Diet plans, weight management regimes and meal supplements are big money businesses as everyone is out to look their very best. There are over 100 million dieters in the US and the weight loss industry brings in more than $70 million each year.
It often feels as if every other week there is a brand new diet which offers "rapid results". Often these products reach the market without having an official thumbs up from the U S Food and Drug Administration as research into long-term effects can take several years. Basically, we don't know what dangerous chemicals we are consuming but people are willing to do almost anything to reach their dream weight.
There are some cases which are so extreme, dangerous and bizarre it can leave you thinking, "How can anyone put their body through that?" These are the most dangerous dieting practices that are out there right now.
19 Tongue Patch Surgery
The tongue patch diet is also known by the name of the "Miracle Patch". This surgery procedure has been around since Beverley Hills doctor, Nikolas Chugay, created it in 2009. He is the only surgeon who offers this treatment and it still has not been approved by the Food and Drug Association.
How does it work? Chugay stitches a patch onto your tongue which turns the consumption of food into such a painful act that you are forced to eat nothing but liquids. The dangers of this procedure are it could lead to infection or severe swelling inside the mouth. He claims his patients lose an average of 30 pounds on this diet and it will cost you $2,000 for the privilege.
18 The K-E Diet
The K-E Diet is usually known by it's more popular name of "the feeding tube diet". For a select number of days a tube is pushed down through the dieters nose and a liquid is pumped directly into the stomach which amounts to only 800 calories a day. The body then begins to use up stored fat from the body for energy which helps the dieter lose weight rapidly.
This controversial diet is only available in the US yet the critics are voicing their concerns worldwide. The side effects include feeling faint, having terrible breath and zero energy levels. The more dangerous side effects can include erosion of the oesophagus and serious mental trauma after dropping so much weight in such a short amount of time. It is most common with brides who are desperate for a quick-fix before the big day.
17 The Hollywood Diet
The Hollywood Diet claims on their website that the products they sell can help people miraculously lose weight "like a star". They sell food that is not typically good for you such as shakes and cookies but which are extremely low in calories. They state that following the strict regime of only consuming their products will allow you to '10 lbs in just two days'.
Nutritionists have warned against this using this dieting plan for more than a couple of days. The process sends your body into starvation mode and side effects will include fatigue, nausea, diarrhea and constipation.
16 Rubber Underwear
Wearing rubber underwear, as some people have found, can reduce the extra water weight you carry around your middle. Your body naturally heats up, you sweat it all out and then peel off the soaking wet underwear. Not the most pleasant but it is effective.
This extreme dieting technique has been around since the mid 1800s during the Industrial Revolution when the mass production of rubber changed the world. Rubber corsets and underwear were worn by both men and women. The side-effects that would occur from the amount of moisture so close to the skin was severe skin infections.
15 Clen Fat Burner
The Clen Fat Burner product uses a chemical called Clenbuterol which is typically used to treat respiratory illnesses in horses. Although it's not been approved by the FDA for human consumption it has been used by celebrities and athletes to trigger extreme weight loss. There were several athletes during the Pan Am games five years ago who were banned when found they tested positive for the drug.
Clenbuterol can severely damage the muscle tissue around the heart and cause serious long-term damages. Despite all the health warnings, "Clen" diet pills are still sold online.
Over the past three years the new dangerous dieting craze known as "drunkorexia" has become more popular, especially amongst younger woman. As alcohol is well-known as being high in calories, many will self-impose starvation before they drink alcohol so they can "cheat" on calories.
Drunkorexia is considered an eating disorder. Many years ago, celebrity blogger Perez Hilton reported that Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan would commonly practice purging before a night out so they could manage their calorie intake. It is also a popular amongst students which places them in a dangerous situation as you become intoxicated twice as quickly when drinking on an empty stomach.
13 Brazilian Diet Pills
Brazilian diet pills are imported into western countries using the name Herbathin. The ingredients include the antidepressant Prozac and the stimulant Fenproporex. In 2006, the FDA issued a warning against using these drugs as mixing uppers and downers can cause dangerous mood swings.
Alongside the mental effects of potential severe depression there are also reports that users of the pill can experience hypersensitivity to touch and other strange symptoms. Despite the warnings from the FDA, the Brazilian diet pills are still promoted on certain websites as a productive way to lose weight rapidly.
This horrendous diet has been around for decades and it really is only for the brave. Extreme dieters swallow tapeworm pills so when the little beasts grow inside of you, thus eating the food you ingest. When the dieter has reached their goal weight, an anti-parasite pill is swallowed and then rid of within the next few bathroom visits.
This is an extremely unpleasant way to lose weight as tapeworms are known to cause all kinds of health issues including vomiting, diarrhea, severe abdominal pain, migraines and can even trigger epileptic seizures. Tapeworms can also grow over 20-feet long so it really goes without saying that you shouldn't attempt to swallow one no matter how desperate you are to slim down.
Qnexa is a concoction of a variety of drugs. Known as the "future of dieting" these pills contain bupropion which is an anti-depressant and naltrexone which helps treat alcoholism. The drug which claims to help those who are obese has not been approved by the FDA.
Qnexa plays havoc with the mood and metabolism of a person. When the FDA did long-term tests on the drug it was agreed that it posed too much of a risk to the heart valve and was not given the thumbs up to be classified as safe for consumption.
10 Lemonade and Laxatives Diet
There has been no scientific evidence that master cleanses are necessary for the body but Beyoncé did it once it so now everyone else follows. The Lemonade diet is a mix of water, lemon juice, cayenne pepper and maple syrup. Extreme dieters will also pair the lemonade mixture with laxatives to lose weight at a rapid speed.
The diet was first introduced by Stanley Burroughs in the book "The Master Cleanser". Many nutritionists have disagreed with the benefits of the diet, believing that it only shifts water weight and this is quickly gained back once the dieter returns to eating normal, solid foods again. The other severe risks of this diet is being extremely malnourished as you are denying the body many of the major food groups.
9 Smoking Instead Of Eating
Decades ago when smoking was not considered dangerous to the health, many tobacco companies would advertise their brands as weight loss miracles. Lucky Strike once ran a campaign which read, "Light a Lucky and you'll never miss sweets that make you fat". Nicotine is an appetite suppressant and even to date celebrities such as Jennifer Aniston smoke to help keep their weight low.
There have been recent studies which have discovered that some people have taken up the habit of smoking just to lose weight. Smoking, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, causes more than 480,000 deaths each year and that includes deaths from secondhand smoke too.
8 Cotton Ball Diet
Model Bria Murphy, daughter of actor Eddie Murphy, shocked the world when she told an interviewer that she had witnessed models eating cotton balls dipped in juice. What was even more concerning was that after the announcement there were more people than ever attempting this dangerous diet.
The diet helps models feel full without gaining any weight. It was labelled by medical experts as being "very, very dangerous" as the cotton balls are bleached with chemicals which are not safe for consumption. Models do face a lot of pressure surrounding body image in the industry but this diet is to be avoided completely.
7 Baby Food Diet
The baby food diet was first brought to public attention by celebrity fitness guru, Tracy Anderson. She has a string of famous clients and they all got in on the craze which involved replacing meals with puréed jars of low-calorie food. These portions would be enough for a baby to survive on but at 20-100 calories per jar this is not suitable for grown adults. The diet can also cause unpleasant laxative effects.
6 HCG Diet
If you have a fear of needles then this is probably the worst type of diet you can think of. Dieters on this plan are supplied with a daily shot of HCG- a pregnancy hormone which is injected directly into the blood stream. They will suddenly lose any sensation of feeling hungry.
Dieters are encouraged to stick to a 500 calorie a day limit which is almost half of the daily recommended calories. Side effects of this extreme diet include swelling in the breasts, extreme fatigue, irritability, restlessness, severe depression and risk of blood clots. It is one to be avoided completely.
5 Sleeping Beauty Diet
It was rumoured that Elvis Presley had once tried to lose weight by practicing the Sleeping Beauty diet. How does it work? You sedate yourself and fall into a deep sleep for a number days. Then you wake up a few days later much thinner. Basically it's forced starvation but you sleep right through it.
Dietitian Erin Palinski-Wade warned against the diet when she stated, “Not only can not eating or drinking for days lead to a slower metabolism and dehydration, but the harm you will cause to all of your body’s organs from taking unregulated drugs can be fatal". Even if The King was a fan, you really should not be trying this one at home.
4 Chew and Spit Diet
This dangerous diet, known as the chew and spit diet, is taken up by those who enjoy the taste of food but don't want the guilt of actually consuming calories. This practice can become a compulsion as when food is tasted the brain receives a hit of dopamine which tells the dieter that they feel good. You can actually trick your brain into believing you are still enjoying food without swallowing a bite.
Many who indulge in this technique can run the risk of developing anorexia in the long-term. There is also the dangers of low nutrition which can lead to severe exhaustion, hair loss and unhealthy skin. Those who suffer from this disorder should seek medical help immediately as it is very damaging for your long-term health.
3 Breatharian Diet
The Breatharian Diet was created by the spiritual group the Breatharians who claim that people don't need to consume food for survival and we can receive nutrients just from the sun. We would call this technique "fasting" which can lead to starvation and dehydration.
Documentary filmmakers had previously followed the life of Indian mystic Prahlad Jani as he survived without food or water for 15 days. There have however been a few noted cases where attempts to survive without food has killed people. Many people attempt the practice but then abandon the technique when they have lost a rapid amount of weight.
2 Arsenic Pills
One of the more bizarre dieting trends of today is the consumption of small but lethal arsenic pills. During the 19th century, this remedy was advertised as a "miracle cure" for weight loss as it was similar amphetamines which can help speed up the metabolism.
Traces of arsenic can be found in everyday products such as seafood, poultry, rice, bread, cereals and some dairy products. There are also some forms of arsenic which are used as medicine. Although this dangerous diet is now extremely dated, people are still trying it despite the warnings that prolonged usage can result in cancer, liver disease and diabetes.
1 Ear Stapling
Ear stapling is a form of acupuncture which is believed to help improve weight loss. Thin staples are surgically placed on certain pressure points to help suppress the appetite. The patient can decide if they would like the staples to be left in place for a short time, weeks or even several months.
There has been little evidence that ear stapling is actually effective for weight loss. There are many places in the US which offer the procedure even though it is unregulated. The procedure can be dangerous if performed in unsanitary conditions which can lead to severe infections or in the worse case scenario - permanent disfigurement.