Because so many people want to lose weight, there are countless dangerous diets that can actually hurt you more than help you. Unfortunately, there will always be new weird diets that will appear because the weight loss industry can make a lot of money for sellers. People are desperate and can easily fall prey to dishonest diets.
As a very simple rule of thumb, whenever a diet sounds really weird and your first instinct is that it cannot possibly work, you are most likely correct. You should always ask for a second opinion and talk to licensed nutritionists.
With this warning out of the way, let’s jump right in and talk about the most dangerous diets that you should never try and that are actually sort of popular right now.
Fletcherism is a way of eating that was created by Horace Fletcher (nicknamed The Great Masticator). The method involved chewing the food for a long period of time, until it turns into liquid. This means you chew even 100 times. Due to this slow eating, Fletcher claimed that people end up eating less.
According to specialists, this way of eating is similar to the liquid diet and can easily lead to serious constipation, not to mention the fact that it takes so much time to eat that you will most likely not be able to do ANYTHING else during the day (exaggerating a little, of course).
This diet is known under many different names, like the Hunter-Gatherer Diet, Cave Man diet or Stone Age Diet. It is based on the idea that humans survived before the invention of agriculture so it relies on fish, wild meat, fruits, vegetables and nuts.
The problem with this diet is that it misses out on many vital nutrients for the human body. This is because of the exclusion of dairy products, legumes and whole grains. Being on the paleolithic diet without extra supplementation is dangerous.
Apple Cider Vinegar Diet
The claim is that the apple cider vinegar diet increases your metabolism and reduces your appetite. Those that are on it and that support it say you have to take 1 to 3 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar before every single snack or meal.
What has to be understood is that apple cider vinegar has a high acidic content. This can potentially lead to a highly irritated throat if you use so much of it, especially before every meal or snack.
Baby Food Diet
The craze around baby food diet appeared as countless reports said Jennifer Aniston was using the Baby Food Diet after the recommendations of Tracy Anderson, her trainer at the time. Aniston did claim this is incorrect but as we all know, this cannot stop people from blindly supporting and promoting a diet that is even in theory supported by a star. Unfortunately, way too many people started eating really small portions of food (pureed) for around 14 times daily.
Baby food is ONLY intended for babies. Due to this, so many drawbacks can be identified when referring to the baby food diet. A very important one is that baby food does not have enough protein for an adult. You can end up with decreased muscle tissue and it is almost a certainty that you will have a slower metabolic rate.
Cabbage Soup Diet
This highly extreme weight loss program is exactly what you think it is. For seven days all you really eat is cabbage soup.
Besides the fact that you can easily get incredibly irritated by the fact that you just eat cabbage soup, you cut out very important food groups from your diet. This leads to serious mineral and vitamin deficiencies. To make matters even worse, your skin, nails and hair will start to look bad.
The Master Cleanse
Stanley Buroughs, an alternative health practitioner, is responsible for this horrible diet that appeared in the book The Master Cleanser. The diet is also known as the Maple Syrup Diet and the Lemonade diet.
The problem is that many celebrities actually admitted that they followed it, with Beyonce being just one example. The actual diet involves eating a combination of cayenne pepper, water, maple syrup and lemon juice for a period of 10 to 40 days.
The program will almost always lead to blood-sugar levels that are dangerous, a loss of muscle tissue and vitamin deficiencies.
The Cookie Diet
Dr Sanford Siegal invented the Cookie Diet and it involves eating 6 hunger-controlling, secret-blend cookies, plus a dinner every single day. It was endorsed by Snooki (Jersey Shore) but not all celebrities jumped the wagon. In fact, Kim Kardashian called it unhealthy and as a result, Dr Sanford Siegal’s company sued her. This only goes to show how easy it is to sue people for practically anything in the US.
The huge problem with the Cookie Diet is that you only consume around 800 calories per day. This can only give you limited amount of energy. If you dare to work out, you are practically creating a huge deficiency in your body that leads to your overall health going down.
The Cigarette Diet
This is definitely something that we do not worry about anymore because even those that smoke know that cigarettes are bad for them. However, before this, practically all tobacco companies marketed smoking as a way to lose weight. The best example of this was the Lucky Strike campaigns that said things like:
“Light a Lucky and you’ll never miss sweets that make you fat.” Or “Avoid that future shadow by refraining from over-indulgence.”
Of course, the only thing that needs to be said to highlight why this is dangerous is cancer.
The Drinking Man’s Diet
In the book by Robert Cameron, The Drinking Man’s Diet, this diet is practically promoted as a fun way to lose weight. The diet allows you to drink martinis before your lunch and you can indulge on a very thick steak every single night if you want to, as long as you add some alcohol to the mix. What is interesting is that this diet actually led to the evolution of the Atkins Diet and the promotion of the low-carb meal plans.
The problem with any diet that is rich in fatty protein and alcohol is that your kidneys and liver will suffer. In fact, they will eventually scream at you as they die.
The Tapeworm Diet
This diet can only be described as disgusting and incredibly dangerous but it shows how desperate people can end up being as they want to lose weight. Just as the name implies, in this diet you ingest eggs of beef tapeworm. This is a parasite that can grow to a length of 9 meters.
The reason why the “diet” appeared was that the parasite interferes with the body’s food absorption and digestion while also decreasing appetite. Those that promote it and follow it say that after reaching the goal weight, an antibiotic kills the tapeworm. However, after that medicine, you have to expel the tapeworm, which can only be described as traumatic.
Besides the obvious dangers of being infected by a parasite, when you have a tapeworm you end up with many serious side effects, like constipation, anal irritation when you remove the tapeworm, diarrhea and abdominal pain.
This diet was very popular a few years ago and includes really low calories. You eat half a grapefruit before your meal, with the official claim being that grapefruits include fat-busting enzymes, so you lose weight faster.
There are numerous very low-calorie diets (VLCD) and the grapefruit diet is one of them. Any VLCD means you eat under 800 calories per day. This is a lot less than the minimum recommendation for most people. As a result, you eat so much less than the body needs. You lose weight because there are not enough nutrients and the body eventually ends up destroyed by such a diet.
The Red Bull Diet
Last but not least, the Red Bull Diet is a clear example of “What was he thinking?” A mother in New Zealand created this diet as she was desperate to lose weight. For 8 months she ate very little and drank up to 14 cans of energy drinks every single day. She did end up losing 99 pounds but ended up suffering a minor heart attack. Then, anxiety attacks and severe cramping appeared.