10 Ridiculous Diet Trends to Avoid


Ever heard of the cookie diet? Or listened to friends rave about how much weight they lost after a week drinking nothing but spicy lemon water? For every clinically proven, doctor-approved weight-loss method out there, there are dozens of so-called diets that are at best ineffective and at worst, dangerous.

Here are10 shady diet trends floating around the internet that you should steer clear of, no matter what their followers claim.

The Cookie Diet

Nope, we weren’t kidding. Basically, this diet works like a SlimFast plan: eat Hollywood Cookie Diet brand packaged weight loss cookies for breakfast and lunch and eat a “sensible” dinner. In reality, it’s a thinly disguised scheme to sell cookies. You may lose weight, but replacing whole foods with packaged ones is a bad idea—even if the processed food is enriched with fiber and other nutrients, it’s not a healthy substitute.

The ‘Master Cleanse’ Diet

Ingesting nothing but lemon juice, water, cayenne pepper, and maple syrup for two weeks will do nothing but make you pee a lot and feel light-headed from the lack of calories. Just say no to any “cleanse” or diet that promotes long-term or repeated fasting. The results are typically misleading (you’re shedding water weight) and even if you do lose more than water, it’s likely muscle, not fat. Moreover, it does nothing to help you adjust your eating habits, meaning you’ll gain back all the weight once you start eating real food again.

The Werewolf Diet (a.k.a. The Lunar Diet)

This diet requires you to cut out all solid food and only drink water and juice during the days around the full and new moons. It’s based on a theory that the lunar cycle affects water in our body, and sticking to fluids will “flush out toxins” and help you lose weight. The only thing this diet has going for it is that it does not actually require you to be bit by a werewolf. Other than that, it’s just intermittent fasting by another name, with no scientific basis for its claims.

The Magnetic Diet

This odd diet is based on a theory that certain foods have a “positive” attraction in your body that help you become lean and healthy and others have a “negative” vibe that makes you fat (unsurprisingly, you’re supposed to buy the book to find out which foods are which).The good news is that this fad diet seems to be losing its pull in the weight loss world.

The Grapefruit Diet, Cabbage Soup Diet, etc.

Who remembers their mom or dad going on one of these diets? There are many variations of the [insert one super low calorie food here] diet, and they only work (temporarily) because they are VLCDs (very low calorie diets). If you fill up on one single food that has very few calories, there’s no room for anything else. The problem is, you’re missing out on loads of important nutrients. Keep up any of these diets long enough, and your body will start breaking down muscle for fuel, your skin and hair will become dull and dry, and you’ll be exhausted.

The Baby Food Diet

Because who doesn’t love to regress into an infantile state when eating? For this one, you replace breakfast and lunch with jars of baby food, and then eat big-kid food for dinner (bib and highchair optional). As with the grapefruit diet, any weight loss resulting from the baby food diet comes from extreme calorie restriction. It’s not sustainable and you’ll miss out on healthy proteins and other nutrients, as well as chewing.

The Five-Bite Diet

This diet is pretty much as-described: skip breakfast, then eat what you want, but take only five bites of each food. The theory of portion control is good (don’t cut out what you love, just eat less of it), but in practice it’s just a fancy rebranding of a VLCD. You’d also likely deprive your body of energy and nutrients given you proportionately need far more bites of the healthiest foods on your plate. Plus, if you’re out dining with friends or family, how likely are you really to keep track of your bite count?

The Tapeworm Diet

Do we really need to explain this one? Yes, ingesting a parasite will likely result in weight loss. But it will also result in chronic malnutrition and other serious health complications that come from having a parasite living off of your body. Plus, you can’t just decide to quit—tapeworm removal requires medical intervention. If there’s ever a fad diet to avoid, it’s this.

The Cotton Ball Diet

It has been rumored that some models have eaten cotton balls dipped in OJ. Yes, we gagged when we heard it too. The truth is eating non-food items is a sign of a serious eating disorder. And if the sheer thought of swallowing cotton balls isn’t a turn-off for you, then hopefully the fact that this diet can have fatal complications(such as intestinal obstruction) will prevent you from ever trying such a dangerous thing.

The Taco Cleanse

Finally! One ridiculous fad diet that knows it’s a total joke. The Taco Cleanse is actually a cookbook with 75+ taco recipes. The authors claim their healthier-than-your-average-drive-thru recipes will “bring all of your levels to new heights and increase your nutrimatter content a thousandfold.” If you love tacos, give the book a go, but don’t sub in tacos for every meal.

Need help finding a diet that works? See a professional.

Shedding pounds isn’t just about being thin, it’s about improving health and feeling your best every day. Quick fixes rarely work. Sustainable, weight loss comes from a lifelong commitment to eat a balanced diet of nourishing whole foods and staying active. For optimal health, you need to fuel your body adequately, even as you lose weight.
Maintaining the right balance can be easier said than done, so working with a professional, whether that be a dietician, personal trainer, or weight loss surgeon can be a tremendous help in achieving healthy weight loss. If you are in East LA or the Inland Empire, we encourage you to contact us for a consultation with our Rancho Cucamonga weight loss surgeons. They will be happy to discuss your goals and options to lose weight safely and keep it off long-term.

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