Cyanide, Sir: The Craziest Diets In Human History

Cyanide, Sir: The Craziest Diets In Human History
Cyanide, Sir: The Craziest Diets In Human History

Video: Cyanide, Sir: The Craziest Diets In Human History

Video: Cyanide, Sir: The Craziest Diets In Human History
Video: The Ancestral Human Diet | Peter Ungar | TEDxDicksonStreet 2023, November

If you think that sitting on unsalted buckwheat for a month is a special kind of perversion, and diets from the "eat three eggs a day" series were invented by people who are not all right with their heads, we hasten to assure you: there were much more radical ways of dealing with excess weight. With the help of some of them, they even managed to lose a couple of kilograms, and at the same time their health.


There is never too much vinegar

The fashion for thinness and unnatural pallor began long before the popularization of gothic rock: at the beginning of the 19th century, fans of romanticism tried by hook or by crook to match poetic images. Lord Byron was considered one of the main trendsetters - the English romantic poet was inclined to be overweight and, fearing to lose the image of a beautiful, mysterious prince, adhered to a strict diet throughout his life. No, strict is not the most suitable word: it is not known for certain how the writer learned about the miraculous properties of vinegar - perhaps he got his hands on a scientific treatise discussing the effect of this product on metabolism. Anyway, one day Byron decided to drink vinegar, and at the same time soak all the food in it.

The poet's diet did not differ in variety: almost the only dish in it was rice with a gravy of the same vinegar and water. For the best result, after finishing the meal, Byron put on woolen clothes to sweat properly, and if hunger pains made themselves felt, he lit cigars. As a reward for all these sacrifices, the lord remained the living embodiment of romance. True, not for long: at the age of 36 he went to another world, and an autopsy showed wear and tear of internal organs.

But the story doesn't end there. Americans remembered about the vinegar diet in the 70s of the twentieth century. This time, those losing weight did not just drink vinegar: cunning pharmacologists rushed to make tablets - primarily for those who dreamed of getting rid of excess weight, but could not stand the smell of vinegar. And it was much more convenient to take pills with you. Many losing weight exceeded the dose, forgetting that despite all the useful properties and the ability to have a beneficial effect on the digestion process, it is still acid.

A little arsenic for a thin waist

In the 19th century, analogues of modern dietary supplements were in use - weight loss pills that promised to remove extra centimeters from the waist without much hassle. Their composition hardly had anything to do with a healthy lifestyle: arsenic and strychnine were added to some tablets - according to pharmacologists, these ingredients accelerated metabolism. And although the content of the poison in the miracle pills was not high, the enthusiasm for them and the excess of the dose could result in a lethal outcome. By the way, most of those losing weight did not even suspect that they were swallowing arsenic: the composition was not indicated on the packages - this was not necessary.

Chew, chew, chew!

At the end of the 19th century, after hunger had passed, obesity and stoutness were no longer associated with wealth and success, but thinness and sophistication were gaining popularity again. In 1895, Dr. Horace Fletcher proposed a new way to achieve the desired weight: in order to lose weight, you need to make about a hundred jaw movements per minute. Fletcher's diet required strict adherence to all instructions: the doctor developed a special table, describing how many times a particular product should be chewed, so that, as a result, mixed with saliva, it became so pasty that it would be simply disgusting to swallow it.

One of the indisputable advantages of fletcherism, Horace considered the reduction of bowel movements: while eating the prescribed way, people were in the toilet at most once a week, and the excrement did not smell (Fletcher was especially proud of this). Among the adherents of the diet were Rockefeller (supporters of fletcherism claim that only because of this he lived to be 97), writers Henry James and Franz Kafka, and at one time it was even introduced in educational institutions. It is not known for certain how much the dentists have enriched themselves by repairing teeth to chewers, but the inventor of the diet himself made an impressive fortune by selling his books.

Plant a worm

This controversial diet beyond good and evil gained popularity in the early twentieth century. To achieve the desired weight, it was only necessary to swallow a pill - though not an ordinary one, but filled with the larvae of parasitic tapeworms. Don't want to eat anymore? It was assumed that growing up in a new dwelling (that is, the stomach), the worm will absorb all the food instead of its owner, thus contributing to weight loss. But the authors preferred to remain silent about the constant pain and colic that accompanied such a neighborhood.

After a person reached the cherished weight, the worm was expelled from the body with the help of another pill. But it was not so easy to evict the gastric tenant: adults could reach up to 9 meters in length, and the epic ended with the death of a losing weight. By the way, according to one of the urban legends, opera diva Maria Callas got rid of excess weight with the help of a parasite - this prompted her fans to swallow tapeworm larvae in order to achieve the same effect. Although the information that Callas did follow this strange diet has never been confirmed.

Can your soap do that?

The question of how not to change anything in your diet, but at the same time to lose weight, has worried mankind for centuries, and charlatans have never missed the opportunity to cash in on this, declaring the creation of another hot novelty, with which you can enjoy from morning till night cakes, pastries, becoming thinner and slimmer by the minute. So, in 1909, the "soap diet" appeared, after an advertisement for the "Fatoff" soap flashed in the newspapers, which was supposed to melt fat without restrictions in diet and exercise.

The publications were accompanied by the story of the alleged creator of the product, Mary Spencer Borden, who in the past was a "fat monster with rheumatism", weighed more than 100 kg and tried all known means until she came up with a miracle soap. How did a woman create a magical product? According to her, the whole point is in the suddenly awakened inspiration. Chemists from the Ministry of Agriculture decided to find out the mysterious formula of success and carried out a chemical analysis of the composition, which showed that the magic of "Fatoff" consists of 10% of ordinary soap, 90% of water.

However, this did not stop advertising for another soap in the 1920s, which promised to "reduce any desired part of the body without affecting other parts." LMarr Reduction Soap with coconut oil sold for 50 cents a bite, but it was no longer a resounding success, with annual revenues of $ 150,000 - just $ 30,000 more than ad spend. According to the results of the study of another miracle soap, in 1926 the postmaster general of the United States called it the brainchild of scammers, and the company was forbidden to advertise its product or send it by mail.

And day after day cigarettes

The fact that nicotine can suppress appetite has been known for a long time, but in the 20s of the last century, the cigarette manufacturer Lucky Strike decided to once again remind about the wonderful property of smoking by launching an advertising campaign "Choose Lucky, not sweets." The essence of the message was very simple: if you want to eat, you just need to light a cigarette - then hunger will recede, you will not gain excess weight, and with time you will lose weight. And since the diet worked, the world was faced with female smoking rampant.

In our time, one can not explain why the nicotine diet is not the best - the Ministry of Health did it for us, decorating packs with "death sticks" with images of possible diseases. In exchange for weight loss, those who lose weight receive oncology, strokes, impotence and osteoporosis. And this is just a part of the possible risks.

Horns and hooves

Meanwhile, not only soap and tablets, but also powders were popular among those who lose weight, and no one thought about what effect they have on the body - what difference does it make if the creator promises that in two weeks you will become two sizes smaller? Thus, in the 70s, the magic protein powder "Prolinn", developed by Dr. Roger Lynn and mentioned in his book "The Last Chance Diet", entered the dietetic market. Following Lynn's prescriptions, those who were losing weight had to give up food, replacing it with a low-calorie drink made from this very powder, consisting of collagen obtained from ground hooves and other by-products from the slaughterhouse with artificial colors and flavors.

The diet was not very successful: many of its supporters ended up in the hospital with heart disease - at least 58 people who tried the diet suffered heart attacks. Perhaps the reason for this is not only the poor quality of "Prolinn", but also starvation. The powder itself contained 400 calories, but no nutrients that could support the healthy functioning of the body were observed in it.

Sleeping Beauty Diet

“Sleep more - eat less,” says a well-known proverb. It seems that the creators of The Sleeping Beauty were guided by it. The very message of the diet is not so bad: since a person does not eat in a dream, then he does not gain calories, but even spends them a little and generally heals. An unusual way of dealing with obesity gained popularity in the 60s, and Elvis Presley was called among its adherents.

The main problem was that some losing weight decided to approach dieting not just thoroughly, but with real fanaticism and got hooked on a potent sleeping pill so that they would be guaranteed not to sleep for several hours, but for a day or two, like bears.

Cotton diet

Keeping a cotton diet is easy: it is enough to start every day with a trip to the cotton plantation. Joke. After all, not everyone has plantations, but in almost every home there are cotton balls (or discs, in extreme cases, cotton wool). So, in accordance with this nutritional system, to lose weight, before you open your mouth and eat something tasty, swallow a couple of balls previously soaked in freshly squeezed juice or smoothie.

Vata will keep you feeling full and you definitely won't want to eat too much. The diet, which became popular in the early 2010s (hello, anorexia fashion), has a number of side effects, including potential intestinal obstruction and poisoning. Yes, and people who risked eating cotton should rather be led not to a nutritionist, but to a slightly different doctor.

Lady with pipe

The KE diet or "ketogenic enteral nutrition" is called the bride's diet: girls who dream of getting into the coveted dress turn to her for help. Nevertheless, there are still not so many who want to try this miracle on themselves. What is KE? Losing weight, a special elastic tube with a diameter of 1.9 mm is inserted into the nose, which reaches the stomach. Through it, KE-powder enters the patient's body - a mixture of various proteins, fats and microelements without carbohydrates and water - no more than 800 kcal per day. In addition, tea, coffee and water are allowed.

Followers of KE can take out the pipe for as little as an hour, and their faithful companions are nausea and fatigue. In return, Dr. Oliver di Pietro, the creator of an unusual way to lose weight, promises to lose about 9 kilograms in just 10 days and $ 1500. According to Di Pietro, the feeling of hunger disappears after a couple of hours on KE, and this can be confirmed by 100,000 patients who have tried the miracle method. But colleagues of di Pietro are not happy with the invention: feeding through a tube can result in the development of infectious diseases and impaired kidney function. What you can't do for spectacular wedding photos!

And remember, in the stone age

In our time, the grass was much greener. And in the days of the Paleolithic - and even more so. At least that's what the paleo diet proponents believe was the 2015 British Dietetic Association's worst celebrity-endorsed diet of the year. Its essence lies in the fact that losing weight should eat in the same way as his ancestors ate until they mastered agriculture, from which all the troubles came.

What is included in the Stone Age menu? Meat (a lot of meat, a lot of meat!), Fish, nuts, mushrooms and eggs. At the same time, you need to forget about cereals (so what if they bring vitamins, iron, fiber?), And generally reduce the consumption of plant foods to a minimum. We, of course, believe that by adhering to this diet, you can become slimmer, but scientists warn: such an unbalanced diet is a sure way to develop nutritional deficiencies, and even a direct road to cardiovascular diseases.