At all times, people were ready for anything to lose weight. And while we now do not approve of express diets, drastic cuts in calories and fasting (unless it is interval), there have been worse examples in history. See for yourself.

Corsets, worms, arsenic: the most dangerous ways to lose weight in human history


During the reign of Queen Victoria, a woman was considered beautiful if she was very pale and very thin. To achieve the desired effect, the ladies of high society swallowedtapeworm egg tablets... The parasites hatched inside and grew, absorbing the host's nutrients. At the same time, getting rid of them was almost impossible. 


For those for whom it was important not so much to actually lose weight as create a slimming effect, helped by tight corsets. The lacing could be so strong that it was impossible to move normally with it and even breathe properly (not to mention eating, for example). And some especially desperate young ladies broke their ribs for corsets.


In 1957, the Reverend Charlie Shedd advised "pray for the weight to go away ", suggesting that this activity replace one or more basic meals. Surprisingly, the diet was quite popular and, as its adherents argued, very effective. 


At the beginning of the 20th century, food enthusiast Horace Fletcher invented a food system in which any food was needed chew very thoroughly (more than a hundred times)to get the most out of it and eat faster . But this is still half the trouble, because after chewing, the remaining fibers were asked to spit out. It turned out not only unhealthy, but also unaesthetic. 


Again, in the Victorian era, for reasons of beauty, girls often deliberately poisoned themselves with arsenic... These were the minimum doses that allowed to obtain the desired fragility of the figure and aristocratic pallor. And yes, everyone knew about the negative properties of arsenic, including possible death. 


In 1920, the Lucky Strike brand launched an advertising campaign, in which smoking was associated with a slim and beautiful figure. Literally the advertisement said that it was better to smoke than to eat. We do not know if someone perceived the cigarette diet as a guide to action, but knowing people's gullibility, it is likely. 


When we sleep, we do not eat - this well-known fact was taken as the basis Sleeping beauty diets, which appeared in the arena in the 60s. Despite the fact that in general all this does not sound too scary, the method of losing weight had one serious problem: it took about 20 hours of sleep and under strong sedatives with many side effects.