Do Not Try: 7 Dangerous, Weird, and Completely Ineffective Ways to Lose Weight

A balloon that expands in your stomach? Nooooo.

Colored Pills Burger
(Image credit: Getty Images)

"I love waiting!" Actually, don't quote us on that because it's definitely not true. Waiting sucks. Whoever said patience is a virtue clearly never knew the meaning of "instant gratification." That's why so many weight-loss regimens fail—people hate waiting to see results, so they'll try anything that *guarantees* a significantly smaller waist in just three weeks.

Not to sound like a fortune cookie, but there are no shortcuts to losing weight. Yes, you might try a juice cleanse and drop 10 pounds super fast, but all that weight will pile right back on eventually. In order to lose weight and effectively maintain the loss, you need a stable, long-lasting plan. (Stop groaning because most fads will leave you starving, or worse, mess with your body beyond repair.) Save yourself, take your time, and forget that you've ever heard about these horrible "weight-loss" tricks.

Waist Training

We know you've seen celebrities wearing these, but you're not burning fat by cinching your midsection. Waist training pushes fat to different parts of your body, and that tightening can crush your organs if worn for an extended period of time.

Bingeing and Purging

When you overeat excessive amounts of food and then force yourself to throw up, those stomach acids go places no acid should ever touch. The enamel on teeth wears away, your throat inflames, and you can become dehydrated quickly—and that's just a taste of this behavior's nasty side effects. (P.S. if you or someone you know is suffering from bulimia, visit this site for help.)

Obalon Pill

If you go to the company's website, this pill looks legit. But hold up: It's still under investigation by the FDA and not available for sale in the U.S. That should be enough to raise an eyebrow, but get this: When you swallow the pill, a balloon EXPANDS IN YOUR STOMACH to take up room and make you feel full, thereby cutting down on how much you eat. Didn't we learn not to swallow balloons when we were like, a toddler? Just us?


Otherwise known as anorexia. It's another eating disorder where you severely limit your food intake and deprive your body of vital nutrients, which can cause skin to turn yellow, bones to thin, and and your brain to deteriorate. It's far too common and too often overlooked, but the dangers are real, and we encourage anyone who needs help to seek it out.


All liquid everything! Goodbye, solid food! Hello, straws! We all know a juice cleanse doesn't work in the long run, right? Please say yes.

Tape Worm Diet

You don't want to know this but we're telling you for your own good. In a nutshell, you swallow a tape worm trapped in a pill that grows inside your stomach and eats most of the food you put into your body. When you lose the weight you want, you take more medications to kill the bug. We can't.

Tongue Patch

This sounds like something out of a horror film. Surgeons pry your mouth open and sew a patch of material to the top of your tongue. Why? Because when you try to eat solid food, the patch irritates your tongue that makes it so painful that you don't want to eat solid foods and revert to consuming only liquids. No. No, no, no.

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Kenny Thapoung

When I'm not stalking future-but-never-going-to-happen husbands on Facebook, you can catch me eating at one of NYC's B-rated or below dining establishments—A-rated restaurants are for basics. Fun fact: Bloody Marys got me into eating celery on the regular. And for your safety, please do not disturb before 10 a.m. or coffee, whichever comes first.