AustinPUG Health

AustinPUG Health

No matter which sources you rely on for data regarding healthy eating and weight loss, there are only three real types of diet out there: common sense diets that give unneeded complexity to ideas that are simply no-brainers, useless diets that make big promises but offer little in the way of positive outcomes, and flat-out dangerous diets that may help you to lose weight, but at a cost to your health and well-being that simply isn’t worth paying.

Unfortunately, in a capitalistic world where even human lives are mere hurdles to be leapt in the never-ending chase for cash, financial predators have taken note of the desperation that often accompanies the search for a cure-all diet, and countless diet plans have subsequently sprung up, each available on the web, in a book, or on a video – at a price, of course.

If you find yourself in a desperate search for a diet plan that will help you to reduce weight with the promise of permanency, or of an unbelievable turnaround time, you need to know and accept that there simply is no such thing. When you’ve got a week or two to go before you need to fit into that 10-year-old dress or tuxedo and more than 10 or 15 pounds stands in your way, it’s smarter to modify your goal then it is to indulge in false promises of unnaturally quick results, especially when those promises put your health at risk.

That’s not to say that dropping that kind of weight that quickly isn’t possible, but just how much are you willing to sacrifice in order to look your best on a specific date? Let’s explore some of the potential consequences of dangerous diets via examples, ending things on a note of hope after we wade through the fire and brimstone!

3 Examples of Dangerous Diets

1. Intravenous (IV) Diet

This one truly scares me. Would you believe me if I told you that people sometimes hook themselves up to an IV in order to avoid eating altogether? What if I took things a step further and said that some of those people had permanent “plugs” implanted into their bodies so that hooking and unhooking from an IV bag was easier, faster, and pain-free?

Believe it.

In our rush to lose weight, some among us have chosen to follow the IV diet, a plan that sees them eliminate solid foods altogether in favor of feeding themselves intravenously with a vitamin- and mineral-rich liquid that is typically reserved for patients who have consumed enough alcohol to begin cannibalizing their own bodies, requiring a quick shot of nutrients. IV dieters have taken to calling this mixture the “banana bag” for its yellow color.

While this does allow the IV-fed dieters to abstain from potentially fattening foods, there are many risks associated with this type of diet, some obvious and some not. For starters, the “banana bag” simply doesn’t contain everything that we need to be healthy, including essential fatty acids and protein. Another ill effect lies in the fact that an IV dieter completely avoids digestion, a process that goes a long way towards building the compounds needed for a healthy immune system. Finally, it’s worth considering what the psychological impact of simply not eating anything may be; given the pleasure most of us take from a good meal, I’m guessing that it will prove to be substantial.

To those of us who haven’t tried such a scheme, or even thought of it, the very idea likely sounds scary and dangerous, as it should. On the other hand, it’s worth remembering that there are people out there desperate enough to try nearly anything to lose weight fast, a lesson to all of us in the multitude of reasons to do things the right way when it comes to our health.

2. Crash Diet

The name itself implies some form of physical trouble, providing the first warning sign that this diet may be less beneficial than claimed by those who push it. The term “crash diet” actually refers to a number of specific plans, each of them falling under the category of diets that force extreme nutritional deprivations in order to encourage rapid weight loss; in layman’s terms, that means either starving yourself, or close to it, never a smart way to approach weight loss.

The truth is, while crash diets are sometimes successful in the short-term – and that’s assuming that by “successful,” we mean that crash dieters lose weight quickly, even if becoming less healthy due to the strain put on their bodies – they are well-known to result in a vicious cycle of yo-yo dieting.

This yo-yo effect is common, and short-term weight loss plans like the crash diet are the easiest ways to set it in motion. This is simply because a crash diet does nothing to promote a healthy lifestyle or better eating habits; instead, it calls for quick and steep changes for the sake of quick and steep weight loss, leaving you prone to immediate weight gain as soon as the starving stops and old habits reestablish themselves.

Science has also shown that crash diets can lead the body to work harder to conserve every available calorie in order to avoid the ill effects of sub-par nutrition, making it more difficult to lose weight in the future, even when more healthy tactics are used.

3. Tapeworm Diet

Yes, you read that right, and I bet you already know where I’m going with this one! Instead of exercising or eating more healthily, some people have taken it upon themselves to purposely ingest tapeworms, parasitic creatures that live in the human gut, stealing food as it is swallowed.

While the tapeworm certainly will steal enough calories to help you lose a pound or two per week, it can also kill you by burrowing into your digestive tract and moving throughout your body, potentially even ending up in the brain. Even outside of those extreme circumstances, a living tapeworm in your body will steal minerals and nutrients from you as well as fat, potentially leaving you one very sick parasitic host.

Sounds like something out of a horror movie, right? Sadly, the very idea of the tapeworm diet, still practiced by thousands of people today, largely in Mexico, perfectly encapsulates the sheer desperation that some of us feel when losing weight seems impossible.

Losing Weight the Right Way

So what do all of these diets, and other extreme, dangerous diets like them, have in common? They all revolve around quick, easy results – though many of us may argue that hard exercise is highly preferential to being stuck with an IV needle several times a day, or having a huge worm take up residence in our stomachs!

If you’ve ever Googled for information on the one diet that will allow you to lose weight insanely fast, or searched your local pharmacy for a miracle pill that would let you indulge in the foods you love while still losing weight, you know that there is simply no such thing as a quick fix to being overweight. On the contrary, true long-term lifestyle changes are what is needed to take the weight off and keep it off, exactly the opposite of what any of these extreme diets promise.

Categories: Weight loss

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