People, and women in particular, have been known to try just about anything to lose weight. If there’s a so-called “easy” way to lose weight fast, we’ll try it. Throughout the years, there have been some rather strange diet fads bandied about. Some of them have even been deadly. Here are ten of the weirdest diet trends ever tried.
Baby Food Diet
This one’s been in the news lately as a celebrity favorite. None other than Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston and Madonna have tried this diet, created by celebrity trainer Tracy Anderson. A book is expected to be released soon so that the general public can follow it if desired, but what it really boils down to is, eating jars of baby food. Most baby food is free of additives, preservatives and fillers, and much of it is organic, which might be why the idea became so appealing and trendy among celebs. We all know (well, us moms who have been known to sample Junior’s sweet potatoes from time to time know, anyway) how bland baby food is. Do you really think eating Gerber during the day is going to satisfy you enough to keep you from bingeing on Rocher later? Time will tell, I suppose.
Last Chance Diet
Invented by Dr. Robert Linn in the 1970s, the Last Chance Diet involved eating nothing but Prolinn, a liquid protein elixir created by Linn (hence the name, Prolinn). It was supposed to be made up of such tasty and nutritious morsels as pre-digested animal hides, tendons and slaughterhouse byproducts combined with sweeteners and artificial flavors. Yummy! However, the diet wasn’t all it was cracked up to be: after many Last Chance Dieters died, the FDA yanked Prolinn from the market. For those unlucky dieters, this really was their Last Chance.
Parasitic Worm Diet
You might find this hard to believe, but this diet craze is currently all the rage in Hong Kong, where obesity has been increasing in recent years. Seems thousands of Hong Kongians are ingesting parasitic intestinal roundworms, the idea being that these worms will eat your food for you, helping you to avoid any of the nasty fat and calories usually incurred when eating. In addition to eating your food, however, these worms inject toxins into the human body, and have been known to cause diarrhea, vomiting, malnutrition, pancreatic duct obstruction, lung invasion, and death. Perhaps not the smartest way to lose weight after all…
Man Juice Diet
No, this isn’t just a ploy by men to get women to give them blow jobs. In 2002, a porn star named Kim Kelly became famous for publicizing the fact that she planned to eat nothing but “man juice” (aka semen) for 30 days. She planned to have six servings of man juice per day, and had more than 1000 men offering to donate “meals” for her to ingest. Because she could not “raise” enough funding to keep the diet going, Kelly only was able to attempt it for 8 days. The idea is so appealing to the providers of “man juice,” however, that it will probably rear its ugly head again one day.
Based on the spiritual concept of fasting, the Breatharian Diet assumes that food is not necessary to sustain life, and that the human body can subsist on air, sunlight, and Prana, or life force. Many Breatharians exist just on water, herbal tea, air and sunlight. Some just practice it for a few days, which makes a bit of sense, but others claim to follow it religiously, often to an early grave.
Lunch Box Diet
Popular in the United Kingdom, this diet invented by a fitness trainer is simple: buy a lunch box, fill it with vegetables, proteins and fats, and graze on the contents of your lunch box all day long. You’re supposed to be eating healthy foods all day long, in order to satisfy your hunger without bingeing. The creator will sell you the diet plan for $21 USD, or you can go to Walmart, buy a cheap lunch box and fill it with food on your own. If you can adhere to the plan, this one makes a little bit of sense. But c’mon, how realistic is it to only eat foods you’ve placed in that box all day long? I’d probably be sneaking a Twinkie or two in there for good measure, thereby wrecking my entire day’s diet.
Japanese Banana Diet
This diet from Japan emerged about two years ago. Adherents to the Japanese Banana Diet ate only bananas and room-temperature water for breakfast, and claimed that this jump-started weight loss, regardless of what they consumed for the rest of the day. Really? Anything I want? Well, they did say no dessert, but other than that, anything was fair game. Other variations on the banana diet say eat 2 bananas before each meal, then whatever you want after that. Proponents of this diet do say that weight loss isn’t fast, possibly because constipation is a side effect of eating so many bananas….
Followers of this diet eat just 500 calories daily and inject themselves with the HCG hormone, one that most women who have been pregnant are quite familiar with because it’s produced during pregnancy by the placenta. It has been called very unhealthy by doctors, and by the FDA, who has not sanctioned the use of HCG for anything except fertility treatments. On the plus side: if you’re trying to get pregnant, this might be the diet for you.
Cotton Ball Diet
Ok, this one’s just too stupid for words. The premise is self-explanatory. You are supposed to eat cotton balls to give a false feeling of “fullness.” It’s been practiced by supermodels and dancers (apparently ones with low intelligence) and has occasionally caused death. Duh!
Also called the “Lemonade Diet” or the “Liquid Diet,” this diet was made popular by Stanley Burroughs in 1976. It consists solely of a liquid diet of water, lemon or lime juice, maple syrup, and cayenne pepper. Followers may only drink lemonade about 6-12 times a day, a glass of salt water, and an herbal laxative tea once or twice a day. It’s supposed to detoxify the body, and was originally intended for that purpose, but re-emerged in 2004 as a weight loss diet. It might be safe for a day or two, but most doctors say following this diet for any length of time greater than that may be hazardous to your health.