Craziest Fad Diets (that no one should ever try)

At SlimGenics, we believe in promoting overall health and wellness through integrated nutrition – a philosophy that supports eating real food as part of a well-balanced diet and an active lifestyle. One of the most important aspects of maintaining a healthy lifestyle is ensuring that you’re getting enough of the right foods at the right time.

With the growing number of fad diets, it seems like we’re getting further and further away from the concept that real food is the key to a healthful life! And while we would NEVER recommend that anyone actually try these crazy fad diets, they are definitely eye opening – and some of them are pretty funny.

Here is a list of our favorite (a.k.a. most ridiculous) craziest fad diets that no one should ever try:

  1. The Master Cleanse

Fresh lemon juice, maple syrup, cayenne pepper and water. This mixture, and only this mixture, is what you must consume every day for a 10-day detox. We’re not sure how this diet became so popular because most of the reviews tell people to stay near the bathroom! Not only does this crazy cleanse sound relatively uncomfortable, depriving your body of basic nutrients for 10 days is also extremely dangerous.

  1. The Hollywood Diet

This mini fast claims that you can lose up to 10 pounds in two days, which actually sounds plausible considering you can only ingest 16 ounces of specialized 400 calorie juices and eight glasses of water per day. Who else sees a few red flags popping up? As a side note, any diet that promotes losing 10 pounds in two days is not safe. Period.

  1. The HCG Diet

On this fun diet, participants are instructed to consume only 500 calories per day – which, by the way, is less than the recommended intake for a toddler. But don’t worry; you shouldn’t have any intense hunger pangs because you’ll be injecting yourself with hCG, a hormone that is produced in the body during early pregnancy. The FDA has approved this hormone to aid in fertility, but there is no evidence that this hormone supports weight loss. Additionally, restricting your caloric intake so drastically can cause gallstones, irregular heartbeat, and an imbalance of the electrolytes that allow the body’s muscles and nerves to function properly.

  1. The Tapeworm diet

Yes, this diet includes an actual tapeworm, and yes, a tapeworm is in fact a parasite that can grow to be more than 30 feet in a human body! The theory behind this insane “diet” is that the tapeworm will ingest all of the food in your digestive tract. Most nutritionists will agree that life-threatening intestinal blockage and malnutrition is probably not the most effective way to lose weight.

  1. The Baby Food Diet

Whose bright idea was this? Baby food contains very little fiber, so constipation is almost guaranteed. The low caloric intake recommended on this diet, along with virtually no solid foods can have drastically negative affects on your metabolism, causing you to gain rebound weight once you return to consuming solid foods.

  1. The Twinkie® Diet

Instead of regular food, participants are instructed to eat a Twinkie every 3 hours. Twinkies contain 140 calories (and a whole bunch of fat, sodium, sugars, cholesterol and carbohydrates); so while it is technically possible to lose short-term weight by taking in fewer calories than you’re burning, this would be vastly unhealthy. It deprives the body of basic nutrients like protein, antioxidants, calcium, good fats, etc., and sounds like a massive sugar headache waiting to happen.

  1. The Cotton Ball Diet

For this diet, you are supposed to eat cotton balls before each meal. Yes, you read that correctly. The idea behind this diet is that the cotton balls will fill you up and you’ll eat less actual food; however, it’s basically malnutrition and your body will shift into starvation mode, causing damage to the metabolism. Eating cotton balls is essentially like eating paper, and can damage your digestive tract.

  1. The Color Diet

Perfect for the obsessive compulsive, but not so great for complete nutrition, this diet tells you to only eat foods of the same color in one day. For example, on Monday you can eat only green foods and on Tuesday you eat yellow foods. Fruits and veggies that are rich in color are definitely good for you, but limiting yourself to only one color of food per day limits your nutrient variety, and is very unhealthy.

  1. The Martini Diet

There’s a bit of false advertising going on with this diet, as it doesn’t actually allow you to drink martinis. Instead, you are allowed to give in to your cravings as long as they’re posh or elegant foods such as prosciutto. It does, however, use a 3 oz. martini glass to measure out these tiny meals. So, this is the Three Ounces Per Meal Diet.

  1. The Air Diet

For this diet, you can prepare whatever meal you want, but you can only pretend to eat it. You can see it and smell it, as long as it doesn’t touch your lips or become ingested. When food cravings hit, you’re allowed to eat water or salt soup. This sounds oddly similar to an eating disorder, and the fact that it is being promoted as a “diet” is frightening.

While none of these diets are proven to support long-term weight control, a well-balanced diet and an active lifestyle are definitely proven to promote weight loss as well as long-term weight management! Depriving your body of calories and nutrients that can only be found in healthful food can cause serious damage to your body and metabolism, the effects of which are often difficult to reverse. Long-term health and weight management requires a well-balanced diet of nutritious food (solid food, and no cotton balls), and conscious activity. Don’t get caught in the insane yo-yo diet cycle of fad diets and “quick fixes” because the bottom line is that they simply don’t work!