I F YOU’RE sleeping, you’re not eating. This is the logic of the followers of the Sleeping Beauty diet, the latest weird and dangerous weight-loss method that has people taking sedatives to sleep up to 20 hours at a time.
The bizarre fad is being touted by pro-anorexia websites as “being perfect for the end of school semester when young people have extra time on their hands”.
Horrified diet experts are warning Queenslanders to avoid the Sleeping Beauty diet, which is more likely to spark binge eating and depression from social isolation.
Dietitian Nicola Weedon says bizarre diets such as the Sleeping Beauty being promoted among those with eating disorders is terrifying.
“These diets are extremely unsustainable and essentially remove the purpose of living. If the desire to lose weight outweighs the importance of social interaction and quality of life, it should be a red flag to consult a doctor,” Ms Weedon said.
“Sedentary behaviour encourages loss of muscle mass, which can lead to poor energy levels, a compromised immune system and a lower metabolic rate, which will in turn lead to weight gain, perpetuating the diet cycle.
“Sleeping pills are also addictive and people can become resistant to their effects. If proper sleep isn’t achieved at night, regulation of hunger and appetite controls can be altered, leading to binge eating.”
Danielle Cahalane, 31, from Chermside, likes to keep in good shape, but says she would never entertain an extreme diet.
“I used to work with a girl who followed the chew but don’t swallow diet. The furthest I have gone is the juicing diet when I substituted some meals,” she said.
“The very idea of swallowing a tapeworm to eat off the food in your stomach is disgusting and I certainly don’t have the time to sleep 20 hours at a time.”