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Blue Glasses, Feeding Tubes and Other Wacky Weight Loss Ideas

Losing weight is hard. That's why there are so many diet scams that claim to make it easy. They start with the reasonable-sounding "hook" and then reel you in. For example, Blue Diet Glasses.

Blue Diet Glasses

A Japanese company called Yumetai makes blue-tinted glasses that are sold as appetite suppressants. Supposedly when we see blue food, we think it's spoiled and unsafe to eat. The color blue also calms the brain's appetite center. The theory is, that when you put on a pair of blue glasses, the visual signal of seeing food as rotten, and the calming effect to your appetite, will make you eat less and lose weight.

Great in theory, lousy in practice. People who use them report changing what they eat for a day or two, but once they become accustomed to the new color, old habits come right back. Blue diet glasses are a bust, unless you want them as a fashion accessory.

Cotton Balls

Some diets suggest food replacements, like cotton balls. Dieters are instructed to dip cotton balls in juice or gelatin and then eat them... up to six at a time. As the cotton balls fill your stomach, the nerve stretch receptors give you the feeling of "full" and you're less likely to eat. Of course, that advice is insane.

Pick up a bag of cotton balls and read the label. Many are made of polyester fibers, bleached and soaked in chemicals. Dousing them in a little juice doesn't suddenly make them healthy. Don't think "organic" cotton balls are any better. They aren't intended to be eaten. When you try to swallow, they can get lodged in your throat and choke you. If you actually succeed in getting some down, they can cause malnutrition and lead to life-threatening intestinal obstructions.

Feeding Tube Diet - (K-E Diet)

Instead of replacing food, some diets simply deliver nutrition differently. One of the strangest is nicknamed the "feeding tube diet" and it does just what you think. Rather than eating solid food, dieters insert a feeding tube through their nose and down into their stomach. Then they're pumped full of a fat and protein solution that gives the recipient about 800 calories a day.

The technical name is the Ketogenic Enteral Nutrition diet (or K-E diet). Because the majority of carbs are eliminated in this diet, the body goes into ketosis. Fat and muscle start to burn off as your body is starved for nutrients. Over time dieters develop foul-smelling breath, fatigue, constipation and both the liver and kidneys work overtime.

Adherents of the feeding tube diet don't get enough calories to exercise, so their muscles start to shrink away. Less muscle equals a slower metabolism. Once the weight loss goal is achieved, your metabolism is now running at a lower state than when you started. As you move back into eating regular food, your weight will shoot right back up to where you started.

It gets worse. Because you've damaged your metabolism, you're likely to end up heavier than when you started. It's not just a bad idea, it's a threat to your long-term health.

Tongue Patch Diet

Then there are diet aids like the tongue patch, designed to cause real physical pain. A procedure that began in Latin America was imported to the United States by cosmetic surgeon Dr. Nikolas Chugay. For around $2,000, the doctor will sew a patch onto your tongue that makes the chewing and swallowing of solid food extremely painful. Patients are instructed to live on a liquid diet for up to a month to avoid the pain and achieve weight loss.

Even if we ignore the risk of infection that always accompanies surgery, the tongue patch has the same limitations as the feeding tube diet. Loss of muscle, damage to your metabolism, severe bad breath and a rebound to your old weight once the patch is removed.

Want to know what works? Drink more water, eat vegetables first and do something other than sitting in front of the television.

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beginning any diet or exercise program.