The Craziest Diets Ever

by in Diets & Weight Loss, July 31, 2012
Remember the grapefruit diet?

I’ve read over 200 diet books and some of the advice I’ve come across is just plain wacky or even worse, dangerous to your health. Here are some of the nuttiest plans out there and suggestions on how to choose the right diet plan for you.

Oldies but Goodies
Some of the most famous fad diets are those that promote eating one specific food. These include:

Many of these diets have come out with updated versions that incorporate several well-balanced meals into their plan. However, their premise is still the same. They believe that eating more of a certain food is healthier and can help you lose weight. Unfortunately, more of one food usually mean less of another—and we should be eating a wide variety to make sure we’re meeting our nutritional needs.

Just Plain Wacky
Other diets base their plans on outlandish theories.

  • The Tapeworm Diet: This concept is still around but it isn’t available in most of the world. The premise: You’re fed a parasite, which interferes with the digestion and absorption of food. Although you’ll probably lose weight (classic symptoms of having a parasite are loose stool and weight loss), this form of weight loss is extremely dangerous and even lethal.
  • Sunlight Only Diet: This diet was in the news after a Swiss woman died of starvation trying to follow it. Seems the woman had watched a documentary where an Indian guru claimed to have lived in this manner for 70 years.
  • The K-E Diet: K-E stands for ketogenic enteral nutrition. This diet was recently in the news for helping brides-to-be lose weight via a feeding tube on 800 calories per day. Let me tell you, no man (or woman) is worth that much trouble!

Newer Concepts
Here are more recent diets that have surfaced:

  • The Reverse Diet: This diet says to eat dinner for breakfast and breakfast for dinner. Although whole, natural foods are promoted, other products like salt, sugar, alcohol, caffeine and carbonated bevvies are not allowed. I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I can stomach meat loaf and pork chops first thing in the morning!
  • The Sex Diet: Grab your significant other and get busy in the bedroom! There are several sex diet books out there that promote having much of your physical activity in the bedroom, shower, kitchen . . . catch my drift?
  • The OMG Diet: This is one of the newer fad diets that’s been raising eyebrows. It promises that you can lose 20 pounds in 6 weeks by taking cold baths and drinking coffee. It also says folks should avoid broccoli, starches, carbs and fruit juice. Although cold baths are seemingly harmless, the rate of weight loss is much too rapid. According to the National Institute of Health, a safe rate of weight loss is 1 to 2 pounds per week.
  • The Paleo Diet: The concept is based on foods cavemen ate during the paleolithic era. It promotes eating fruit, veggies, lean meat and seafood while shunning refined sugars, grains, saturated and trans fat, salt, processed foods and yeast. Although this diet offers some good aspects, most experts agree it’s too restrictive.

To keep you sane in a world of crazy diets, the US News puts together an annual list of the best diets. Check out their list for 2012.

TELL US: What’s the wackiest diet you’ve ever heard of?

Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian , consultant and owner of Toby Amidor Nutrition, Inc., who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. See Toby’s full bio »

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Comments (2,551)

  1. Katie says:

    Here's a good website for reasonable and sane weight loss:

  2. @FoodMagick says:

    Not sure I'd call it "wacky," and it's not really a "diet" so much as a different way to eat, but Regenerative Eating helps ease the burden caused by eating incorrectly, which in turn promotes healing and improves body function which results in better health all around (including quick weight loss at first).

    I guess it's kinda wacky when after the very first day you immediately start feeling better, sleeping better, pooping better, and having less chronic pain and other symptoms… Or after a couple of weeks when your blood pressure is healthy and your arms start hanging straight down due to the loss of fat from your mid-section… Or after a few months when you no longer need any expensive meds or supplements, and you start seeing a younger face and body in the mirror because your wrinkles, fine lines, and age spots are vanishing… Or after a few years when you realize you haven't been sick or felt ill in any way, not even with a cold or the flu…

  3. Spiritfoods says:

    Oh God, thanks for reminding me about the existence of the tapeworm diet. >.<

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  5. Rob says:

    I still don't see how Paleo is restrictive. I get to eat all the tasty, healthy food I want. Lots of grass fed beef, bison, elk, wild fish, chicken, heaps of veg and fruits, nuts and other tasty goodies. All while avoiding tasteless and harmful grains. I really don't see where the problem is.

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