Trying to shed that beer gut? Want to fit in to that little black dress? Be it hundreds of pounds or just a few ounces, most people are trying, in some form or fashion, to shed some extra weight. The formula is simple: the number of calories taken in should be less than the calories out. Couple that with a healthy lifestyle that includes plenty of water and some exercise, and almost anyone can look and feel great. Unfortunately, some people are willing to try anything. Whether it's gorging on Twinkies or swallowing sleeping pills, dangerous diets abound. Often nutrition deficient — or just plain weird — these weight-loss plans can do much more harm to the body than good. These ten diets are ones you shouldn't try, and after reading this list, probably won't want to.
Why It Works: Dieters, rejoice! Drunkenly smoking and snacking on the golf course for ten hours a day is exactly the cure for the woes of your weight! Completely deficient in nutrients of any sort, this diet of corn, air, and potentially deadly toxins could be just the ticket to a sexy new you.
Drawbacks: Cancer. Life-wrecking addiction problems. Decreased golf course prowess. DWIs. Jail. Probable death.
Why It Works: The diet was originally performed as an experiment in basic mathematics. If the number of calories burned is higher than the number of calories consumed, weight loss is possible and will occur.
Drawbacks: Processed foods are fake foods; they contain many preservatives and chemical elements that do not occur naturally in fresh foods and, in large quantities, could be harmful to the body. Plus, Twinkies taste good, powdered donuts even better. Limiting yourself to a net caloric deficiency could be nearly impossible, especially for those with a sweet tooth.
Why It Works: This diet is essentially a liquid diet, and is highly restrictive in terms of calorie intake. This diet is only designed for short term weight loss goals, and usually only lasts for about a week.
Drawbacks: All you eat is cabbage soup. Dieters essentially lose only water weight, and usually gain back their losses shortly after ditching the plan. They always ditch the plan.
Why It Works: This diet is a liquid-only diet that creates a calorie deficit in its adopter, as well as spurring loss of water weight. If it worked for Beyonce, it'll work for you, right?
Drawbacks: Doing a Master Cleanse usually involves lots of talking about doing a Master Cleanse. Be prepared to annoy your friends and loved ones, and be reliant on celebrity news outlets for tips and tricks on how to starve yourself with spicy lemonade.
Breatharian Institute of America's website, you can learn how to adopt the diet, as well as pay $10,000 to attend a workshop to truly that includes a trip to "Earth Prime" in the fifth dimension.
Why It Works: As you are permanently fasting (this includes water, by the way), this extremely dangerous diet will promote weight loss through a calorie deficit.
Drawbacks: If you actually commit to this diet and life philosophy, you're probably certifiably insane. Also, Breatharianism has been the cause of at least three deaths, due to severe dehydration and organ failure. It doesn't matter how New Age you are, foods and water must be staples of the enlightened life.
Why It Works: The rumors are true: if you're sleeping, you can't be eating.
Drawbacks: Getting addicted to sleeping pills would be pretty rough. And be sure to watch out for any sequined jumpsuits that make their way into your wardrobe.
Why It Works: The tapeworm lives in your intestines, interfering with your digestion and the absorption of nutrients. This weight loss tactic purports to help its practitioners lose one to two pounds per week, regardless of calories consumed.
Drawbacks: This weight loss method is illegal in the United States, and is therefore highly unregulated in the diet market. Besides being prohibitively expensive (you'll have to travel and pay for treatment out of pocket), you'll also willingly have a parasite living in your body. Your mother must be so proud.
Why It Works: Two words: it doesn't.
Drawbacks: Fiber does not liquefy, and many of the early proponents of Fletcherizing suffered from constipation and malnutrition. And, although chewing your food like a normal person is a good idea, if your entire diet plan is to chew your food too well, you'd probably be better off just joining a gym.
Vomunt ut edant; edunt ut vomant, coined Seneca, and Cicero commented in his ancient writings that Caesar would often resort to this "making room for more" tactic.
Why It Works: Obviously, it doesn't. The Roman Empire is but a shadow of the hegemonic behemoth that it once was. But at least you get to go to orgies.
Drawbacks: This diet is bulimia: the ol' binge and purge. Simple nutrition and common sense proves that this is neither a safe nor effective weight loss tactic, but instead a deadly eating disorder.
Why It Works: Dollar, dollar bills, y'all. And more in your pocket.