Obesity. It’s a condition that never stops being in the news. Probably because it never stops.
Never stops being a health risk. Never stops making people unhealthy. Never stops making people unhappy.
But is it worth risking your life to lose some weight?
Maybe, according to millions of overweight people. Every day, more and more people start risky, scientifically unsound diets in the desperate hopes of losing the extra pounds.
So what are some of these ridiculous and dangerous diets? Let’s take a look.
- The Cotton Ball diet – In this ingenious plan, you ingest handfuls of cotton balls soaked in lemonade, orange juice or a smoothie. The theory goes like this: the cotton balls fill you up and suppress your appetite. So is that true? Maybe, but you better like the idea of filling up on a variety of industrial chemicals like bleach. MMM, yummy, right? As an added bonus, you get bezoars. These little beauties are blockages in your intestines caused by a build-up of the fibers from your bleached polyester balls. Yep, cotton balls aren’t really cotton. So if you’re interested in a life-threatening intestinal blockage, this is the diet for you!
- The Baby Food diet – It’s exactly what it sounds like. You eat up to 14 jars of baby food a day. No dietitian or nutritionist who isn’t a moron would suggest this. The nutritional deficiencies from this plan would be staggering. Expect dizziness, fatigue, weakness and pooping in a diaper. Okay, maybe not that last one, but skip this stupid plan, too.
- The Tapeworm diet – So here, you voluntarily ingest a living parasite in the hopes it will eat your excess calories and not kill you. The theory is that you eat tapeworm eggs, let the tapeworm be your calorie disposal until you reach your goal weight and then ask your doctor for anti-tapeworm meds to clear it out. Mind you, by the time you reach your goal weight, your tapeworm may be that big, too!
There’s also the benefit of the side effects: abdominal cramps, diarrhea, fatigue and the chance of an intestinal blockage from a fat old tapeworm. Brilliant plan, dumbass!
- The Clay diet – With this particular pile of nonsense, the “prescription” is to drink clay in order to lose weight. Holy crap, Batman, what a-hole thought this one up? The big lie here is that the clay “removes toxins” and fills you up to suppress your hunger. Of course, its’ proponents can’t point to a single shred of evidence to support either claim.
It’s true that some kinds of clay have medicinal properties. When applied to the skin or in wounds. Taken internally, you can expect intestinal tract damage (you know, where your gut serotonin is produced.) This will damage not only the digestive tract, but the enteric nervous system, the function of other organs and proper functioning of various muscle tissue. Go roll around in some clay, don’t drink it.
- The HCG diet – Man, this piece of crap just won’t go away. You ingest a banned and dangerous substance called specialized human chorionic gonadotropin. If the name alone doesn’t make you say “no thanks, I’m good,” you might need help.
The FDA has called HCG “illegal” and “fraudulent.” Here’s the fun part. HCG isn’t even a “miracle” drug. When you take it, you have to go on a starvation diet of 500-800 calories a day! And you get to spend $300-$500 dollars a month for this privilege! This whole plan might just take the prize for “Suckiest Diet EVER!”
Yes, you may lose a bunch of weight…at first. You may even lose a lot of weight. You may even lose a kidney. That’s 2 or so pounds right there. Fun, right? The risks here are malnutrition, anemia, fainting spells, heart problems and a high risk of liver and kidney problems. In fact, we don’t really even know what the risks are, since HCG is unregultaed!
In theory, this should help you shed 1-2 pounds per day without feeling hungry. In reality, this can result in extreme weight loss, but that will come at a price of malnutrition, heart problems, high risk of kidney and liver issues, anemia, fainting spells, and who knows what else as HCG products aren’t regulated.
Yes, very low calorie diets can work – under a physician’s supervision. And yes, there are supplements that may help you lose some weight. For example, GLA in the form of Borage Oil has metabolism enhancing properties. But the reality is, the HCG diet is part consuming an unproven, unreliable and dangerous chemical and part voluntary starvation without supervision. Skip this piece of crap, too.
If you’re struggling with weight loss, find a local professional. A good Fitness Coach or Personal Trainer can probably help with the nutrition side as well as the exercise side. If the nutrition part of the picture is really your challenge, find a good nutritionist, ask a lot of questions and let them help you.
In the not-too-distant future, I’ll be offering online Personal Training and Nutrition Coaching. For now, though, think it through before starting any diet plan. Because your next diet might make my next “diets that suck” list!
Keep the faith and keep after it!