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12 of the Weirdest Diets People Actually Follow

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Recent statistics show that $46.3 billion a year is spent on weight loss products in the US. A survey conducted in Great Britain in 2016 reveals that almost half of the respondents were on a diet in the last year. The concept of dieting is undoubtedly surrounded by myths, erroneous assumptions, and crazy ideas. Some of these ideas are here in this article.

We at Bright Side collected some weird dieting trends that were popular in the past, or are still viral at the moment. Explore this list to find out which of these ideas are completely insane and which have a grain of truth to them.

1. Sleeping beauty diet

The sleeping beauty diet is based on an idea that when a person is sleeping, they are not eating. The advocates of this diet use sedatives to go to sleep during the day to avoid consuming food. One of the famous people trying this diet out was Elvis Presley: for a period of several days he went into a medically induced coma in an attempt to lose weight.

The dangers of this diet include addiction to medication and an increased risk of heart disease and diabetes.

2. Cigarette diet

The cigarette diet resulted from the advertising campaign of Lucky Strike Cigarettes in the 1920s with the slogan “Reach for a Lucky Instead of a Sweet.” Indeed, nicotine in cigarettes can help supress the appetite, however, smoking has been shown to increase the risk of diabetes, heart attack, and lung cancer. This is a huge price to pay for a slim figure.

3. Hallelujah diet

The Hallelujah diet advocates eating mainly the raw food and vegetables that are mentioned in the Bible to cleanse your body from toxins. This diet has many proponents, but at the same time, it's pretty extreme, unbalanced, and prohibits eating animal products and processed food.

4. Tapeworm diet

This disgusting diet trend started in the Victorian Era, when women went to extremes in an attempt to fit into beauty standards. In the 20th century, the famous opera singer Maria Callas was rumored to have swallowed tapeworms to lose weight. However, it might just be an urban legend. The people attempting to lose weight with this diet would actually swallow a pill containing tapeworm eggs. Along with the weight loss, they would get diarrhea, nausea, and a fever.

5. Cotton ball diet

In 2013, videos started appearing on YouTube where young people were swallowing cotton balls dipped in juice. The idea behind this trend was that cotton balls would fill you up, so you can eat them instead of a meal. Yet, the dieters forgot that most cotton balls are not made of cotton, contain a lot of chemicals, and can easily obstruct the intestinal tract.

6. Vinegar diet

The famous people in the 19th century were as obsessed with dieting as modern celebrities are. 19th-century poet George Gordon Byron started dieting while attending college and lived on biscuits, soda, and potatoes with vinegar. His diet did not change much with age, and included a thin slice of bread for breakfast, and a light salad for dinner. He ate several spoons of vinegar to supress his appetite before each meal.

Note that too much vinegar can be harmful to your health: leading to enamel erosion on your teeth, throat burns, and digestive problems.

7. Vision diet

The vision diet came to life in the 2000s from a Japanese inventor. According to his idea, red and yellow colors are appetizing, while blue is not. His theory was that wearing blue glasses would make your food would look less appetizing and you would eat less. There's no convincing proof that this trick works though.

8. Chewing diet

Horace Fletcher became well-known in the beginning of the 20th century as a Great Masticator. He advocated deliberately masticating food 32-80 times, to the point of liquifying it, and spitting out what's left. Although this diet has no scientific proof that it actually works, it was followed by people like John D. Rockefeller, Franz Kafka, and President Theodore Roosevelt.

9. Andy Warhol diet

In his book The Philosophy of Andy Warhol, the artist shared his dieting tip. He admitted that every time he went to a restaurant, he ordered food he didn't like. At the end of the dinner, he packed almost an entire plate "to go" and left it on the streets for homeless people to enjoy.

10. Cookie diet

The Cookie Diet was created by Dr. Sanford Siegal in 1975. The key to this diet is eating six special cookies a day instead of breakfast and lunch, and then having a healthy dinner, controlling calorie intake. The biscuits are made from oats, fruit and amino acids, and come in different flavors. Some nutritionists are not sure whether this restrictive diet is balanced enough or good for your health.

11. Master Cleanse diet

This diet, advocated by Beyonce among others, involves substituting traditional meals with a specially prepared detox lemonade, made with lemon juice, fresh maple syrup, and cayenne pepper. The problem with this diet is that, although it allows you to lose weight fast, you'll gain it back in no time, as soon as you start eating normal again.

12. Tongue Patch diet

The tongue patch was invented by plastic surgeon Dr. Chugay. It involves sewing a patch to the tongue with a number of stitches. As a result of this operation, consuming solid food becomes so painful that people have no other choice but to switch to a liquid-only diet. The patients wear the patch for one month, afterwards they have another operation to remove it.

Which diet trend seemed the most ridiculous to you? Do you have your own healthy tips for losing weight? Share your secret recipes and opinions in the comments.

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