We spend a lot of time talking about health around here. The topic of diets comes up frequently, as we're constantly on the lookout for the best and fastest ways to help our readers lose weight and stay fit. We cast a wide net in our search for interesting and exciting topics for future articles and have come across a number of diets that are shocking, disgusting, dangerous or a combination of the three.
Without further ado, here are 10 diets you probably haven't heard of and definitely don't want to try:
1. The Living on Light Diet
Eating is generally considered necessary to survive. That is, unless you're Navenna Shine, or Seattle, Oregon. According to her Facebook page, Navenna embarked upon an experiment in which she attempted to survive on sunlight and water alone. Naveena made it to the 47-day mark before quitting the diet, for unknown reasons. While Naveena survived her attempt, others haven't been so lucky. Take, for example, the Swiss woman, who starved to death after a week of attempting to survive on nothing more than sunlight.
2. The Soylent Diet
Rob Rhineheart has created a diet in which he ingests no solid food, instead opting to drink a substance he's dubbed "Soylent." This beige liquid is a blend of the nutrients required by the body and supposedly contains everything the body needs without any of the bad stuff. The downside is a mistake in mixing the ingredients can make you very ill and possibly even kill you. Oh yeah, and you've got to give up food...
3. The Baby Food Diet
There are people who claim eating baby food is a real diet with real benefits. I've tasted baby food and I can't see any benefit to consuming it instead of the many healthy dietary options there are that actually taste good. To top things off, it's going to be difficult to get the protein your body needs by eating baby food and you're going to get some strange looks when you whip out that jar of Gerber mashed peaches in the lunchroom at work.
4. The Tapeworm Diet
Most people who find out they have tapeworms want to get rid of them. The tapeworm diet calls for consuming a capsule containing live tapeworms in an attempt to lose weight. Tapeworms can grow to lengths of 25 feet or longer in their hosts and can apparently travel around the body and cause infection, bloating, blindness and even brain damage. A doctor who recently tried the diet himself actually gained weight during the experiment instead of losing it.
5. The Werewolf Diet
The werewolf diet claims to help you lose up to 6 pounds in a single night by following juicing and fasting guidelines based on full and new moon phases. Werewolf dieters theoretically could actually lose a pound or two while fasting or juicing for a day, but it's water weight that comes right back as soon as you start eating normally. You might, however, be able to burn a decent amount of calories by running through the forest naked and howling at the moon all night.
6. The Nasogastric Diet
Would you be willing to stuff a feeding tube down your nose in order to lose weight? Followers of the nasogastric diet do just that, running a plastic tube into their nose and down into their stomachs. This diet is currently only offered at a single clinic in Florida. Ads for the clinic claim to help people lose 20 pounds of weight in just 10 days. Does it work? Possibly, but the weight loss probably won't be permanent. Plus you've got to walk around with a tube up your nose and a feeding bag. Ah, the things people will do avoid working out and eating right.
7. The hCG Diet
Here's another strange one. The hCG diet required that dieters only eat 500 calories a day and receive daily injects of the hCG hormone. This hormone is a hormone that's produced by embryos during pregnancy and is supposed to suppress appetite while eliminating fat. Anyone on a 500 calorie per day diet is bound to lose weight, hCG shot or not. They're also likely to end up malnourished and sick, and all for a cost of $1,000 or more per month of treatment.
SKIN-EEZ is a clothing brand that claims to soothe, tone and moisturize your skin simply by putting on their clothes. When this wearable fat loss program first hit the late nite infomercial circuit I vaguely remember them hawking $100+ jeans to the weight loss crowd. A quick glance at the company website now reveals leggings, compression clothing and a spray you can spray on your "thinning garment" to help it moisturize, tone and firm. People are apparently still buying this stuff. Most of the items sold online are completely sold out.
9. Ear Stapling
This diet is exactly what it sounds like. There really are people desperate enough to believe having a staple put in their ear will somehow magically curb their appetite. A stainless steel staple is used to pierce the cartilage inside the ear, and the staple supposedly punctures an acupressure point associated with feelings of hunger and food cravings. You can get your ear stapled for as little as $60, but it amounts to little more than a piercing.
10. The Cigarette Diet
In what amounts to trading the bad habit of overeating for the even worse habit of smoking, the cigarette diet was a diet fad that has fortunately fallen out of favor in recent times. Popularized by Lucky Strike in the 1920's, this diet started with an ad campaign that told people to "Reach for a Lucky Instead of a Sweet." Sales reportedly doubled once this ad campaign was initiated. Knowing what we know now, this is a diet fad that has to rank amongst the most dangerous diets out there. I'd much rather have lung cancer than those few extra pounds I've been packing around . . . said no one ever.