Happy New Year, friends! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday and you’re all feeling fresh and rested and excited to spend the next six months accidentally writing 2014 on all your paperwork.

I’m sure many of you have been busy fine-tuning your New Year’s resolutions, and if you’re like the rest of us gluttons, you may be planning to lose some of the weight you put on eating decadently during the holidays. Or, you know, all the days.

With all the conflicting information available, it can be pretty overwhelming trying to select the right diet plan. Should you go with Weight Watchers, Paleo, or maybe follow Gwyneth Paltrow’s simple recommendations and eschew alcohol, caffeine, sugar, gluten, dairy, soy, corn, potatoes, eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, love, joy and happiness? Hint: Never trust Gwyneth. She recommends the consumption of beets, which is a clear sign of madness.

Then again, maybe you like things a little crazy, or maybe you’re so desperate to drop the pounds you’re willing to indulge in the most absolutely insane weight loss “tricks.” You’re in luck because there’s definitely some craziness out there!

Those who prefer their insanity in the form of a tasty edible may be interested in a weight loss trick that requires nothing but eating. Most of us became horizontally challenged because we love to eat, right? This diet sounds like a dream until you realize it requires you to eat a live tapeworm. Eeeeek!

But hey, what do I know? Maybe that sounds positively delicious to some of you weirdoes. After all, there are people who actually claim to enjoy beets. Tapeworms can’t possibly be any worse than that earthy red taproot of the antichrist.

As truly disgusting at it may sound to the rest of us, apparently at least a few people have intentionally ingested tapeworms for the purpose of losing weight. The basic idea is the worm grows inside your body and lives off the food you consume, burning up extra calories and helping you shed unwanted pounds while it lays a million eggs and slowly grows to the length of a garden hose.

According to legend, sterile tapeworm egg pills intended for intentional consumption were first marketed for weight loss in the early 20th century. I first heard of this insane idea last year when I saw a story about a woman who admitted feeding her teenage daughter pills containing tapeworm eggs in hopes of helping her lose weight before a beauty pageant.

I figured it was an isolated act of random insanity until I later caught an episode of “The Doctors” discussing the buzz around the “Tapeworm Diet.” For the record, the doctors admitted the presence of the slimy parasite would indeed lead to weight loss, along with a handful of other pleasantries including nausea, vomiting, bloating, malnourishment and, well, having a gigantic worm living inside your body and feasting on your innards.

That’s pretty gross, but at least they weren’t cutting off body parts in a desperate attempt to lose weight. The Amputation Diet, which I sincerely hope is the Internet’s idea of a sick joke, involves having body fluids or even actual body parts removed in order to shave off a few pounds.

While some followers may attempt to shed pounds by trimming nails, cutting hair, donating blood and taking laxatives and other medications to encourage the elimination of body fluids, apparently others take it to the extreme by attempting to remove non-essential limbs and organs. Just in case you were wondering, you can lose up to three pounds donating a kidney and up to an ounce from trimming nails or removing a wart. Hey, it all adds up!
It sounds crazy on the surface, sure, but think about it. You can’t have fat thighs if you haven’t got any legs at all. Am I right? Genius!

You especially lazy readers — yes, even lazier than folks willing to consume a parasite to eat away their fat from the inside — may appreciate the Sleeping Beauty Diet. This bizarre approach involves subjecting oneself to heavy sedation for several days at a time in order to physically prevent oneself from eating.

Other dieters requiring a physical barrier to eating may be interested in acquiring a weight loss tongue patch. Invented by a plastic surgeon in 2009, this fun and friendly little patch is made from the abrasive material used for hernia repair and transvaginal mesh, which sounds exactly like something that belongs in your mouth. The patch is attached to the tongue, which makes it extremely painful or even impossible to consume solid foods.

It sounds pretty effective in theory although I will caution (from personal experience) that one should never underestimate a hungry fat person’s will to eat.

My personal favorite has to be the Breatharian Diet, which is based on a Hindu belief that humans don’t require food to live. While intended more as a spiritual journey than a weight loss scheme, followers are taught to find satisfaction in the consumption of sunlight and fresh air, which fills their spirits if not their bellies.

The strange “diet,” which was once practiced by Michelle Pfeiffer but sounds more like something Gwyneth Paltrow would promote, has killed a number of participants who were apparently surprised to discover that oddly enough, the human body cannot survive on sunshine and fresh air alone. Who knew?

All sorts of crazy fun awaits you, intrepid dieters. Good luck!