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9 Unbelievably Weird and Sadistic Weight-Loss Schemes

People are willing to take drastic measures to drop extra pounds.

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Most “cotton” balls are “bleached, polyester fibers” soaked in chemicals. Drowning them in orange juice will not make them any healthier. Ovidio Bermudez, the chief medical officer of the Eating Recovery Center in Denver, notes some of the risks of chowing down on cotton as choking and malnutrition, and also intestinal obstructions, bezoars, which can be "life-threatening."

Clearly, subsisting on cotton balls is not a diet, but a disorder. Karmyn Eddy, co-director of the eating disorders clinical and research program at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, believes the diet is an eating disorder revolving around pica, a malady which drives one to eat items which are inedible.

7) Tongue Patch: The tongue patch is another torturous device designed for quick weight loss for the healthy-dieting-and-exercising-averse. Plastic surgeon Nikolas Chugay brought the procedure to Beverly Hills after witnessing it in Latin America. A medieval bit of plastic mesh is sewn to the patient’s tongue to make eating such an incredibly painful experience that they stop doing it. The surgeon equates this dining experience with scraping sharp fishing line across the roof of one’s mouth. Patients must drink their nutrition to avoid the torture.

One of the most unsettling elements of this self-imposed (and not inexpensive) sadism is that its intended effect is to achieve impossibly short-term, dramatic weight-loss. Losing 20 pounds in 30 days is alarming. Rob Huizenga, the long-term weight-loss expert from “The Biggest Loser” describes the patch as “barbaric” and reminds people that extreme dieters typically regain all their weight back, plus more.

‘“This is so primitive an approach,” he said. “You could hire somebody to hold a gun to your head and threaten to shoot you every time you eat. The idea that you put this patch in and every time you even take one morsel of solid food you get this stabbing pain, who the heck knows what the long-term consequences of that are.”’

Plastic surgeon Brian Evans told Time that "Adding a foreign substance to the body comes with the risk of infection or rejection, which means swelling, pain and discomfort," and cosmetic surgeon Robert Rey reiterated that "No matter how creative we get with these insane mechanical barriers, nothing replaces discipline."

8) Tube Feeding: For that “fresh on death’s doorstep” look, one can employ a feeding tube, the same variety used on coma patients and psych ward patients who object to eating, to dispense low-calorie nutrients and lose weight. Conceived by human parasite Oliver di Pietro, the feeding tube diet known as Ketogenic Enteral Nutrition diet (or the K-E diet) deposits liquid through a nasogastric tube inserted in the nose and lowered into the stomach. The solution is supposed to contain 800 calories a day of water, fat and protein, and can yield a weight loss of up to 20 pounds in 10 days. No solid food is allowed, and women have to carry their bags of liquid meals everywhere they go.

Most of the ardent supporters of the K-E diet are imminent brides, trying to drop a lot of weight for the big day to squeeze into their wedding dress and not look sickly and miserable. By subsisting only on non-carbohydrate liquids, the body goes into ketosis, burning fat and even muscle. Aside from the acetone-y breath, ketosis can result in fatigue and constipation, and can tax one’s kidneys and liver. As previously mentioned, this sudden, shocking weight loss guarantees the individual will pack it back on, and probably more, when they start eating solid food again.

David L. Katz, director of Yale’s Prevention Research Center described this “diet” to Forbes as "appalling," and reminds the reader that the truly nefarious side effect of di Pietro’s service is that “it opens up a whole new world of shockingly bad ideas.” If the feeding tube diet is condoned, that means any dangerous lose-weight-quick scheme could be available, at the expense of one’s wallet and health.

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