These Risky Weight Loss Trends Are a Total Waste of Money

Losing weight is challenging. It takes a long time to do it right and get the results you want for cheap. Many people pay thousands of dollars a year on products and programs that don’t work, just for those fast results we all wish were real. These risky weight loss trends might not necessarily hurt you, but they’re definitely draining your bank account.

How much do people really pay to sweat, suppress their appetites, and inject themselves with questionable chemical compounds? A lot.

1. Sauna suits

A sauna suit promises to make you sweat, just like you were in a real sauna. | Chris Hyde/Getty Images for GOLDOC

  • You’ll spend: $69.99 or more per suit

Made of vinyl, plastic, or rubber, these items of clothing promise to help you shed pounds by making you sweat more while you exercise.

Do they work? No. Any water weight you lose, you’ll put right back on when you rehydrate. And you have to rehydrate, unless you want to end up in the ER with a needle in your arm.

Next: This is a painful thing people willingly do to themselves for some reason.

2. Ear stapling


Stapling your ears will not help you control your appetite. | fotozotti/istock/gettyimages

  • You’ll spend: $50-100 per staple

You already pay people to punch holes in your ears so you can hang jewelry from them. What’s the harm in letting someone surgically staple them?

Does it work? No. Many claim the staples stimulate a pressure point that controls your appetite, making you eat less and lose weight. Scientific studies have yet to prove this claim.

Next: This risky weight loss trend could actually harm you.

3. Colonic hydrotherapy


Colon cleansing procedures can be dangerous. | Mahmoud Zayyat/AFP/Getty Images)

  • You’ll spend: $80-100 per session

Also called colon cleansing, this procedure flushes water and other substances through your digestive tract to remove wastes, “detoxify” your body, and improve your health.

Does it work? If you’re about to have a colonoscopy, maybe. Otherwise, you’re only increasing your risk of dehydration. You could even end up with a hole in your intestines. No thanks!

Next: Please don’t waste your money on this drink.

4. Detox teas

Detox teas just aren’t worth it. | Analozmen/Getty Images

  • You’ll spend: $3.99-39.99 per box

If the idea that tea can work miracles sounds too good to be true, that’s because it is. If you’re paying over $20 for tea, you’re wasting your paycheck.

Do they work? No. Tea doesn’t have the same superpowers your liver and kidneys do. And it’s certainly not going to help you keep weight off. Just like sweating, the after-effects of tea won’t last once you rehydrate.

Next: Unless you’re trying to get pregnant, don’t bother with this one.

5. Hormone injections

Pharmaceutical medicament. White pills and syringe filled with cure isolated on wooden background

Hormone injections won’t help suppress your appetite. | 

  • You’ll spend: $150, plus $10 or more per injection

The hCG diet, along with calorie restriction, requires followers to receive daily hormone injections to suppress their appetites while restricting calories.

Do they work? Nope. Looking at the injections specifically, there’s no evidence they actually cause weight loss. The “diet” is a scam.

Next: Speaking of fad diets …

6. Extreme diet programs

Homemade baby food

Keep the baby food for babies. | zia_shusha/istock/gettyimages

  • You’ll spend: $20 a day or more, depending on the program

Extreme diet programs are the weird ones — like the tube-feeding diet, or the baby food diet, which forces those hoping to lose weight to eat up to 15 jars of baby food daily. A 12-pack can cost at least $20.

Do they work? Not for most people who attempt them. The reason most fad diets don’t work in the long-term is because they’re expensive, unrealistic, and ineffective.

Next: Don’t waste your money on pills that don’t work.

7. Weight loss supplements

Composition with dietary supplements capsules

Weight loss supplements that promise miraculous results will likely disappoint. |

  • You’ll spend: $39.99 or more per bottle

Why pay for healthy food at the grocery store when you can stock up on magic pills instead? You’d be much better off paying for the food.

Do they work? Like many over-the-counter drugs, most supplements that promise you miraculous weight loss results won’t do much to impress you.

Next: America spends billions on these foods every year.

 8. Going gluten-free

Giving up gluten doesn’t guarantee you’ll lose weight. | Yucelozber/Getty Images

Some people give up gluten because their bodies can’t tolerate it. Others stay away from it because they think it will help them lose weight.

Does it work? Technically, eating fewer processed foods containing gluten would probably help you lose weight. But there’s enough gluten-free junk food out there to crush that hope. Gluten doesn’t cause weight gain. It’s just a protein.

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