Pledging to lose weight as your New Year’s Resolution? We list some of science fiction’s quick fixes for weight loss, but be warned: these shortcuts often come with a terrible price.
Take Adipose (Doctor Who “Partners in Crime”): Adipose is a miracle weight loss supplement that causes users to lose fat without any exercise or change in diet. The fat just seems to walk away – probably because it literally does.
Downside: Your fat is converted into the Adipose, adorable alien newborns. The Adipose themselves are pretty benign, but their nanny, Adipose CEO Miss Foster, can transformer a user’s entire body into Adipose.
Meteor Radiation-Infused Vegetable Diet (Smallville “Craving”): Generally, eating more vegetables is considered a healthy way to lose weight. And when those veggies have been growing in meteor rock-infused soil in Smallville, the results are bound to be dramatic.
Downside: Smallville’s meteor rocks tend to grant its teenaged residents unfortunate superpowers, and those radiation veggie shakes give Amy Adams an incredible metabolism and an insatiable appetite to match, turning her into a fat-sucking vampire.
Be Cursed by a Gypsy (Thinner by Stephen King): Gypsy curses are powerful, especially when they come about as a result of vehicular manslaughter. By uttering the word “Thinner,” a vengeful gypsy causes obese Billy Halleck to rapidly lose weight.
Downside: It is a curse, after all, and the weight loss can’t be stopped unless the gypsy decides to remove the curse.
Have Your Memories Transferred into a Young, Thin Clone (“Fat Farm” by Orson Scott Card”): At a “health clinic” for the wealthy and powerful, you can have endless young, thin clones of yourself made. Each time you get fat, you can just go to the clinic and order up a new clone, who gets your memories and identity until he gets fat and the cycle continues.
Downside: With these things, it’s best to read the fine print. While your clone goes off into the world, you’re still alive and now property of the health clinic, which can do with you whatever it pleases.
Take the Buddy Love Serum (The Nutty Professor): Sherman Klump’s miracle serum causes the user to lose weight instantly, dropping hundreds of pounds in mere seconds. The effects do wear off, so it’s helpful to keep another dose handy.
Downside: The serum doesn’t just alter the user’s body; it creates an entirely separate personality as well. And that personality might insult your friends and leave you with an STD.
Take Doctor Scotus’ Weight Loss Pills (Torchwood: Slow Decay by Andy Lane): Doctor Scotus claims that his miraculous weight loss pills are derived from an orchid he discovered in the jungle. The pills do seem to let his clients lose weight while eating whatever they want. And, to avoid that pesky “losing too much weight” business, the pills come in two forms: “Start” and “Stop.”
Downside: The pills actually contain the eggs of an alien parasite that devours all nourishment its host ingests. If you don’t take the “Stop” pill soon enough, the worm could drive you to cannibalism, or the hungry critter may decide it can get more food on its own and make a hasty exit through your gut.
Take GC-161 (The Secret World of Alex Mack): It’s actually unclear how well GC-161 works as a weight-loss aid (although Larisa Oleynik is still fairly slender). But in high doses, it endows those exposed with superpowers.
Downside: The main problem lies with the Paradise Valley Chemical Plant, an ethically challenged organization that is looking to capture and experiment on those exposed to GC-161. Still, if GC-161 induces telekinesis and the ability to melt into a puddle, it probably isn’t terribly good for your health.
Take a Potion for Loss of Weight (“The Truth About Pyecraft” by HG Wells): Mr. Formalyn is frequently annoyed by his acquaintance Mr. Pyecraft, who frequently bores Formalyn with complaints about his obesity. Fed up, Formalyn gives Pyecraft an ancient Hindustani recipe for Loss of Weight.
Downside: The potion reduces the consumer’s weight without any reduction in mass. Pyecraft is no leaner for taking the potion, but he immediately finds himself floating to the ceiling and has to stuff his clothes with pieces of lead in order to stay on the ground.
Use Special Ear Plugs and Glasses (Tales from the Darkside “Love Hungry”): The unsual diet program “Your Weight Is Over” ships members a special hearing aid and glasses. These accessories cause you to perceive your food as anthropomorphized, showing you their sad faces and forcing you to listen to them beg and plead for your lives.
Downside: When all your food has a face, it becomes harder to eat anything at all. It might be nice to befriend your fruit bowl, but then eating a banana turns into an act of murder.
Eat Only Replicated Food (Star Trek): It probably won’t cause you to lose weight with any great speed, but the food from Federation replicators is designed to be nutritionally acceptable. Even Cheetos are devoid of empty calories.
Downside: Although theoretically identical to the real thing, some people claim that replicated food doesn’t quite taste the same. Of course, it could just be resentment that the government is controlling what its ship-bound citizens eat.
Take Doctor Pedro’s Weight Loss Pills (Vault of Horror “Dying to Lose Weight!”): If you’re not willing to eat less or exercise, then Doctor Pedro has a pill for you. Just one dose, and you’ll lose weight without the need for self-control.
Downside: It should come as no surprise that any weight loss pill that actually works contains mutant tapeworm eggs and will eventually kill you. But, the tapeworms keep on eating even after the dieter has died, which Doctor Pedro discovers when hiding from angry villagers in a local mausoleum.
Visit Vita Novus (Doctor Who “The Beautiful People”): Visitors to the Vita Novus Health Spa may arrive corpulent and unmotivated, but they leave trim, slim, and suffused with a healthier outlook on life. Vita Novus breaks down your molecules, reconstitutes your body into its fittest possible version, and recycles the excess material for beauty products.
Downside: That healthier outlook is the result of a little cognitive tinkering, so that you leave a mentally different person than when you arrived. You’re also implanted with a desire to drum up more business for Vita Novus, which turns you into a walking, talking advertisement.
Get a Robotic Diet Coach (“The Iron Chancellor” by Robert Silverberg): The roboservitor will monitor your family’s diet, preparing strictly regimented meals to help each member meet their target weight. And it will go to great lengths to ensure that you don’t cheat.
Downside: The model is a little glitchy, and will sometimes force you to continue the diet even when you are on the verge of starvation. Its anti-cheating protocols also make it clever enough to avoid reprogramming.
Drink Trent Applebaum’s Saliva (The 4400 “The Weight of the World”): 4400 returnee Trent Applebaum has a liver enzyme that causes people who come into contact with his saliva to lose weight. This quickly comes to the attention of a pharmaceutical company, that seeks to use the enzyme as a diet aid.
Downside: The enzyme is harmless to Applebaum, but can’t be stopped in other humans. Without proper treatment, anyone who drinks the saliva eventually starves to death.
Eat a Worm Egg Salad Sandwich (Futurama “Parasites Lost”): Too many parasites end up killing their hosts or impairing their health. But the worms found in that truck stop egg salad sandwich know that a happy, healthy host is one that will keep a parasite colony going for generations. They’ll improve your brain function, Jazzercise your muscles, and quickly turn that paunch into a six-pack.
Downside: Actually, there isn’t really a downside here. But we still wouldn’t recommend eating the sandwiches out of truck stop vending machines.