Although it’s something many of us struggle with us, we all know the keys to losing weight and staying healthy are eating sensibly and exercising regularly. Although eating sensibly looks different from person to person, it’s clear what it’s not: a crash diet that promises fast weight loss but no possibility for sustainability. In our collective efforts to be thin, diet trends range from depressing to downright wacky. Here’s a rundown of the strangest fad diets – both popular now and from recent years…
The 5:2 Diet
Also known as intermittent fasting, the 5:2 Diet has been all the rage in the UK since 2012 and is now becoming popular in North America. This regimen consists of two non-consecutive days of extreme calorie restriction, ingesting only 600 calories for men and 500 for women. You eat normally the rest of the week. While the diet has proved to be effective for many, there is a lot of disagreement over the best ratio of fasting to normal eating days, and many physicians have criticized the diet as unsafe, especially in the long-term.
The Honey Diet
The Honey Diet has been popularized by nutritionist Mike McInnes. You’re essentially allowed to eat what you want as long as you replace all refined sugar with honey and eat a big spoonful of it before bedtime. The idea is that the sugars in honey react differently in our bodies than other sugars and that the spoonful before bedtime helps our bodies burn fat more efficiently. Other experts argue that there’s no empirical evidence to support these claims and that you’re unlikely to see results without other lifestyle changes.
The Baby Food Diet
Celebrities like Cheryl Cole and Jennifer Aniston are apparently fans of this unappetizing weight-loss plan. If you can stomach eating baby food 14 times a day, you might end up with the body of a movie star – but at the cost of never truly enjoying a meal.
The Five Hands Diet
In order to lose her baby weight, Victoria Beckham allegedly only ate five handfuls of protein-rich foods per day. Of course, severe calorie restriction is likely to yield fast results, but it’s unhealthy and unsustainable.
The Cotton Ball Diet
This one is exactly as ludicrous as it sounds. By eating cotton balls (yes, the kind you keep in your medicine cabinet) before a meal, you limit your food intake by filling your stomach up with synthetic, nutritionally devoid fibres. Not only is it disgusting, but there is absolutely nothing healthy about this approach to losing weight.
The 7-Day Colour Diet
The 7-Day Colour Diet needs an obsessive amount of menu planning as it requires eating only foods of the same colour each day for a week (purple on Monday, white on Tuesday, etc.). This approach is popular with celebs like Christina Aguilera, and some people like it as a way to encourage eating more fruits and veggies – but there’s no scientific basis for any weight loss claims attributed to it versus eating a regular, plant-rich diet.
Have you tried any of these weird diet trends? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us @ViewTheVibe.
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