Dieting may suck, but extreme methods of shedding pounds can be downright harmful. The folks at Health.com have compiled a list of the “7 Crazy Weight-Loss Methods You Should Never Try.” Here are the highlights:
Plastic tongue patch. Sewn on with six stitches, the patch makes eating solid food so painful that you’re forced to adhere to an 800-calorie-per-day liquid diet.
Tube feeding. A tube is inserted through the nose and into the stomach. For 10 days, eating is avoided completely, and a high protein, low carb formula is fed through the tube, delivering roughly 800 calories a day.
Drunkorexia. This can involve things like: restricting calories to “save them up” for alcohol; drinking excessively to the point of throwing up as a way to purge; overexercising before drinking or the following day; or starving the day after a night of binge drinking.
Tapeworms. Possessing tapeworms is illegal in the U.S., but that doesn’t prevent people from seeking them out for weight loss. Becoming infected with tapeworms can kill you, though.
Starvation. Even semi-starvation (less than about 1,000-1,200 calories per day for most women) can lead to fatigue, depression, hair loss, hormone imbalances, and a lot of other nasty things.
Smoking. It dulls taste buds, suppresses appetite, and slightly increases metabolism. But the health risks of smoking are so great that experts estimate they’re equal to gaining 100 pounds.
Stimulants. Over-the-counter, prescription, or illegal stimulants are risky, with potential side effects ranging from poor judgment, impulsivity and mood swings, to dangerously high blood pressure, seizures, and stroke.
– Ralph Raffio