Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Extreme Weight Loss Stories - Seafarer and Chilean Miners

Turning on the television, you can't escape from advertisements promoting "easy" weight loss. Pour some powder on your food, take a pill, or drink nothing but juice and in no time you'll lose weight! But anyone who has tried these crazes know that they don't usually work.

This week, I'm talking about losing weight. Today, I'll include some stories about radical weight-loss through unimaginable circumstances. Later this week, I'll detail some far-easier and safer methods for cutting the pounds.

Let me be clear about this (for legal purposes,) I DO NOT suggest any of the following. Attempting any of these feats could get you injured or killed. Also, the CDC recommends losing only one to two pounds per week as a "healthy" rate of weight-loss.

Without further precautionary ado, please enjoy!

Lost at Sea

Want to lose 40 pounds in 20 days? You could try what a Puerto Rican man did in February and get stuck in the Caribbean Sea. For almost three weeks, Jose Luis Mendez was stuck adrift on his 16-footer, surviving off captured rainwater and raw fish.

Eat your heart out, Tom Hanks. He didn't even have a volleyball for a friend!
 Medically, his weight loss makes sense. As I mentioned in my low-carb diet post, body fat is technically a "glycolipid" (glyco = sugar, lipid = fat.) Without both carbohydrates and fat, the body cannot add weight. Jose put himself on an emergency Atkin's diet, cutting off all forms of sugar, forcing his body to survive off stored carbs in his gut.

Also, he was severely dehydrated, exposed to the elements, and only a couple feet away from sharks at all times.

Try selling THAT on an infomercial!

Buried Underground

Remember the 33 Chilean miners who were trapped beneath the Earth in 2010? Rescuers dug an emergency tunnel to lift the miners out of captivity. The problem was that the tunnel was only 26 inches wide. That's the width of a typical bicycle tire.

Yeah, there's no way I could fit through that...
 In order to escape through this shaft, the miners had to have a waist circumference of no more than 35.4''. For reference, the average waist size of American men is 39.4'' and the average waist size for American women is 37''.

To drop the weight, NASA put the miners on a strict regimen based on the needs of astronauts in space - cramped and confined, the miners couldn't do much in the way of exercising, so strict dietary controls were needed. The miners were given five meals a day to prevent over-eating at one sitting (a practice that shuts the body down and promotes weight gain.) NASA also gave them a sun-lamp to control their circadian rhythms, because sleep deprivation can stress the body into gaining weight. The same went for entertainment - the miners were given games and other things to distract themselves from their situation, because depression releases chemicals that stimulate weight-gain.

The science is out there. You don't need Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, or even NASA to tell you how to lose weight. And you certainly don't need a boat or a collapse mineshaft. A simple Google search is enough to find all kinds of tips and tricks for making yourself healthier. Join me tomorrow as I go over some simple strategies to burn more calories with minimal effort!


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  2. I am horrified just thinking about getting trapped in a underground tunnel. It is something like being dead while you are alive.

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