These ‘Miracle’ Weight Loss Techniques Are So Dangerous They’re Deadly

Are you someone who sees a weight loss technique claiming to be the magical answer to your weight woes and think: What’s the catch? You absolutely should be that skeptical. Not because weight loss is unobtainable. But because many self-proclaimed “miracle” techniques are actually really bad for you. Beware the following plans — they have some terrifying side effects.

Cabbage soup diet

Cabbages cut in half on a wooden table.

Although it is crunchy and delicious, cabbage isn’t loaded with many nutrients or proteins. | iStock.com

The concept of eating nothing but cabbage soup may sounds like a good way to drop weight, but it’s actually quite dangerous. You aren’t getting the protein and nutrients your body needs if you only eat cabbage, and your body will start to slow down from the lack of fuel. Plus, your metabolism will slow down and you won’t lose as much weight after a while.

Master cleanse

Grapefruit juice, honey, and a wooden board.

Confusing your body with juice cleanses is a bad idea. | iStock.com

This crash diet gained popularity a couple years back. But this massive detox can do more damage than good. As Health.com explains, regularly crash dieting breaks down your immune system and raises your risk of a heart attack. It can also damage blood vessels and lead to muscle loss.

Swallowing a tapeworm

Womans feet on weighing scale.

No amount of weight loss is worth damaging your body. | iStock.com

Supermodels and the Hollywood elite put this wacky weight loss technique on the map. And if it sounds like swallowing a parasite is dangerous, that’s because it is! As Mayo Clinic explains, this practice of giving yourself an intestinal infection can lead to nausea and extreme abdominal pain. It also prevents your body from properly absorbing nutrients when you do eat, which hurts your immune system.

Hollywood diet

Freshly squeezed orange juice

Not the miracle-in-a-glass you want to believe it is. | Canovass/iStock/Getty Images

The 48-hour “miracle” diet claims to make you lose 10 pounds by drinking a special juice concoction every few hours. We can’t say that it actually works. But what it definitely does is lower your blood sugar and put you at risk of suffering from hypoglycemia.

Atkins diet

Protein sources on a wooden board and table.

Fans of the popular diet often experience digestive issues. | iStock.com

While many people have had success with the Atkins diet, others have suffered through some less than ideal side effects. Early side effects may include stomach pains and digestive issues — being on this diet for a long time can put you in ketosis and hurt your liver and kidneys. Also, the high fat in the Atkins diet puts your heart health at risk.

Feeding tube diet

Carbs on a wooden surface.

Clean eating and moderation will give you better results. | Bit245/iStock/Getty Images

Studies have found that the feeding tube diet comes with a plethora of negative side effects. In fact, as TIME.com spells out, many of these side effects can result in the need for medical attention and leave you with a massive medical bill.

HCG diet

A doctor holding a needle and vial.

This risky lifestyle and diet isn’t for the faint of heart. | Scyther5/iStock/Getty Images

When it comes to this risky diet, the negatives definitely outweigh the positives. This technique may cause blood clots, as well as fluid retention and the development of breasts in men. HCG may also cause irritability and restlessness, which can — in some cases — manifest into depression.

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