It's just a little past mid-January, which means we have about one more month left of dieting and gym visits before we decide that life isn't for us. While most of us would rather be drinking beer than sipping kale juice, we should be all thankful we're not relying on tapeworms to reach our goal weight. Racked recently compiled a list of bizarre, and, undeniably, horrible, diet fads throughout history. For example, in the 1920's, cigarette brands like Lucky told women that smoking would stop them from eating too many sweets.
Image via Flickr user clotho98.
Elisabeth of Austria, known to her intimates as Sisi, had a lot of places and people to rule: Austria, Hungary, Croatia, and Bohemia. In order to keep herself looking thin for all those royal affairs, Sisi developed a weight-management regiment that is truly her own:
She used to sleep propped up with raw meat slathered all over her face. In order to maintain her 19 inch waist, she subsisted mainly on broth made from the juice of raw ducks. She even had a special "duck squeezer" for the process!
However, the most disturbing diet easily goes to the Victorian women who consumed tapeworms to kept their waistlines in check. They were given a pill from which the tapeworm would hatch and live in your intestines, ingesting the food that you eat. But that isn't the worst part; these women eventually had to remove the tapeworm.
The really disgusting part, however, was extracting the tapeworm, especially since they can grow to be 30 feet long. Pills were sold that would hopefully kill them. However, if that didn’t, one method suggested sitting with your mouth open in front of a bowl of milk. The tapeworms were supposedly attracted to the smell and would crawl out their host’s mouth. Whether or not this actually worked is disputed, but if it did I imagine the giant worm exiting your mouth cancelled out any sexy appeal of your tapered waist.
For more information about these terrible, terrible diets, head over to Racked.
Feature image via Nickolas Muray