The Weirdest Diets That People Actually Still Use

Nobody likes being overweight. Beyond looking unattractive, obesity is incredibly unhealthy. As a result, weight loss desperation often makes people choose rather strange and extreme dieting ideas. The following are three of the strangest weight loss plans that are still practiced around the world.

The Beer and Sausage Diet

Evo Terra is an advertising executive who is best known for one of the most unlikely diets of all time: the beer and sausage diet. Terra's diet is simple: a maximum of 1,500 calories a day in, well, beer and sausage. He and his doctor claim that he's not only lost weight on this diet, but that he's lowered his bad cholesterol.

Amazingly, his original concept consisted entirely of six beers a day, but he found that this just didn't offer him enough protein. His diet is a twist on "all-protein" diets, such as the Atkins and Paleo Diet. While these diets may help you lose weight, they create a wide range of negative side effects including:

  • Unpleasant body odor
  • Halitosis (bad breath)
  • Increased blood fat levels
  • Muscle loss
  • Malnutrition
  • Organ damage

In extreme cases, all-protein diets have been shown to force people into a potentially deadly coma.

Tapeworm Diet

In Mexico, obesity has become an increasingly severe epidemic. As a result, some desperate Mexicans are turning to the tapeworm diet to lose weight. This diet requires deliberately infecting yourself with tapeworms and losing weight as they ingest your food for you.

You probably don't need to be told that this diet is incredibly dangerous, but it has the potential to create a wide range of health problems including:

  • Malnutrition
  • Intestinal blockages
  • Cysts in the liver, eyes, brain and spinal cords

The last problem is perhaps the most serious, as it can lead to death.

The Chew Diet

In the early 1900's, a strange American named Horace Fletcher came up with a unique dieting concept: excessive chewing. According to his theory, bodily weakness and obesity were the end results of improper chewing that left food too solid to be properly digested.

Fletcher's solution? Chew every bite exactly 32 times and spitting out any food that wasn't completely liquefied. The type of foods you eat didn't matter one bit in this diet: it was all about proper chewing. Apparently, Fletcher lost weight on this diet and it became incredibly popular for a time, leading to gatherings called "chewing parties."

While each of these diets has been shown to promote weight loss, none of them can really be recommended as a reasonable and stable weight loss dietary plan. Sustained and permanent weight loss simply requires plenty of exercise and a healthy, balanced diet.