Written by Andrew Brewer. ⚕️Reviewed and fact checked by our medical team.


We live in a society today where everyone wants to stay trim and thin. And with more than half of the American population considered medically overweight, everyone is looking for a magic trick to make tummies trimmer and thighs smaller.

There are a few sneaky weight loss tricks floating around the internet that can come to your rescue. The problem is most of them offer short term results that can often come at the expense of your overall health. You read right: these ‘body hacks’ are not only relatively ineffective but can cause dangerous side effects that you’re better without!

Here is a list of seven weight loss tricks you should avoid at all costs:

Key Takeaways

  • There are several weight loss tricks that can cause dangerous side effects, and therefore, you should avoid them. Some of these include using laxatives, purging, excessive cardio, working out on an empty stomach, and fasting.
  • Cutting out entire food groups, such as fats and carbs, can lead to malnutrition and slower weight loss. Instead, focus on portion control and balancing your calorie intake to ensure you get all the vital nutrients you need.
  • Skipping meals and fasting can lead to unpleasant side effects, including nausea, headaches, and fatigue. It can also cause dangerous binge eating later, which can set you back in your weight loss goals.
  • Weight loss supplements with stimulants like ephedrine are illegal in most countries due to their lethal side effects. Instead of taking such supplements, focus on eating healthy, fiber-rich meals that keep you fuller longer.
  • Resistance training with weights a few days a week is a much more effective way to lose weight than doing cardio exercises alone. This is because muscle mass is what burns excess calories, and the more muscle you have, the faster you lose unwanted fat.
  1. Laxatives

In recent years over-the-counter laxatives have become a popular choice for individuals who want to lose weight fast. The theory behind this is that the laxative will accelerate the movement of food through the digestive tract, giving your body less time to absorb high or low calories in the food you eat. In reality, the laxative does not do this. By the time food waste reaches the colon the body has gotten all of the nutrients from it, so you simply end up eliminating your food waste faster. So why then does it seem like laxatives work so well?

A side effect of laxative use is dehydration, so you  may shed some water weight when using a laxative. Other side effects also include nausea, mental fogginess, muscle weakness, even death. If you want to shed some water weight and decrease bloating, reach for vegetables high in fiber instead of the laxative. These foods naturally reduce bloating and are rich in antioxidants and other nutrients.

  1. Purging

Purging, or induced vomiting immediately after eating, is widely known to be a dangerous weight loss trick, but every few years medical professionals report an influx of individuals suffering the devastating side effects of purging, which leads us to believe that people still think that purging works.

Like most dangerous weight loss tricks, purging is just as ineffective as it is deadly. When you purge food it is nearly impossible to purge everything you ate, ultimately adding some calories to your daily intake. Done multiple times over the course of a day, purging can cause you to consume several thousand extra calories which will make you gain weight!

Purging is also extremely unhealthy and  can lead to lethal side effects. For instance, vomiting leads to dehydration and a devastating loss of electrolytes. Prolonged purging can also lead to stomach acid, creating holes in the esophagus and deterioration of the stomach lining. These conditions can lead to internal bleeding and death.

  1. Too Much Cardio

Many people make the biggest fitness mistake of skipping everything else in the gym in favour of cardio exercises. In reality hitting the cardio machines too often can lead to a decrease in muscle development. Since muscle mass is what burns excess calories, the more muscle you have the faster you lose unwanted fat.

Translation: don’t skip the weights! Doing resistance training with weights few days a week is a much more effective way to lose weight.

  1. Working Out on an Empty Stomach

There is an old belief that working out on an empty stomach will help you burn more fat during your workout. However, the truth is that working out on an empty stomach burns the same amount of calories from fat as working out after having eaten. The only difference is your body has less accessible energy at its disposal during your workout. A small meal of complex carbs and protein before a workout session can enhance performance, which will burn more calories and provide faster results.

  1. Low Fat/Low Carb

Cutting out an entire food group from your diet is a huge no-no that many dieting fanatics make. The idea that cutting all fats or carbs from your diet may sound like a fast and simple way to lose weight, but it is also a quick way to become malnourished.

Malnutrition can lead to several diseases, as well as a decrease in stamina, energy, and physical deterioration. Malnutrition also signals your body to hold on to fat reserves for as long as possible to avoid starvation. Cutting out all fats and carbs can actually make you lose weight slower!

Instead of cutting out entire food groups, focus on portion control and balancing your total calorie intake to ensure that you get all of the vital nutrients you need for good health without overindulging in extra calories that will cause weight gain.

  1. Fasting

Just like cutting out certain food groups, fasting does more harm than good if you are attempting to lose weight. Long term starvation tells your body to hold on to as much of the energy and fat reserves that is has in order to survive—not to mention the lack of food can lead to extremely unpleasant side effects.

Skipping even a single meal can lead to nausea, headaches, and fatigue. The hunger from fasting can also lead to dangerous binge eating later, which can set you back in your weight loss goals.

  1. Weight loss supplements

At the height of the weight loss craze, weight loss supplements with stimulants like ephedrine  hit the market. These wonder pills were extremely popular because they decreased appetite and effectively aided in weight loss. The problem is that they also created heart palpitations and other lethal side effects.

These stimulants have been made illegal in most countries, but there are still products on the market today that seek to recreate these weight loss results. Natural stimulants like taurine and caffeine may be legal, but in large doses these can also cause adverse effects.

Instead of taking supplements that kill the natural appetite, focus on eating healthy meals high in fiber like dark leafy green veggies. These foods will leave you feeling fuller longer so that you can make healthy meal choices and lose weight the natural way.


  • What are the 7 weight loss tricks that should be avoided?

The 7 weight loss tricks that should be avoided are: crash dieting, cutting out entire food groups, relying on weight loss supplements, excessive exercise, ignoring sleep, setting unrealistic goals, and comparing yourself to others.

  • Why should crash dieting be avoided?

Crash dieting can lead to nutrient deficiencies, slow down metabolism, and can cause weight gain in the long term.

  • Is cutting out entire food groups a healthy way to lose weight?

No, cutting out entire food groups can lead to nutrient deficiencies and negatively impact your health.

  • Can weight loss supplements help with weight loss?

Weight loss supplements can have harmful side effects and should not be relied upon for weight loss.

  • Why is excessive exercise not recommended for weight loss?

Excessive exercise can lead to injury, and burnout and may slow down weight loss by increasing hunger and leading to overeating.

  • How does sleep affect weight loss?

Lack of sleep can lead to hormonal imbalances that increase appetite and decrease metabolism, making weight loss more difficult.

  • Why is it important to set realistic weight loss goals?

Setting unrealistic weight loss goals can lead to feelings of failure and frustration, making it harder to stick to healthy habits and maintain weight loss.

  • Why is comparing yourself to others a trap regarding weight loss?

Comparing yourself to others can lead to feelings of inadequacy and make it harder to focus on your progress and goals.

Andrew Brewer

Andrew Brewer

Andrew Brewer started Fastingapps.com to give people the guidance that he never received when he was first starting. His goal is to make your goals achievable and to offer you only the best fasting apps that the internet has to offer. You're not on your own - Andrew and the entire family of reviewers at Fastingapps.com are here with you every step of the way!