There's a good chance that, even as you read this, you've either dieted in the past or are planning to in the future. Maybe you're carrying a few extra pounds, maybe you decided that enough was enough when your partner told you that you had some butter on your chin and you weren't sure which one they meant. Either way, we're sure that you decided to get back to your target weight in an efficient and responsible manner; which means that you almost certainly won't have tried any of the terrifying dieting fads that we'll be discussing in this article.
For generations, the dieter was happy to rely on the double whammy of sensible exercise and a balanced diet to shift the excess. Then, something changed - for decades now, weird and wacky weight loss plans have been devised and sold to the general public as science's latest miracle. While some of these can be harmlessly eccentric and cute, many are so incredibly harmful to the dieter that it's hard to believe that any sensible individual could have devised them. From injecting yourself with something that belongs in a toilet pan to the world's most irresponsible bootcamp, many of these fads defy belief.
We're responsible folk at The Richest, so it goes without saying that we don't recommend anybody tries the methods discussed in this article; we merely hope to inform and entertain you. Should you be so desperate to lose weight that any of these methods appeal, please seek advice from your GP and remember: we love you just the way you are.
10 Urine Injections
If you're the cynical type, who believes that quick-fix weight loss gurus are taking the p**s, then you're half right. One craze that is taking Australian dieters by storm is injecting themselves with human urine, because fox wee would just be dirty, right? Such folk, who really should be named Wee Fitters but sadly aren't, swear that you can lose one pound per day by tricking your body into believing that you're pregnant; urine contains the human chloronic gonadotropin hormone, which boosts metabolism and burns calories faster, just like during pregnancy. The health risks are consuming waste material that your body normally excretes, risk from non-sterile needles and a lack of sexual suitors, you'd imagine.
9 Eat Cotton Wool Or Toilet Roll
You really want to lose a shed-load of weight to achieve that gaunt, unhealthy look but can't stand the pain of hunger pangs? A method which has become incredibly popular over the past decade or so has been the 'cotton ball challenge', which basically involves soaking cotton wool or toilet roll in water or juice and then eating it. The theory is that the body will be tricked into thinking it has had a full meal, so the dieter can get along with starving themselves without the pain that malnutrition brings. The reality is that the fibers of the wool are likely to collect in the intestine and either cause agonizing blockages, or make the stomach or intestinal tract burst, thus merrily littering your body and bloodstream with semi-digested food and feces.
8 Sleeping Beauty Diet
The legend of Sleeping Beauty has a dark side - and we're not talking about the fact that Prince Charming was a thwarted necrophiliac. Literature's laziest princess has also lent her name to the laziest of fad dieting, and one of the unhealthiest to boot. The basic premise is that, should you want to skip a meal or two but lack the willpower, you simply take a bunch of sedatives and drug yourself into a stupor. Hey Presto, you wake up a few days later having missed quite a few days and a whole lot of work to boot. In-between fielding irate calls from your boss, you may find that you have lost a few pounds. You've probably also caused your muscles to begin to atrophy, dehydrated yourself and weakened your organs by taking prescription drugs irregularly, or illegal drugs moronically.
7 Ipecac Syrup
Nobody enjoys vomiting, surely. An unexpected rumble of your stomach which results in a sludgy coloured plume of liquid arcing away from your face is one of Mother Nature's cruellest japes. Worryingly, this is the by-product of many a diet plan, which isn't solely the preserve of those suffering from bulimia. Ipecac syrup is used in the medical industry to clear the stomach of a patient who has been accidentally poisoned, due to the fact that it causes violent and unstoppable vomiting. The syrup has also long since been abused in the modelling industry for the same reason. It goes without saying that anybody considering using the syrup to lose weight should consider the risk of heart attacks, breathing difficulties and strokes and aneurysms that this can involve and ask themselves if losing that extra pound is worth it.
6 Anorexics Boot Camp
One of the stupidest, immoral and downright dangerous crazes in the dieting world currently is the growth of so-called 'Anorexics Boot Camps'; the internet is awash with sites cultivated by former and current anorexia sufferers who claim that starving yourself is the best way to lose weight. The 'ABC Diet' not only encourages crash dieting, but paints anorexia as an optional diet regime with health risks that are signposted in advance - little things like heart attacks, brain damage, organ failure and death. Ignoring the fact that anorexia is a mental illness and in no way 'optional', the lack of remorse on the part of the 'pro-anorexia' dieters running such sites is disgraceful and inexplicable when considering that the ABC Diet has found its way into high school playgrounds across the globe.
5 Sew A Patch To Your Tongue
When asked if they would like to have something sewn to their bodies, most sensible people would slowly back out of the room, without once breaking eye contact with the sad-eyed lunatic holding the needle and thread. Incredibly, many dieters have instead embraced said lunatic and voluntarily had a patch sewn to their tongues which makes it painful to eat solid foods. The theory behind the diet is that you are more or less forced to subsist on a liquid diet for the patches duration, which trains your brain to reconsider eating solid foods. It goes without saying that a dieter willing to go to such extreme lengths to lose weight should probably speak to a GP about their overall health and happiness, as the pain and risk of infection involved surely cannot be worth such a short-term solution.
4 Take Drugs
One of the oldest tricks in the books for dieters looking to shift those extra pounds is to suppress their appetites. Snacking on fruit or Ryvita is probably fine. Smoking cigarettes is inadvisable, but legal. Shooting potent heroin directly into your veins is not fine and definitely not legal. Despite this, many dieters turn to hard, illegal drugs to make them less likely to demolish an entire tube of Pringles. It goes without saying that this should be attempted by absolutely nobody. Not only will developing a cocaine or heroin habit adversely affect your freedom, it will also most likely lead to dependency, health problems, money problems and a higher possibility of death. You may well lose weight, but you stand a good chance of turning into a shivering, blank-eyed junkie too.
3 The Feeding-Tube Diet
The one bonus of this particular fad is that you will be monitored by a health care professional. The doctor or nurse pumps a low-calorie, fat-rich protein solution through a feeding tube inserted in the nose and into your stomach. As the solution enters the stomach, the body should go into ketosis and burn your natural body fat at a higher rate. While it is comforting to know that this diet is at least affiliated with doctors, it's worrying to consider that dieters can go to such extremities. Aside from the fact that the diet restricts calories as opposed to developing a healthy and balanced lifestyle - therefore only ever working as a short-term solution - the many health risks from regular feeding tube use include constipation, dehydration, kidney stones and dizziness. It may also be easy to become over-reliant on the method as a form of weight control.
2 Abuse Insulin
One of the most staggeringly dangerous dieting methods in popular usage is the practice of injecting oneself with low methods of insulin, particularly amongst diabetics who rely on the medication to stay alive. The low dose is intended to lower blood sugars, which then renders carbohydrates indigestible and leads to stored fat instead being broken down as a source of energy. This is dangerous enough in non-diabetics, as it can lead to the development of diabetes itself, but sufferers risk causing damage to their liver, bladders and kidneys, leading to a drastically shortened lifespan. A drastic weight loss is never worth risking your life for.
1 Grow Your Own Tapeworm
They say losing weight is always easier with a friend, though 'they' probably didn't have this in mind. Screaming in at number one with gargantuan levels of 'Nope' is the Tapeworm Diet, which literally involves growing your own beast to lurk in the lower reaches of your intestine. After swallowing a tapeworm cyst pill, foolhardy users grow, mature and maintain a tapeworm in their guts which will feast on the food products you eat until you reach your target weight. The dieter then takes an anti-parasite pill to poop the worm out. It's possible to develop lifelong health problems by using this method, such as epilepsy, while you certainly have vomiting and diarrhea bouts to look forward to in the meantime. Not put off yet? Bear in mind that the tapeworm can grow to as long as 30 feet and leave behind several offspring to grow in your gut. Oh, and the part where you poop it out afterwards? They're not always dead at this point...