Losing weight is tough, and conventional methods don't always work quickly or easily. So it's not surprising that people will try tricks and tips that promise shortcuts to shedding pounds, even if they sound kinda offbeat.
But what constitutes a truly "weird" weight loss approach?
Well, when I googled, many of the "weird but helpful weight loss" tips were ideas that weren't all that strange.
According to Allure Magazine, snacking on whole foods instead of refined junk, and watching less TV are a couple of "weird weight loss tricks." While eating at home and riding a bike were some of the "unusual" ways to lose weight featured by Best Health.
Oooh, what bizarre and strange ideas!!
Nah, today I'm talking about the truly weird weird, the stupid weird, holy crap people really do that? weird.
Here are five of my faves.
But First: Obligatory Reminder That Health and Weight Loss are Not the Same!
Just Five More Burpees and You're Done for the Day!
photo: Zask Medical
Let's just recognize at the outset that there is something sad and pathetic about the desperation that fuels our cultural obsession with weight loss. So much misery, and much of it is driven by vanity, body-image issues, media exploitation of women's insecurities, and low self esteem. Health and "weight loss" are not the same, especially if you take mental health into consideration.
Sure, healthy eating and exercise are good for you, but is less weight always better? Actually, the research is surprisingly mixed! Being somewhat overweight but not obese may even extend your life. (However, my sense from the overall research is that health is less likely to be compromised by excess weight if you are a "pear" and carry the weight around thighs and butt. There does seem to be lots of evidence that "apples" who packs on unhealthy abdominal fat should be more concerned.)
I could get all judgey about how screwed up people are around this obsession with weight loss, but that would be stupid, as I myself am not exactly a role model. I have vanity as well as health reasons for wanting to shed the excess weight that I tend to accumulate around my belly.
However, some ideas are just too wacko to justify for any reason.
Five Stupid-Weird Ways to Lose Weight
1. Get a Tongue-Patch!
Yep, the "tongue patch diet," which involves having a plastic mesh patch surgically sewn onto your tongue to make eating extremely painful, can help you lose 18-20 lbs a month on average.
Photo: Dr. Chugay's website, for reals.
Don't all run out and sign up at once, ok?
2. Subsist on Air
I used to have sort of a soft spot for the loony "breatharians," who advocate a diet of nothing but pranic light.
Apparently Michelle Pfeiffer dabbled in breatharianism, which shocked me almost as much as discovering she's somehow 55 years old. How the hell did that happen? Isn't she that cute young actress who was in Witches of Eastwick and Fabulous Baker Boys, which just came out not that long ago right, in, let's see in ... Oh Crap.
But anyway, now the breatharians are telling me that if I don't want to attend one of their immortality workshops my karma will be all messed up when we all go up in flames on March 23. Strangely enough, I'm now finding their lunacy somewhat less charming.
3. Wash Away Your Weight
OK, so they believed a lot of funny things in the old days before everyone had access to sensible dietary and nutritional research. So the idea that you could wash away your body fat with soap and water, while comical, is perhaps understandable given...
Oops, hold on a sec...
Oh dear. They still sell shit like this and people apparently buy it.
4. Eat Worms
photo: wikimedia commons
Eating tapeworms is a time-honored disgusting way to lose weight, right?
But it has either has made some sort of surprising resurgence, or it is just so gross that various media outlets feel compelled to write about it whenever they find someone crazy enough to try it.
And sure, there is a horror show of tape worm side effects including brain cysts, but hey--if you achieve your goal of getting skinny and hot, then who needs a brain anyway?
The articles lead one to believe you can buy them on the internet, but I ain't googling to find out.
5. Fill Up on Cotton Balls.
photo: wikimedia commons
This is the most recent induction into the Weight Loss Idiocy Hall of Fame, and it's been getting lots of press--so you may have already heard of "The Cotton Ball Diet."
It's simple! Just dip cotton balls in orange juice or other liquid and eat them to feel full. This is apparently popular with teenage girls and fashion models.
Gosh, what could possibly go wrong with that plan?
Well, ok, there a few minor downsides to eating cotton balls, like malnutrition, choking to death, ingesting toxins, and forming "bezoars."
Bezoars? If you google, you may discover they are actually quite useful if they come from a goat and you are Harry Potter. However, if your bezoars are not the magical kind but the sort of massive intestinal blockages you get from eating indigestible cotton balls, they are going to have to come out. The removal process is not going to be pleasant or inexpensive.
But Hey, I'm Weird Too!
I may have mentioned that portion control is not a strength of min? I like to eat A LOT. But fortunately, I am also easily fooled by superficial cues about how "big" something is. Liquid in a small skinny glass? Yay, I get more than if it's the same amount poured into a short fat glass!
And so my current favorite semi-guilty processed food indulgence is the Quest Bar--in particular, the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough or the Peanut Butter and Jelly flavored bars.
I could easily eat these all day long. But since they contain 17-20 grams of fiber each, that would be an incredibly uncomfortable mistake to make. Plus, they are a fake-food treat to be consumed judiciously, not a whole food staple like kale or spinach which I can eat by the wheelbarrow full.
So somehow I have to convince myself that 1/2 of a quest bar, or sometimes a whole one if I have been Otherwise Virtuous, is a reasonable serving size. This is something of a challenge.
Here is a photo tutorial of my current method:
Yes, that's right. I will actually step on my food and squish it.
But see how much bigger the pieces get? Excellent! I get to eat more!!!
How about you guys, do you do anything weird in the name of limiting calories or losing weight?