The Craziest Diets Ever

Here are some of the nuttiest plans out there and suggestions on how to choose the right diet plan for you.

I’ve read over 200 diet books and some of the advice I’ve come across is just plain wacky or even worse, dangerous to your health. Here are some of the nuttiest plans out there and suggestions on how to choose the right diet plan for you.

Oldies but Goodies

Some of the most famous fad diets are those that promote eating one specific food. These include:

Many of these diets have come out with updated versions that incorporate several well-balanced meals into their plan. However, their premise is still the same. They believe that eating more of a certain food is healthier and can help you lose weight. Unfortunately, more of one food usually mean less of another—and we should be eating a wide variety to make sure we’re meeting our nutritional needs.

Just Plain Wacky

Other diets base their plans on outlandish theories.

  • The Tapeworm Diet: This concept is still around but it isn’t available in most of the world. The premise: You're fed a parasite, which interferes with the digestion and absorption of food. Although you’ll probably lose weight (classic symptoms of having a parasite are loose stool and weight loss), this form of weight loss is extremely dangerous and even lethal.
  • Sunlight Only Diet: This diet was in the news after a Swiss woman died of starvation trying to follow it. Seems the woman had watched a documentary where an Indian guru claimed to have lived in this manner for 70 years.
  • The K-E Diet: K-E stands for ketogenic enteral nutrition. This diet was recently in the news for helping brides-to-be lose weight via a feeding tube on 800 calories per day. Let me tell you, no man (or woman) is worth that much trouble!
Newer Concepts
Here are more recent diets that have surfaced:
  • The Reverse Diet: This diet says to eat dinner for breakfast and breakfast for dinner. Although whole, natural foods are promoted, other products like salt, sugar, alcohol, caffeine and carbonated bevvies are not allowed. I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I can stomach meat loaf and pork chops first thing in the morning!
  • The Sex Diet: Grab your significant other and get busy in the bedroom! There are several sex diet books out there that promote having much of your physical activity in the bedroom, shower, kitchen . . . catch my drift?
  • The OMG Diet: This is one of the newer fad diets that's been raising eyebrows. It promises that you can lose 20 pounds in 6 weeks by taking cold baths and drinking coffee. It also says folks should avoid broccoli, starches, carbs and fruit juice. Although cold baths are seemingly harmless, the rate of weight loss is much too rapid. According to the National Institute of Health, a safe rate of weight loss is 1 to 2 pounds per week.
  • The Paleo Diet: The concept is based on foods cavemen ate during the paleolithic era. It promotes eating fruit, veggies, lean meat and seafood while shunning refined sugars, grains, saturated and trans fat, salt, processed foods and yeast. Although this diet offers some good aspects, most experts agree it’s too restrictive.

To keep you sane in a world of crazy diets, the US News puts together an annual list of the best diets. Check out their list for 2012.

TELL US: What’s the wackiest diet you’ve ever heard of?

Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian , consultant and owner of Toby Amidor Nutrition, Inc., who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. See Toby's full bio »

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