Make up a diet that promises overnight results without the person needing to do some work themselves or exercise, you will have a queue of people lining outside your door to get their hands on the magical solution.
This was something similar that happened in 1976 when someone known as Dr Roger Linn introduced a magic weight loss solution and a book titled 'The Last Chance Diet' promising a quick-fix to the overweight people.
The premise of the diet was that people had to consume a very low-calorie liquid protein concoction and they would start dropping weight immediately.
What made it all the more lucrative was that you were not expected to exercise if you followed this.
To no surprise, people jumped onto the plan.
It was again no surprise that people started losing weight as they started consuming nothing but a serving of the 'Prolinn drink' every day.
Then came the big shocker. There were reports of people dropping around 10 to 30% of their body weight in no time and then suddenly dropping dead. Yes, you read it right. People were dying on this diet/weight loss protocol.How did that happen?
The 'Prolinn drink' or the magic weight loss protein liquid concoction was found to be lesser than 400 calories. That means, people were consuming less than 400 calories per day for extended periods which often counts as starvation in itself.
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In today's world, when we think of a low-calorie protein drink, a protein shake with high-quality protein from dairy comes to our mind and drinking those is pretty normal and safe as well.
The problem with the 'Prolinn drink' was that apart from being very low in calories considering it was for the entire day, it was a poor-quality collagen drink which was low in vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, and the protein itself.
This drink was made from slaughterhouse leftover products like crushed animal horns, hooves, tendons, hives, and bones. Flavours and colouring were added to it to make it look more appealing but overall it was still a very poor quality drink in itself with many nutritional deficiencies.
It was estimated that approximately somewhere between 2 million to 4 million people jumped on this plan or routine as soon as it was introduced as it promised to make a person lose weight without even doing anything.
From these people, approximately 60 deaths were reported due to following the routine. These deaths were attributed to the subjects having abnormal heart rhythms which would have resulted from the shrinkage of the heart due to the diet/drink being low in vitamins and calories.
Such similar protocols are popular even today and as we see, they may hold a very huge risk with the guarantee of making a person lose weight real quick without any exercise or intrusion into their routine by providing a magic concoction or drink that replaces the food that you eat completely.
So, be very careful before jumping on to any such routines just in a bid to lose some weight quickly.
Pratik Thakkar is the co-founder and director of GetSetGo Fitness, an online fitness company and the founder of Mars Nutrition, a nutrition supplement company. Both his companies are geared towards providing you with the right information and products without any false or fake claims. You can reach out to him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Instagram.