Many diets prepare you to have a beach body. The latest diet in Hong Kong actually involves the beach itself. No, you aren’t running on the sand or doing yoga to help you beat food cravings. Instead, for a small but growing number of women, you’re using the beach as a perfect vantage point to stare right at the sun.

Sun Diet view over Victoria Harbor

While Hong Kong has its hidden open spaces and a lot of beautiful greenery, the beach village of Sam Ka in Lei Yue Mun has one of the most unobstructed views overlooking Victoria Harbor. This is where dieters gather twice daily: once in the morning before the workday and once in the early evening after people have finished their jobs. The group has a very particular set of practices. First, they remove their shoes and put on their glasses. Then they stare straight into the sun, waiting for a timer to alert them that their dieting ‘session’ has ended. Some choose to wrap light fabric around their faces, although this is not a requirement of the diet.

Sun dieters with faces covered

Individuals who have spoken to the dieters have gleaned some additional information about this miraculous approach to weight loss. Beginning on the first day of the diet, a participant stares at the sun for ten seconds. For every day during the remaining nine months of the weight loss strategy, participants add an additional ten seconds to the time they gaze into the fiery orb until they eventually reach forty-four minutes per session. The glasses that these adherents wear are not actually sunglasses, but pinhole lenses that they think concentrate the sun’s qualities without hurting their vision.

Sun dieters with umbrellas

The underlying belief of this diet is that by staring directly into the sun, the fitness enthusiast absorbs solar energy, which is an acceptable substitute to caloric energy obtained from food. If this isn’t weird and crazy enough already, practitioners believe that this process also improves the quality of sleep they get at night and increases their visual acuity.

Needless to say, with Hong Kong’s location in the tropics, the sun is incredibly bright and intense. Physicians in Hong Kong and around the globe have stressed that this diet has no positive benefits, aside from participants getting some extra Vitamin D. And you can get plenty of that without staring directly into the sun.

Now, to be fair, all the claims of this diet may be true. If you stare at the sun for up to forty-four minutes a day, for nine months, and stop eating, you will lose weight, you will sleep better, and your visual acuity will improve. Assuming that you want your vision to consist of nothing but darkness as you sleep forever since you’ve starved to death.


Steve Pame

Steve Pame

A part-time graduate student and high school teacher, Steve enjoys just about anything that makes him forget all the student loans he'll never be able to pay back. He enjoys visiting his extended family, spread throughout the world, whenever he has a chance.