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The Five Most Insane Diets — an article on the Smart Living Network
October 5, 2011 at 11:43 AMComments: 5 Faves: 0

The Five Most Insane Diets


I'm going to begin with some hard truth. Ready?

There is no shortcut to achieving and maintaining healthy weight loss.

Oh, it's not for lack of trying, of course. People are constantly searching for that one weight loss trick that will zap their fat and make their dreams come true, all without having to lift a finger. Unfortunately for crash dieters everywhere, it's been proven time and time again that there's no substitute for good nutrition and exercise.

Nevertheless, many still press on in the hope of discovering their miracle weight loss solution. Some "solutions," however, are a little crazier than others. Take, for example:

5. The Sleeping Beauty Diet

What is it?

The premise of this diet is simple: if you're asleep, you're not eating. So all you have to do is sedate yourself for a few days, and the pounds will drop off. Right?

Why it's crazy

Elvis Presley tried out this weight-loss method in the 1970's, and as we all know, he became slim and svelte and was in perfect health at the time of his death.

...oh wait, he was actually the opposite. Turns out, sleeping doesn't burn as many calories as, say, riding a bike or taking a brisk walk. Or doing anything at all. Plus, there's the whole "not-getting-any-nutrition-at-all" aspect of it, and the fact that you'll likely be so hungry when you wake up that you'll end up binging and gaining back even more weight than you lost in the first place.

 Minor details, right?

4. Fletcherizing

What is it?

Popular around the turn of the 20th century, this diet actually has one point in its favor over the Sleeping Beauty Diet: it actually involves eating food!

Well, sort of. Fletcherizing was popularized by Horace Fletcher, who advocated that each bite of food be chewed 32 times at the very least, at which point the chewer should tilt their head back to allow the liquid to trickle down their throat. Anything too large to swallow should be spat out.

Why it's crazy

Chewing your food thoroughly is actually a good way to savor  each bite, and may actually aid in weight loss. But be that as it may, Fletcher was still kind of nuts. Liquids were not exempt from his 32-chews rule, despite the fact that they are, you know, already liquid. Also, since fiber doesn't break down as well as other foods, he was anti-fiber - something any dietician will tell you is not a good idea.

Besides - and no offense to any Fletcher devotees out there - I probably wouldn't want to be seen in public with anyone chewing their milk and spitting their fiber. Sorry.

3. Cotton Ball Diet

What is it?

Another diet with a simple premise, this diet - popular with many models - calls for the dieter to simply pop a few cotton balls at mealtime. Not cotton candy - cotton balls. Proponents say that though the cotton is low in calories (well, duh) it's very filling, so they don't get the urge to eat.

Why it's crazy

Eating cotton in the pursuit of weight loss is - how do I put this delicately? - absolutely insane. It's completely devoid of nutrients and things that keep you alive. But it's all worth it to get to that size 0! Well, until you pass out from malnutrition and experience the fun digestive issues brought on by eating, you know, stuff that's not food.

2. Tapeworms

What is it?

Continuing in the trend of eating stuff you're not supposed to eat, here we have a diet that involves swallowing a pill that contains a tapeworm. Because swallowing a parasite in order to lose weight is totally sane and not at all ridiculous.

Why it's crazy

Oh, sure, a tapeworm might help you drop a couple pounds - 1-2 pounds per week, maybe. But most people try to avoid parasites because of pesky little side effects such as nausea, headaches, diarrhea, and cysts on the eyes, brain, or spinal cord.

Oh, and death. There is that, too.

1. The Breatharian Diet

What is it?

I want you to take a deep breath. Ahhhhh. Refreshing, right? Okay, that's your nutrition for the day!

Welcome to Breatharianism. Yes, it's a real thing, practiced by people who put the "nut" in "nutrition."

Believers claim that they can get all their nutrition from breathing in sunlight. You know, because humans are the same as plants.

Why it's crazy

I'm pretty sure I don't need to spell out for you why trying to survive on nothing but air is totally crazeballs. But just in case you need convincing, meet two Breatharian advocates: Jasmuheen, and Wiley Brooks.

Jasmuheen (born with the decidedly less exotic name Ellen Greve) claims that her body "runs on a different kind of nourishment." All that food in her pantry? Oh, that's for her husband. Of course. When she volunteered to be monitored by 60 Minutes, she failed on the first day because she claimed that the air in the hotel was too dirty for her to properly absorb her nourishment. They moved her to a mountainside retreat, where after 4 days her pupils were dilated, she was incredibly dehydrated, her pulse was going crazy, and she was close to going into kidney failure. Gee, who could have predicted that? Oh, and in another display of total sanity, she claims that her DNA has 12 strands instead of the usual 2 so that it can "absorb more hydrogen." She declined to prove this with a blood test, because how dare they insist that she back up her cuckoo claims with science. But don't worry - only a few of her followers have died trying her "diet."

Still not convinced? I'll leave you with Wiley Brooks, founder of the Breatharian Institute of America. He periodically will break the breatharian diet to eat a McDonald's double-quarter-pounder with cheese and Diet Coke, because as everyone knows, McDonald's cheeseburgers possess a special base frequency and Diet Coke is liquid light, obviously.

You can study Breatharianism under the tutelage of Brooks (who, according to his website, has lived past lives as Zeus, St. Francis of Assisi, and Jesus Christ) for the low price of $1,000,000,000.

To quote Arrested Development: Boy, that's an awful lot of money for the stupidest idea I've ever heard.

Sources: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 

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  • Laura, I love this blog! The Breatharian diet is the one that makes me laugh the most. And the tape worm one is the one that grosses me out the most. That old advertisement for it is so ridiculous!

    I just found another crazy diet: The Ear Stapling Diet. You staple your ear and it's supposed to lower your appetite. Of course, the staple's effectiveness only lasts so you've got to re-staple every now then! Check it out:

  • I spent about five years working at a vet's office. Before I really knew much about tapeworms, I was joking with one of the doctors about how awesome a weight loss plan they would be. You know, infect yourself, then de-worm yourself when you've reached the goal. It seems to work for keeping pets skinny, and you'd know it's time to purge when you get the worm-swollen belly typical of heavy infestations.

    The job afforded me plenty of access to tapeworms. When I actually saw my first real, live tapeworm under the microscope with it's hideous scolex and segmented egg-filled body cavities, I decided it wouldn't be the 'diet' for me.

  • Really this is quite a riot! It's hard to believe anyone actually try these diets! When I work out with any DVD or instructor on my TV they always say the only way to loose weight is eat healthy and exercise (move - burn calories) but it was a fun read!

  • I found for thing is to eat less..LOL

  • the Breatharianism people remind me of the flat earth society....yeah thats real! LOL

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