Let’s face it, losing weight can be tough. With all of the delicious temptations that linger close by, and weakened resolve caused by the stresses of everyday life, many face a losing battle with their waistline. In the late winter months, as the notions of beach bodies and bear-all summer wear begin to re-enter the collective consciousness, one can’t help but feel compelled to try and shed the leftover Christmas weight. But as those extra pounds continue to pile on, it can seem almost hopeless. Which is why turning to an extreme, quick-fix diet can seem like an attractive option.
Many extreme regimes involve eliminating an entire food group. Other extreme diets lean on the assumption that a good ‘cleanse’ of some sort – an abstract ideal at best – will jump start weight loss. And then some extreme diets go so far as to eliminate, well, all food.
Whatever the method, it’s rarely actually healthy to lose weight lost through extreme methods and at a rapid pace. Those results that look great in the mirror can be damaging to one’s health and are rarely, if ever, long lasting. Best to stick with fruits, vegetables, and whole grains than to fall victim to the hazardous methods of the following ten diets, some of the most extreme examples of diets in the world that people actually, somehow, follow.
10. The Apple Juice Liver Cleanse
So you’re looking to lose a few extra pounds and of course you reach directly for fruits, vegetables, lean meats…. No. If you do the apple juice liver cleanse you’ll reach for apple cider and walnut oil.
These won’t be used for cooking or marinating chicken. You will, in fact, be drinking the apple cider and walnut oil – together. In the early morning you thin your walnut oil under hot water then you mix four ounces of the oil with four ounces of organic apple juice. Stir it up and drink it.
If that concoction doesn’t make you vomit you’ll follow it with four ounces of fresh lemon juice. If you survive that, you’ll spend the next two hours drinking the oil-juice drink. Then, you can look forward to a long day of staying close to your bathroom. Don’t be surprised if your bowel movements consist of green pellets floating in the toilet. And if you make it through the full day of bowel movements you are encouraged to stick to a vegetarian diet that limits alcoholic beverages and strong spices. Sounds pleasant.
9. The Blue Print Cleanse
Some dieters swear by cleanses to prepare them for weight-loss. Other people just like a good cleanse. Whatever the reason for it, the blue print cleanse is one of the most extreme diets you can follow.
There are three different levels of the cleanse that you can choose from, but no matter which level you choose you won’t be eating anything. The only nutrients you will consume will come from a blended drink that the company will ship directly to you. Should you feel that you need a very “deep” cleanse, you can choose the excavation cleanse. Yep, this extreme version of cleansing will apparently “unearth those crayons and other art class delicacies you chowed down in first grade.”
Basically, you’ll live on a toilet for a few days straight. Sounds healthy.
8. The Hollywood Diet
Think losing ten pounds in two days is healthy? If you answered yes then you may want to look at the Hollywood Diet. On this extreme diet you will drink a meal replacement which consists of juices and nutrients for 48 hours.
After the two days are over, and you have supposedly lost ten pounds, you can resume eating a healthy diet. However, you’ll continue to substitute one meal with a Hollywood Diet product made from 16 fruits and vegetables. After thirty days you can go back to an entirely normal diet.
7. The Cabbage Soup Diet
What will happen if you consume only cabbage soup for an entire week? First, you’ll be starving. Secondly, you will need to constantly be near a toilet. Thirdly, you’ll probably be traumatised by the taste of cabbage by the end of the week.
Despite the obvious drawbacks of the cabbage soup diet, followers of this extreme meal plan are able to lose a substantial amount of weight in a short period of time. The diet lacks protein and many nutrients despite dieters being allowed to supplement their cabbage diet with a few other fruits and vegetables.
6. The Five Bite Diet
The title of this diet pretty much says it all. You can eat whatever meal you want but you can only eat five bites. According to Dr. Alwin C. Lewis who published the book, “Why Weight Around?” in 2007 if you would like to follow the five bite diet you should begin your day without any breakfast. Then, when you are completely starving at lunch you should only take five bites of your meal. If you manage to make it to dinner without gnawing your arm off you should only take five bites of your dinner.
Lewis claims that after three days you will not feel hungry because your body will learn to feel full on the very tiny amount of food you get at each meal. Let’s hope the ten bites you are allowed to take during the day are gigantic.
5. The Master Cleanse
Most extreme diets limit one food group. But the Master Cleanse, otherwise known as the “lemonade diet” limits all food.
The diet that was once used as a simple way to flush the fabled ‘toxins’ from the body claims that participants will lose 20 pounds in 10 days. And it’s no wonder the weight-loss is so significant; the diet itself allows only liquids for 10 full days. That’s right. No food at all.
In the morning you will down four cups of salt water, in the evening a cup of herbal laxative tea, and throughout the day your only form of nutrition will be a “lemonade” concoction. What’s in this mixture? A delightful blend of fresh lemon or lime juice, maple syrup, cayenne pepper, and water. Sounds delicious right? If you survive the ten full days of laxative, oddly tasting drinks, you will then be allowed to begin eating a regular diet again.
4. The Baby Food Diet
A few years ago, celebrity trainer Tracy Anderson supposedly endorsed a diet that involved eating baby food. She later denied endorsing the insane diet, but that hasn’t stopped some people who are desperate to lose weight from giving the baby food diet a try. How does this odd diet work? Eat baby food instead of real food.
Yes, substitute your average 300 calorie meal with a mushy, smelly jar of baby food. If you can stomach the mashed peas and lumpy green beans then you may just lose a few pounds within a week or two. Or, you might just lose your mind from lack of calories and nutrients.
3. The Ketogenic Enteral Nutrition Diet
What began in Italy has now traveled to Britain and it’s quickly becoming a sought after diet among those searching for a weight-loss solution. The Ketogenic Enteral Nutrition Diet (KEN) takes weight-loss to a whole new – and slightly scary – level.
This diet was created by Gianfranco Cappello, an associate professor of general surgery at the University of Rome’s La Sapienza Hospital. KEN restricts all food for 10 days. How will you survive without any form of food? Well, all of your nutrients will be delivered through a plastic tube that’s inserted through your nose.
Yes, for ten days you will go to work, go on dates, go for long walks along the beach, with a plastic tube that is attached to a pump which you wear around your waist, for ten whole days.
According to Dr Ray Shidrawi, a gastroenterologist in London who introduced the diet in Britain, you will not feel hungry and your body will continuously burn fat and in turn you will lose a lot of weight. After ten days with the lovely tube stuck in your nose you will be able to eat a healthy diet for a short period of time. After that you can go back and again have the plastic tube inserted in your nose for another wonderful ten days.
2. The Tapeworm Diet
At one time during the 1950s, people were so desperate to lose weight that they ingested tapeworms. It’s a parasite that latches itself onto your intestines and robs you of vital nutrients.
Apparently the thinking behind this odd diet was that the tapeworm would eat your excess calories and in turn allow you to lose weight. Despite being completely repulsive, ingesting a tapeworm and allowing it reside within your stomach for a long period of time has a plethora of negative side effects.
Abdominal cramps, diarrhea, and fatigue were among the issues. Should that tapeworm remain within your gut for a long period of time it would grow and eventually cause an intestinal blockage that if left untreated would cause death. Thankfully, using tapeworms for weight loss is illegal in the United States.
1. The Cotton Ball Diet
Cotton balls have a variety of uses. They’re perfect for eye makeup removal, fantastic for cleaning an infant’s ears, and work as a fantastic addition to any child’s art project. And apparently, they are also very effect in weight loss – or so the people who partake in the cotton ball diet think.
In order to stick to this diet you must, literally, eat cotton balls. But don’t worry if you think the indigestible material will have a bad taste; you can soak it in juice before eating it.
A few things to note about the cotton ball diet: First off it is an awful idea. Secondly, it is highly dangerous. Cotton balls are not made of cotton (which you shouldn’t eat either) but are, rather, made of synthetic fibers which are essentially plastic.
Eating large quantities of indigestible materials will lead to a buildup of material within your stomach which will then become a bowel obstruction. If left untreated, it can kill you. Since cotton balls are not an actual food, they have no nutritional benefits. If you follow this extreme diet you will quickly become starved of vital nutrients that your body needs to survive.