BistroMD Health Library

Get excited about reading again with fun and interesting tips from our experts, including The M.D., our dietitians, and our fitness expert. In our health library, you will find all of the information you need to achieve your goals of making a healthy lifestyle change. So, start reading and start losing!

Weight Loss

From the effects of the hormone cortisol to the role of genetics in weight loss, this category is packed with everything that you need to know about losing weight the healthy way.

9 Extreme and Unhealthy Weight Loss Diets

Eat a tapeworm, place a tube feeding device, sleep the day away… Whereas these actions are markedly different, there is a commonality between them: They are extreme and dangerous weight loss methods to steer clear from!

9 Extreme and Unhealthy Weight Loss Diets


Extreme and Unhealthy Weight Loss Diets

1. Tapeworm Diet
Kicking off the list with perhaps the most extreme weight loss method… The Tapeworm Diet. As if the name does not make you squeamish enough, the diet is as bizarre as you would imagine and is not for the faint of heart. The Tapeworm Diet works by swallowing a pill with a tapeworm egg inside and when it hatches, the tapeworm grows inside the digestive tract and eats what you ate. In theory, you can eat whatever you wish and the tapeworm will dispose of those extra calories. But in reality, the worm can cause unpleasant symptoms, including diarrhea and pain in the abdomen, and life-threatening complications such as blockages and infections throughout the entire body.

2. The HCG Diet
If unfamiliar with HCG (or human chorionic gonadotropin), it is a hormone produced by the human placenta during pregnancy. “How might it result to weight loss?” you might ask, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) questions the same, describes the diet of fraudulent, and advises consumers to steer clear of HCG weight-loss products. Although HCG is approved for treating female infertility, it is not for over-the-counter for any purpose, weight loss included. Nonetheless, the HCG Diet claims marketed products can reset metabolism and change abnormal eating patterns, along with connecting to very low calorie diets.

3. Tongue Patch Diet
Brace yourself. The Tongue Patch Diet gives the statement “No pain, no gain” a run for its money. Whereas the diet surfaced in Latin America, a cosmetic surgeon brought diet to the U.S. and has been used on over 800 individuals desiring quick weight loss. If you caught on, surgery is involved… The extreme weight loss method consists of a surgical procedure, particularly getting a hard plastic mesh surgically sewn onto the tongue in aims to inflict pain if trying to eat solid food. But the price of pain is not free and costs $2,000, 10 minutes of procedural work, and a month of a restrictive 800-calorie liquid diet in hopes to lose 20 pounds.

4. Feeding Tube Diet
Popular amongst brides, and perhaps not as painful as the Tongue Patch Diet, the Feeding Tube diet is an uncomfortable, unhealthy weight loss technique. Also known as the K-E Diet the Feeding Tube Diet is as is its name implies: inserting a feeding tube to administer calorie and portion-controlled solutions. And while tube feeds are viable options for individuals who are unable to consume sufficient calories and nutrients by mouth, they are not warranted to merely lose weight and come with great risks, including infection, nausea, vomiting, ulcers, and aspiration pneumonia. But the option is not for everyone nor cheap, as candidates are to have a body mass index (BMI) of 27 or higher and costs nearly $1,600 for a mere 10 days.

5. Baby Food Diet
With the Baby Food Diet, dieters alike hope to shed that “baby weight” by replacing one or two meals with jars or pouches of baby food. Though the diet still promotes the importance of nutrients from pureed foods (and dismisses harmful surgeries), resorting to 50-calorie baby jars is not truly palatable and sustainable. The diet is really no more than gimmicky jargon for cutting calories and controlling portions so all-in-all, leave the baby food to well, babies.

6. Hollywood Diet
The Hollywood Diet seems to be glamorous, but is it all rainbows and butterflies? Likely not. The diet consists of an orange-color drink intended to act as complete meal replacements over a 48-hour period, which boils down to 400 calories per day if following instructions to a tee. The diet claims dieters can lose up to five pounds in a day, and detox, cleanse, and rejuvenate the dieter. But like all restrictive diets, this unhealthy way to lose weight fast body puts the body into starvation mode, with most of the weight loss experienced related to water weight. Added potential side effects may include diarrhea, fatigue, constipation and nausea.

7. Master Cleanse
Speaking of cleanses… The Master Cleanse (or The Lemonade Diet) is one of the most popularized diets, claiming to not only detox the body, but lose weight fast in a simple fashion. (Well, if you call drinking a lemon juice, maple syrup, cayenne pepper, pure water concoction, salt-water drink, and herbal laxatives for about 10 days “simple”). However, such “detox” drinks could lead to weight loss related to a caloric deficit and unrelated to “cleansing effects,” as the body already works hard to filter and excrete products consumed, especially by the kidneys and liver.

8. Sleeping Beauty Diet
The premise of this unhealthy weight loss method is exactly as it appears: You cannot eat while you are asleep, right? That is what dieters amongst online communities are advertising. And whereas adequate sleep does play a role in weight loss and maintenance and overall health, followers of the diet are going to the extreme and encouraging the use of sedatives to sleep at least 10 hours a day, along with promoting exercise (good) and severely restrict calories (not good). Nonetheless, drug abuse and food avoidance are dangerous behaviors and deserve specialty management from a respective healthcare provider.

9. The Ice Diet
Not so surprising and spoiling, the Ice Diet involves eating ice (and a lot of it). Diet founder, Dr. Brian Weiner, touts eating ice increases metabolism (160 calories per four cups he suggests) and lowers the risk of consuming calorically-rich foods. While the diet is not as extreme as others, particularly as it promotes hydration and does not dismiss and restrict food groups, there are some concerns. Not only is any weight loss likely to be regained once stopped the diet is stopped, dentistry experts suggest chewing on ice can be damaging to the enamel and dentin of teeth, which can increase the risk of dental cavities and decay.

The Healthy Way to Lose Weight

Whether restricting whole foods with a tongue patch or replacing balanced and palatable meals with orange drinks or tube feeds, the commonality between all extreme and dangerous weight loss methods is that they are unsustainable. But with such a variety of diets available at our fingertips, it is explainable to become overwhelmed when embarking on a weight loss journey. Rather than resorting to healthy ways to lose weight, let bistroMD assist in your weight loss efforts. bistroMD offers well-balanced meals proven to facilitate weight loss in a healthy, sustainable fashion. So if desiring meal assistance and seeing results in just a few short weeks, find more information on the programs bistroMD offers at their official webpage here or by calling 866-401-3438 today!



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