I love the idea of being in shape, but, like a lot of people, when it comes down to it, I’m not always the most disciplined about working out and eating well. The idea of a “magic weight loss pill” sounds appealing. I mean, who wouldn’t want to lose weight without sweating or eating lettuce as a meal? However, history has made a bit of a skeptic out of me because there have been a lot of bad weight loss ideas in the past. Check out five of the absolute worst.
5 Worst Weight Loss Ideas of All-Time:
1. The Cookie Diet
Who wouldn’t be intrigued by the idea of losing weight AND eating cookies? But, you know there’s always a catch. The Cookie Diet came out in 1975 and required dieters to eat specially made cookies and consume a total of 800 calories a day, which is well below the recommended 1,200 calories a day. So, sure, you can lose weight and eat “cookies” if you don’t mind practically starving yourself all day.
2. The Tapeworm Diet
Yes, some very desperate people have swallowed tapeworms in order to lose weight. Tapeworms can grow up to 30-feet long and can live in a person’s intestines. Tapeworms eat the food a person ingests, which does help people lose weight, but also causes abdominal pain and an upset stomach. Tapeworms can also be problematic if they get lodged in the appendix, or the bile and pancreatic ducts. Basically, tapeworms are really gross, they make you horribly sick, and you’d have to be insane to try to lose weight this way.
3. Shake Weights
Six minutes – that’s all you need to strengthen your upper body and lose weight with Shake Weights, which as the name implies, are five or ten pound weights with batteries that shake back and forth in your hands. Unfortunately, Shake Weights don’t really work, at least not any better than regular weights. In fact, some fitness gurus who tried out Shake Weights said they actually lost muscle tone when they went from regular weights to Shake Weights. Plus, it’s hard not to look absolutely ridiculous when doing a workout with Shake Weights.
4. The Nazi Diet
A Russian diet guru came up with this horrible diet, which advised dieters to follow the strict rations that Russian soldiers were given during the Siege of Leningrad in World War II. Specifically, this diet calls for 400 grams of bread and 100 grams of vodka per day, which translates to about 14 pieces of bread and a half a cup of Vodka. Just in case you’re actually tempted to try this diet, you might want to know that about 670,000 Russian soldiers died of starvation during the Siege of Leningrad. So yeah, you might want to stay away from this one.
5. The Cigarette Diet
This diet was conceived from a 1920s Lucky Strike Cigarette advertising campaign. The idea was that dieters could smoke instead of eating food. Of course, they didn’t mention (or know at the time) that smoking severely increases one’s risk for lung disease, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and a lot of other medical problems. Smoking can actually increase a person’s risk for weight gain and obesity, which, obviously, is not helpful to someone trying to lose weight.
If history repeats itself, we can be sure we haven’t seen the last of crazy weight loss ideas, but in the meantime it’s a safe bet to just stick with eating healthy foods and getting at least 30 minutes of exercise a day. And, remember, always talk to your doctor before starting a weight loss routine.