If you thought the trendy paleo diet was a little bit weird, wait until you see some of the shocking diets that people have been on for decades at a time. It turns out we live in a world filled with people who have put some bizarre rules in place around their eating. For some of them, it’s a choice based on their beliefs or desire to change. For others, they simply can’t stop themselves from eating that way.
Famous actor Nicholas Cage has admitted that he eats only animals that have “dignified sex”. Apple’s Steve Jobs, who passed away last year, went through a stage of eating only carrots and went a bit orange in the process. Black Eyed Peas singer Fergie told Glamour magazine that she has a shot of vinegar every day. Angelina Jolie reportedly had a weak spot for insects such as cockroaches for a while there. Hugh Hefner only eats food prepared by his personal chef at the Playboy Mansion. Renee Zellweger constantly snacks on ice cubes to help keep the weight off.
You might think these celebrities have got some weird food issues going on, but read our list of 10 of the world’s most bizarre eating habits and you’ll see there’s far worse out there. It goes without saying that you shouldn’t try some of these freaky diets at home!
10. The Starbucks Diet – For One Year
A Seattle woman, legally named Beautiful Existence, lived on nothing but Starbucks products for a full year in 2013 costing her about $7,000. Existence ate and drank Starbucks items for breakfast, lunch and dinner and wrote about it on her blog. According to the blog, her reason for doing this was because she loves “being human” and having the privilege of “being able to ask the question why in the first place”. That doesn’t explain a lot, but she does hint at other reasons in her blog such as the fact that she lost some weight over the course of the year. Her first meal at the end of her one-year challenge was fish and chips from Seattle’s Ivars restaurant.
9. The Tartar Sauce Diet – For 3+ Years
An American woman, known only as Mysti, had her obsession with tartar sauce exposed on the TLC show Freaky Eaters in 2011. She says she eats the creamy white sauce on “anything and everything” and that has a full bottle of the stuff per day. She eats it straight from the bottle, and also pours it on top of everything including red velvet cakes, spaghetti, Jell-o and Cheetos. She carries tartar sauce with her everywhere she goes and went on the TLC show in order to seek help for her obsession that’s taking over her life. She hasn’t spoken publicly on her progress recently.
8. The Chicken Nugget Diet – For 15 Years
In 2012, 17-year-old Stacey Irvine from England was rushed to hospital and told by doctors to change her shocking eating habits. The factory worker had eaten only chicken nuggets and the occasional helping of French fries since she was a toddler. She’d never tasted fresh fruit or vegetables. Doctors found her to be severely lacking in nutrients and said she had a chronic addiction to chicken nuggets. The teenager said she first tried chicken nuggets at McDonalds at age two, and said she “loved them so much” she couldn’t eat anything else and so her mother eventually gave up. After her health scare, Irvine said she would try to change her eating habits slightly.
7. The Carbs Diet – For 50+ Years
Marla Lopez, who is now in her mid 50s, basically eats only bread, French fries, potato chips and milk. She also branches out and eats crackers, tortillas, pancakes and ice cream. She says she’s never in her life eaten vegetables, fruit, meat or seafood. This self-confessed picky eater says her diet is something most women would think of as a nightmare considering it is all about white carbs. Despite her shocking eating habits, Lopez is healthy and remains at a normal weight. Her adult son faces the same difficulties as her. Lopez’s extremely picky eating habits have attracted a lot of media attention, including being featured on Good Morning America.
6. The Subway Diet – For 11 Months
American Jared Fogle, who the world knows as the star of Subway’s advertising campaigns, turned his life around about 15 years ago when he embarked on a Subway diet. The obese university student walked into a Subway store and looked at a nutrition guide. He then devised his own diet: a six-inch turkey sub for lunch and a foot-long veggie sub for dinner, each with a bag of chips and a diet soda. He says that the “big thing was no mayo, no oil, no cheese”. He lost 245 pounds – over half his original body weight – within a year and his college paper wrote an article about him. Then Subway called and flew him to California for a commercial. The rest is history – Fogle still works with Subway and has a net worth of about $15 million.
5. The Candy Diet – For 50 Years
Writer Paul Rudnik published a book in 2009 which aimed to prove that it is, in fact, possible to survive on a diet of little more than candy and sugar. Rudnik, was 51 years old when the book came out and weighed just 150 pounds. At a height of 5-foot-10, he had a clean bill of health from his doctors. He says that he has always been “appalled” by foods that don’t revolve around sugar. He says that some foods he eats are chocolate, pastries and ice cream but adds that he is not overly gluttonous and wouldn’t binge on a huge chocolate cake, for example. Some of the foods he eats are somewhat healthy such as Cheerios cereal. He was quoted in The New York Times as saying that people “always assume” he is lying when he tells them about his diet.
4. The Soda Diet – For 16 Years
A 31-year-old woman living in Monaco, who has not been publicly named, drank only soda for 16 years before a medical condition forced her to change her shocking drinking habits. She drank no water or any other fluids, just two liters of cola per day. She was admitted to hospital after fainting due to severely low potassium levels and she was found to have a heart condition, which could have been a direct result of her excessive soda consumption. After drinking no soda for a week, her potassium levels and her heart problems returned to normal. Cases like his have brought attention to the risks of soda. Over two thirds of Americans drink soda every day and put themselves at a greater risk of health issues.
3. The McDonald’s Diet – For Three Months
An Iowa high school teacher, John Cisna, lost almost 40 pounds in three months by eating nothing but McDonald’s food. He also saw a drop in his cholesterol levels from 249 to 170. He ate a variety of products during the three months including burgers, salads, McMuffins and desserts. He limited himself to 2,000 calories per day though and tried to stick to recommended amounts of protein, carbohydrates and other nutritional requirements. He also started walking 45 minutes per day. Cisna says he was trying to show his students that what matters most is how and what you eat – not where. McDonalds didn’t have any part in this diet choice, although they did congratulate him on his weight loss.
2. The Raw Meat Diet – For 5+ Years
After running into some health problems, Kentucky resident Derek Nance took action to change his diet and see if it would help him. He tried different things including Veganism but nothing worked so after doing a lot of research online, he settled on a bizarre diet of raw meat – and it worked. He says he was hooked on the diet within three weeks, and now raw meat is all he ever eats (including the entire carcass). He also now works as a butcher. If he goes out for dinner he simply takes his own food. He says his family thinks he’s “lost it” but that his girlfriend, a vegetarian, supports him and that he is determined to keep it up.
1. The Cheese Pizza Diet – For 25 Years
A 38-year-old American guy, Dan Janssen, has lived for a quarter century on a diet of cheese pizza. He’s allowed himself a couple of small exceptions including a bowl of Raisin Bran cereal once per week, a peach a few years ago and some pretzels when he was in Germany. It all began at age 14 when he became vegetarian for ethical reasons but he hated vegetables so decided on just eating pizza. The diabetic says he’s healthy, energetic, thin and active, and that he usually eats a 14-inch pizza as one meal. Apparently his fiancée is trying to get him to be more adventurous and the New York Daily News reported in early 2014 that he is seeing a therapist regarding his shocking eating habits.