Some people don't just want to lose weight. They're literally dying to. If you have a real medical reason to shed pounds and want to live to see the results of your efforts, avoid these fatal techniques:
1. Following an extremely low-calorie diet program. A 34-year-old bride-to-be in the U.K. allegedly died when her heart stopped beating 11 weeks into a brand-name diet that entails eating 500 calories worth of low-cal foods provided by the company, according to The Telegraph. While the 244-pound woman, who reportedly "didn't want to be a fat bride," lost 42 pounds before her death, she didn't make it down the aisle.
2. Buying diet pills on the Internet. An England-based med student who had suffered from anorexia and bulimia in her teens died from taking diet pills she bought on the Internet, according to Yorkshire Evening Post. The pills contained dinitrophenol (DNP), an industrial chemical and herbicide that's long been banned in the States because of its terrifying side effects.
3. Purging. A 26-year-old woman who had long struggled with bulimia, binge eating, and anorexia died from a heart failure related to her eating disorders, according to a foundation set up in her memory.
4. Eating nothing but air. In Scotland, an Australian-born woman who practiced "breatharianism" (eating very little, and relying on air and light for sustainance) died during a fast, according to her diary entries cited in a BBC report. Police believed she starved herself to death.
5. Blacking out from overexertion. A compulsive exerciser on a 1,000-calorie-per-day diet nearly died when she blacked out in her car as it was coasting through an intersection, according to The Huffington Post.
6. Swallowing tapeworms. To lose weight, one Iowa woman swallowed a beef tapeworm she bought on the Internet, reports Today.com. The tapeworm hooks into your intestines and eats food ingested by its host. One downside, besides causing abdominal pain and death: The bugger can grow as long as 30 feet inside of you. Luckily, the woman hightailed it to her doctor in time to fess up and receive treatment before it was too late.
7. Undergoing gastric bypass surgery. While this weight loss shortcut can give some people a new lease on life, it can leave others with a shorter one. A 38-year-old father of four died from an abscess, pneumonia, and a pulmonary embolism three weeks after undergoing gastric bypass surgery to lose weight, according to a CBS report. In another case, after a 362-pound 42-year-old underwent gastric bypass surgery in England, she struggled to keep food down, vomiting uncontrollably. The sickness persisted for four years, after which she ultimately starved to death, according to Daily Mail.
8. Botched liposuction. In Ecuador, a 19-year-old beauty queen died from complications in a botched liposuction surgery included in her prize, Fox News Latino reports. The judges suggested the procedure even though the teen thought exercise could target her trouble spots.
9. Working out when you're drunk. A 28-year old man in England was 3.5 times the legal drinking limit when his neck was crushed by an 88-pound barbell he lifted during a late-night lifting session, according to a BBC report. While it's unclear whether the bakery chef was trying to lose weight, trying to burning calories while you're drunk is clearly a bad idea.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.