25 Fad Diets That Did Not Stand the Test of Time

For virtually so long as folks have been consuming meals, diets—or on the very least, particular strategies of consuming—have been widespread. Women particularly fall on the receiving finish of many cultural expectations about weight and form. While supple curves had been once considered a highly-desired trait, thought to be vital of fertility and riches, the final 200 years have seen a determined choice for slim and trim body types.

For each wise eater who counts calories and exercises more, there are a dozen who need to lose weight quickly and are keen to go to extremes to attain that purpose. Below are essentially the most harmful, beforehand stylish or simply general goofy fad diets of contemporary historical past. Let many function a warning that, if it sounds too good to be true, it in all probability is.

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25 fad diets from the previous 200 years

The Tapeworm Diet (origin unknown)

Perhaps essentially the most infamous fad food regimen can also be the oldest. With no identified date of origin, folks looking for weight reduction—and particularly girls—have made jokes about swallowing tapeworm eggs for over 200 years. While this parasite, which takes up residence within the host’s intestines, could certainly result in fast weight reduction, it may additionally cause organ failure and even death. Luckily, the precise use of the tapeworm diet at present appears to be largely anecdotal. Though that doesn’t preserve the children from mentioning it on TikTok, nevertheless!

The Graham Diet (1830s)

Created by fundamentalist minister Sylvester Graham, the eponymous food regimen consisted of primarily overcooked greens with no spices or dressings. Flour-based baked items had been verboten, as had been salt, pepper and butter. According to Graham, the extra pleasurable meals was, the extra probably it was to “overexcite” the digestive organs. In an age the place cholera was running unchecked with no identified trigger, Graham’s claims to well being had been viral. Graham was additionally concerned with minimizing sexual lust and deviance, and his very bland food regimen would supposedly match the invoice.

“Fletcherizing” (1903)

Horace Fletcher, a “nutritionist” with no formal education, rocked America together with his food regimen thought to chew every bite of food 100 times to minimize starvation and lower your expenses on groceries each month. It is a identified undeniable fact that individuals who eat slowly acquire much less weight, and studies have shown that chewing as much as 35 instances per mouthful can decrease meals consumption by 12%. Even so, all that extreme chewing was simply that—extreme.

The Cigarette Diet (Nineteen Twenties)

Before the general public related cigarettes with lung cancer, heart disease and bad breath, smoking was thought-about slightly glamorous. Ads for Lucky Strike cigarettes within the Nineteen Twenties urged girls to “Reach for a Lucky as an alternative of a candy.” Basically, as an alternative of placing one thing yummy in your mouth, you’d smoke a cigarette as an alternative. While smoking cessation is related to weight acquire, doctors do not recommend nicotine as a weight-loss drug these days as a result of its many adverse uncomfortable side effects.

The Hollywood Diet (Thirties)

The Hollywood Diet was in all probability the primary celebrity-endorsed weight reduction plan. Based on the (mistaken) perception that grapefruit had wonderful fat-burning properties, adherents would eat half a grapefruit thrice a day earlier than each meal. Although it now could sound like the peak of silliness, intercourse image Marilyn Monroe swore that the food regimen stored her waist trim—maybe as a result of grapefruit is still a nutritious choice as a part of a nutritious diet.

Related: The 5 Best Diets to Help Manage Your Weight After 50

The Master Cleanse (Forties)

Surely you’ve heard about how Beyonce acquired into good form for Dreamgirls by gulping a concoction of scorching water, lemon juice, cayenne pepper and maple syrup? This food regimen, which has had endurance, started within the Forties when Stanley Burroughs got here up with what he known as “The Master Cleanse.” Obviously, any type of liquid- or partial-liquid food regimen will make you drop kilos (briefly)—however with few energy and virtually no dietary worth, many well being consultants would argue that this food regimen is unsafe.

The Cabbage Soup Diet (Nineteen Fifties)

Like so many misleading fad diets through the years, this very explicit food regimen lured girls in with the premise that they might eat as a lot as they needed … so long as they consumed nothing however cabbage soup. At least three bowls of cabbage soup had been to be consumed day by day on this food regimen, though some variations allowed for the addition of lean poultry. People did drop some weight on this regime, however extreme flatulence was a big downside for individuals.

Sego (1961)

Nowadays, you would possibly seize a SlimFast if you need a meal substitute shake. In 1961, nevertheless, there was Sego: a compound fabricated from child components blended with totally different flavors like chocolate malt, vanilla and banana. Advertisements bragged that Sego shakes may assist dieters via “the Temptation Hours.” At solely 225 energy a pop, it’s comprehensible why this as soon as stylish food regimen didn’t final lengthy.

The Vogue Diet (1962)

Helen Gurley Brown, the eventual editor of Cosmo, touted a food regimen that may make girls really feel horny and younger. It consisted of an egg apiece for breakfast and lunch, washed down with black espresso and a glass of white wine. Dinner was a steak and what was left of the bottle of wine. Lacking many needed vitamins, this fad food regimen was left within the ’60s.

Related: Thinking About Going Low-Carb? Here Are 6 Diets to Choose From

The Drinking Man’s Diet (1965)

While most fad diets are aimed squarely at girls, this one focused males seeking to slim down and up their macho quotient. Ideally, individuals would eat “manly” proteins like steak and lobster, together with giant quantities of booze. It was, in case you squinted proper, a predecessor of modern low-carb diets.

The Sleeping Beauty Diet (Nineteen Seventies)

It feels like the final word weight-reduction plan hack: If you’re sleeping you possibly can’t be hungry, proper? It made sense to medical docs within the 70s—the peak of food regimen tablet mania—who prescribed handfuls of sedatives to homemakers in order that they might sleep off their cravings. Elvis was a fan of this type of weight reduction, which is not practiced.

The Cookie Diet (1975)

Who doesn’t love cookies? That was the premise of a inventive food regimen plan by Dr. Sanford Siegal, who concocted prescription-only low-fat cookies that claimed to have a proprietary “starvation controlling” components. The cookies had been pricey ($179.99 for a month’s provide), and individuals had been restricted to only 500-700 energy of different meals per day. While folks efficiently misplaced weight and this calorie-restrictive fad food regimen remains to be round, the calorie consumption falls under most accepted recommendations for healthy weight loss and has understandably waned in reputation.

The Scarsdale Diet (1978)

Dr. Herman Tarnower of Scarsdale, NY, created a sensation with the Scarsdale Diet within the late Nineteen Seventies—the heyday of the fad food regimen. Tarnower’s plan instructed a minimal calorie consumption for all dieters, no matter intercourse, measurement or age, together with a food regimen wealthy in protein that additionally eliminates many healthy foods like nuts, avocado, candy potatoes and entire grains. It was meant to be adopted for 2 weeks at a time, which additionally inspired yo-yo weight-reduction plan.

The Beverly Hills Diet (1981)

This food regimen, which consists of consuming nothing however fruit for 42 days (an up to date model of the food regimen recommends 35 days), has been known as among the many most harmful plans of all time as a result of inevitable loss of lean body mass and potassium. It additionally negatively impacted individuals’ blood sugar. The “new” model of this food regimen is equally thought-about a fad food regimen that unnecessarily restricts calories.

Ayds Candy (Nineteen Eighties)

Consume just a few of those “scrumptious” treats, and revel in a marked lower in starvation! The Ayds candies really developed fairly a following, however as a result of their unlucky title, they fell off the market amidst the AIDS disaster of the Nineteen Eighties.

Related: What Is the Optavia Diet and What Can You Eat on It? 

The Liquid Diet (1988)

Oprah endorsed this food regimen plan, additionally known as the Optifast Plan, during which dieters consumed no stable meals. Just particular (and costly) shakes had been ingested. Oprah claimed that she misplaced 67 kilos on this plan—each certainly one of which she gained again, plus some, as quickly as she began consuming common meals once more (which she attributes to her metabolism being “shot” by the tip). Unfortunately, this story of fast weight reduction and subsequent weight acquire was ubiquitous amongst liquid dieters, and this fad didn’t final lengthy.

Low-Fat Mania (Nineties)

Hating on fats was faddish within the food regimen business on the finish of the final century. Low-fat meals like SnackWell’s cookies was all the trend. However, what folks didn’t understand was that fats wasn’t the enemy, particularly when “low fats” meals had been stuffed stuffed with added sugars to make them style higher. Mark this one up to an enormous misunderstanding about the best way that weight reduction works.

The Blood Type Diet (1996)

Could your blood type affect the way you digest meals and what vitamins you want? Peter D’Adamo, a naturopath, thought so. The thought was that sure meals contained “lectins” that conflicted with an individual’s blood kind, inflicting irritation and even most cancers. For instance, folks with Type O blood had been stated to digest meat effectively, whereas different sorts weren’t. Unfortunately, there was no actual medical validity to these claims. Also, the “typed” diets had been every lacking essential vitamins.

The Subway Diet (1999)

Who can neglect Jared Fogel, who rose to fame together with his claims of shedding 245 kilos by consuming two meals a day at Subway? Although the sandwich chain embraced Fogel, putting cardboard stand-ups of him in lobbies and utilizing him to advertise their more healthy choices, Subway claims that they by no means endorsed their eponymous food regimen and inspired prospects to eat “balanced” meals.

The Baby Food Diet (2000s)

Celebs like Jennifer Aniston swore by this as soon as stylish food regimen, during which individuals ate about fourteen jars of child meals a day. Since there’s an excessive calorie deficit, this food regimen undoubtedly causes weight reduction. However, since child meals diet is formulated for infants and never for adults, it additionally causes nutritional deficits.

The Raw Food Diet (2007)

Raw foodists declare that meals loses “life pressure” when cooked. As the food regimen title suggests, uncooked foodists espouse consuming nothing however uncooked entire meals. Not solely is that this food regimen extremely restrictive, but it surely additionally has no bearing in actual science.

Related: New Research Finds That the Mediterranean Diet May Protect Against Alzheimer’s

The HCG Diet (2010s)

Folks who’ve undergone fertility treatments are conversant in hCG, human chorionic gonadotropin. It may also help a being pregnant “stick,” however just a few years in the past, folks would inject themselves with a day by day shot of this hormone and eat 500-800 energy a day. Not solely had been the calorie objectives overly restrictive, resulting in malnutrition, however the FDA eventually banned hCG for weight loss, citing numerous adverse uncomfortable side effects.

The Five-Bite Diet (2010s)

Another fad food regimen that didn’t final lengthy, the Five-Bite food regimen was really endorsed by a doctor—Dr. Alwin Lewis, of Burbank, California. The food regimen is straightforward: You can eat something you need, however solely 5 bites of it at lunch and one other 5 at dinner. No breakfast. This “food regimen” leads to an enormous, unhealthy and unsustainable calorie deficit for individuals. As with any diets recommending restricted consumption of nutritious meals and extreme calorie restriction, this is diet does not stand up to scientific study and sometimes results in weight regain.

The Breatharian Diet (2010s)

A concerning lifestyle trend, this food regimen espouses consuming nothing however daylight, contemporary air and, for some, tea. Breatharians have died from this fad diet, and no medical docs and mainstream sources advocate this type of weight-reduction plan. While intermittent fasting does have science to again it up, abstaining from all meals and water doesn’t.

The Cotton Ball Diet (2013)

Astoundingly dangerous, the Cotton Ball food regimen was one of many first fad weight-reduction plan tendencies popularized by social media. Participants dipped as much as 5 cotton balls in a juice of their alternative after which consumed them within the hopes of constructing their stomachs really feel full. Since cotton balls usually are not meant to be eaten, this food regimen has had dire penalties, together with bowel obstruction.

As you possibly can see, fad diets are removed from a factor of the previous. With the prevalence of social media, it’s really simpler than ever to be influenced into diets backed by little scientific proof. Luckily, the web has a silver lining: It is simpler than ever to analysis types of diets and discover the consuming plan that may aid you reach your happy weight!

Next up, Are We Finally Starting to See The End of Dieting Culture?


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