I seriously cringe every time I hear about a new fad diet. It’s craaazy what people will do to lose a few pounds! The biggest reason why they scare me though is because I’ve totally been that girl, trying to lose a few pounds on a ridiculous diet.
I’ve seen what it does to your mind and your body. I’ve lived it. Fad diets like juice cleanses and the Special K diet were some popular ones that obviously aren’t super sustainable. But there are some REALLY dangerous diets out there.
Just so we’re clear, I DON’T recommend them. Also, just a heads up: these scary diets may feel uncomfortable to hear about!
Okay, let’s see how many of the scariest diets you’ve heard of!
Cotton Ball Diet
Just reading about this one makes me feel like I’m choking. So with this “diet,” people would basically soak a few cotton balls in orange juice, smoothie, or whatever. AND THEN THEY SWALLOW THEM.
What! Apparently, cotton balls in your stomach make you feel full. But here’s the dangerous part: most cotton balls are full of chemicals and they could seriously block your digestive tract, causing huge problems.
I’ve heard about the hCG diet a lot, and every time I’m like…why?! This one involves a suuuuuper low-calorie diet (which is dangerous enough) and injections of hCG, a hormone women produce when they’re pregnant. Side effects? Oh just fatigue, depression and irregular heartbeat to list a few. Not okay, even if you do lose a few pounds…that you will 100% gain back.
Most people have heard of this one. Ahhh it grosses me out! People swallow a tapeworm (AKA a parasite) and it lives inside your body, eating food out of your intestines. You guys, this isn’t just gross. It’s one of the scariest diets because it can kill you!
Sleeping Beauty Diet
This is a new one for me, but I guess it’s been around since the 70’s. The theory is, you can’t eat while you sleep. Makes sense… but on this diet, you take sedatives to sleep the day away. Some people doing this would sleep for up to 20 hours a day! Whoa.
I know sedatives do terrible things to your body if you overuse them. Plus, they’re addictive! No evidence this one actually helps you lose weight in the long run either. Pass.
Feeding Tube Diet
Is it just me, or are these diets getting crazier? On the feeding tube diet (also known as the KE diet), you don’t eat any real food. Instead, you just get a formula of protein and fat through a feeding tube through your nose. Apparently, it’s a quick fix for wedding weight loss, etc.
Before you even think about being tempted to try it, it’s super expensive (like $1500 for 10 days) and causes fatigue, terrible breath, and constipation. Makes sense, since it’s probably really hard on your body!
Tongue Patch Diet
This one makes me feel really uncomfortable. There are people out there having patches SEWN onto their tongues. AHH. It’s supposed to make eating/swallowing so painful, that you can only tolerate liquids. Luckily it’s not super common!
This one used to just be known as smoking. Nicotine curbs your appetite, and I guess some people thought ruining their lungs and possibly getting lung cancer was worth shedding a few pounds!
Some people looking to cut weight for a competition or modeling event would even avoid everything except for cigarettes and water leading up to the big day. Now, most people who use nicotine for weight loss have at least taken smoking out the equation. Instead, they use nicotine as a stimulant. Still not a good choice if you ask me.
The Master Cleanse
Ah, the diet Beyonce brought into the spotlight. She used this one to drop a lot of weight for her movie, Dream Girls, and one reason this is one of the scariest diets is because of how quickly it became popular. Celebs have BIG influence!
The Master Cleanse involves drinking a mix of lemon juice, maple syrup and cayenne pepper… 6 to 12 times a day. Oh, and no solid food. For 10 days. Some variations even call for laxative teas to “prep” for the cleanse. YIKES. I don’t even think I need to say it, but this one will give you diarrhea, dehydrate you, and make you super fatigued. If you lose weight it will come right back when you start eating again. And NO it will not detox you.
Cabbage Soup Diet
Wanna eat cabbage soup for almost every meal, every day? Yeah, me neither. The idea here is that cabbage soup is so low in calories, you can eat as much as you want without adding up to a lot of calories at the end of the day.
Some variations include days where you can eat other foods (like bananas and milk?). All that soup is just going to deprive you and make you extremely bloated and tired.
5 Bite Diet
This fad diet has “eating disorder” written all over it. Well actually, a lot of these diets do. But this one really bothered me! The name makes it obvious, but on this diet, you only eat 5 bites at each meal. Oh, and you skip breakfast, so you only get 5 bites at lunch and dinner. Essentially, you’re starving yourself.
Red Bull Diet
It doesn’t seem like this diet is quite as popular…but there’s a reason it’s one of the scariest diets. It sounds like a heart attack waiting to happen. The creator of this diet claims that she would eat very little throughout the day, and focus more on drinking 14 (!!!!) cans of Red Bull per day. No amount of weight loss is worth putting that much caffeine into your body! So dangerous.
Just say no to fad diets
I think you know what I’m gonna say. Fad diets, crash diets, restrictive diets…they just don’t work! Social media makes it easy to target young girls with these extremely dangerous diets that could seriously harm their bodies down the road.
That’s why I am so passionate about promoting a healthy diet with whole foods and plenty of exercise! That lifestyle is MUCH safer and honestly, it’s MUCH easier.