8 terrifying weight loss methods people have actually tried

Every day, it seems that there are more and more bizarre weight-loss trends or crazy exercise regimens that claim to be the perfect way to lose weight. But these modern schemes are nothing compared to the crazy historical weight loss methods of yesteryear.

To be clear, these methods are not exactly the same as strange diets where you only eat certain foods or strangely specific beauty products that claim to create an instant glow. The worst of these weight loss regimens range from fancy exercise machines to fasting, and none are effective in terms of safety. Needless to say, don't try this at home.

Some of these methods are quite ancient, while others are newer, but most of these schemes seem completely insane to the average person. Read on to find out about the bizarre and terrifying ways people have tried to lose weight over the years.

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8 terrifying weight loss methods people have actually tried

1. The Victorians ate live tapeworms.

When tapeworm enters your body, it can be very difficult for you to gain weight or get the nutrients you need. In the Victorian era, people thought this parasite was the perfect way to lose those extra pounds. This procedure was not only dangerous but also inconvenient. You could get rectal problems due to the transmission of worms, you could develop epilepsy and dementia, and you could feel stomach pains all the time the worm was inside you. Also, tapeworms can grow up to 9 meters in length, which is not what you would like in your body.

8 terrifying weight loss methods people have actually tried

2. The Edwardians received enemas daily.

John Harvey Kellogg is perhaps best known for inventing cornflakes, but he also had quite a few ideas about health and weight loss. Around 1900, you could visit his sanatorium to maintain a strict daily routine focused on personal well-being. Treatment included hydrotherapy, electric shocks, and a carefully controlled diet. However, his most surprising cure was that he maintained daily yogurt enemas to stimulate the development of microflora in the intestines.

8 terrifying weight loss methods people have actually tried

3. The ancient Hindus lived only by sunlight and air.

Breatharianism is the belief that you can live without food. It comes from some Buddhist and Hindu beliefs but has been used as a weight-loss aid in recent centuries. Instead of eating, this way of losing weight suggests that you can only live in sunlight and air.

8 terrifying weight loss methods people have actually tried

4. The Victorians were poisoned by arsenic.

Arsenic is a very deadly substance, but in the 19th century, it was used as a weight-loss aid. The pills and other "drugs" that contain arsenic have been touted to boost your metabolism so you burn calories even faster than usual. Instead, you can get pretty serious arsenic poisoning.

8 terrifying weight loss methods people have actually tried

5. The women of the jazz era tried to wash away grease with soap.

In the 1920s, women began to believe that a simple bathtub could wash off those extra pounds. La-Mar Slimming Soap offers fat loss around the ankles, double chin, and even smaller bust if it is too big. All of these claims were backed up by a chemist who did not really have any weight loss experience. Other brands of slimming soaps soon appeared. If it sounds too good to be true, it is because it is. None of these soaps actually worked, and while clients felt spotlessly clean, they didn't get slimmer.

8 terrifying weight loss methods people have actually tried

6. Men and women of the 1920s in rubber corsets.

Corsets have a long history of weight loss. Old underwear crushed your ribs and lungs with whalebones or steel rods. Later, this trend continued with the corsets of the 1920s, which included rubber models. These belts and corsets were created for both men and women, and they offered to reduce your fat and create a slim figure while keeping everything to yourself. Unfortunately, the rubber rubbed against your skin and made you sweat, and in fact, would not contribute to weight loss.

8 terrifying weight loss methods people have actually tried

7. Women in the middle of the century, strapped to vibration belts for weight loss.

If you've ever looked at pictures of old-fashioned slimming devices before, you've probably seen this machine in action. It was invented in the late 1800s but became popular in the 1930s. The device was simple: attach the strap to the part you want to shrink. Then you turn it on, and its oscillating vibrations supposedly melt the fat. Both women and men used these machines, and the results were minimal at best. People did not notice significant weight loss or fat loss. However, more recent research has shown that exercise machines and their vibration can be beneficial for your immune system, even if they won't help you lose weight.

8 terrifying weight loss methods people have actually tried

8. Weight loss fanatics of the 1920s listened to special music.


Wallace M. Rogerson was an exercise expert in the 1920s and had some pretty unique ideas on how to lose weight. One such idea was Wallace Reducing Records, a set of records that supposedly help you lose weight. The exact use of these recordings is unclear, but apparently, you should have just listened to music to lose weight.

Keywords: People | History | Tragedy | Weight loss | Methods | Lifestyle | Health | Healthy lifestyle | Aim | Purpose | Nutrions | Diet

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