Near the end of the year, many people are considering adopting a healthier lifestyle as part of their new year’s resolution, either through a more involved exercise regime or changing their diet.
In the case of the latter, superfood suppliers can help to provide foods that are rich in nutrients the body needs without being overly high in fat or sugar.
However, whilst superfoods are great to add to a diet, the most effective meal plans for losing weight, building muscle and typically improving your health are ones with a balance of different ingredients you need, as opposed to being primarily or entirely made up of one food group.
Some people, however, want a more dramatic and restrictive plan, which even when they are effective at helping people shed weight, often do so in ways that cannot easily be maintained, or even have major health consequences.
Here are some popular fad diets that you should never try.
- Vinegar And Water Diet
Lord Byron was one of the first modern celebrities, in the sense that whilst known for his poetry, he was just as commonly known for his outlandish behaviour and somewhat infamous affairs, most notably being described as “mad, bad and dangerous to know” by former lover Lady Caroline Lamb.
One of his most bizarre cultural artefacts is creating one of the first celebrity diets, known as the “Vinegar Diet” and consisted largely of soda water, potatoes drenched in vinegar, milk of magnesia and smoking cigars.
He was not the first person to have such a bizarre and extreme diet, but he was one of the first to have such a cultural influence that much of his female readership would copy this diet to the danger of their health and the criticism of contemporaries such as Dr George Beard.
The problems are obvious and commonly seen in variations such as lemon juice diets where malnutrition causes major health defects, and all of the water lost is water weight and is quickly put back on.
- Cookie Diet
Most fad diets, regardless of how they claim to work, rely heavily on calorie control, either explicitly or through the types of meals and ingredients someone is allowed to use, and the cookie diet might be the most egregious and dangerous example of this.
First published by Sanford Siegal in 1975, the cookie diet consists of up to six high-protein, high-fibre cookies which are eaten for the two main meals of the day, with a main meal in the evening that in some versions of the diet is restricted to as little as 300 calories.
The diet “works” in the sense that any diet where you eat less than 1000 calories a day will cause you to lose weight, typically muscle mass and water and a lot of the types of weight you ideally want to keep on.
However, as with every restrictive diet such as the cabbage soup diet, the grapefruit diet and the South Beach diet, restrictive diets almost inevitably end in binging, and because the body has been kept in a state of starvation, most of that weight will easily return.
- The Tapeworm Diet
Less of a diet and more of a horror story, some models have told stories of eating tapeworm eggs, as having worms leads to a lot of nutrients being consumed by the worm before you take anti-worm medication.
Not only is it grotesque, but it is also incredibly dangerous, as the worm can block the intestines entirely and require surgery to fix.