The Surprising Way People Are Using Cotton Balls to Lose Weight

Cotton balls on blueThe “cotton ball diet” has been sweeping social media as a new fad for weight loss. The diet consists of eating cotton balls to fill up your stomach to keep you from feeling hungry. Because there are virtually no calories, many believe this will help them lose weight.

The cotton ball diet might seem harmless, but it can be very dangerous. The cotton balls can cause a blockage in your intestines that can cause pain and can potentially lead to a stay in the hospital if the blockage is severe.

Besides the fact that eating cotton balls can be dangerous, there is no nutritional value to them.

A Safe Alternative
Trying to not feel hungry when dieting is nothing new; however, there are healthier ways to accomplish this. The best way is a diet called volumetrics.

Volumetrics calls for eating low calorie foods, such as fruits and non-starchy vegetables*, in high quantities in order to fill up your stomach and not leave room for high calorie, low volume foods, such as cake, cookies, fried meats, high fat cheeses, etc. For example, a cup of raw broccoli is loaded with vitamins and minerals but only has 25 calories, while one ounce of fried chicken is more than 100 calories.

Eating five to nine servings (half a cup on average) of fruits and non-starchy vegetables would be a much safer and healthier alternative to the cotton ball diet, and you’d still achieve similar results.

*Note: Non-starchy vegetables would exclude potatoes, corn, peas and beans.

Last Updated: November 26, 2013

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About Author: Nathan Hamman, MS, RD, LDN

Nathan Hamman, OSF Saint Anthony DieticianNathan Hamman is a registered/licensed dietitian at OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center in Rockford, Illinois. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in dietetics and nutrition from Bradley University and holds a master’s degree in exercise science and health promotion from California University of Pennsylvania. He is currently coordinator of the weight management programs at OSF Saint Anthony, as well as a clinical and outpatient dietitian.

Nathan enjoys swimming several times a week with a masters group at a local sports club. He also weight trains four to five times a week and plays on a sand volleyball team.

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Categories: Diet & Exercise