Everyone has tried a diet at least once in their life and has seen visible results, whether on the weighing scale or in front of the mirror. Diets work, no doubt about it. The problem is keeping the weight off or the results steady.
The problem with diets is people's expectations of it. They want a diet to yield quick results with a minimal amount of exercise required. The (unfortunate) truth is that these two don't mix. Fast results with no activity just don't add up. And when people who take these diets don't see what they expected, they end up rebounding and gaining even more weight than when they started.
As if history isn't enough, there are more and more fad diets that pop up regularly – as if the term "fad" wasn't enough. "Oh, have you heard of the latest diet? The Ice Cream Diet?" You heard that right. Consuming just ice cream could help you lose weight.
We'll tackle a list of diets so ridiculous they shouldn't be taken seriously. But we will also touch on the right way a diet should be followed because knowledge is power, and it's better to be informed appropriately so that one can reach their desired fitness goals in the long run. Yes, the good news is that it is possible.
Why Diets Shouldn't Be Taken Lightly
People want to look and feel their best. To be able to see that gorgeous dress and actually look almost the same as the mannequin wearing it when they try it on.
When there's a grand event coming up, and you want to shed those extra pounds, people often turn to diet for that quick fix. This may be fine for something short period, but if you're looking for a diet for continuous weight loss, a proper meal plan and safe calorie intake must be followed.
These fad diets are unbalanced and could yield more harm than good. Yes, you might have lost 20 pounds, but without the proper nutritional benefits of a proper diet, certain organs could have compromised more than they could take.
Fad diets also tend to bring side effects such as dehydration, constipation, mood swings, nausea, migraines, acne breakouts, and the like. Because these diets have an inclination of limiting or excluding food groups such as carbohydrates, we miss out on the essential nutrients they provide.
12 Diets Not Worth Your Time
So, what are these fad diets that actually became a thing but now seem utterly ridiculous?
1. The Tapeworm Diet
You heard that right – actual tapeworms were placed inside the body. These ravenous parasites would "burn through" the unwanted weight and were sold in pill form as a dietary supplement. For those who didn't want to lessen their meals, this plan sounded heavenly. However, the baby tapeworms grew up to 25 feet in length and started causing seizures, meningitis, or dementia, which quickly placed them prohibited for sale.
2. The Cotton Ball Diet
How about something that didn't have too many calories (or any nutritional value at all)? Cotton balls. Somehow, people connected their zero calories with something that could be consumed.
People who got into the fad would soak the cotton balls in the juice to curb their appetite. However, this eventually proved to be highly dangerous and lost its appeal to people, especially models who had to stay very thin.
3. The Sleeping Beauty Diet
The Sleeping Beauty Diet needs no explanation. Sleep instead of eat. This weight-loss method was popularized by Elvis Presley, who encouraged people to sleep while sedated. For us busy adults, this does seem like the dream.
4. The Graham Diet
While it's only logical to think that this diet consists of only eating Graham crackers, it focuses more on the creator of the snack, instead of its consumption. In 1830, Sylvester Graham, a Presbyterian minister, and vegetarian, deduced that people were overweight because of too much sex. He promoted abstinence and vegetables as the key to weight-loss, which didn't last long.
5. The Chewing Diet
In 1903, there was a man who became known as the Great Masticator. Horace Fletcher established the Chewing Diet wherein one had to chew his food 32-80 times until totally liquefied and then spitting out the remains. The originator who was denied health insurance due to his weight lost 40 pounds through this method.
6. The Gluten-Free Diet
The Gluten-Free Die means absolutely no consuming any gluten-containing foods, which translates to no wheat, barley tor rye. It is said that wheat contains an appetite-stimulating element that encourages our bodies to produce insulin, which is a fat-storage promoter.
While this seems promising enough for weight loss, the problem is the substitute for gluten. Those that avoid gluten will consume fewer calories; however, they will end up adding processed food full of sugar and twice the calories to their diet.
7. The Cookie Diet
The plan is to eat six to nine special low-calorie cookies per day for the rest of your life. Yes, these cookies may provide you with essential nutrients, but drastically reducing calorie intake in a short amount of time slows down the metabolism, and when you do go back to a regular diet, you bounce right back and more.
8. The Vision Diet
If you don't mind being seen wearing blue-tinted glasses while you eat, then this diet might be for you. The rationale is to avoid red or yellow-colored food, which is the most palatable by making them look blue and unappetizing. Yes, let's try to trick our brains into thinking something else when we already know the wonderful taste of fries or chicken nuggets.
9. The Charcoal Cleanse
This is similar to the juice cleanse wherein you only consume fluids but with a twist. You only drink juice containing activated charcoal. Advocates of the diet say that this diet improves skin complexion, digestion, and organ functions because the body cannot fully absorb activated charcoal; therefore, it can cling untouched to toxins found in processed foods. The only problem is that it can easily stick to nutrients and suck them out too. The only way to ensure minimal toxins enter our bodies to avoid processed food.
10. The Ice Cream Cleanse
Similar to the cookie diet, this focuses on eating five pints of special ice cream made from coconut cream and honey. It seems like a sweet deal, right? Unfortunately, the calorie deficit with this diet also means a deficiency in nutrients.
11. The French "Air" Diet
Let's take things up a notch. How about preparing or ordering food, cutting the meal into bite-size pieces, then only pretending to eat it? Now that the faux meal is consumed, you go to your main course of water soup (soup à l'eau), which even the most novice of chefs can create because its only ingredients are water and salt. Leave it to the French to make water soup sound so fancy.
12. The Baby Food Diet
Take some mashed carrots, pureed ham, and strained peas, and you get the baby food diet. It's said that Jennifer Aniston used this diet to lose some weight. Take 14 jars of this baby food a day for breakfast and lunch, and you're bound to shed some extra pounds. The downside is that this diet is made for babies meaning it lacks the necessary vitamins and nutrients that adults need. Also, this diet causes a chewing sensation withdrawal, which is not easy to manage in the long run.
The only Diet Right for You
For sure, by now, you know that the only diet right for you is a balanced diet. Take note that a balanced diet highly depends on each person's body type, preferences, level of activity, and schedule. Furthermore, only a balanced diet successfully sheds those pounds and keeps them away.
The balanced diet includes eating plenty of vegetables and fruits, good carbohydrates and fats, protein, and drinking lots of water. Remember the pyramid we all learned in school? That's it. For more information on the right diet for your body type, head on over to PrecisionNutrition.
The hottest celebrity might swear by this diet while an athlete promotes this other diet. Kudos to them, but we are our own masters, and we know our bodies the best. As we have seen with the examples above, there are fad diets that sound so ludicrous you can't believe people followed them. It might have worked for them but try to find out if the results lasted or they stuck to the diet for more than a few months.
Don't feel the pressure to add a fad diet into your life. Make small right choices with your daily intake of nutrition and energy, and you will be more than fine. After all, a healthy, balanced eating plan will make you feel and look your best without the fear of a rebound.