The tapeworm diet is perhaps one of the most controversial and highly radical approaches to losing weight. As the name suggests, the diet requires a person to use parasitic worms to minimize nutrient absorption in the body, leading to weight loss.
Tapeworm is a type of parasitic worm that belongs to the flatworm family. Tapeworm infestation is caused by unknowingly consuming foods tainted with worm eggs. Such foods are usually poorly prepared, raw or undercooked foods. While it’s true that tapeworm could cause one to lose weight quickly, it’s not without pain. Tapeworm infestation can make anyone ill and this could lead to very grave health complications.
How Does the Tapeworm Diet Trigger Weight Loss?
A tapeworm diet starts by intentionally consuming worm eggs to trigger an infestation. This could be done in two ways, by eating raw meat or by taking a capsule filled with live worm eggs. Once inside the body, the worm larvae will grow into the digestive tract, happily consuming all the foods you eat and robbing the body of nutrition.
In this diet, it’s important that the tapeworms are the kind that infests cattle, not pigs. Pig tapeworms are extremely hazardous to one’s health and are not ideal to use for tapeworm diet.
Tapeworm could consume a large chunk of a person’s diet. The worms eat their way into the body as it moves. A person infested with tapeworm could lose about 2 pounds each week. However, the amount of weight you lose from this diet will depend on the number of tapeworms in your gut and your body type. As soon as you reached your weight goal, you can simply take antibiotics to kill the tapeworms. The dead tapeworms will then be expelled out of the body naturally through bowel movement.
Dangers of Tapeworm Diet
Tapeworm diet is illegal in some countries and most doctors discourage dieters from using this diet because of the serious health risks involved.
Common symptoms from tapeworm diet range from stomach pains, diarrhea, constipation, general weakness, and upset stomach. In severe cases, symptoms include nutritional deficiency, development of tapeworm cysts outside the digestive tract, and chronic fatigue attributed to the body not being nourished completely. In some cases, tapeworm cysts would start spreading to the liver, eyes, or even the brain — these growths are fatal.
Does Tapeworm Diet Provide Long-Term Weight Loss?
The quick answer is no, tapeworm diet does not provide long-term weight loss. While this diet will help you lose weight quickly, once the parasitic worms are expelled from the body, you can gain back all the weight that you lost. Of course, you can always watch what you eat and exercise regularly to maintain your figure.
Progress in losing weight is also very slow. You could take worm eggs and spend six months not feeling or seeing any difference in your weight. This is because worms need to achieve their full size to inhibit nutrient absorption from the body as efficiently. Most experts agree that dieters who want to lose weight are better off counting calories and increasing physical activities in order to shed the pounds safely.