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Crazy and Dangerous Dieting Fads

Updated on February 18, 2014

How many times per day do we hear about or see articles or stories about weight loss programmes and diet pills? Since I started doing research on this hub, I have been bombarded with weight loss advertisements on television ( which were sneakily followed by the newest deals at fast food restaurants ). Also, a lot of the advertisements online tell you how to 'lose belly fat fast' and to download apps to lose weight. It almost seems unavoidable at this point.

Due to this, it is easy to see why some people are obsessed with losing weight or keeping off the pounds. A lot of people want to lose weight, but many do not want to commit to exercise or healthier foods. How far exactly will some people go to lose weight in what is considered 'the easy way'?

There are a lot of strange diet regimes out there. Some are healthy, some are crazy, whereas some are downright dangerous and should not be practised by anyone. Below are four of the most risky diet fads that have been practised by people.

Cotton Ball soaking in liquid prior to consumption.
Cotton Ball soaking in liquid prior to consumption. | Source

The Cotton Ball Diet

The cotton ball diet was once thought to be a diet that was performed solely by teens desperate to lose weight. However, there have been a number of women in their 20's, 30's, and even models who have resorted to this dangerous fad of shedding and keeping off the pounds. This diet is quite popular on Youtube, which features videos of both males and females showing you how to perform the diet and boasting about its results.

What the cotton ball diet instructs you to do is simply dip a ball of cotton in a liquid ( most liquids that are commonly used are lemonade or orange juice ) and allow it to soak. After a few minutes has passed, you are required to eat the cotton ball. Followers of this diet encourage you to do this because it tricks your stomach into thinking it's full which causes you to eat a lot less.

Cotton balls are obviously not meant for human consumption due to the amount of synthetic fibres and chemicals that are used to make them. Further dangers of this trend include malnutrition and starvation due to lack of vitamins, minerals, proteins and calories that your body needs daily in order to function as well as possible life-threatening intestinal blockages that may require surgery.

Miss Venezuela 2013 First Runner Up Wi May Nava with her tongue patch.
Miss Venezuela 2013 First Runner Up Wi May Nava with her tongue patch. | Source

Tongue Patch Diet

The tongue patch diet is a fairly recent trend that is slowly gaining popularity throughout the United States. It involves sewing a piece of plastic mesh that is no bigger than a postage stamp and is commonly used in hernia repair to the tongues of women who are eager to lose weight quickly and easily. Usually, the procedure takes an average of 10 minutes to complete and will set you back around $2000. This miracle procedure was introduced to the United States by Californian cosmetic surgeon Dr. Nikolas Chugay almost five years ago after he learned about it from cosmetic practices being conducted in South America.

The purpose of this diet is to make eating less enjoyable for the person who has chosen this procedure due to a level of pain and discomfort encountered when trying to eat solid foods. The result of this is that those who have had the patch sewn onto their tongues are forced to consume liquids only for an entire month. Patients normally follow a strict regime of consuming 800 calories of liquids per day and a 45 minute work out.

The patch is normally left on for a month at the longest. The reason for this is that leaving the patch on any longer carries a risk of it becoming completely embedded with your tongue. An increasing number of people, one including first runner-up to Miss Venezuela 2013 Wi May Nava are resorting to this diet in hopes of dropping 20 pounds in one month or staying thin.

Tapeworm Diet Poster from years ago.
Tapeworm Diet Poster from years ago. | Source

The Tapeworm Diet

In the early 20th century, posters encouraging a diet of eating sanitized tapeworms surfaced. Today, this diet is still practised by many around the world as a form of extreme weight loss while not having to give up any of the foods that they love.

For this diet, tapeworms are usually ingested through pill form that can be purchased online despite this being banned in countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom. Once ingested, the tapeworm attached itself to the lining of your intestines and begins to absorb some of the calories that you intake. Tapeworms can grow up to 20 feet long.

As tapeworms are a parasite, you being the live host are required for its nutrition. Whereas tapeworms will consume some of the calories that you do when you have a meal, they also can consume vitamins which will leave you at risk for some deficiencies.

Other risks for partaking in the tapeworm diet include abdominal pain, diarrhoea, and vitamin B12 deficiency. Your immune system may respond to the parasitic infection which will cause extreme bloating which is the opposite of a slimmed down appearance. Also, the larvae from tapeworms can burrow into your bloodstream and travel to any part of your body. In extreme cases, these larvae or even the tapeworm itself may end up in your brain which can result in death.

Ear Stapling
Ear Stapling | Source

Ear Stapling

This method of 'get slim without hard work' dieting trends involves stapling a small staple into a section of your ear to help with weight loss. Following the rules and principles of acupuncture, a small staple is placed in your ear in a section that is said to be responsible for appetite. This method claims to help patients lose up to 10 pounds a week. If you get both sides of your ears stapled, you can expect maximum results.

Staples are left in the ear for up to three months, require regular cleaning like a piercing and patients are encouraged not to touch it. Also, patients are encouraged to take up a low calorie diet along with exercise.

Many claim that this procedure does work. Others experienced no effect from the staples whatsoever, and many skeptics believe that the reason why this trend 'works' is because the patient wants it to work and believes that a piece of metal in the ear will result in weight loss.

Of course, with this procedure there are risks. Many patients receive it in unlicensed and unsanitary conditions which result in infections, trauma, and sometimes in extreme cases, disfigurement.


As you can see, some of these diets are downright dangerous and many extreme dieters are risking serious injury to themselves by following these. These crazy diets may be good for quickly getting rid of weight, but they may not keep off the pounds in the long term. Instead, you should take up healthier options such as:

  • Practising portion control. Cut out the super sized fast food meals and opt for smaller servings of healthier foods throughout the day.
  • Exercise! You should be getting a minimum of 150 minutes per week. 30 minutes a day for five days will help you reach that goal quickly.
  • Snack on fruits, vegetables, nuts and other low fat foods.
  • Get rid of the junk food. High fat ( especially trans fat ), sugary foods will help you pack on the pounds, not lose them. You can have one 'cheat' day per week but do not overindulge.
  • Stay focused on your goal! You'll never lose weight if you truly are not dedicated to it.

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    • Maffew James profile image

      Maffew James 

      4 years ago

      Glad to see someone else who realizes the dangers of starvation, lack of vitamins, and protein with these diets. Fad diets much like these are heavily advertised and endorsed by celebrities and people end up endangering their health because someone famous tells them to!

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