Baby food, worms and staples: getting ready for bikini season!

Every year the internet offers a new diet that is the new way of losing weight fast. It’s definitely worth a try, right?

Well, in some cases it isn’t.

The desire for quick fixes has brought us some of the weirdest diets, ranging from swallowing toiletries to using office equipment to stop those pesky hunger pains.

One that’s been making waves for a while now is the Cotton ball diet. The idea is that you dip cotton balls in liquid – juice or a smoothie – and then swallow the ball. It will make you feel full without gaining weight.

But if your student loan doesn’t allow you to buy an excessive amount of cotton balls you can just use your tampons instead – or opt for eating tissues.

If that doesn’t do the trick, or if you don’t really like the taste of cotton, you can always look into stapling your ears. This practice is loosely based on acupuncture and requires you to staple your ears to your head. Yes, you heard me: to your head.

They are supposed to stimulate the pressure points that controls appetite and are left in for a couple of weeks, or even months. I’m not really sure if the staplers in the office will work though.

You dip cotton balls in liquid – juice or a smoothie [Philippa Willitts - Flickr]

You dip cotton balls in liquid – juice or a smoothie [Flickr: Philippa Willitts]

Another popular fad over recent years has been the baby-food diet. It’s as simple as it sounds: you eat baby food. You are allowed to eat up to 14 jars a day plus a small evening meal.

This one has been around for a good couple of years with both Jennifer Aniston and Cheryl Cole rumoured to have dabbled in the diet. Who wouldn’t like to look like Jennifer right?

Only problem is that baby food isn’t exactly cheap, especially if you’re having up to 14 jars a day. Not only that, but you’re probably going to need a lot of space to store those 98 jars per week!

Then comes the holy grail of weight loss. A diet where you can eat everything you want and still lose weight.

Sounds great! The only downside: you have to walk around with a tape-worm in your tummy. On this diet you will not only share your food with your body’s new lodger, but also space.

Tapeworms can grow as much as 9 metres while living in your intestines, sadly this may not be something that you can find at your local pharmacy.

But whatever you do to get in shape for your summer holiday, please don’t try any of these diets listed above. It goes without saying that these diets are a bad idea.

According to Dr. Rosalind Miller, a scientist at the British Nutrition Foundation, these diets “don’t sound at all advisable to help achieve a healthy weight loss.

“We lose weight when we consume fewer calories than we burn, no matter how weird or sensible the diet. Controlling your appetite is important for weight control and many people report feeling hungry to be one of the main reasons for abandoning a diet.”

So instead of jumping from one starvation to another, adapting a healthy lifestyle will work better, “it is also easier to stick to a more realistic weight loss regime that is not too restrictive.”

“This is the stupidest diet I have ever heard of,” replied Jo Travers, when I asked her about eating cotton balls. She specialises, amongst other areas, in weight management and weight loss programmes and works for The London Nutritionist, so she should know a thing or two about this stuff.

“This will lead to the body breaking down lean body mass to recycle amino acids to make essential hormones and enzymes, without which most bodily processes can’t happen,” she said.

If that’s not reason enough, according to the almighty internet you can risk choking and cotton balls are indigestible, meaning that you risk having a ‘traffic jam’ in your stomach.

“We lose weight when we consume fewer calories than we burn, no matter how weird or sensible the diet.”

As for the baby-food diet, there’s no fun in sitting on the beach grumpy and hungry with a tiny jar of mashed spaghetti bolognese. According to Jo, this low calorie diet would make it very difficult to get all the vitamins and minerals needed to prevent deficiency conditions.

Instead of stapling your ears, just get a real piercing. It’s so much cooler and it probably, pretty much has the same effect as this ‘diet plan’. Though some YouTubers claim it works, a short Google search will show that it will probably give you a terrible ear infection instead.

And, whatever you do, please don’t eat the worm! It’s not only disgusting to have a nine metre long worm living in side you, but also extremely unhealthy. Jo explained: “there are risks attached to this diet such as nutrient deficiencies and malnutrition as well as less serious ones such as bloating, pain and diarrhoea.”

Seriously – what’s the point of being skinny if you can’t show off your ‘gorgeous’ bod outside the bathroom? Jo tells me that some of the tape-worms can even infect the brain! Yikes! Pretty risky for a diet that has no evidence of actually leading to weight loss.

Oh and if you do eat the worm, it has to come back out somehow – and that’s not something for the faint hearted.

Don’t believe me? Google it.

 

Featured image by Gloria García via Flickr