Whether it’s a New Year’s resolution, a big event, or a beach vacation, losing weight is high on most people’s to-do lists.
A healthy weight is a key to longevity, but unfortunately, the diet industry thrives on people’s desire to Extreme Weight loss methods as fast as they can — without putting in the work.
And as we’ve seen in the news recently, not all diet products deliver what they promise. A potentially harmful weight loss product sold online in South Africa has been linked to causing an overactive thyroid, according to recent reports.
The diet industry has been booming for a long time and has resulted in several extreme weight loss methods and fad diets.
Warning: We do not recommend any of these methods. There are no shortcuts and healthy weight loss can only be achieved with a balanced diet and exercise regime.
So, Let’s Discuss 10 Of The Most Extreme & Dangerous Weight Loss Methods.
1. Tapeworm Tablets
Don’t you like to exercise and healthy food? No worries, eat a parasite that will help you lose weight. At the beginning of the 20th century, tablets containing tapeworm eggs were marketed to help people lose weight. These eggs supposedly hatch in your system and steal your nutrients, causing weight loss. It was unknown whether these tablets contained tapeworm eggs, but the idea is quite extreme.
Why it’s dangerous: According to Health24, a tapeworm infestation is very dangerous and can cause serious problems. Once a person is infected with this parasite, the larvae travel through the blood vessels and can reach the eyes, brain, and spinal cord. This can lead to headaches, seizures, paralysis, blindness, and in some cases, death.
2. Cotton Candy Diet
This is a diet fad that involved dipping cotton balls into a liquid such as smoothies or juices and swallowing them. Cotton is supposed to fill you up and stave off hunger. It is claimed that the cotton balls still contain some kilojoules and density, but not enough to cause any weight gain.
Why it’s dangerous: Not only can cotton balls contain chemicals like bleach, but there’s also the risk of blockages or obstructions in your digestive system. All in all, ingesting inedible items to lose weight is never a good idea.
ball of cotton
3. Vinegar Diet
Lord Byron became famous not only for his poems and politics but also for popularizing the vinegar diet in the 1820s. The idea is simple — drink a lot of vinegar combined with one cup of tea and a raw egg. The combination caused vomiting, which caused loss of appetite and weight loss. The legacy lives on in the claim that apple cider vinegar can cause weight loss.
Why it’s dangerous: Drinking large amounts of vinegar can potentially cause potassium imbalances, stomach lining irritation, and tooth enamel erosion.
different types of vinegar
4. Slimming Soap
Forget slimming teas, firming creams, and other trendy products. How about washing off the grease with a specially designed soap? In the 1930s, the soap was marketed as having “magical fat-dissolving properties”. If the goodness of the soap could rid the skin of impurities, surely it could penetrate deeper and target a flabby belly? Or at least that was the idea behind the soap.
Why it’s dangerous: A topical product wouldn’t do any harm — except it’s a waste of time and money.
5. Cigarette Diet
In the 1920s, doctors encouraged people to suppress their ravenous appetites by smoking. The rationale? Overeating can kill you, while smoking can only cause lung cancer. The Lucky Strike brand was famous for its “Reach for Happiness Instead of Sweet” campaign, which capitalized on nicotine’s appetite-suppressing properties.
Why it’s dangerous: Smoking is linked to several health problems, such as high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. Need we say more? Substituting one desire for another is never a good idea.
6. Diet Cabbage Soup
The cabbage soup diet promises quick results. Eat cabbage soup in combination with severely limited meals for seven days and lose 5 kg. While it may be effective for helping you lose some flab and bloating on a big occasion, it’s just not effective as a long-term eating plan — not to mention the fumes from the cabbage in your kitchen.
Why it’s dangerous: It’s an extremely restrictive diet without important nutrients like healthy fats and carbohydrates. Jogging between fad diets like these will make you pack on the pounds faster than you can shed them — and that can wreak havoc with your metabolism.
cabbage soup in a pot
7. The Sleeping Beauty Diet.
You can’t eat when you sleep, right? That was the essence of this Extreme weight loss method—proponents of this method claim that sleep means less time to eat and also speeds up your metabolism. The extreme approach was to take sedatives that made you sleep for hours during the day.
Why it’s dangerous: Not only are you depriving yourself of important nutrients, but sleeping pills and sedatives can have adverse effects on your body.
8. Baby Food Diet
The diet is said to have been started by celebrity trainer Tracy Anderson and involves eating 14 glasses of baby food and only one proper meal a day. This diet has never been written down or advertised anywhere, but some Hollywood celebrities have apparently followed it.
Why it’s dangerous: This fad diet is seriously lacking in fiber, which is important for the functioning of the adult digestive system. According to Jamie Vespa, registered dietitian and assistant nutrition editor for Cooking Light, adults need nutritious, whole foods to benefit their gut and immune system.
9. Grapefruit Juice Diet
This fad diet took hold in the 1930s. Dieters were expected to severely limit their food intake to 1,000 calories (4,184 kilojoules) per day. Each meal should be accompanied by either half a grapefruit or 230 ml of freshly squeezed grapefruit juice.
Why it’s dangerous: While grapefruit juice itself doesn’t do any serious harm, it’s the extreme reduction in kilojoules that makes this diet a fad. And grapefruit can interact with medications like blood thinners.
grapefruit on a white background
10. Arsenic Diet Pills
Just like today, diet pills and slimming potions were part of a lucrative industry in the 19th century. Unfortunately, things were completely unregulated and diet pills could contain dangerous ingredients like arsenic, a chemical element that is poisonous to humans. Arsenic has been promoted to speed metabolism in the same way as amphetamines.
Why it’s dangerous: Arsenic is highly toxic in its inorganic form and in high doses. According to the World Health Organization, it can also cause health problems such as skin lesions and cancer if consumed through food or drinking water. Symptoms of arsenic poisoning include vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, severe muscle cramps, and even death. It’s definitely not the stuff you want in medication To Extreme Weight Loss Methods.