There have been some pretty ridiculous fad diets over the years, and they all seem to have very similar criteria: you get to choose from a very limited number of food choices, none of which taste all that great; you don’t get to eat as many calories per day as you need; and you consume something that makes you pee a lot. Here’s a list of some of the worst offenders that people still continue to fall prey to:
The Cabbage Soup Diet – I knew a coworker who was on this diet for a while, which basically lets you eat as much cabbage soup as you want. And that’s the only food you have to choose from for this one. She said her family members couldn’t stand to be in the same room with her while she was on her diet, and if you’ve ever consumed cabbage, it’s easy to imagine why.
Slim Fast – Drink two delicious, vitamin-loaded chocolate shakes, and eat a “sensible dinner.” My mom was on this diet, but it didn’t last very long because everyone in my family got addicted to the drinks (and this stuff is pretty expensive!). She couldn’t stop herself at just two, and she was still so hungry at the end of the day that the sensible dinners she prepared were some of the biggest and unhealthiest we ever ate.
The Hollywood Diet – You buy a very expensive bottle of fruit juice and only drink four glasses of it a day for four days; you can’t eat anything. You’re only consuming about a fourth of the calories you should get each day and you’re peeing every 20 minutes, so of course you loose weight and look like a Hollywood celebrity, at least until you hit the all-you-can-eat buffet the day after you get off of the diet.
Atkins – Focus on eating meat and a few choice vegetables and lose weight. But bacon and steak lovers beware; Atkins himself died of a heart attack (supposedly). Still, he did live to be 72, so maybe there’s something to this one, if you don’t mind being constipated all the time and having high cholesterol.
Grapefruit Diet – Someone determined that this gigantic citrus fruit has magical fat-burning properties and constructed a diet around it. Basically you eat a grapefruit at every meal with some other small food items, and for some reason you always have to have bacon and eggs with your breakfast grapefruit. This is definitely a diet that induces the loss of water weight, but once you get off of it, the pounds start magically reappearing.
Apple Cider Vinegar Diet – Apple cider vinegar is one of the most amazing substances in the world. It can cure arthritis, diabetes, migraines, and many other ailments, in addition to being a fat burner. For this one, you get to eat want you want; you just have to have a few spoonfuls of the foul liquid with every meal. This one is easier than the others, but, unfortunately, it also doesn’t work at all.
Detox Diets – These diets are one of the most recent fads out there, and there are many different versions of them. They aren’t just used to lose weight, but to get rid of all of the harmful toxins our bodies contain. Most of them focus on consuming health shakes or certain foods for a limited amount of time to “detoxify” the body, but it seems that detoxification is simply emptying your bowels. A lot. Researchers also proved that they don’t work and the same amounts of toxins still remain in the body afterwards.
So if you’re trying to really lose weight for the long run, be on the lookout for fad diets. They may tempt you with promises of feeling full and seeing pounds melt off fast, but only a real lifestyle change with a balance of healthy foods will lead to long-term success. That’s why eating healthy foods has never been labeled a fad.