The 10 Craziest Diets You’ve Probably Never Seen Before

By Anthony O'Reilly August 28th, 2020 | Image Source: Muscle And Fitness

These are some unique ways to lose weight.

People will do just about anything to lose weight — except for eating whole foods, exercising regularly, and getting 7-9 hours of sleep, that is. As a result, countless diets have claimed to be the quickest and easiest ways to shed fat throughout the years.

There are the popular eating regimens, which include the Atkins diet, South Beach diet, paleo, carnivore, veganism, Vertical Diet, intermittent fasting, and keto. Countless athletes, celebrities, and Instagram influencers have endorsed these.

And then there are some … we’ll say “unique” approaches to fat loss. These methods range from pseudo-scientific — with some evidence to back up their credibility — to downright psychotic.

We decided to run down 10 of the craziest ideas and weigh the pros (if there are any) and cons. To do that, we tapped Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Malina Malkani, MS, RDN, CDN, creator of Solve Picky Eating and author of Simple & Safe Baby-Led Weaning, to get her professional take on all of them.

It should go without saying, but unless otherwise noted these diets should be avoided at all costs. And if you ask Malkani, that’s the case with most diets.

“There is no one-size-fits-all approach to weight loss, wellness or nutrition that works for every individual, and there are many factors that contribute to weight gain, including insulin and/or leptin resistance, certain medications and diseases, hormonal changes, environment, genetics, and food availability,” she says. “In general, it’s important to note that we have overwhelming evidence at this point that diets (and especially fad diets) don’t work in the long term.”

If you’re looking for an effective weight-loss program, you should consult a medical professional such as a nutritionist or dietitian to address your individual needs and goals.

1 OF 10

Dessert with Breakfast Diet

Imagine this: You sit down to eat your scrambled eggs and oatmeal, and right after that you enjoy a chocolate chip cookie. That’s the essence of the dessert with breakfast diet, which claims that eating a carbohydrate-rich, protein-packed breakfast that includes a small sweet can help people lose and keep off weight.

Here’s the thing: there’s some proof this might work. A 2012 study in the journal Steroids split 193 obese, sedentary people into two groups — one that ate a low-carb, high protein breakfast and another that ate a high-carb, high-protein meal that included a dessert.

Both groups ate the same amount of calories, but the dessert group lost more weight and kept it off for the duration of the 8-month study while the low-carb group experienced weight regain.

“Studies suggest that avoiding certain foods actually makes them more irresistible, setting people up to overindulge,” Malkani says. “A better long-term strategy is to commit to a healthy plan for meals and snacks that includes some favorite treats that can be fully enjoyed without guilt or shame. For some, enjoying a small dessert with a balanced, satiating breakfast in the context of an overall healthy diet may be a helpful way to accomplish this.”

2 OF 10

Snake Diet

Self-proclaimed fasting coach Cole Robinson — who has no medical background — created this diet on the belief that the human body can sustain itself on one meal eaten a few times a week.

And no, you won’t be eating snakes — but you will be eating like one. For this diet, you have an initial 48-hour fast followed by a giant fat- and protein-packed meal eaten over the course of 1 to 2 hours. You’ll then fast for 22 hours before your next meal, and so on.

Robinson’s technique may result in rapid weight loss, but it’s not a sustainable eating regimen by any means.

“Extreme fasting diets like this are unlikely to provide a wide enough range and adequate amount of nutrients which can lead to negative health effects, and they are too restrictive and difficult to maintain as a long-term lifestyle, which means that rebound weight gain is likely,” Malkani says. “They are also likely to foster an unhealthy focus on and relationship with food, which can significantly reduce overall quality of life.”

3 OF 10

Cotton Ball Diet

Malkani didn’t mince words on this “diet,” which involves soaking cotton balls in juices and then eating them in an effort to drastically cut caloric intake.

“Choosing to eat cotton balls soaked in juice is not a diet, but rather an extremely dangerous form of disordered eating that can lead to medical emergencies such as intestinal obstructions, malnutrition, hormone disruption and/or infection,” she says.

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Baby Food

The name pretty much says it all: you replace certain meals or snacks with a jar of baby food — which ranges from 20-120 calories per serving, and has minimal protein and fiber, both of which help us feel full.

“It stands to reason that restricting calories by replacing regular meals with jars of pureed baby food may result in some short-term weight loss, although there are no studies supporting the efficacy of this diet,” Malkani says. “In any case, there is a large body of research showing that pounds lost on calorie-restrictive diets are usually regained (and then some) once people resume their normal eating habits.”

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Vision Diet

While it sounds like an eating regimen to improve your eyes, this diet actually involves wearing blue-tinted glasses to make food seem less appetizing, thereby reducing your caloric intake.

The theory behind this came from a Japanese inventor who noted that foods in the red/yellow spectrum look the most appetizing, whereas blue was found to be the least appetizing.

So he developed glasses that make food appear blue in an effort to get people to eat less.

“While the idea of ‘blue-tinted weight-loss glasses’ certainly deserves props for creativity, there is no evidence that wearing them results in weight loss,” Malkani says.

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Drinking Man’s Diet

Remember the dessert with breakfast diet? Now imagine trading that cookie for a martini. Sounds appealing, right?

Famed photographer Robert Cameron created this diet in the 1960s when he claimed to have “kept pulling in the notches” of his belts after eating nothing but meat and alcohol. Cameron claimed as long as you avoided all solid forms of carbs, such as pasta and bread, you could eat all the protein and fat and you wanted and wash it down with an adult beverage.

He published his eating philosophy in a 50-page book called The Drinking Man’s Diet. It’s been referred to as the grandfather of Atkins — which also prohibits carbs, but doesn’t allow such heavy drinking. It was also one of the first big “fad diets,” with thousands of people trying it out for themselves.

A 1965 Time magazine review of the book contained the following excerpt: “The book’s contents are a cocktail of wishful thinking, a jigger of nonsense and a dash of sound advice.”

Malkani was also unreserved in her judgment.

“According to Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the drinking described in this diet (at least 3 martinis every day) is defined as excessive alcohol consumption (8+ drinks per week for women and 15+ drinks per week for men), which increases the risk for many chronic diseases and over time, can compromise both short- and long-term brain function,” she says.

7 OF 10

Sleeping Beauty Diet

You can’t eat an excess amount of calories if you’re asleep, right?

Popularized by Elvis Presley, this extreme dieting method involves sleeping for long periods of time to avoid eating meals. The King himself would be put in a medically induced coma for days sometimes. (This might also be because he’d sometimes eat 100,000 calories per day.)

Elvis, though, is certainly not the best person to emulate when it comes to your health. “Excessive sleeping is not a sustainable goal in the long term, and when it comes to optimizing body weight, long-term sustainability of healthy lifestyle habits is key,” Malkani says.

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Bible Diet

Sometimes known as the “Hallelujah Diet,” this eating plan requires only eating foods mentioned in the Bible. Some extreme versions of it require you to only eat foods mentioned in the Book of Genesis — which would mean just herbs, seeds, vegetables, legumes, and fruits.

This also means adherents have to avoid pork, and other foods forbidden in the books of Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.

Malkani is not a believer of this diet. “Any diet that requires people to omit one or more of the major food groups means increasing the risk of nutrient deficiencies and their subsequent negative health outcomes,” she says.

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Blood Type Diet

We’ve been told that every body is different, and what works for one person won’t necessarily work for the next. Naturopathic Physician Peter D’Adamo believed that, to an extent, but theorized people with the same blood types could find success on the same diets.

He claimed people with type O blood should stick to high-protein diets and avoid dairy, whereas those with type B should eat dairy but avoid chicken, corn, peanuts, and wheat.

Two studies conducted in 2013 and 2014 found no evidence to back D’Adamo’s theory up. “There is no scientific evidence or research backing up the claim that eating according to your blood type offers certain health benefits,” Malkani says.

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Medical Medium Diet

When you need to lose weight, who you gonna call? Not Ghostbusters, but an actual ghost. We’re kidding, don’t do that.

Besides, the “Medical Medium” himself, Anthony William Coviello, already did that. Coviello offers health advice based upon his communications with a spirit. Again, we’re serious: He claims to be able to speaks to spirits, which allows him to diagnose people with illnesses and offer treatments (it should be noted Coviello has no medical training).

He’s also the guy who popularized drinking celery juice to benefit your health. Celery juice is a cornerstone of the “medical medium” diet, which, you guessed it, was designed in part by the spirits Coviello can allegedly speak to. He claims to know the secrets to healing people who suffer from Lyme disease, fibromyalgia, adrenal fatigue, chronic fatigue syndrome, hormonal imbalances, and more.

Just as you shouldn’t trust the Internet for diet advice, you shouldn’t trust the dead to help you lose weight. “There is no research or scientific evidence to support the claim that diets recommended by spirits and/or paranormal beings are effective, even if they include copious amounts of celery juice,” Malkani says.

What’s more, while celery offers tons of fiber and nutrients, juicing it does very little for your health.

“Juicing celery (and any other vegetable) strips away the beneficial fiber that helps you feel fuller longer, improves intestinal health and feeds the healthy bacteria in your gut,” Malkani says. “If the goal is to optimize weight and improve overall health and well-being, a more effective strategy is eat more nutrient-dense, plant-based, whole foods — including celery — rather than juice them.”

Author: Anthony O’Reilly


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