At any given time, nearly 38% of adult females are dieting. People (primarily women) all over the world, at nearly every age, are unhappy with their weight and look for quick and easy fixes to lose pounds. There are thousands of diets that claim to make you shed weight without doing anything different.
Diets usually come in fads. One will come out and be popular for a year or two and then will fade into oblivion. When people look back at these crazy diets, it seems obvious that they wouldn’t work. Quite often, these fad diets are very harmful to your body, but people engage in them anyway. They can help you lose weight and fast, but that’s usually because they encourage harmful eating and nutritional practices. Once you stop the diet, the pounds fly back on because a healthier lifestyle wasn’t adopted. Not only are these diets unhealthy in their practices, but they also promote propaganda that tells women they are too fat the way they are, which encourages them to partake in these harmful diets.
Some of the diets people create are totally outlandish and involve weird physical adaptations instead of altering type or quantity of food when we know the best way to lose weight is to eat healthy and appropriate sized portions in combination with living an active lifestyle. Below is a list of the weirdest diet crazes from around the world (and throughout history) that had a major following. Would you do any of these?
12. Apple Cider Vinegar Diet
Stars like Fergie and Heidi Klum are known to follow this strange diet. While their bodies look great, it probably has nothing to do with this since it hasn’t been scientifically proven to do anything. The Apple Cider Vinegar Diet is one that encourages participants to have three teaspoons of apple cider vinegar before they eat. The idea is that it curbs food cravings and will cut fat. However, this isn’t true. The only thing it may do it lessen your appetite because of how gross it tastes.
Some people have been known to follow this to an extreme in hopes of reducing fat. Enthusiasts take apple cider vinegar pills to boost the effects of the diet, but the concentrated acid in the pill can burn the esophagus and stomach lining so doctor’s strictly discourage people from taking these diet pills. If you really want to curb your appetite, you can try a sip of vinegar and see how it works out.
11. The Fletcherism Diet
This one will definitely prevent you from accidentally choking on your food. The Fletcherism Diet was created by Horace Fletcher back in the late 1800s and has been pretty popular ever since.. even though it’s really weird. He advises people to chew their food 100 times per minute (so that it essentially becomes a liquid) before swallowing it. He also advised people to chew liquid drinks too so that they could properly mix with saliva.
He (and those who follow this diet) believe that chewing this much will increase strength while decreasing the amount of food you eat. He also suggested people eat before they’re really hungry and to stay away from food when they’re mad or sad. At least one of his points have actual merit. As for the excessive chewing, it probably would help you lose weight, but only because no one has time to eat a meal for over an hour.
10. Luigi Cornaro Diet
This diet dates back all the way to the mid 1400s. It originated with Luigi Cornaro, who had a near-death experience at 35. This shocking experience made him re-evaluate life and revamp his eating habits.
He declared that you should only eat 350 grams of food a day, mostly bread, egg yolk, meat and soup. While this sounds awful, he also said 414 mL of wine should be consumed daily. Imagine wine as a mandatory part of your diet. His diet has no scientific backing and puts him at an extremely low calorie consumption, but it worked for him because he lived well into his 80s.
This low food intake diet is popular advice today and also makes appearances in other diet plans. Shangri La is a diet that promotes eating 300-400 calories a day and drinking spoonfuls of olive oil before hand to help cut fat and suppress appetite. These are some of the most unhealthy diet plans out there.
9. hCG Diet
This one has little to do with food and more to do with injecting yourself. hCG is a hormone that women have high levels of when they’re pregnant; it’s what’s detected on pregnancy tests and is also occasionally secreted by tumors. And there’s a diet based around it.
The hCG diet is one in which participants inject themselves daily with hCG in order to lose weight and lower calorie intake to around 500 per day. The FDA has outlawed the sale of diet pills that contain hCG because it hasn’t been concluded whether tumors produce high levels of the hormone or if high levels of it cause the tumors. There is a chance that by following this diet you’re giving yourself a tumor. Not only is this diet extremely dangerous, it has also been scientifically proven to NOT WORK. So if you’re doing this, stop.
8. The Cigarette Diet
They’re good for something, but way worse for everything else. It’s no surprise that smoking cigarettes suppresses your appetite; this practice dates back to the indigenous Colombians. It has been proven that nicotine suppresses the appetite and when cigarettes made their big debut, advertisements were sure to let you know that smoking a pack of Virginia Slims would keep you slim too.
While cigarettes suppress your appetite, they do many more bad things. Nicotine is also linked to elevated blood pressure and heart rate (which lead to appetite suppression) as well as the widely known fact that cigarette smoking can cause cancer. While studies have shown the cigarette smokers weigh less, it hasn’t been completely conclusive because samples are often skewed and focus on adolescents who are usually thinner than the general population. Definitely don’t risk cancer to maybe lose weight.
7. The Master Cleanse Diet
You know those juice cleanses that last a week? This is just like that, except way more extreme. Drinks that are permitted include tea and lemonade made with maple syrup and cayenne pepper. It is believed that these ingredients detoxify the body and melt all the fat. However, it’s been proven to be untrue.
In the short term, this diet isn’t harmful and probably does what it says, but in the long term it can lead to loss of muscle mass and increased risk of heart attack. The diet lacks vitamins and nutrients your body needs, it’s essentially making you anorexic. While weight is lost while on the program, it’s considered a crash diet because once the participant goes back to eating regularly, he/she will gain all the weight back.
6. The Sleeping Beauty Diet
It sounds so wonderfully simple, and it was a favorite of Elvis Presley! I’m sure you can guess what this diet is; you sleep a lot. The idea is for you to be heavily sedated so that you sleep multiple days and lose weight that way. You aren’t eating and your body is still running so you’re literally losing weight in your sleep.
There aren’t any documented results for this diet and receiving sedation would be hard since most doctors would say it’s unhealthy. You’re missing out on nutrients your body needs to function and when you wake up you’d gain all the weight back as soon as you start eating again. Sleeping Beauty is a fictional movie, real diets should definitely not be based on her.
5. Cotton Ball Diet
Another name that’s descriptive. This diet involves eating cotton balls that have been soaked in a liquid- something like a smoothie or a juice, so that your stomach feels full without you having to eat too much. It’s an interesting way at lessening your caloric intake.
As you can imagine, this diet is extremely dangerous and unhealthy. Not only are you depriving your body of the substance it needs to thrive, but you’re also eating products (cotton) that our bodies are not able to digest. This leads to blockages in the intestines, which cause dehydration, internal organ damage and death to the gastrointestinal tract. It can also cause choking because imagine trying to swallow a cotton ball whole. Cotton balls also contain toxic chemicals in the synthetic ingredients that aren’t safe to eat. Plus, they just feel gross.
4. The Last Chance Diet
Unveiled in 1976, this was the last resort for people who wanted to lose weight and fast. It was a method, book and product that got Roger Linn (the creator) rich and killed some people in the process. It involved drinking his special concoction, which was under 400 calories, each day. But it involved drinking, literally, only this – and it didn’t include any exercise.
Prolinn was the main ingredient in the drink, which is a low calorie protein that was harvested from the hooves of animals in slaughterhouses. As you can imagine, it wasn’t safe to ingest. Participants lost 10-30% of their body weight extremely quickly so they were happy the diet worked. And then they randomly dropped dead. The deaths were attributed to abnormal heart rhythms caused by the shrinkage of the heart muscle due to the diet and low levels of electrolytes. Unfortunately, the Last Chance Diet was the last thing some people got to do.
3. Ear Stapling
This physical remedy to fix what you eat is based on acupuncture and centers around the idea that targeting pressure points in the body can lead to different psychological and physiological reactions. Participants believe that stapling the ear targets a pressure point that leads to appetite suppression and therefore, weight loss. It involves a procedure where staples are placed into the inner cartilage of each ear and left there for weeks or months.
Some studies have concluded that acupuncture can lead to weight loss, but ear stapling has never been proven to be a successful method. The staples are inserted most often in unsanitary conditions, most healthcare professionals won’t do it, which can lead to infections and permanent disfigurement.
2. The Twinkie Diet
Known for their processed composition and for being extremely fattening and unhealthy, the Twinkie has its own diet! Yes, they’re involved in a program to help you lose weight. This diet involves eating Twinkies and only Twinkies. It’s based on the idea that calorie intake is the sole most important factor when losing weight. These little cakes are low in calories so eating one for each meal (and some snacks) will help you shed pounds. It also probably helps that after eating a few of them, you’ll get sick of the taste and stop eating for a while.
Some people have tested the diet and lost weight. In addition their cholesterol and fat levels decreased as well. It seems backward that eating these completely unnatural foods would help someone become healthier. Professionals have said that your body functions better when it’s at a proper weight, regardless of how you get there. They haven’t discovered what its long term effects are or if it increases cancer risks, so if you do try this, don’t do it too long.
1. The Tapeworm Diet
One popular dangerous diet to help lose weight. This one includes giving yourself a parasite. This diet easily suppresses your appetite, but it costs a lot. About $2,000 will get you a tapeworm, but then you have to swallow its cysts and let it grow (UP TO 3 FEET) inside of you and then take a pill to kill it on the 85th day of the diet.
The tapeworm resides in your intestines and naturally suppresses your appetite. It absorbs a lot of the calories and nutrients in the food you eat, which in turn starves your body and makes you lose weight. Tapeworms can cause eye problems, meningitis, dementia and other physical maladies so it isn’t recommended you try this diet of voluntarily letting a parasite live inside you.