Here’s our pick of the popular fad diets that are unlikely to produce any long-term benefits and do more harm than any good.
1. Baby Food Diet
Created by celebrity trainer Tracy Anderson for her A-list clients, the baby food diet involves eating up to 15 jars of baby food a day. Some variations of the plan allow you to eat a regular meal for dinner. It involves replacing one or two meals or snacks a day with baby food jars with calorie range from about 20 to 100. Experts believe replacing meals with baby food could result in nutritional imbalances, because protein, fiber, and the act of chewing food help you feel full. You may also find your stomach grumbling after a meal on this diet, depending on the food you choose and how much you eat.
2. Cotton Ball Diet
The cotton ball diet is a fad diet that involves consuming cotton balls to make a person’s stomach feel full without gaining weight. According to the diet’s rules, you can gobble up to up to five cotton balls plain, or dip them in orange juice, lemonade, barbecue sauce or any liquid to get an energy kick. Well, this is a great diet, if you don’t mind potentially deadly littering in your stomach. Cotton ball diet gained immense popularity after Eddie Murphy’s daughter Heidi Moss, an eating disorder consultant, mentioned that her friends in modelling industry had been doing it for years to maintain their weight. But experts believe swallowing cotton balls or consuming food with cotton balls is a dangerous trend. Many teens have started on the diet trying to get that feeling of fullness to avoid calorie intake without realizing the amount of damage the fluffy fiber causing them internally that can block their intestines and lead to serious health conditions.
3. Ramen Diet
Instant Ramen noodle packets have helped many college students escape dorm-room hunger, and they may be appealing if you need to lose weight because you can eat them almost any time. But like any other fad diet, Ramen though low in calories may help you lose weight in short-term but has no nutrition and is high in sodium and contain a food additive called Tertiary-butyl hydroquinone (TBHQ), a preservative that is a petroleum industry byproduct. A UK resident Georgi Readman lives solely on ramen noodle packets for 13 years, saying that the thought of other foods disgusted her. Readman is underweight and her doctors say she is severely malnourished. This diet, though cost-effective and tasty as a midnight snack, is definitely not recommended.
4. Cookie Diet
Eat cookies instead of meals and lose 10 to 15 pounds per month, that’s the premise of The Hollywood Cookie Diet and the Smart for Life Cookie Diet. Yes! We thought that as a joke too till we go into the details. The idea is to snack on the low-calorie cookies made with secret hunger controlling formula throughout the day, every two hours, consuming a total of nine cookies each day. The diet allows you to have a dinner of your own choice, though some plans advise you to limit your evening meal to a certain number of calories, others suggest a sensible dinner. Cookie Diet was developed in 1975 by Dr. Sanford Siegal, a former bariatric physician who specialized in treating overweight patients. Most of the cookie diets don’t teach you a healthy style of eating, so it’s unlikely that any weight loss will stick around for the long term. Even in the short term, low-calorie diets can be very hard to follow. No studies so far have evaluated the effectiveness of Cookie Diet.
Like other fad diets Cabbage Soup Diet, a low-fat, high-fiber diet is designed to help shed fat fast by switching to what they’re putting on their plates. The diet requires you to eat large amounts of cabbage soup for seven days. During that time, you can only consume specific foods and certain fruits and vegetables (highlighted by cabbage, of course), milk and meat in a set schedule. Doctors believe this dieting approach is ineffective because it restricts the intake of complex carbohydrates and protein, which may leave the dieter fatigued and hungry, and once you stop the diet, it’s easy to regain any weight that you lost. Depending on the recipe for cabbage soup, the diet can be high in sodium. The large amounts of cabbage also can make you more prone to flatulence.
The Candy Diet is just what it sounds like. You EAT real Candy! The diet known as the Sweetie Diet in the UK, involves replacing meals with low-calorie gelatin sweets such as lollipops, Haribo Gummy Candy, and Jelly Babies. Candy Diet got a lot of focus when the word got out about Kate Middleton following the diet to lose weight quickly before her Royal Wedding. The diet became a rage with celebrities like Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, Whitney Port and famous models who eat candy to suppress appetite and stay slim. The idea of eating a boatload of fructose-loaded candy, chocolate and baked goods pretty much every day might not sound like an option for many. Nutritionally, the diet has zero benefits, and may work for short-term only because the calorie intake has been reduced, but the sugars in sweet rob body of vital nutrients with increased risk of low energy level to being diabetic when continued for long.
As weird the name suggests but Tapeworm Diet is an actual diet fad, ideal for those who want to lose weight without exercising. The diet requires you to swallow a pill that has a tapeworm egg inside. When the egg hatches, the tapeworm will grow inside your body and would stuck to the various places along your digestive tract, and eat whatever you’re eating. The idea is that you can eat whatever you want and still lose weight because the tapeworm is eating all your extra calories. But just a thought of having a live tapeworm inside the body is sure not quite pleasant and it can bloat its host’s belly too. A BIG no, count us out.
8. Werewolf Diet
The Werewolf diet, also known as The Lunar Diet and The Moon Diet, is a fad that centers upon users fasting according to the lunar phases. Fans of the diet insist that observing a liquid fast during times when the moon’s gravitational pull is strongest enables the moon to flush toxins out of the body that can help lose up to six pounds! The idea came from the fact that since human bodies are made up of a lot of water, the gravitational pull that lasts for 24-hours when the moon is at a new phase affects how much water weight you can gain or lose, hard to believe, no? Famous celebrities Demi Moore and Madonna were strong proponents of the fad that relates weight loss ties with the lunar calendars.
The Zone diet is a low carbohydrate diet developed by biochemist Barry Sears. It specifies eating balanced portions of carbohydrates and protein at every meal. There are three clinical markers that define if you are in the Zone. You are considered to be in the Zone only if all three clinical markers are within their ideal values. The Zone Diet, instructs its followers to stick to eating a specific ratio of 40% carbs, 30% protein and 30% fat formula at every meal and snack. You can’t pile on the protein at lunch and then have all carbs for dinner. Also there’s a dietary restriction of taking no more than a total of 1,200 calories a day. Eating too few calories a day can actually backfire when it comes to achieving your weight-loss goals, as your body will go into starvation mode and hold on to fat instead of burning it that eventually slows down your metabolism and make it harder to lose weight.