1. The Sunlight Diet
In 2012, after watching a documentary on ‘breatharianism’ which is the belief that one can subsist on only spiritual energy with no need for food, a Swiss in her 50s took a week to try the diet and ended up dying of starvation. Breatharianism is a supposedly Indian spiritual practice with zero scientific backing but as a fad diet and spiritual movement it’s never seemed to quite go away. Supposedly, one can take nourishment from sunlight instead of eating or drinking, like a plant. The foremost leader of the breatharianism movement is a man named Prahlad Jani who claims he hasn’t eaten anything nor had anything to drink for 70 years. One Scottish woman and three others from London all died in 1999 when this fad was at its peak.
2. The Fen-phen Craze (Pills)
Moving on from the spiritual to the chemical, Fen-phen was a weightloss drug pushed through FDA approval under questionable circumstances in the 90s that, while effective in helping people lose weight, caused severe heart and lung problems nationwide. First advertised by the women’s magazine Allure in 1995, women were soon begging for prescriptions of the stuff because it was shown to help them lose 10-15 pounds quickly. One Boston woman who was trying to lose weight for her wedding died after using the drug for only twenty four day. Nine other women also died from the drug and many others suffered organ damage from it. That’s when the lawsuits started. Since the diet drug was released, the makers of Fen-phen have had to set aside $21 billion in anticipation of payouts they’ll likely have to make.
3. Hydroxycut (more Pills)
Hydroxycut used to sell about a million units a year but in 2004 the FDA forced the entire supplements market to stop using Ephedra because it had killed about 155 people via heart attack. Hydroxycut contained two primary ingredients prior to the ban, tons of caffeine and, yep, Ephedra. The Ephedra craze wasn’t just limited to Hydroxycut though. Another product called Metabolife, which was marketed as a weight loss drug just like Hydroxycut, caused the same exact heart irregularities that Hydroxycut did. Metabolife eventually had to pay out over a billion dollars in damages to its customers.
Stay away from pills. Hydroxycut, Fen-phen, and Metabolife all had amphetamines as their active ingredient. I’m talking speed here. That’s why people who took it all had hella energy and it’s also why a lot of them had hella heart attacks.
4. Rookie Veganism
Veganism isn’t for everybody. It takes a very real understanding of the foods you’re eating so that you can be sure to get enough protein and other nutrients that you’re body simply must have to survive. Some people, however, have jumped on the vegan bandwagon with little understanding of nutrition and in some cases this has nearly killed them. Actress Angelina Jolie famously declared that the vegan diet almost killed her because she wasn’t getting the proper nutrients. This, of course, angered the vegan community but whether or not Jolie was ‘doing it right,’ the fact is that veganism in the hands of the ignorant has claimed lives.
Those lives are mostly baby’s lives because some vegan parents have forced their newborns to be vegans as well. As you may know, a baby needs fats and proteins and lots of them. Here’s a link to just a few of the very sad stories of babies who’ve died because they were forced to endure a vegan diet.
If you’ve tried being vegan and failed don’t feel bad. Even Gandhi couldn’t endure the diet. If you’re just starting then be sure to understand where you’re getting your nutrients.
5. Literally Any Diet With The Word ‘Detox’ In It
While you’re not going to die from a detox diet you may wish you had. Big on things like juices (basically a sugar diet) or lemonade with cayenne pepper or a plethora of other minimalist diets that bring little in the way of nutrition, detox diets are completely misnamed. They don’t detox you at all and study after study of these kinds of diets reveal that you don’t have toxin devils riddling your body anyway and the liver and kidneys are completely sufficient to remove the bad things that are there. That’s their entire function.
The true power of detox diets is psychological and that’s delivered via marketing. Who wouldn’t want to spend just a little bit extra to remove all those “toxins” from their body while also supposedly losing weight. No one, that’s who. The problem is that they’re snake oil even though people keep buying into them year after year.
Want to “detox”? Try cutting refined grains and sugars out of your diet instead.
6. Colon Cleansing
The notion that the colon needs to be cleansed because that’s where we keep our poopies is a distinctly Western idea. There are two types of cleansing. One basically induces diarrhea and the other involves spraying water up your butt. The later is extremely dangerous and can upset the entire balance of your gut bacteria which you need to digest the food you’re eating and which plays a big part in keeping you disease free. Disrupt that at your own risk.
Inducing diarrhea is also a terrible idea because it can dehydrate you and mess up your electrolyte levels. Weren’t you doing this to feel better instead of worse?
Any weight you might lose through either of these methods would be water or in the form of poop. It’s not permanent and is, in fact, entirely irrelevant to the very notion of weight loss. It makes about as much sense as cutting off your arm and then being happy about the lost pounds.
A diet for the desperate and guaranteed to cost at least some women their lives. Just say no to eating your neighbor, BFF, or sister (third cousins are optional) because the jail time just isn’t worth it. Yes, this is a joke but it’s also sage advice. Thanks for reading and I hope this was useful.