stalks plain. Slathering celery with cream cheese, peanut butter, cheese whiz, or some other topping will ruin the negative-calorie effect.
#9 - Cabbage Soup Diet
Eat all the cabbage soup that you want! Well, that doesn't sound very appealing to me, but many people must love cabbage soup. Many try the cabbage soup diet, which promotes weight loss through a seven-day diet that switches what you can eat each day. Here's a sample - on day four you can eat eight bananas, two glasses of milk, and (of course) all the cabbage soup you want.
#8 - Diet Patches
There are nicotine patches to help you quit smoking and birth control patches to keep you from getting pregnant. Touting the same concept, diet patches are supposed to transmit key weight loss ingredients through the skin, supposedly suppressing appetite or controlling metabolism. What's the difference between nicotine and birth control patches and diet patches? For one thing, the former are FDA-approved, but diet patches are not. As with diet pills, there are no regulations to make sure these patches are safe and effective. In most cases, you can get the same effect from diet patches as you will get from that free tattoo in the bottom of your Cracker Jacks.
#7 - Lemonade Diet
First, do you love lemonade? Second, are you okay with the idea of not eating anything solid for ten days? Finally, are you up for drinking laxative tea? If you answered "no" to any of these questions, this diet isn't for you. But some people want to "flush out their system" by consuming only a special lemonade mixture, a salt water flush, and herbal laxative tea for ten days. You might want to save yourself the time and just pour the ingredients directly into the toilet.
#6 - Diet Sunglasses
These blue-tinted sunglasses are supposed to make your food look less appealing so you will eat less of it. Personally, I wouldn't want to walk around all day with these not-so-fashionable sunglasses. Besides, if you are craving a hamburger and you can smell its tantalizing aroma as it sits in front of you, I don't think blue lenses are going to stop you from indulging.
#5 - Diet Fork
The diet fork is a plastic fork that supposedly helps control your food intake because it is smaller, duller, and more uncomfortable than your average fork. (Sounds like all they did was raid a fast food joint's supply of utensils.) Variations on this diet gadget include weight loss chopsticks and a fork that has a light that signals when you can take another bite.
#4 - Ear Stapling
The promise of this weight loss technique is that a metal staple pierced into the cartilage of your ear will help suppress your appetite. Don't try this in Florida; the practice is illegal. Many other states have placed strict regulations on this practice since it has caused many infections. (Maybe the trick is to lose weight while you are sick ... or in jail for getting caught in an undercover ear-stapling sting.)
#3 - Slimming Soap
If only you could wash your fat away. Apparently some people believe that you can because they are spending about $20 per bar to get some seaweed slimming soap. According to manufacturers, the algae extract in the soap penetrates the skin and breaks down fat, tightens skin, increases metabolism, and reduces cellulite. This "ancient Chinese weight loss method" probably won't decrease your fat, but at least that's $20 you won't spend at the drive-thru.
#2 - Eating Cotton Balls
Inspired by certain celebrities, some people have turned to soaking cotton balls in gelatin and eating them. Others try to eat cotton balls dry (maybe the gelatin calories were too much). The theory behind this is that the cotton balls, which are apparently low in calories but high in fiber, will fill you up and keep you from wanting to eat anything "fattening" (like actual food). In addition to the obvious negatives of the taste and texture of cotton balls, this diet can be hazardous to your health. Replacing food with cotton balls can not only deprive your body of needed nutrients, but it can also cause issues with your digestive tract. Besides, imagine the hairball-like effects it could produce.
#1 - Tapeworms
Just the thought of this makes me squirm, but there are people who believe that purposely ingesting a tapeworm will allow them to eat whatever they want and still lose weight. People believe that the tapeworm will ingest their food and save them from gaining the weight, but it doesn't work that way. In case you were wondering, a tapeworm is a parasite, and it can cause a whole host of problems. The tapeworm will eat some of the food, but it will also take your vital nutrients. The parasite could cause diarrhea, nausea, and bloating. Also, the tapeworm will ingest that food and produce its own waste, and could even shed itself as it grows. To increase the fun of hosting a parasite, the tapeworm could reproduce, and its larvae could spread throughout your system causing anything from seizures to meningitis. It's hard to believe that some people would rather risk their lives with a tapeworm rather than go to the gym or eat a salad now and then.
What a Bizarre Concept
Although there are many people who swear by the above weight loss tricks, I don't recommend any of them. Here's a wild idea: if you want to lose weight, reduce your calorie intake (but be sure to get enough to stay healthy), eat a balanced diet, and exercise. That's so crazy it just might work!
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