Crazy diets you should never follow

Dieting is the most common destination when we get stuck on overweight island or in the middle of fat freeway. Celebrities may place all their faith in these crazy diet plans, but make sure they’re never on your menu...

health and fitness Updated: Jul 29, 2011 15:54 IST
Yashica Dutt
Yashica Dutt
Hindustan Times

Dieting is the most common destination when we get stuck on overweight island or in the middle of fat freeway. And while many of us claim to have it all under control while maintaining a strict diet, the challenge gets quite murky if one is in the body business. And by that we mean celebrities who, with their fluctuating role-weight ratios and unwavering proportions, tend to top the insanity curve when it comes to diets. We bring to you some absolutely crazy, off-the-rocker celebrity diets, that you must never follow.

The Tapeworm Diet

Yes, it is exactly the gross, draconian, ghastly plan you are guessing. Rising to fame in the early ’30s and ’40s, actresses were rumoured to introduce TAPEWORMS in their system to knock off the extra pounds. While this does not involve eating raw meat or coming in direct contact with human excreta (which are the other more popular ways of being infected with the parasite), you still need to swallow the eggs. Packaged neatly in the form of a diet pill, it carries the parasite to your intestine so it can feed off the nutrients by not allowing them to be absorbed by the body.

Tyra BanksThe infamous diet made a brief comeback a few years ago when former supermodel and TV host Tyra Banks discussed it on her talk show.

Expert say
Ritika Samaddar, chief dietician at Max Healthcare, Delhi, says that the worm does not exclusively feed on calories and will attack nutrition which mainly involves protein. While the diet might cause rapid weight loss, you also present the risk of the parasite reaching the brain and causing death. Other side effects may include nausea, abdominal pain, weakness and diarrhoea.

Sleeping Beauty Diet
We all wish we’d wake up thinner than before we had slept, and this is what this diet claims to achieve. You force yourself to sleep 24/7, based on the premise that you don’t need calories when brain and body activity are at their lowest levels. So either you compel yourself to sleep throughout the day, ignoring all worldly activities, or rely on sedatives and medication to sleep for the desired time.

The late rock ’n roll legend Elvis Presley was an alleged fan of this diet. If you are for even one second contemplating trying this, then do understand that you might wake up in a wet bed. The body still needs to function, doesn’t it?

Expert say
Samaddar warns that it might lead to a dangerous drop in the Basal Metabolic Rate. If sedatives are involved, the risks increase. Also, while you may wake up thinner, you will also be uncontrollably hungry, which might lead to an increase in weight. Side effects may include hallucinations, mood swings, impaired speech, bad temper and disturbed sleep patterns.

Baby Food Diet

If it just involved eating like a baby, rejecting what you dislike, being spoon fed and eating with a food-halo around the mouth, we wouldn’t complain at all. But with this diet, you actually eat baby food, the kind that comes in jars, specially formulated to provide exactly the right nutrition for a tiny body.

GagaThis controversial diet is the latest fad this year with celebs like Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston and Lady Gaga relying on toddler grub to remain in top form. True, snacking on a jar of baby food once a while wouldn’t hurt you at all, because it is devoid of sugar and spices. But relying solely on baby food as an adult would only render you weak and unable to perform complex brain activity. Just like a baby!

Expert say
Maintaining this diet could be a problem, says Samadda. Baby food is essentially bland and meant only as a snack, if at all, for adults, so bingeing could be a serious problem. Consuming high quantities of it could inversely lead to a weight gain. Side effects could cause gallstones and loss of muscles.

HCG Diet Advocating
A bite-sized 500 calories per day, this diet requires both men and women to take daily injections of HCG (Human Gonadotropin) a hormone which is released in women during the early stages of pregnancy. It rationalises the inadequate calorie intake with the fact that HCG curbs the desire to eat while body uses the excess fat for survival.

Having gained a massive following including Jersey Shore starlet Jenny ‘JWoow’ Farley and celebrity therapist Dr Oz who discussed it on the Oprah Winfrey Show, it now comes in oral drops as well. We are not going to say much here, except that men taking a female fertility hormone will perhaps be aware of what they could turn into later!

Expert say

Samaddar cautions against external tampering with the natural hormonal system of the body. Weight loss does occur, but rapidly, which could be very harmful in the long run. Also, taking a female fertility hormone could lead to long term effects like diabetes and osteoporosis and could even aid in pregnancy. Side effects include severe headaches, bloating, nausea and hair loss.

Maple Syrup Diet

Going by its name, this does not sound like a diet at all. But when all you can do while following it is drink a concoction of water, maple syrup and cayenne syrup for 10 days straight, things wouldn’t seem as syrupy.

BeyonceR&B star and actress Beyonce popularised it immensely during her weight loss for the preparation of her role in the Oscar nominated musical Dreamgirls, when she famously appeared on Oprah and admitted to following this diet. Admitting to being hungry all the time and gaining the weight back as soon as she had lost it, Beyonce herself didn’t advocate it to her fans. Side effects may include upsetting Beyonce if she found out that you ignored her well-meaning advice, headaches, irritability, aches and pains.

Expert say
Dietician Ritika Samaddan says that while the juice has just enough carbohydrates and proteins to keep you going, prolonged use of the con-coction could induce cramps, weakness and blackouts. Also, it is extremely impractical to follow over a long period of time.

From HT Brunch, July 17

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First Published: Jul 15, 2011 11:59 IST