Ridiculous -- and Ineffective -- Diets

diet, lose weightMany diets are ridiculous, ineffective, and even dangerous. RNCentral.com has compiled 25 such diets ranging from those that merely don’t work, to those that are somewhat effective but deceptively advertised, to those that can cause you physical harm.

Some of the most astonishing include:

1. The Tapeworm Diet: This one involves swallowing cysts that you‘ve dissected out of beef carcass. You allow the tapeworm to live in you for up to 10 weeks. One of the most dangerous diets, it requires you to swallow a parasite and encourages unhealthy eating habits.

2. “The Weight Loss Cure They Don‘t Want You to Know About”: The “cure” consists of ingesting the urine of pregnant women. Whether or not this is effective, there are simply better ways to lose weight.

3. The Wu-Yi Tea Diet: Wu-Yi tea is simply oolong tea, offering no more benefits than the tea you can pick up at your grocery store.

4. The Subway Diet: Eating at Subway for all of your meals is not inherently healthy; it depends on what you order. Plus, this diet is useless because you can just as easily make your own sandwich and take a walk.

5. The Cabbage Soup Diet: Eating a low-calorie cabbage soup for one week has been purported to help you lose up to 10 pounds. However, there’s the problem of high sodium content, extremely low protein, feelings of weakness and increased flatulence.

6. The Low-Fat Diet: Low-fat products aren’t any healthier than regular products, as they typically trade fat for more sugar, sodium or calories. Meanwhile, serving sizes are often skewed to make unhealthy food seem healthier.

7. Slim Fast: You may lose weight drinking Slim Fast shakes, but the products are not satisfying enough to subsist on long-term. This diet offers nothing more than ineffective substitutions.

8. Russian Air Force Diet: This diet allows you to put all kinds of herbs, sauces and spices on your meals, but the “meals” are incredibly tiny, leaving you hovering near starvation.

For 17 more silly diets, click the link below.
Dr. Mercola's Comments:
If you have been a student of natural medicine and been a subscriber on this site for awhile, you will instantly recognize the foolishness of the diet options in this article.

Nearly anyone can eat cabbage soup or grapefruit for a week and lose a few pounds -- although I am sure that there are a few of you out there that could actually gain weight doing this as well. But is this something that you want to do for the rest of your life? Of course not (nor would it sustain you from a nutritional perspective).

But the idea of losing weight quickly is a powerful one that coerces otherwise logical people into subsisting on diet shakes, apple cider vinegar, fast-food sandwiches and a host of even crazier diet foods and “tools” like tapeworms and urine from pregnant women.

Let’s face it, most people need and want to lose weight, so these approaches do have great appeal. In 2007 alone, up to 70 percent of Americans altered their diets in some shape or form to help them lose weight, a report by the International Food Information Council found.

Yet, whether or not these changes made them healthier is another story.

As the survey found, whether or not food is healthy is not the top priority among Americans when it comes to buying food. What is? For 88 percent of Americans, taste, and for another 72 percent, price. Only then does the health factor come in. Yes, the health aspect of the diet choice placed a distant third for most people.

Yet, as I said, the majority of people in this country want to lose weight (it’s always among the top New Year’s Resolutions). But not one of the diets mentioned above, nor the popular Atkins diet or South Beach diet, will help you to shed pounds in a healthy way -- and then keep them off.

Why? Because …

Dieting Does Not Work

Last year, UCLA researchers rigorously analyzed 31 long-term diet studies. They found that while people initially lose 5 percent to 10 percent of their weight, they almost always gain it back, often with some additional pounds as well. In the end, they concluded that most people are better off not going on a diet at all.

Another study, this one published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, will also make you think twice about going on a diet. After assigning 78 obese women to either a dieting group that had to count calories, restrict food consumption and monitor their weight, or a non-dieting group that listened to their internal body cues about hunger and let go of restrictive, diet-like eating habits, here’s what happened:
  • Non-dieters maintained their weight, while dieters lost weight and then regained it
  • Non-dieters lowered their bad (LDL) cholesterol levels, while dieters’ levels did not change
  • Non-dieters engaged in nearly four times more physical activity than dieters
  • Non-dieters increased their self-esteem and had improvements in depression, while dieters felt worse about themselves
A key problem with many diets is that they do not provide you with the tools you need to keep the weight off over time. So after an initial weight loss, people often end up putting the pounds right back on.

Yo-Yo Dieting Weakens Your Immune System

This cycle of constantly gaining and losing weight, or “yo-yo dieting,” is common among people using weight loss shakes and bars in place of real food. Over time, no one wants to eat artificial shakes every day, so most inevitably revert back to their old eating habits, and regain any weight they lost.

This is dangerous for a number of reasons. First, studies have found that the more times a woman attempts to lose weight, the lower her immune function is. On the flip side, women who stay at the same weight for many years have higher natural-killer-cell activity, which is a measurement of how well your immune system is working.

It’s also been found that women who lost at least 10 pounds three or more times had good HDL cholesterol levels that were an average of 7 percent lower than women who maintained a stable weight -- and this could increase your risk of heart disease.

Frequently gaining and losing weight may also influence a hormone called leptin, which helps to regulate your appetite and, if thrown off balance, can cause you to put on more body fat. This is one reason why people who diet frequently may actually have higher percentages of body fat than those who do not.

You Can Lose Weight Without Dieting

Your body will naturally reach the weight it is meant to be if you gradually start to change your perceptions about food and eating. Here are the keys you need to know:

1. Weight loss is not about depriving yourself of food. It’s about giving your body plenty of healthy foods so that you feel satisfied. To tailor this even further, you can find out your Nutritional Type, and indulge in the foods that are right for yours.

Nutritional typing is without doubt the single most important consideration in effectively losing weight. The exact same food that will cause one person to lose weight will cause someone else to gain. Your optimal foods are determined by your individual genetics and biochemical tendencies.

2. Listen to your body’s internal cues, not external ones. It’s been said that a key reason why the French don’t get fat is because they listen to their bodies and stop eating when they feel full (rather than when their plate is empty or their TV program is over).

3. Your emotions can cause you to overeat or eat foods that are not good for you. Removing these often unconscious emotional blocks can help you to lose weight.

4. Eat slowly, and savor every bite. This will help you to eat less while more thoroughly enjoying your meals.

5. Cook your food from scratch. This way, you control the ingredients and the portions, and you eliminate all those unhealthy “extras” like MSG, corn syrup, preservatives and trans fats.

6. Exercise. In some form or another, you need to stay physically active to lose weight. But this doesn’t mean you need to be a slave to the treadmill either. Vary your workouts, incorporating weight training, interval-type workouts, and things you find enjoyable (like yoga or dancing), and you’ll meet your exercise requirements before you know it. Strength training that increases your muscle mass is another powerful way to help burn fat stores more effectively.

7. Use Your Unconscious Mind to Make Being at a Healthy Weight a Lifestyle Choice. Medical hypnosis can help you remove the programming that is causing you to remain at an unhealthy weight and replace it with the eating and exercise behaviors of a thin person. Click here to read about the hypnosis program I recommend.

+ Sources and References