Absurd Weight Loss Gimmicks

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Does anyone else ever look at different weight loss methods that have been produced over the years and either sit and scratch your head in wonder or cringe at how extremely risky they may be to your health? This was a topic of a recent conversation I had with my friend and I thought it might be interesting to compile some of the absurd ways people have tried to use for weight loss over the last several years. I truly feel sorry for folks who have been reduced to attempting drastic measures in order to lose weight. The science behind weight loss is quite simple, yet putting it in play is a insurmountable task for so many.

In no specific order, here is a list of absurd weight loss methods compiled from the internet:

Alli Weight Loss pill. With Alli, you take their pill and eat a diet from their book provided along with your supply of pills. The first thing to note is their diet plan by itself is actually quite good and you can lose weight without the use of their pills. The problem is the side effects from the pill which include:

  • changes in your bowel function because of the unabsorbed fat,
  • fatty/oily stool,
  • oily spotting in your undergarments,
  • orange or brown colored oil in your stool,
  • intestinal gas with discharge,
  • loose stools,
  • a feeling of needing to have a bowel movement right away,
  • increased number of bowel movements,
  • poor bowel control,
  • stomach pain,
  • nausea,
  • vomiting,
  • diarrhea, or
  • rectal pain.

Juice Cleanse. While a juice-only diet might leave you feeling light and clean, the problem lies in that juices have almost zero protein. So, you will lose water weight and muscle mass, while not losing fat. Once you have returned to solid food, the pounds are going to pile back on.

Drinking Vinegar. Some findings do show that vinegar promotes healthier blood sugar levels and feelings of satiety. But drinking highly acidic liquids such as vinegar can irritate your throat and stomach, it is nothing you want to do on a regular basis my friends. How about just leaving vinegar to your salad dressings instead and eating a well balanced diet.

Eating fat free everything. Not consuming fats, including healthy ones like olive oil and avocado will leave your food bland as hell, and it could make you sick. Not eating enough fat has been associated with hunger, dry skin, and extreme mental fatigue. Not to mention low fat diets are completely ineffective for weight loss. If you pay attention to nutrition labels, usually you will find that fat free foods are loaded with sugar to enhance the flavor. Your body needs fat to properly absorb nutrients in your digestive tract. Your body does not need, nor does it benefit, from simple refined sugar.

Drinking ice cold water. If you prefer a glass of ice water over room temperatue with that’s totally cool. But, if you are only adding ice to your glass to lose weight, your efforts are not likely to pay off. You might have heard that drinking colder water forces your body to work harder, to burn calories, in order to bring the water up to your body’s internal temperature. well that is true.  However, the process only burns about 8 calories in doing so. That is pretty measly, I know you have to be smarter than this.

Laxative Teas. Uh yeah, these teas might leave you feeling a little lighter in your loafers once you get off the toilet. but they do not actually help you to lose fat and they can be harmful to your health. Teas that cause an increase in bowel movements only result in you losing water and could cause you health issues by disrupting your electrolyte levels.

Eating only one food. Well duh, there is a solid reason why gimmicks like the Grapefruit Diet or Cabbage Soup Diet never really caught on. They are crash diets that only lead to short-term weight loss. Long term, they are a guarantee for weight gain and an unhealthy relationship with food. Plus, eating only one thing makes it impossible to meet your nutritional needs and increases your odds of deficiencies.

Eating less than 1200 calories. Cutting calories may be the key to losing weight, but if you cut them too far, your waistline is not going to budge, When you do not consume enough calories, your metabolism slows down and you will not have the energy for workouts, and even worse, it is more likely at some point you are going to binge eat.

Commercial Detox/Colon Cleanse. The body does an amazing job all on its own and does not need silly supplement detox programs to cleanse it. It’s absurd, there aren’t caked-on toxins hanging around your colon needing to be removed. Want to ‘detox? Purge your diet of manufactured food-like substances and eat fruits and veggies, whole grains, and lean protein!

Going Raw Vegan. If you are already vegan and want to kick it up a notch, know that this is not the best diet for maintainable weight loss. In addition to avoiding animal products, or their by-products, the raw vegan diet involves not eating foods that have been heated above 104F. The premise behind this nonsense is that you maintain the nutritional integrity of the foods you are eating. However, certain foods such as carrots, tomatoes and spinach benefit from cooking as the heat helps extract nutrients.

Eating nothing but soups. Just like juicing, souping requires you to stay away from solids and to drink your meals in their pulverized form. Although soups generally have more fiber and protein than juices, they are usually high in sodium which may cause your blood pressure to become elevated. This diet is also hardly maintainable as before long you will likely become bored with not having food you can chew.

Military Diet. This former Platoon Sergeant really wants to throat punch who ever named this diet.  This nonsense diet claims you can lose up to 10 pounds in 3 days by eating strict meals such as a cup of cottage cheese with a hard boiled egg and 5 saltine crackers. This issue besides being incredibly far fetched in it’s name is it is clearly unsustainable. This diet lacks lean protein, fruits, vegetables, whole grains and health fats. For the life of me, I am retired military and never heard of this nonsense during either my Navy or Army years of service. The whole premise of this reminds me of sending new guys out to retrieve a yard of flight line and a bucket of steam.

Doing the Master Cleanse. Ooh, some entertainers tried this one so really, I must go out and stock up on lemons, maple syrup and cayenne pepper. You might lose weight on this diet, but it will be water weight, lean muscle tissue, and possibly bone too. You are for sure going to regain the lost weight as soon as you begin your regular diet again. This is certainly not a long term solution to losing weight and keeping it off. There is no proof that it actually detoxifies your body. I’m pretty sure it was 8th grade Biology where I learned this was actually the function of our liver.

Not eating egg yolks. Although the yolk contains more calories than the whites, the yolk also packs in 43 percent of the eggs total proein as well as metabolism stoking nutrients including fat soluble vitamins, essential fatty acids and most significantly, choline. Choline is a powerful compound that attacks the gene mechanism that triggers your body to store fat around your liver. If you are throwing away the yolks, just stop. Also, know that the myth of dietary cholesterol causing you to have cholesterol was busted several years ago now.

Wraps instead of sandwiches. While a wrap may be thinner than a fluffy slice of bread, leading you to believe it has less calories than bread, many tortillas pack in more fat and calories than 2 slices of bread in order to achieve that doughy texture. If you are not a fan of bread, try wrapping your sandwich meats in romaine lettuce leaves as a great alternative.

Eating margarine instead of butter. Butter gets a bad rap for being high in satturated fats, but it has been linked to weight loss thanks to the natural concentration of CLA. Margarine is made with partially hydrogenated fats which potentially pack in heart disease inducing man mad trans fats.

Eating cotton balls. In the cotton ball diet, those in search of a smaller waistline eat cotton balls soaked in juice to curb their appetite and dramatically cut their daily calorie intake. But eating cotton balls isn’t just unappetizing. It’s potentially deadly.

Training with cellophane round your body. This may sound incredibly stupid, but I have seen people in the gym training with a layer of cellophane wrapped around their bodies. They naively believe that by exercising with the cellophane it will encourage their body to burn more calories as they sweat more. However, the additional sweat leads to loss of water, not fat. There is another stupid version of this being sold on multi level marketing called It Works. This one you rub a herbal or mineral lotion around your belly and wrap it in order to “sweat” out the toxins causing you to be fat.

There are many more absurd methods folks have attempted in their desperation to lose weight. My friend I discussed most of these today and thought it would be enlightening to list them for folks to see and think about before attempting themselves.

When it comes to weight loss, it truly is simple to consume less calories than you expend. The key is to exercise and eat a well rounded diet of whole foods while avoiding sugars, if you are carb addicted, and not consuming processed foods which are high in sodium, sugars and fat.

13 thoughts on “Absurd Weight Loss Gimmicks

  1. Hey there, this is awesome! I think I’ve done most of these, well, alot of them… that’s why I’m a loyal David’s Way devotee. It works. None of the crazy stuff works in the long run…great article!

  2. Great post! I appreciate the research and thought you put into each of the mentioned methods. My wife and I have talked about this quite a bit. What’s interesting to us is the amount of time, money and effort some people will put into chasing a fad diet, when if they just stuck to the basic, tried and true methods of weight loss they would have better results, often while saving time and money. Even though historically some of the trendier methods (involving supplements or pills) have caused significant side effects, people seem to be willing to try almost anything. Could it be that physiologically it’s easier and perhaps more attractive to try the “new” method that promises the world rather than go with what’s old and “boring?”

    1. First, I want to thank you for reading and posting such a thoughtful comment, My co-author and I put a great deal of work into my blog and have greater plans to expand our scope with a new web site design and an app for folks to use to assist them in achieving a healthier life.
      Your points of the lengths that people go with time, money and effort to not have to watch what they eat is spot on. One of the points I drive home with David’s Way is in trying to get people to not do anything drastic in order to lose weight, but to just get back to the basics of how it used to be in America. How my mother and grandmothers fed their familes. Sensible, nutritionally well rounded meals and desserts that were a truly special treat and something you ate in moderation.
      Your last comment was spot on with your analysis that it is “easier” and more attractive to try the “new” methods. What it boils down to in the end, is we are a sugar addicted culture and folks can not fathom the thought of giving up their sweet treats and other sugar laden foods of convenience.

      1. I totally agree with you, David. It’s a ” have my cake and eat it to” society that we live in. Hopefully, we can influence some to leave the cake off entirely. 😉

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