Wednesday, January 7, 2009

craziest diet fads

Desperate to lose weight for your upcoming wedding, high school reunion, or beach vacation? Then you might just be desperate enough to try (or have tried) a fad diet.
Although they promise quick results, these diets are virtually impossible to follow (unless you actually enjoy lemonade mixed with maple syrup and cayenne pepper) and often have highly unpleasant side effects (we’re looking at you cabbage soup diet!). Stick to a primal eating plan and you’ll never be tempted into an unhealthy and unproductive extreme fad diet.

Martini Madness

When England’s William the Conqueror grew too large to ride his horse in 1087, he retired to his living quarters where he substituted food for alcohol in a desperate attempt to lose weight. Evidently, the diet worked, because William died of complications from falling off the horse, but was it replicable? In 1964 Robert Cameron published “The Drinking Man’s Diet,” a weight loss book that emphasized carbohydrate control but also recommended that readers drink gin and vodka, which, in and of themselves, are low-carb beverages. Although the book quickly became a best seller, physicians of the era were up in arms, warning (quite understandably) that alcohol should not be considered a regular addition to any diet. And even today, we’re inclined to say that anything beyond the odd glass of wine probably isn’t healthy.

Doing the Worm

Eat, eat, eat and always stay thin – or so claims a promotional poster for The Tapeworm Diet. Under the plan, all you had to do is simply swallow a worm-laced pill and watch as the worm dined off your food. Besides the obvious ick factor associated with eating a worm, (not to mention the bloating, nausea, and diarrhea which came with their presence), there was a very real danger that the worms could lay eggs in other tissues, such as the nervous system, which could cause seizures, dementia and meningitis. Thankfully, this terrible diet has died out… or has it? Although the worm in question – the taenia saginata cysticercus – cannot be legally purchased or transported in the United States, there are several internet sites available to teach you how to become infected with the worms. And believe us, it’s as gross as it sounds!

Beer Belly
Think you can lose weight drinking beers and knocking back tubs of ice cream? Then you might interested to learn about the beer and ice cream diet, a concept built around the very real scientific law of thermogenesis. Based on this principle, the diet’s developers theorized that you could lose weight by consuming cold foods because your body had to work hard to warm up the meals before you could digest them. Effective? Nope, but people sure did have fun giving this one a whirl (or a swirl…if you’re into ice cream humor!)