These Disturbing Weight Loss Trends Need to Die — Here’s Why

Some people will go to crazy lengths to lose weight. And for some, that means trying every new diet trend that pops up on the scene. Unfortunately, many new weight loss trends end up being total busts. What’s worse, is that some of these methods are just downright disturbing — and hazardous to your health! Here are some terrifying weight loss trends that need to be banished forever.

Herbal laxatives

Herb leaf and flower bunches of thyme

Don’t put your body through this. |

Herbal laxatives seem safe because they paint themselves as a “natural” weight loss remedy. But these teas and eats are actually quite dangerous. A lack of electrolytes and a bloody stool are the most mild of the side effects! Severe conditions caused by herbal laxatives including physical dependency, and an increased risk of cancer.

Intense cleanses

bottles of chinese herbal tea

You deprive your body of a lot of nutrients when you cut out whole foods. | lzf/Getty Images

Concoctions like the Master Cleanse have certainly had their heyday. But liquid-based regimens like this are actually quite bad for you. In addition to robbing your body of the nutrients it needs to function properly, trendy cleanses are not a long-term weight loss solution. In fact, you are more likely to gain the weight back because your metabolism will be thrown so far out of whack. While we’re on the subject of metabolism …

Purposeful starvation

Couple in home kitchen

It’s important you have a good meal on a consistent basis. |

One would think that after all these years, it would be drilled into society that fasting for long periods of time isn’t a good way to lose weight. Starvation robs your body of the essential nutrients it needs, which can make you sick and cause your organs to not function properly. Plus, withholding food slows your metabolism down, and your body will latch onto more of it when you finally eat again, causing weight gain.

Any pill with the word ‘Hollywood’ attached to it

Kardashian Family

Just because a star’s name is attached to it, doesn’t mean it works. | Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Cosmopolitan

The weight loss industry has long gotten people hooked on their products by using celebrity endorsements and false Hollywood connections. However, slapping the word “Hollywood” on a bottle of supplements can do a great deal of harm. Since many diet pills are not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, it’s more difficult to determine what their side effects may be. This results in hundreds of thousands of people ending up in the hospital every year because their diet supplements made them sick.

The HCG diet

close-up of vaccination phials

Avoid this diet at all costs. |

It should be a warning sign that a weight loss trend is dangerous when it involves injecting yourself with needles. Yet there are still people out there that give trends like the HCG diet a try. As Mayo Clinic summarizes, the FDA strongly warns to steer clear of this dangerous method. Side effects include fatigue, depression, blood clots, and breast growth in men.

Feeding tubes

Hospital bed

Don’t use a feeding tube if you don’t need one. | iStock/Getty Images

Nobody should be hooked up to a feeding tube unless they require a hospital stay. Nonetheless, this dangerous weight loss method grabs the attention of people looking to lose weight fast — particularly brides-to-be looking to shed pounds for their big day. But this calorie-restricting method, which puts you into the first stages of starvation, can trigger your body into eating away at its own muscles instead of burning fat.


Woman having stomach pain

This is just a bad idea. |

Blame celebrities like Tyra Banks for putting this terrible diet trend on the map. Long story short: Intentionally ingesting a tapeworm — or any parasite for that matter — in order to lose weight is just plain foolish, and is a concept that needs to die immediately. Plus, a tapeworm can reportedly live in a host for up to 30 years! No diet goals are worth that kind of torture.

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