A Full Serving of WTF Diets

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[Editor's Note: Oh, the diet industry, a bloated beast all its own. We've all heard our share of stories about incredible diets that helped someone lose the baby weight in just a few weeks, or helped someone who seemed hopeless find a way back into a size they hadn't worn since college. We've all examined the fad diets, one after the other, hoping for one that might work. And if you're like me, you've had a few WTF?! moments. This is a sampling of diets so absurd, you won't be able to hold back the eye rolls. -- AVF]

Cabbage Soup Diet (and all of its single-food-diet cousins: While there are several versions of the diet, all have a seven-day cycle based on all-you-can-eat "fat-burning" cabbage soup (a mix of cabbage, carrots, celery, tomatoes, peppers, and onions). Of course, if you eat only one food for a week, you'll lose weight because you're eliminating so much of what you normally eat. However, whenever a diet recommends that you eliminate entire food groups, it's a clue that the diet is not sustainable.


Photo by Martin Cathrae.

Ear Stapling: This fad is based on a theory among acupuncturists that an area of the ear regulates your appetite. The procedure is like getting an ear pierced, but the constant pressure of the staple on the "stomach" of your ear is supposed to curtail your eating. Fat chance. There is no science behind ear stapling for weight loss, but there is plenty of evidence that stapling could lead to serious infections and deformities. If you need help in controlling your appetite, better to try something that really works, like eating more fruits and vegetables and less of everything else.

Breatharian Diet: This one takes the cake (oh, but if only it did!). It's a diet that promotes living on air alone, no food or water. Hmm. That is pretty contrary to what I learned in undergraduate and graduate school while studying nutrition. I believe our bodies will only survive a few days without water and a few weeks without food. The mumbo jumbo on this diet is that you align yourself to the universe and you won't need water or food. You know what this sounds like to me? Starvation.

Read more from Six Fat Chance Diets at Appetite for Health

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