You might be dying to fit into a smaller pair of jeans, but if your plans don’t include actually dying, you should stay away from these dangerous fad diets

Starving yourself in one way or another may seem obviously dangerous, but many desperate dieters are willing to try dangerous fad diets to reach their goal weight and sometimes lose their lives in the process or come frighteningly close.

The cotton ball diet

Cotton wool can take up a lot of space while still staying almost weightless. That is the logic behind the cotton ball diet. Dieters dip cotton balls in juice and swallow them instead of food to feel full without gaining weight.

According to Healthline, this deadly diet can cause intestinal blockages, anorexia, malnutrition and even poisoning.

The Breatharian Diet

While plants are sustained by photosynthesis, it is not biologically possible for humans to do the same however breatharians give up food completely to live off the religious concept of ‘life force’. 

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According to Howstuffworks some breatharians have died or fallen into a malnourished coma because of the diet. 

The 10 bite diet

According to one Reddit reviewer although this diet worked and she did lose some weight, the reality of eating only 10 bites of whatever you want twice a day left her feeling moody, hungry and tired. 

Although your choice of food does play a role in how much nourishment you get out of your 20 bites a day, it is not possible to meet all your nutritional requirements on so little food. The diet is also difficult if not impossible to sustain as a permanent lifestyle, and the weight is likely to come back as soon as you start eating normally again.

The sleeping beauty diet

One of the reasons Sleeping Beauty wouldn’t have survived her comma (if she was real and not a fairy tale) is malnutrition.

According to endocrinology & metabolism specialist, Dr Sue Pederson, the sleeping beauty diet is a type of ‘narcorexia’. Dieters take sleeping pills and sleep so they do not eat in the hopes of losing weight.

This diet poses not only the danger of malnutrition but also dangers related to taking sleeping pills repeatedly.


A stop sign in a residential neighborhood with copy space to the left on a sunny day

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While All4Women endeavours to ensure health articles are based on scientific research, health articles should not be considered as a replacement for professional medical advice. Should you have concerns related to this content, it is advised that you discuss them with your personal healthcare provider.