These days, many companies out there promise that extra pounds will somehow magically disappear if only the consumer buys their pill, prepackaged food or diet plan. Americans annually spend billions of dollars on the newest gimmicky weight loss items. We always tend to want things the fastest, easiest way. You and I know that the only way to truly say goodbye to those nagging pounds is through good old-fashioned nutritional common sense and hard work. This doesn’t stop news of some miracle pill popping up almost daily. Here are six weird diets out there that you should NOT follow.

The Cotton Ball Diet. Yes, cotton balls. It grosses me out just thinking about it. Apparently some supermodels and dancers claim to eat cotton balls to feel full and avoid taking in real nutrients and calories. This causes serious injuries to the digestive system because, surprisingly enough, the body was not made to digest cotton balls.

The Apple Cider Vinegar Diet. Though apple cider vinegar is fantastic in recipes, it was not meant to be chugged. Some supermodels out there claim to use apple cider vinegar as an appetite suppressant, rather than a tasty ingredient. The problem with this is that apple cider vinegar’s high acidity content can severely burn the esophagus when ingested straight.

The HCG Diet. HCG is the hormone found in the placenta of pregnant women. According to this diet, people are allowed 500 calories per day, and must inject themselves with HCG. A 500 calorie limit is dangerously low, and people on this “diet plan” are advised not to exercise due to the low calorie intake. According to Dr. David Katz, the hormone injections are “as useful as Dumbo’s feather,” and that starvation is the real reason anyone would lose weight on this diet.

The Sleeping Beauty Diet. This diet promises results from doing nothing but sleeping. The dieter self-sedates and basically sleeps off the weight. It’s true that sleep deprivation slows weight loss, but anything that encourages people to ingest sleep aids to lose weight is not only unhealthy, but it’s also dangerous.

The Five-Bite Diet. This diet is all about teeny-tiny portion control. You sit down at lunch and dinner (eating breakfast is discouraged), and have only five bites of your meal. Besides the fact that your body’s nutritional needs are unmet, this slows metabolism to a crawl because it puts the body in starvation survival mode.

The Breatharian Diet. This diet makes the claim that food is not necessary to live. Breatharians live on sunlight, air, water, and herbal tea. Those who follow this diet religiously also starve themselves to death.

If you’re trying to lose weight, please do not turn to these drastic measures. Healthy eating and exercise are key to living a healthy life!