updated 7/9/2007 6:11:06 PM ET 2007-07-09T22:11:06

Oh, the things we'll do to lose a few. In response to an story about a new over-the-counter diet pill with some icky side effects, readers shared the most extreme measures they've taken to lose weight, such as an all-grapefruit diet, an all-liquid diet and gastric bypass surgery.

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"I've tried everything from egg and wine crash diets, to juice fasts and everything in between," writes Cindy of Clearwater, Fla. "All they did was get a few pounds off, which quickly came back once I went back to my normal routine."

But some readers wonder why any extreme measures are necessary. A combination of good old fashioned diet and exercise has helped Brian of Sacramento, Calif., shed an inch and a half off his waistline.

"I eat whatever I want, in smaller portions, and I get off my fat butt at least six days a week for a minimum one hour of cardio exercise," Brian writes. "I feel great, am losing fat and I don't need to spend extra money on 'magic beans.'"

Keep reading for more responses.

At the age of 23, I went on a fast for two weeks, putting nothing in my mouth except water, coffee with a little creamer, and unsweetened tea. I do not recommend doing this, although I did lose 16 pounds the first week, I have had nothing but trouble with my tummy.
— Sheila, Greenwood, Miss.

I'm taking Alli and that in itself is a pretty big extreme. I am, however, experiencing above-average weight loss and have yet to have an “Alli oops,” so I can't complain. But seriously, walking around work the day after I started was just terrifying!
— Melinda, Amarillo, Texas

I had Vertical Banded Gastroplasty in the early ’80s. Jury is still out on whether it was worth it. The psychological component was not addressed then and that is where the biggest change has to occur. Just like with the new pill, one must be committed to following a strict food regimen. So, I lost 60 pounds in the first six months, but now, 22.5 years later I am still struggling with being about 100 lbs. overweight because I like to nibble.
— Fran, Cherry Hill, N.J.

I took a job working construction. Worked wonderfully. I could eat whatever I wanted, as much as I wanted, and I only got in better shape.
— Daniel, San Diego

At 333 pounds I had a very hard time just living. I was extremely unsuccessful sticking to my diet also. In 2002, I made the decision to have a gastric bypass. To date, I have lost approx. 160 pounds. I feel that the surgery was worth it. Not only did I lose the weight, I was able to get my life back. Thinking back on the surgery, I would absolutely do it again!
— Michelle, Jasper, Fla.

The grapefruit diet that was around for a while in the mid ’90s had the same effect. I ruined a lot of underwear and regained the weight when I could no longer stand to look at another grapefruit.
— Anonymous

In March 2004, after trying for many years to lose weight, I underwent gastric bypass surgery. I am very happy with the results! I lost over 110 pounds and I look and feel great. I went from a size 24-26 to a size 6-8. The surgery not only made my weight-loss dreams come true, it forced me to eat a healthy, balanced diet. If I eat too many sweets or too much fat, I will become very ill, I could even throw up. After about 10 months, I learned how to eat properly and have had no ill effects since. The only regret I have is that I did not do this years earlier. But be warned, this is not an easy fix. This takes a complete overhaul of your life and a hard look at why you ate the way you did. If you're not honest with yourself, if you do not take this seriously, you will fail.
— Jacqueline

I once went to a weight-loss clinic where all I could have was five milkshakes a day, and nothing else. … I took off 30 pounds in one month but once I reintroduced real food, I slowly put the weight back on. I found I had to cheat in order to make it through that month so I invested in lots of Jiffy Pop (back in the days before microwave popcorn) so I could have at least one crunchy, chewy moment in the day! I also took Xenical about seven years ago and personally experienced the embarrassing discharge. If nothing else, it gives you an up-close view of just how gross actual fat is (which is what you are expelling if you eat too much of it!). I didn't stay with it because, like many dieters, I didn't like the strict discipline involved. With everything I have tried, it has amounted to a lot of expense and, 20 years later, I'm still not at goal weight, so you do the math!
— Cyndia, Norwich, Conn.

I had my jaw wired shut just to keep me from eating for a week. It worked, too!
— Marcus, St. Louis, Mo.

I lived on Slim-Fast, but was unnerved by the blue crystals that kept showing up in my glass. … I never went back, but it did help me lose weight. As for Alli, I'd rather wear fat pants than poopy pants! I can't believe anyone would risk it — especially when it doesn't seem to help people lose hardly any more weight than diet and exercise! To pay for the privilege of public humiliation is a concept I can't understand.
— Joy, Milwaukee, Wis.

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