When simply flipping through the pages of our favorite magazines, it always seems as though the latest fashions hang off celebrities’ bodies so perfectly, as if designed and moulded just for them, and amongst all these beauties, photoshopped into flawlessness, celebrity fitness gurus describe to us the most recent diet fad that is sure to aid us in our quest for a Jennifer Lopez-esque physique. The 21st century society is constantly bombarded with this concept of flawlessness, provided with the illusion that perfection comes so naturally to the celebrity elite. However, with extreme perfection comes extreme circumstance and this world of glamour is tainted by the darkness of ‘perfection’. How far are our favourite celebrities willing to go to preserve their status as the “world’s most beautiful people”? From grapefruits to parasites, we count down the top ten weirdest, deadly diets – and the celebrities who made them famous. From the butterfly-inducing to the just downright disgusting – what ever happened to just eating healthy and working out?
8) The Baby Food Diet: Jennifer Aniston; Lady Gaga
Pureed peas anyone? Just like its title suggests, on The Baby Food Diet dieters indulge in a selection of pureed fruits and vegetables 14 times a day, paired with extensive cardio. At 25-75 calories a jar, the chances of getting through the day without a stomach rumble are slim to none, however, the diet plan does allow for an ‘adult’ dinner. What’s the problem with this diet? Baby food is not formulated for adult digestive systems and, while it’s packed full of nutrients needed for infants, it doesn’t really meet all the nutrient standards for an adult meal. Rumor has it that, by following the strict restrictions, Jennifer Aniston wow’ed on the set of Just Go With It alongside Sports Illustrated model, Brooklyn Decker. But how much pureed carrots can one eat?
7) The Grapefruit Diet: Kylie Minogue, Brooke Shields
Upgrade from baby food to grapefruits and you have the fundamental structure of “The Grapefruit Diet”, a meal-plan that has been around from 1970 to 2014 and has proven to be one of the most resilient of its kind, despite growing concerns from experts. Dieters begin every day with a full grapefruit, which is rich in enzymes that boost your metabolism and break down fat. Additionally, dieters will incorporate half a grapefruit into every other meal. Followers cannot exceed a daily total of 800 calories, an amount that is far below the FDA approved 1200-calorie minimum for woman, and 1800-calorie minimum for men. Experts also argue that the fruit increases blood levels of the hormone estrogen, which increases the risk of breast cancer, and contain ingredients that affect how quickly drugs can be metabolized into the body – life threatening to anyone who requires a daily dosage of medication. Despite the risks, British pop artist, Kylie Minogue swears by this diet. Our verdict? Variety is the key to a happy life.
6) The Cookie Diet: Madonna, Snookie
It sounds like a dream come true, doesn’t it? Who would have ever thought that the term ‘cookies’ and ‘weight loss’ would ever be found together in the same sentence? The infamous Cookie Diet, made famous by celebrities like Madonna and Snookie, originates from Britain and was founded by Dr. Sanford Siegal. Dieters follow a plan that requires them to eat six specially formulated 90-calorie cookies daily, and finish with a dinner that totals 500-700 calories. The cookies come in a variety of flavors including chocolate, maple and while it sounds like the perfect combination of weight loss and snacking, experts seem to agree that cookies do not provide the nutrients that adults need to function properly, especially in the place of meals. Keep dreaming.
5) HCG Diet: Laura Prepon
If you thought this list couldn’t get any stranger, we’re about to go there – and we’re also about to throw some science at you. The HCG Diet is a relatively new diet that stems from the work of Dr. A.T.W. Simeons and incorporates small doses of Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) into a low-calorie food plan. HCG is naturally produced by pregnant woman and sparks the burning of excess fat from the body’s storage glans, meaning that, despite ingesting only a small amount of nutrients (500 calories a day), HCG dieters burn thousands of calories of fat. In essence, HCG forces the body to think that it is pregnant, suppresses hunger, and prevents the feelings of ‘starvation’. Despite the scientific facts behind this diet, HCG is not FDA approved as a safe diet plan, and a month of hormone injections will set participants back close to $1000. If you still haven’t quite been put off by this plan, HCG is produced and extracted from the urine of pregnant women- yuck!
4) The Master Cleanse: Beyoncé
Also known as the ‘starvation diet”, The Master Cleanse is a 10-day (max) detox that requires dieters to drink warm salt water every morning, followed by a 60-ounce concoction of water, lemon juice, maple syrup and cayenne pepper throughout the day and finish with a calming, laxative tea. Made famous by Beyoncé, who followed this cleanse before her debut in Dreamgirls, The Master Cleanse is renowned as one of the most dangerous diets. Not only does it lack nutrients necessary for survival, but it can also induce the breakdown of muscle function and, due to the reliance on laxatives, cause severe dehydration. We say, just stick to lemonade.
3. The Sleeping Beauty Diet: Elvis Presley
There is nothing worse then falling asleep on an empty stomach, but it is the basis behind The Sleeping Beauty Diet. Very little is known about this particular diet, aside from its association with Elvis Presley. The basic concept behind it is that, through the use of sedatives, followers induce extended periods of sleep that can last for days. While sleeping, the body continues to burn calories but it is hindered from ingesting any more. The problem with this diet? By sleeping through mealtimes, dieters are preventing their bodies from gaining the nutrients and vitamins it needs to survive. Talk about waking up on the wrong side of the bed.
2. The Breatharian Diet: Michelle Pfeiffer
The Breatharian Diet is as close as we get to a cult-diet, it has been connected to at least four human deaths. Through a breatharian view, dieters believe that they can reach a level of consciousness where they can obtain all nutrients, vitamins and sustenance through air and sunlight, similar to that of a plant. The breatharian view allows followers only small amounts of vegetarian and vegan foods. Recently making headlines after being cited by the “human barbie”, experts seem to agree that, while the body can live up to two months without food, given a mild amount of sustenance, the body will recognize starvation and will change accordingly in order to survive on less.
1. The Tapeworm Diet:
Tyra Banks made this diet famous by exposing it on her talk show. Thankfully, even celebrities don’t seem crazy enough to try it – but we couldn’t resist adding it to the list – and at number 1!
The craziest, most dangerous diet does not involve food at all. In fact, this diet allows followers to eat whatever, and whenever they like. The only catch? They must ingest a parasitic tapeworm first. The long, ring-like tapeworms, often taken in the form of a pill, will live inside the dietary tract and indulge on all the food that enters the body, preventing host weight gain. Once satisfied, dieters take a pill that kills the parasite – however, tapeworms can live up to 20 years and grow to be 15-30 feet. Surprisingly, this diet has been around for a hundred years, and while it is illegal in North America, the Internet has made gaining access to these tapeworm pills, easier then ever.