Ok, so we're not usually ones for dieting here at the Oakeley Arms, but after the gorging over the festive season, we thought we'd better at least pay a nod to a new year healthy eating plan. And all this got us to thinking about the absolute worst, craziest and most bizarre diets in history. Who remembers the cabbage soup diet? And the tapeworm diet? Yep, they are as bad as they sound.......
Here's our list of diet disasters:
- The Vinegar Diet - popularised by poet Byron in the early nineteenth cnetury, this diet involved drinking copious amounts of vinegar diluted in warm water, and not a lot else. Yum.
- The Macrobiotic Diet - popular with celebs, this diet shuns all processed and refined foods, which in theory is not a bad idea. What makes this diet controversial is that some advocate taking up smoking, claiming that it's the toxins in food that make smoking bad for you, not the smoking itself.
- The Tapeworm Diet - In the mid 1950's the idea that tapeworms living in a person's gut would chomp away on all the excess calories and fat really took hold. So much so that people frantically began eating the little mites in an effort to lose weight. It was later discovered that these hungry critters could also cause meningitis and seizures.
- The Fruit Diet - Fruitarianism is extreme, and consists of yep, you guessed it, nothing but fruit. Some fruitarians believe that if it's good enough for Adam and Eve, it's good enough for us.....
- The Snoozing Diet - in the 1960's a strange trend began to emerge in which dieters would sedate themselves so that they would sleep for several days at a time. It's hard to nibble when you're catching 40, or 400, winks!
- The Cabbage Soup Diet - Fill your boots with yummy low calorie cabbage soup! That's pretty much all you're allowed on this diet. Results in a week can be radical, but that's hardly surprising. And be warned, severe flatulence is just one of the unpleasant side effects of this diet!
- The Fag Diet - cigarettes were once revered for their appetite surpressing qualities, and were marketed as an alternative to fattening sweets and snacks.
- The Bible Diet - this one's based on the idea that God allows some food and forbids others. And of course, there are healthy daily portions of prayer.
- The Colour Diet - apparently, the colours red and yellow are said to stimulate and boost the appetite (coincidentally the colours of the world's largest fast food chain?) but blue hues are thought to surpress it. A Japanese company devised a pair of blue-tinted glasses that made food look unappealing, and so putting you off it!
- The Chewing Diet - An American art dealer first came up with the idea of chewing his food 32 times, and then spitting out the remains. All the taste but none of the calories..... perhaps not one to try around the dinner table!
- The Grapefruit Diet - or sometimes known as the Hollywood Diet, this one was a big hit with celebs in the 1970's. It involves eating LOADS of grapefruit, which is said to contain fat metabolising qualities, along with low carb foods such as meat and eggs.
- The Inuit Diet - in the early 1900s, an Arctic explorer was so impressed with how healthy the Inuit people were despite their limited diet, that he brought the diet back to America with him. It consisted mainly of whale blubber, raw fish and reindeer.
- The Cotton Wool Diet - a diet rumoured to be favoured by supermodels and fashion waifs, this one's a simple one. Replace real food with cotton wool balls, which expand in your belly and so fill you up. Delicious!
- The Prolinn Diet - In 1970's America (of course...), a radical new diet emerged that involved total fasting apart from a daily glass of a miracle "juice" called Prolinn. This "delicious" drink was made from ground up animal bones, feet and muscles that had come from abbatoir waste. Bottoms up!
Image by By John Steven Fernandez from Toronto/Valparaiso, Canada/Chile (Grapefruit Splash) via Wikimedia Commons