The Five Worst Ways to Lose Weight
If you’ve been reading me here for any length of time, you know that I’m all about fitness and health being fun and natural. Eat plants, move around — I’m not for fad diets or any of that madness. In my research, I frequently come across crazy fad diets of the past and present, and they’re just so boggling I have to share them with you all.
Maybe it makes me un-fun, and maybe you’d rather read about quick ways to lose weight, but I’m all for safety and comfort. So I share these with you on one condition — if any of these ever seem like a good idea to you, immediately eat a donut. The occasional splurge is way healthier than these bad ideas!
No picture here, blegh. The same parasite that kills people in developing nations can now be yours for the low black-market cost of $1,500! Achieve those suffering-sexy cheekbones with a completely unregulated and filthy trade! These aren’t your friendly neighborhood lab-grown tapeworms, either: these are harvested in Mexico, typically from pig feces, where they naturally tend to occur. Sure, a tapeworm will make you lose weight — lots of parasites and diseases will. You’ll also lose vital nutrients and possibly your life.
Baby food diet
Celebrity fitness trainer Tracy Anderson claims to have developed this diet for her high-profile clients. She’s never published any actual plan, so all we have to go on is the assumption that diet requires one to eat baby food. (Anderson is also known for telling women to never lift anything above three pounds — so I don’t exactly hold her advice in high regard.)
The diet is just a convenient way to limit portion size and ensure intake of fruits and vegetables — Gerber doesn’t exactly sell jars of pureed paninis or baby-sized margaritas. If you’re willing to choke down baby food to lose weight, forget the pureed madness and just stick to large, grownup-size portions of fruits and veggies.
No, you don’t eat it. Though it does contain seaweed and aloe vera, two ingredients that are pretty tasty in the right recipes. The idea is that you simply scrub fat away. I’m sure they’re high-quality, lovely soaps that make your skin feel and look smooth, soft and taught, but it’s hardly a way to lose weight. Weight loss is an internal process. “Eat less, move more” isn’t much more complicated than “wash it away,” it still takes more work than that.
Lemonade master cleanse
This celebrity favorite is touted for its miracle fat-burning beverage. A combination of cayenne pepper, organic lemonade and real maple syrup is all that is consumed for up to 10 days. It doesn’t seem to occur to anyone that preaches the benefits of this diet that if you consumed nothing but any old lemonade for 10 days … you’d lose a lot of weight. Essentially a starvation diet, the master cleanse has a bad reputation for causing constipation — no solid food for over a week will do that — so they encourage the chugging of salt water to “move things along.” There’s nothing about this diet that isn’t cringe-worthy, especially since you’ll gain it all back when you eat solids again.
The K-E Diet
The hottest way to lose weight before your big day? Find a doctor who is so outside the realms of sanity he’s willing to install a feeding tube. The K-E Diet has brides-to-be consume 800 calories a day of a specially prepared solution through a feeding tube, with no solid food at all, for a 10-day day period so they can be svelte for wedding pictures. With 800 calories a day not being nearly enough for a grown woman, it’s easy to see how the weight comes off fast.
The biggest problem with all of these diets is that not one of them addresses the unhealthy choices that lead to weight gain in the first place. If weight loss has you feeling desperate enough to try one of these, stop and remember: be patient with your body and be nice to yourself. The rest will follow.
Health editor, Tini Howard is a writer, aerialist and foodie from the East Coast.