Tapeworms, cigarettes and air...five of the worst diets of all time.

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It's not a big secret that most diets don't work in the long term. That being said at least most of today's popular diets won't kill you. But every once in a while along comes a weight loss method that is not only mind numbingly silly but potentially deadly. Here are some of the worst diets in history.
1. The Breatharian Diet… All I Need is the Air That I Breath.
With apologies to The Hollies, the air that you breathe is apparently all you do need to undertake the Breatharian Diet. That's right, no water, no food, just good, old-fashioned air and the energy in sunlight. Sounds like you not only lose weight but you also get a pretty nice tan in the deal. The term Inedia is the so-called ability to live without food. Of course, no one has ever done that but why let a silly technicality stop you? The best known advocate of breatharianism may be an Australian lady named Jasmuheen (meat eating real name: Ellen Greve). She claims she hasn't eaten practically anything for nearly 17 years. Of course when put to the test by an Australian television show Jasmuheen only lasted a few days before the whole thing was called off for fear of imminent kidney failure. The sad part is that at least three people have actually died from trying to do this diet. Kids! Stay in school and avoid this diet!
2.The Tapeworm Diet…Is That a Tapeworm in Your Pocket or Are You Just Happy to See Me?
A tapeworm is a long, disgusting type of parasitic worms that can normally be found in the intestinal tracts of animals. Tapeworms never get invited to parties or the senior prom. No one wants to Face book a tapeworm. And a tapeworm has never starred in a made-for-TV-movie because, lets face it, they don't have a good side. Yet in the late 1800's lots of people, particularly women, would ingest tapeworm cysts (baby tapeworms) to help shed those unwanted pre-tapeworm pounds! The little fellow would grow inside you and survive by eating the food you ate, including the good stuff like vitamins and minerals. While this may not be as sinister as Rosemary's Baby, that baby tapeworm can grow to be even taller than two of you, or up to 12 feet!
A print ad from that era extols the virtues of "jar packed, sanitized Tape Worms" that are "easy to swallow" and have "no ill effects!" I guess if you're going to swallow a parasite that can reproduce and invade your entire body it really should be a sanitized one.
Our advice? If you are going to swallow a worm try an agave worm found at the bottom of a bottle of mescal. You may not lose weight, but if you and your buddies have knocked back to the bottom of the bottle you may not even care.
3.Reach for a Lucky Instead of a Sweet…Cancer Does Make you Thinner, Right?
A 1929 Lucky Strike cigarette advertisement suggested that instead of nibbling between meals and eating all of those fattening sweets, women would keep their youthful slenderness by lighting up a Lucky. It suggested that a cigarette or two between meals was just the ticket to take your mind off that deadly donut or that potentially life ending chocolate chip cookie.
Wow. This may be the greatest spin job in the history of advertising. Take a product that kills you and sell it as a weight loss tool. Why should we not be surprised that this is from the same industry that brought us Joe Camel in a less-than-subtle attempt to make smoking cool to young people? And, come to think of it, Joe Camel was a pretty svelte fellow.
While not really touted as a diet, the Lucky Strike advertising campaign surely encouraged large numbers of women to start smoking as a way to keep off the pounds.
4.Fletcherism…A Weight Loss Method That You May Have to Chew on For a While.
In 1989 a then wealthy 40-year-old manufacturer in San Francisco was unhappy because he had been turned down for life insurance as a result of his weight. Horace Fletcher, at 5ft 6inches and 215 pounds, must have been traumatized enough by this to come up with his own method of losing weight which involved chewing each bite of food up to 100 times! Is it possible that Cows today are still on this diet?
Fletcher maintained that each bite should be chewed until the flavor was gone and anything left over in your mouth was to be spat out. That would certainly seem to make for a lovely dinner party!
While this fad was very popular at the time (and made Fletcher a millionaire) some of the diet's followers reportedly had severe gastro-intestinal issues while chewing and spitting their way to the ideal body. This may have been as a result of spitting out all the fiber in their food.
While there are several health related (and weight loss) advantages to carefully chewing your food, Fetcher took chewing to a whole other level.
5.The Weight Loss Cure They Don't Want You to Know About…….After Reading About This Diet, Snake Oil is Actually Starting to Sound Really Good.
This diet book came out in 2007 and is the handiwork of author, radio personality and infomercial guru Kevin Trudeau. What Trudeau is NOT is a doctor or a nutritionist. He has no medical training at all (although he has illegally posed as a doctor). The book is a hodgepodge of widely known, diet and health facts mixed together with lots of let's-throw-all-this-against-the-wall and see what sticks misinformation and head scratching facts. How bad are some of the quotes in this book? A couple of classics are "all over-the-counter nonprescription drugs and prescription drugs cause illness and disease" and "The sun does not cause cancer. Sun block has been shown to cause cancer".
Needless to say, If you are looking for a good diet book you may want to stay away from any products by Trudeau. His books offer no real information of substance and instead will often refer people to a paid subscription website or a website where his miracle products can be purchased. Are you spotting the trend here?
Now, are still asking after all of that what the "secret" weight loss cure is accordingly to Trudeau? Phase 2 of his the weight loss program includes daily injections of hCG, a hormone found in the urine of pregnant women. Yes, you read that correctly. He suggests that we should inject ourselves with an extract that comes from Pee. Is there anything else that you really need to know about this paperweight?
The author writes about a number of subjects on his Blog Big Fat Slob Diet and highly recommends using the Wii Fit and Wii Fit Plus as great tools for weight loss.

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