Contents

1. Juice Cleanse

Rules: No solids. Some programs entail drinking six or so ready-to-drink fruit and vegetable juices throughout the day. There are lots of DIY iterations: Victoria’s Secret angel Adriana Lima has said she sticks to an all-liquid diet before fashion shows. For nine days prior, she drinks protein shakes made from powdered egg and one gallon of water per day.

Rationale: Because this super low-calorie, produce-based diet prohibits all the solid foods you’re used to eating, it helps you eat fewer calories without having to navigate tons of complicated rules. This creates a calorie deficit that promotes weight loss.

Reality: “It might sound cool to lose 10 pounds in three days, but weight you lose on a juice cleanse tends to be water weight from your muscles, not fat,” Dr. Seltzer explains. “Afterward, your body won’t look much different in the mirror, and you’ll gain it all back from just looking at a bagel,” he adds.

Crazy Scale: 11/10

2. The Charcoal Cleanse

Rules: You drink juice containing activated charcoal to your regular diet.
Rationale: Your body can’t absorb activated charcoal, so it passes through your digestive system untouched. Because it clings to toxins in the body, it removes impurities like pesticides and any unhealthy stuff found in non-organic or processed foods. Advocates say it improves the skin, boosts digestion, and enhances organ functioning.

Reality: “You think you’re taking toxins out of your body, but charcoal doesn’t pass through your whole body — just through your intestines, where it can bind to nutrients and suck those out,” Seltzer explains. “Our bodies are pretty good at processing toxins, and your chances of dying from toxins in food are lower than your risk of dying from being obese. If you want to decrease toxins in your body, don’t eat them in the first place by avoiding processed foods,” he adds.
Crazy Scale: 12/10

3. Macrobiotic Diet

Rules: Designed to promote optimal health, you eat a vegan, whole-grain-based diet plus some beans and vegetables. Some versions allow fruits, fish, seeds, and nuts (but only once or twice a week) and strong spices are discouraged. So no animal products (including dairy or eggs) or processed foods.
Rationale: Brown rice and other whole grains contain the perfect balance of yin (stimulating) and yang (stagnating), so a diet largely based on these foods is supposed to promote wellbeing and longevity.
Reality: It’s not sustainable and can cause some nutritional deficiencies. “Most people can’t do it,” Dr. Seltzer says. “The stress associated with trying to follow a diet like this can offset the benefits. We’re omnivores and supposed to eat meat,” he adds.
Crazy Scale: 6/10

4. The Baby Food Diet

Rules: Designed to promote weight loss, this diet entails eating upward of 16 jars of baby food per day instead of regular meals and snacks. You can eat one regular meal every day.
Rationale: It creates a calorie deficit that promotes weight loss, rids the body of toxins, and helps you breaks bad habits, according to Tracey Anderson, who’s been credited with creating the program.
Reality: While baby food is minimally processed (pro!), “it’s a gimmick. If you look at people who have healthy bodies, no one will tell you they eat a baby food diet. It’s infinitely ridiculous.”
Crazy Scale: Infinity/10

5. The Vision Diet

Rules: You eat everything while wearing blue-tinted glasses.
Rationale: Based on the idea that red/yellow-colored foods are the most palatable (think: meat, French fries, ripe produce, etc.), this diet is designed to make your food look less appetizing. In theory, this makes you eat less.
Reality: “It doesn’t sound right to me,” Dr. Seltzer says. “But if it makes people leaner, there’s no downside.” Except being seen in blue shades at brunch, lunch, and dinner.
Crazy Scale: 10/10

6. The Shangri-La Diet

Rules: You drink extra-light olive oil or flavorless sugar water between meals.
Rationale: Eating a variety of flavorful foods stimulates hunger and makes you gain weight. If you consume bland foods, you fend off hunger without inducing food cravings, so you end up eating less and losing weight.
Reality: “Not a bad idea,” Dr. Seltzer says. “For some people, exposure to a greater variety of food stimulates the appetite. For others, though, eating the same thing every day makes you bored and crave more foods. Success would probably depend on the person. I wouldn’t be offended if you tried eating bland foods at meals. But I’d use whey protein instead of olive oil between meals, because it will satisfy your appetite with fewer calories.”
Crazy Scale: 3/10

7. The Clip-Your-Nose-While-You-Eat Diet

Rules: Cover your nose so you can’t smell while you eat.
Rationale: It blunts your sense of taste, which helps you focus on your actual appetite and stop eating when you’re full.
Reality: “Smell does drive appetite and food intake, but you’re going to go out to dinner and cover your nose? No normal person will do that in the long run,” Dr. Seltzer says.
Crazy Scale: 7/10

8. The Eight-Hour Diet

Rules: You only eat during a daily eight-hour window (i.e., between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. or 11 a.m. and 7 p.m.)
Rationale: Intermittent fasting appears to moderate the circadian rhythm and ultimately boost metabolism to fend off weight gain, according to human and animal studies. Also, reducing the amount of time you spend eating can help you save up calories so you don’t have to deprive yourself when you do get to indulge.
Reality: “There’s no evidencethat eating breakfast or eating every three hours improves your metabolism, so for people who don’t get hungry in the morning, this variation on fasting is actually maintainable,” Dr. Seltzer says. “Just don’t try it if it makes you hungry — that’s not a good way to live and it’s not maintainable for you.”
Crazy Scale: 1/10

9. Dessert With Breakfast Diet

Rules: Every morning, you eat a breakfast that’s high in protein (i.e., about 45 grams, depending on your weight) and high in carbs (i.e., 60 grams) plus dessert, such as chocolate, a doughnut, a cookie, or cake.
Rationale: Extra protein and carbs fend off hunger, and eating treats in the morning can curb your sweet tooth later on.
Reality: “This is based on research, and it’s solid,” Dr. Seltzer says.
Crazy Scale: 1/10

10. The Ice Cream Cleanse

Rules: You eat five pints of special ice cream a day. (The brand-name version costs $199 for three days. Unlike Ben and Jerry’s, this diet ice cream is made from coconut cream and honey.)
Rationale: It controls your calories for a deficit that produces weight loss. And you get to eat ice cream all day. (Don’t ask questions.)
Reality: “Any calorie deficit will create weight loss — but it can also cause a nutritional deficiency. Still: What do you do when you go out to dinner? You can’t eat ice cream for the rest of your life. People are too concerned with getting weight off and not what happens after it comes off,” Dr. Seltzer says.
Crazy Scale: 10/10

11. The Ice Diet

Rules: Eat a liter of ice every day to lose weight. (You let it melt in your mouth instead of chewing it.)
Rationale: Melting ice is hard work that burns calories.
Reality: “Mild dehydration blunts fat burning and stimulates hunger, and this would keep you hydrated,” Dr. Seltzer says. “But I don’t believe the calorie-burning effects from ice would be significant.”
Crazy Scale: 8/10. “It’s a good idea to drink more fluids, and anything that decreases your appetite is a good idea. But a liter of ice every day? Come on,” Dr. Seltzer says.

12. Gluten-Free Diet (for Weight Loss)

Rules: No gluten-containing foods, which includes anything made with wheat, barley, or rye (such as breads, most baked goods, and many snack foods).
Rationale: When you avoid gluten, there is less you can eat overall, so you end up consuming fewer calories by default. Some experts say wheat contains an appetite-stimulating compound that encourages your body to produce insulin, which can cause you to store fat.
Reality: “Wheat does promote fat storage, but only when you eat too much of it,” Dr. Seltzer explains. “But the problem is that many people who avoid gluten to lose weight end up adding gluten-free processed foods to their diets, which are full of sugar and can have twice as many calories as whatever you were eating before.”
Crazy Scale: 10/10

13. Raw Food Diet

Rules: You can only eat uncooked plant-based foods.
Rationale: Foods lose their enzymes and become less nutritious when you cook them. Most raw, edible foods are low in calories and high in water and fiber, so you can fill up for relatively few calories and ultimately lose weight, according to clinical studies.
Reality: “This is very difficult to follow from lifestyle standpoint,” Dr. Seltzer says. “You have to dedicate your life to do it. But there are more effective ways to lose fat and be healthy than avoiding everything processed. If you’re looking at apple and Cheetos, eat the apple — unless you want the Cheetos, in which case, eat the Cheetos, because if you start with the apple, you’ll probably eat those Cheetos anyway.”
Crazy Scale: 5/10

14. Master Cleanse

Rules: You drink salt water each morning; a lime or lemon, maple syrup, cayenne pepper, and water concoction throughout the day; and laxative tea at night.
Rationale: It’s an extreme low-calorie diet with ingredients (cayenne) known to speed up metabolism.
Reality: “I’d rather you eat at McDonald’s every day than do this,” Dr. Seltzer says. “Force-feeding yourself a horrible-tasting cleanse isn’t going to work in the long term, which will discourage you and separate you from the reality of what you need to do to lose weight and keep it off.”
Crazy Scale: Infinity/10. “Don’t do it,” he says.

15. The Cookie Diet

Rules: You eat six to nine special 80- to 90-calorie cookies per day. (Brand namevarieties contain ingredients like beef protein hydrolysate and wheat bran.)
Rationale: The cookies provide you with essential nutrients, but control your overall intake to create a calorie deficit and subsequent weight loss.
Reality: “Anything that restricts calorie intake will cause weight loss in the short term,” Dr. Seltzer says, “but anyone who thinks they are going to lose weight and keep it off by eating nine cookies a day for the rest of their lives is avoiding real problems.” That’s because when you drastically reduce your calorie intake, your metabolism slows down. When you go back to eating normal foods, you gain the weight right back.
Crazy Scale: 12/10

16. The Prayer Diet

Rules: You pray every day that you’ll lose weight.
Rationale: God helps those who can’t help themselves.
Reality: “If praying subconsciously enables you to eat less food or make healthier choices, do it,” Dr. Seltzer says. “You’re not going to do any physical or metabolic damage by praying.”
Crazy Scale: 5/10 (“If you’re not making any effort to make healthier choices,” Dr. Seltzer says.)

17. The “What Would Jesus Eat?” Diet (aka The Maker’s Diet or The Bible Diet)

Rules: This 40-day, multi-phase diet permits organic fruits, veggies, grains, fish with fins and scales, and meat and poultry. It prohibits pork products, processed foods, pastas and breads, and grains. In terms of timing, you eat breakfast 12 hours after a light, early dinner.
Rationale: Proponents say that humans are only designed to eat foods created by God, and that reverting back to a diet full of unadulterated foods improves your overall functioning, heightens concentration, enhances your mood, heals pain and inflammation, reduces the risk of cancer, and slows aging (although there’s not much in the way of clinical data to back that up).
Reality: “If you can do it and like it and stick with it, then it’s the best nutrition plan you have out there. Everyone should follow an all-organic nutritional plan, but practically, that’s very hard,” says Dr. Seltzer.
Crazy Scale: 1/10 for effectiveness, 5/10 for practicality

18. The Beverly Hills Diet

Rules: You start your day with one kind of fruit and eat as much of it as you want. Then, you can wait one hour and switch to eating another kind of fruit in unlimited quantities, or wait two hours and progress to other food groups. Then you can combine protein and fat or carbs and fat, but no carbs and protein together. You can’t mix fruit with any other foods, and you can’t eat any artificial foods. On the plus side: You don’t count any calories and you can drink champagne with anything!
Rationale: Because the body stores unburned calories as fat, inefficient digestion is responsible for weight gain, according to some sources. Combining some foods and separating others helps your body fully digest your food. And complicated rules will ultimately make it difficult to mindlessly eat.
Reality: “There’s no research that food combining does anything,” Dr. Seltzer says. What experts do know: “Ounce-for-ounce, alcohol has more calories than protein or carbohydrates, and it’s the only thing that simultaneously provides calories and stokes your appetite,” Dr. Seltzer says.
Crazy Scale: 10/10

19. Cabbage Soup Diet

Rules: On this seven-day weight-loss diet, you can eat as much low-calorie cabbage-based soup as you want, plus small amounts of one or two other foods (like fruit or leafy greens in the beginning of the week, or beef and brown rice toward the end of the week).
Rationale: You get the nutrients you need from the veggies in the soup, and the sheer volume of it keeps you full. You get sick of the soup and limited options really quickly, so you end up eating less overall.
Reality: “You may lose weight from eating very few carbs, but you won’t address any of your bad habits,” Dr. Seltzer says. So when you return to your old diet, you’ll miss all the foods you couldn’t eat during your cabbage soup cleanse and end up eating larger quantities.
Crazy Scale: 10/10

20. Cotton Ball/Tissue Paper Diet

Rules: You eat up to five cotton balls (or the equivalent amount of tissue paper) dipped in orange juice, lemonade, or a smoothie in one sitting.
Rationale: You fill your stomach without eating enough calories to gain weight.
Reality: “That sounds insane to me,” Dr. Seltzer says. “I’m not a gastroenterologist, but I can’t imagine that’s good for the stomach or intestines.”
Crazy Scale: 70/10

21. Fist Diet

Rules: At every meal, you fill your plate with the equivalent of one fistful of protein, one fistful of carbs, two fistfuls of vegetables, and three fingers worth of fat.
Rationale: It helps you eyeball food servings and eat a balanced, portion-controlled diet without counting calories.
Reality: “It’s a practical, less complicated approach to food, and a good way to eat,” Dr. Selzter says.
Crazy Scale: 1/10. “It sounds good for anyone who doesn’t like to track food. Try it!” Dr. Selzter says.

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Elizabeth Narins Senior fitness and health editor Elizabeth Narins is a Brooklyn, NY-based writer and a former senior editor at Cosmopolitan.com, where she wrote about fitness, health, and more.

11 Weirdest Diets in History

Throughout history, people have been desperately pursuing weight loss. In our eagerness for fast results, we have gotten creative with our nutrition. If you thought the cabbage soup diet was weird, read on for the strangest fad diets in history.

The Avoiding Swamps Diet

Ever feel heavier near a swamp? It’s not in your head. In 1727, Thomas Short observed that fat people live near swamps. His treatise titled The Causes and Effects of Corpulence introduced the only logical weight loss tip he could deduce: Move away from the swap.

The Tapeworm Diet

Why waste your time planning healthy meals when you can infect your body with ravenous parasites? At the turn of the 20th century, tapeworms were sold in pill form for diet purposes: Eat more and lose weight.

When baby tapeworms grew to 25 feet long and started causing seizures, meningitis or dementia, the U.S. government outlawed their sale. Other side effects included cysts on the brain, eyes, and spinal cord.

The Cotton Ball Diet

Feeling hungry? Pop a cotton ball. They’re zero calories and they taste great?if you like the taste of nothing. At least they’re bite-sized.

The Slimming Soap Diet

In the 1930s, if you couldn’t melt your fat, you could always wash it away with soap products like “Fat-O-NO,” and “Fatoff”. Scrub hard, because they turned out to be hand soaps.

The Cigarette Diet

In the 1920s, people who were hungry were encouraged to grab a cigarette instead. Doctors prescribed it. Too much food may kill you, but cigarettes will only give you lung cancer.

The Drinking Man’s Diet

Have a steak and wash it down with a martini. Alcohol is required at every meal and no restrictions on gin and vodka. Robert Cameron sold this diet pamphlet in the 1960s, priced at $1. Within two years he’d sold more than 2 million copies, a best seller.

Cameron’s work is known as the first of low-carbohydrate diets, even though the Harvard School of Public Health declared it unhealthful. You can now buy a Kindle edition for $3.99.

The Sleeping Beauty Diet

Guess what? You can’t eat when you’re sleeping. Elvis was a proponent of this weight-loss method, encouraging people to sleep through most of the 1960s, sedated.

The Vinegar Diet

Lord Byron was accused of anorexia and bulimia, but that didn’t stop him from popularizing the vinegar diet in the 1820s. His basic idea: Drink plenty of vinegar daily, plus one cup of tea and one raw egg. Side effects include vomiting and diarrhea.

The Graham Diet

In 1830, Sylvester Graham was a Presbyterian minister and early vegetarian who believed people were fat because they had too much sex. Although his diet of abstinence and veggies didn’t last long, he’s known today as the father of graham crackers.

The Vision Diet

The color blue is supposed to suppress appetite. So if you want to eat less, wear blue glasses. Everywhere. Just think of your life as one long 3D movie.

The Chewing Diet

In 1903 Horace Fletcher became known as “The Great Masticator” after his stunning 40-pound weight loss. His motivation? Being denied health insurance due to his weight. His secret? Chew each bite 32 times and spit out the remains. This diet’s motto was so catchy it’s hard to imagine why it didn’t gain more popularity: “Nature will castigate those who don’t masticate.”

Avoid becoming the laughingstock of the next generation—stick to whole, natural foods and good old fashioned exercise.

Eat right and perform better. Find a nutrition plan for you.

Vanessa Rodriguez is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, an ultra-endurance athlete, and an online editor for Active.com.

The Wild Diet is not meant to be a crash diet. It’s meant to change your relationship with food, program your metabolism to burn fat, and have you looking and feeling great for a lifetime.

But there are certain circumstances where people want to lose a lot of fat quickly.

Like my buddy Chaz Branham, who we coached down to 3% body fat so he could place in his first natural bodybuilding competition.

Or Kurt Morgan, who won First Place and dropped 16 pounds in his first week following The Wild Diet on ABC’s My Diet Is Better Than Yours. Even more impressive, Kurt has demonstrated that it’s possible to consistently lose an average of 7+ pounds week after week.

But I’ll be the first to tell you – while losing weight that quickly sounds impressive – it’s no walk in the park. It takes dedication, motivation, and – yes – eating less. We’ll get to that in a moment.

What’s The Most Weight You Can Lose Per Week?

For most people, losing 2 pounds a week is a great target. And many people who start with The Wild Diet consistently shed fat just by eating the right foods. No calorie counting whatsoever. Counting calories is inaccurate, annoying, and completely unnecessary.

Believe it or not, for the first 2 weeks of the competition on ABC’s My Diet is Better Than Yours, Kurt was eating as much as he wanted. He was eating like a king from The Wild Diet cookbooks—bacon cheeseburgers, fatty coffee, delicious green smoothies, big salads, bone broth and even healthy desserts… and the weight was dropping off. He lost 16 pounds in Week 1!

But by Week 2, Kurt “only” lost another 5 pounds.

Since he’s in a weight loss competition, Kurt says that his goal is “to lose 7 pounds or more a week.”

That’s a tall order. And it’s not sustainable for the long haul.

But if someone like Kurt, morbidly obese and sick, has the motivation to lose their most damaging fat as quickly as possible, I’m going to do everything I can to make sure he succeeds.

If you’re motivated and willing to eat a bit less, you may be able lose a pound a day for the course of a few weeks in a healthy, controlled way by tweaking The Wild Diet principles.

Let me say this – a calorie is not a calorie. Some calories (soft drinks) are clearly more fattening than others (wild-caught salmon). But for simplicity’s sake, let’s say that losing a pound of pure fat takes a daily deficit of about 3,500 calories.

Now this next part is important.

When your health is concerned, your goal should always be to lose FAT (not weight). Many people who want to lose weight over-exercise, under-eat, and wind up losing muscle instead of fat. This approach often backfires since it sacrifices the best fat-burning tools your body has at its disposal – your hard-earned muscle.

If you want to lose body fat, going low carb – or even ketogenic – can help you program your body to burn fat for its main fuel. By reducing calorie consumption after becoming fat-adapted, you can focus on fueling with fibrous vegetables and protein, reduce fat intake, and your body will use stored body fat for energy. With consistency and dedication, this can result in rapid fat loss.

Kurt can’t work out like most people due to previous injuries, so it’s more important than ever for us to fine tune his diet to shed fat as quickly as possible.
To make this happen, we adjusted Kurt’s diet and activity routine, so he was:

  • Eating clean, Wild foods
  • Controlling caloric intake during meals
  • Engaging in Fasting and Feasting with a compressed eating window
  • Getting physical activity into into his workday
  • Walking outside as often as possible

Note: During filming, we were working under the close supervision of a doctor for the entire duration of the show, who was monitoring Kurt’s health. If you’re planning on using this Wild Diet Rapid Fat Loss Plan, please talk to your doctor first.

The Wild Diet Rapid Fat Loss Plan

The Wild Diet is meant to be a lifestyle. But if your goal is to lose fat as quickly as possible, here are a few important tweaks.

These strategies can help you to quickly prepare for a photoshoot, competition, or swimsuit season. They can also help you break through a plateau or get you faster results. Here we go.

Tip #1: Eat nutrient-dense foods daily, like green smoothies, hearty salads, and bone broth. Green smoothies should be made of primarily leafy greens that are packed with vitamins and minerals, filling fiber, and raw food enzymes to aid digestion (add Future Greens for a boost to the flavor and nutrition). And the low, slow cooking of the bones of pasture-raised animals to make bone broth draws out the collagen, marrow, and other healing elements from the bones, including amino acids, minerals, glycine, and gelatin—which helps heal the gut, provide nutrients, and reduce inflammation.

Tip #2: Fill up on fiber from green, leafy, and raw vegetables. As always, eat as many non-starchy, low-sugar veggies as you’d like. Keep starchy/sugary roots and tubers (like sweet potatoes and beets) and whole grains to a minimum, or save them for post-workout to replenish hungry muscles.

Tip #3: Limit your portions. Practice portion control with every meal and snack. When you learn to fill up on less (eating until you’re 80% full, for example), weight loss follows for most people. Going Wild and becoming fat-adapted comes with a natural suppression in your appetite. Recent research shows that eating less (and intermittent fasting – see below) can provide anti-aging and longevity benefits, as well.

You don’t need to count calories, but creating a temporary energy deficit can spur fat loss.

After achieving a happy homeostasis (at your goal weight), eating generous amounts of Wild food allows most people to maintain a healthy weight with relative ease. But if you want to lose fat as quickly as possible, eating less at your meals (or simply eating fewer of them) can definitely speed progress.

How much of a deficit? A 500 calorie a day deficit is sustainable for some while leaning down, but any deficit will do. A 1000 calorie a day deficit is aggressive and difficult to maintain. No matter what, don’t drop your calories below 1000 per day, even if you think it will lead to faster weight loss. You’ll be losing muscle at that point, and sacrificing your health and sanity. Not worth it.

Tip #4: Supplement with Omega fish oil, Vitamin C, probiotics, and a high-quality multivitamin every morning. This can help keep hunger at bay while making sure you’re getting plenty of nutrients.

Tip #5: Try Intermittent Fasting. The many benefits of fasting include promoting human growth hormone production (which helps your body burn fat, build muscle, and slow the aging process), normalizing insulin sensitivity, regulating ghrelin levels (also known as “the hunger hormone”), decreasing triglyceride levels, and reducing inflammation and free radical damage. Feel free to drink coffee or broth during the fast, or snack on non-starchy vegetables like celery and cucumbers for fiber and nutrients. But remember: intermittent fasting is not for everyone (and tends to works better for men than women).

Tip #6: Caffeine from coffee and polyphenols and nutrients from green tea can also help reduce hunger and speed fat-burning (especially in the morning). Don’t overdo it with caffeine, especially if you’re training hard or low on sleep – too much can stress the adrenals. I aim for the equivalent of 2-3 cups of coffee (around 300-400 mg/day) tops.

Tip #7: Moderate your fat intake. Yes, I prefer a relatively high-fat diet most of the time. But if you want to lose fat as quickly as possible, you may find that eating fibrous veggies and proteins are more filling. If you want to reduce your consumption of calories, you can turn down dietary fat with a few tweaks:

  • Drink coffee black (instead of adding grass-fed butter or whipping cream). Use less olive oil on salads or use the juice of a lemon or vinegar instead.
  • When preparing broth, cool it first to remove the fat. Once cooled in the refrigerator, the fat in the broth will solidify on top. Scoop this fat into a separate container and freeze it for later (it’s great for cooking). Reheat the broth to drink the protein-rich, low-fat broth which is filling and nutritious but contains a smaller amount of calories.
  • Choose canned sardines, tuna, and salmon in water instead of olive oil.
  • Keep avocado, coconut, fatty meats, and oils to moderate quantities – their calories add up fast. Same with egg yolks – whole eggs are best but you can get more protein with fewer calories by focusing on the whites.
  • Focus on seafood and lean meat. Chicken breast, turkey, tuna, and salmon generally have half the calories of fattier red meats. If you eat fatty meat, practice strict portion control and eat less of it.

Tip #8: Watch out for sauces which are usually packed with sugar and other nonsense. When eating out, always ask for the dressing on the side. You can ask for a couple slices of lemon to squeeze over your salad or bring your own vinegar in small jar.

Tip #9: Avoid most fruit, nuts, and dairy. A few berries or half a green apple are fine as a treat (or in your green smoothies), but most fruit packs loads of sugar which can stall fat loss.

Nuts are easy to overeat and are high in omega-6s, so be careful with how many you eat – a small handful a day is a good target.

Dairy stalls weight loss for most people, so it’s best to avoid it if you’re trying to drop weight quickly.

Eat Freely – Wild Diet Staples

Eat as many non-starchy vegetables and as much protein as you like, and round out your meal and snacks with oils and fats.

  • Vegetables, preferably wild or organic and raw, should make up more than half of your plate. The majority of bulk should come from fresh green, leafy, vegetables such as kale, spinach, leaf lettuce, bok choy, collard greens, and other greens. Colorful vegetables are excellent, but limit starches, especially white potatoes and corn. Fresh veggies are best, but steamed, lightly cooked, frozen, and canned without preservatives or additives work, too.
  • Proteins, Meats, Eggs & Broths, such 100% grass-fed beef, wild-caught seafood, and wild or pasture-raised poultry, pork, and eggs.
  • Drink: Water, water with lemon or lime, black coffee, green tea, unsweetened tea.

Avoid These Foods That Stall Fat Loss

Some foods can stall your weight-loss. They are low-quality foods void of any real nutrients and should be avoided at all costs. These foods are not allowed on the regular Wild Diet plan, either.

  • Processed foods or foods containing any ingredient you cannot pronounce or spell.
  • Fried foods or foods containing industrial vegetable oils (e.g., soybean oil, corn oil, safflower oil, peanut oil, or canola oil).
  • Grains or white carbohydrates (including wheat, oats, barley, rice, and corn) or any products made from them (including bread, pasta, cereal, etc.).
  • Sugars, corn syrup, or products containing them (avoid every product with “-ose” on the label). These will have you battling the insulin-spikes and crashes of sugar addiction.
  • Artificial Sweeteners or any products containing them (e.g., sucralose, Splenda, or NutraSweet).
  • Artificial Flavors are chemicals and will contribute to inflammation.
  • Soy or any products containing it (e.g., tofu, soy protein isolate, tempeh, most veggie burgers, soybean oil, soy sauce, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, etc).
  • Liquid calories, including fruit juice, sports drinks, soda, or high-temperature pasteurized milk.
  • Beer, wine, and spirits. While I usually say it’s okay to have a glass of red wine or a high quality cocktail on The Wild Diet, if you’re trying to shed fat super-fast, you’ll want to skip it altogether.

Wild Rapid Fat Loss Example Day

This is a guideline to get you started. You can shake it up a little bit, but sticking to the omelet for breakfast, big salad or green smoothie for lunch, and lean protein with veggies for dinner will have you burning off a pound of fat a day.

Breakfast: Black coffee.

Lunch: Green smoothie and scrambled eggs.

Dinner: Chicken breast stir-fried in one teaspoon coconut oil with 2 cups of broccoli, ¼ onion (sliced), 3 mushrooms (sliced), 1/3 green pepper (diced), 1 clove of minced garlic, and spices of your choice.

If you’re hungry between meals, snack on hard boiled eggs, homemade guacamole, celery sticks, cucumbers, or leftover meat over leafy greens.

Exercise: Walk, run on the elliptical, swim, or engage in other low-intensity cardio for 20-45 minutes every day. Lift heavy things or engage in weight training throughout the week to avoid muscle loss if restricting calories.

Complete at least one Wild 7 Workout, full-body burst workout, per week to build muscle and encourage fat-loss. Add at least one day of full-body strength training per week to boosts the metabolism and improve body composition.

The Results

By week 6 on The Wild Diet on ABC TV, Kurt lost 50 pounds and is off all of his prescription medications. By Week 14, Kurt lost 87 pounds and dropped from 52% to less than 30% body fat!


This is Chaz Branham, who I coached down from 14% to 3% body fat. He placed in the top 5 in his first natural bodybuilding competition!

How To Stay Lean & Fit For Life

I’ll be the first to say that a calorie-restricted diet is not sustainable for the long haul. But for someone who is carrying quite a bit of extra weight, following this rapid fat loss plan will encourage your body to burn fat without sacrificing muscle – especially if you engage in strength or resistance training.

Remember, The Wild Diet isn’t really a “diet” at all – it’s a lifestyle. A relaxed attitude about eating helps you stay Wild for the long haul. Always focus on listening to your body, eating when you’re hungry, and getting the highest quality and freshest food you can find and afford.

When you’ve done this plan for a couple of weeks, and you’ve hit that initial goal, you’ll be able to feast like a rock star and still lose weight and maintain your health for the rest of your life.

And if you’re looking for some post-workout treats, don’t forget the delicious Wild Diet Chocolate Pudding and Ultimate Cheesecake.

Think of #TheWildDiet Rapid Fat Loss Plan as a kickstart to your lifelong health journey.

Ready? Great. Let’s Get Started.

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5 Crazy Diets You Won’t Believe Work

Thinking of going back on a diet, but tired of the same diet plans? Try these five weird diets. They’re all proven to help you burn fat – to some extent. The curiosity and novelty will make you more likely to stay on them and lose weight.

1. The Werewolf Diet

Originating in Latin America, the Werewolf Diet has you eating in sync with the lunar cycle. It boasts making you lose 6 pounds in one day, and even celebrities like Demi Moore and Madonna have tried it! The logic is that your body has about 60 percent water, and the moon’s influence on gravity affects you like it affects the tides.

There are two versions of the diet: basic and extended. The basic diet has you on a fluid detox, drinking only healthy natural liquids (like water, juice, and birch water), on the day of a full moon. The full moon’s strong gravitational pull supposedly boosts the detox’s toxin-eliminating effects.

The extended diet first follows the basic diet then instructs you to lower your solids or increase your liquids depending on the moon phase. Supposedly during a waning moon, your cravings significantly decrease and it’s easier to lose pounds. But, during a waxing moon your cravings increase and you need to restrict your eating.

Is this supported by science? Even if the full moon’s gravity doesn’t help you get rid of toxins, the juice and water fasting definitely will. Birch water and fruit juices are filled with antioxidants, which help your body neutralize toxins, and their high-water content flushes toxins out of your system.

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Will eliminating toxins help you lose weight? Yes! Scientists found that environmental pollution affects your body’s ability to burn fat and regulate sugar levels. Getting rid of these toxins helps bring your body’s metabolism back to normal.

Also, estrogen encourages insulin production. When your hormones become imbalanced and your body makes too much estrogen, it forces your body to store more sugar in your fat cells instead of burning it. This leads to weight gain. Studies show that the moon’s phases influence your menstrual cycle and your estrogen levels, which slightly supports the extended diet’s belief that your metabolism increases or decreases during certain moon phases.

This diet may seem whacky, but it will help you burn that fat. If anything, doing things under the full moon seems healthy for your body overall. Some studies found that patients who undergo heart surgeries during a full moon have better survival rates and need less recovery time.

2. The Sandwich Diet

This cool diet comes from Spain. It’s very simple: You eat whatever you want, but it all has to fit between two pieces of whole-grain bread. You can have your BLT and cheeseburgers – as long as they fit between those two pieces of bread!

Does it work? Yes and no. Many studies found that using a bigger plate or bowl makes you serve and eat larger portions. Using a smaller plate makes you more aware of the portions you’re eating, reducing your risk of overeating. The sandwich works like a smaller plate. This diet helps you lose weight using portion awareness.

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Why isn’t it so good? Fast food burgers fit between two pieces of bread – do you think eating those three times a day will make you skinnier?

3. The “Sun Eating” Diet

China’s hip crowd is convinced people can do photosynthesis – you know, like plants? You replace one meal with a 44-minute sunbath every day. They believe you’ll absorb “solar energy,” which supposedly suppresses your appetite and improves your sleep. Dieters report losing weight.

Will it really help you lose weight? Yes! New research found that when sunlight hits your skin, it makes nitric oxide. Mice that overate and were exposed to UV rays had slower weight gain and less abnormal blood sugar levels than mice that weren’t exposed. From these findings scientists believe nitric oxide boosts your fat and sugar metabolism, while also helping prevent type 2 diabetes and obesity.

If you’re not getting enough sun, this diet will boost your metabolism. You’ll also lose weight since you’re skipping a meal every day. If you try it, don’t skip breakfast. Eating breakfast boosts your resting metabolism by 10 percent.

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4. The OCD Diet

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In Indonesia, some dieters believe eating during set intervals leads to weight loss. This diet is called the “Obsessive Corbuzier’s Diet.” You choose a permanent eating window: usually four, six, or eight hours.

For example, if you choose the six-hour interval and you eat at 8 a.m., you can only eat again at 2 p.m. and at 8 p.m. Your meal sizes depend on your chosen interval, with eight hours allowing for the largest meals.

Does it work? Research shows that intermittent fasting boosts your fat burning process because your body starts burning fat for energy during the fasting period. It also apparently helps slow aging by activating inflammation-fighting and repair mechanisms in your cells. It makes you smarter too – rats forced to intermittently fast experienced new nerve cell growth.

If you can stand not eating, this diet is proven to be healthy for you. Consult your doctor before trying, because it’s probably not a good idea if you have type 1 Diabetes or other medical conditions.

5. The 3-Day Military Diet

This popular diet’s murky origins lend toward the conclusion that the diet was inspired by various sources, including the armed forces and Cleveland Clinic’s special cookbooks. It has many variations, like the Birmingham Hospital Cardiac Unit Diet and the Hot Dog Diet.

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The 3-day military diet boasts losing 10 pounds in seven days without exercise. How? It combines intermittent fasting with a low-calorie plan. Unlike other diets, this specifies what you eat for three days. For example, for the first day’s breakfast, you must have a slice of toast spread with two tablespoons of peanut butter and half a grapefruit. It does allow for substitutions, like half a teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water instead of the grapefruit.

The next four days you’re free to eat whatever you want, but you can’t exceed 1500 total daily calories.

Will you lose weight? Yes – the low-calorie meal plans will promote weight loss. Is it safe? WebMD says no. They conclude that the meal plans lack nutrition and are high-fat and high-salt. The diet is probably okay if you do it once in a while, but following it long-term can lead to heart problems.

Try these interesting diets if your weight loss regimen gets boring. They probably won’t help you lose as much weight as a traditional plan of exercise and healthy eating, but they will definitely help you burn some fat.

Featured photo credit: : Baohm via .com

13 Outrageous Fad Diets & What They Are Really Doing To Your Body

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Most people have heard of the uber restrictive, low carb, high protein Atkins diet, or the 5:2 diet, where you seriously limit your calorie intake for two days every week.

Turns out, there are a whole lot more fad diets around than I thought! While this trend of super fast weight loss through eccentric methods began in Greek and Roman times, it really took off in the 19th century.

From ‘miracle juices’ and bizarre food combinations, to intestinal parasites and employing the ‘Laws of Attraction’, there are some crazy ideas out there!

Here are 13 of the most odd and extreme fad diets.

1. The Grapefruit Juice Diet

Designed in 1930, this fad has stuck around a long time. This goal of the 12 day Grapefruit Juice Diet is simply weight loss, with claims participants could lose up to 10 lbs.

Dieters are not expected to survive on grapefruit juice alone, but they do have to reduce their food intake to under 1,000 calories a day. Meals are protein rich, and can include eggs, bacon, salad dressings, and even butter. Every meal needs to be accompanied by either half a grapefruit or 8 oz of fresh juice, hence the name.

While grapefruit itself is healthy and rich in vitamin C, these don’t sound like especially healthy meal plans to me. Strangely enough, the diet claims you should “eat until you are stuffed…the more you eat the more weight you will lose”!

How does the diet work you ask? Creators claim the grapefruit juice is the key to simply burning off the fat.

However, aside from one study (which, funnily enough, was funded by the Florida Department of Citrus), there is no evidence to prove that grapefruit juice actually does burn fat in this manner. It’s more likely that the limited calorie intake leads to weight loss.

Aside from its restrictive nature, the problem with this diet is that, once normal eating habits are resumed, the weight will most likely pile back on.

2. The Blood Type Diet

Developed by Dr. Peter D’Adamo, a naturopathic physician, The Blood Type Diet claims that your nutritional needs can be determined by your blood type.

Dr. D’Adamo believes his theory explains why some people lose weight, and others don’t, while following the same diet. Apparently a lot of other people believe it too, his incredibly popular book became a New York Times bestseller.

Within two weeks, followers of this program are said to experience an increase in energy, better digestive health, weight loss, and a reduction in the symptoms associated with asthma, headaches, and heartburn.

I really began to question the validity of this diet when the Dr. claimed that our immune and digestive systems still favor the types of foods our ancestors ate, and that these are the types of foods we have evolved to thrive on!

Apparently, Type O’s need animal protein, intense exercise, and should avoid dairy and grains, while Type A’s are suited to a fresh, organic and vegetarian diet. Type B’s have a robust digestive system so can seemingly tolerate a variety of foods, but they should engage in hiking, cycling, tennis, and swimming. Type AB should combine Type A and Type B recommendations.

Research backs up my hunch about this fad! In 2013, when researchers examined the data from 1,415 studies, they did not find a single study that showed the health benefits of a blood type diet.

3. The hCG Diet

This bizarre ‘diet’ involves being injected with the hormone hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin), which the body naturally produces while pregnant.

While the shots themselves are technically legal if administered by a health care professional, followers of this diet are also encouraged to take hCG drops, pellets and sprays, all of which are illegal according to the FDA.

A ‘diet’ that involves pregnancy hormones and illegal substances? I think I’ll pass!

Given that you’re limited to 500 calories a day for eight weeks, it doesn’t take a genius to work out it’s not the hCG causing the weight loss.

Reported side effects have included fatigue, irritability, and depression. Oh yeah, and swelling of the breasts in boys and men!

Be warned that diets like this that severely limit calories can also cause blood clots, gallstones, and irregular heartbeat.

4. The Cabbage Soup Diet

If you like variety in your meals, then this 7-day meal plan probably isn’t for you. While you are allowed to add in various things to the diet – following a set schedule – you have to force down watery, limp cabbage soup every day.

Of course you’re going to lose weight, it’s a low calorie, low protein, and low fat plan. It’s also low on nutrients.

As with all these fads, the weight will go straight back on once you ditch the bland soup. Maybe that’s why they market it as a ‘catalyst’ for a long term weight loss solution, recommending you move onto a diet formulated by a major medical institution.

I say skip the cabbage soup and go straight to the healthy, maintainable weight loss plan.

5. The Baby Food Diet

Rumored to be started by celebrity trainer Tracy Anderson, the Baby Food Diet recommends eating 14 jars of baby food a day, followed by a ‘grown-up’ meal. Although it has never been ‘officially’ published anywhere, it’s claimed Jennifer Aniston, Lady Gaga, and Reese Witherspoon have all dabbled in the diet.

Sorry, but no amount of potential weight loss could convince me to chow down on orange mush all day long.

As baby food is processed and strained, it’s lacking fiber, which is absolutely essential for a good digestive system. The very act of slowly chewing food also helps you feel full, something you’re missing out on when forcing down this bland puree.

The diet may not even promote weight loss or maintenance. After all, not all baby foods are low calorie, and the quality of the evening meal will also play a role in the outcome.

6. The Magnetic Diet

The Magnetic Diet claims it can ‘invite great food into your life with the laws of attraction’ but it’s basically just guidelines for healthy living, wrapped up in some new-age verse.

The creator of the diet, Nick Smith, claims to understand which foods attract health and disease into the body. He advises dieters to only eat ‘invigorating magnetism foods’ such as fruits, whole grains, vegetables, lean meat, and antioxidant rich sources.

The ‘contaminating magnetism foods’, which should be avoided, include refined sugar, white flour, and foods high in cholesterol. He also advocates watching your calories, exercising, and meditating.

Hardly surprising these people lose weight, but not for the reasons this diet claims.

7. Cotton Ball Diet

One of the strangest ones I’ve come across in my research (and that’s saying something!) is the Cotton Ball Diet.

Believed to have been started in the modeling industry, this strange ritual involves dipping up to five cotton balls in orange juice before swallowing them in a desperate bid to curb hunger.

Obviously, if you’re not actually consuming food you will lose weight, but at what cost?

Well, ingesting non-food substances can be dangerous, with followers of this fad risking choking or obstructing their intestinal tract. The obstruction, known as a bezoar, many need to be surgically removed. Most cotton balls for sale now are actually a mass of bleached, synthetic fibers, which aren’t easily digested.

Aside from the dangerous medical problems it can cause, exclusively eating cotton balls will cause malnutrition as they are devoid of nutrients. Therefore your body is deprived of the fats, proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals it needs to function efficiently.

Your skin and hair will suffer too and you’ll look a mess. Not very ‘model-like’ is it?

8. The Lemonade Diet

Said to have been followed by Beyonce, Demi Moore, and Jared Leto, The Lemonade Diet is a 10 day plan to remove toxins from the body and eliminate junk food and alcohol cravings.

Completely deprived of solid foods, dieters are allowed to drink just 6 to 10 glasses of lemonade (made from lemons, maple syrup, and cayenne pepper) a day, with a glass of salt water in the morning and a laxative at night.

Does anyone else wonder why you would need a laxative if you’re not eating solid foods?

While it claims to boost your energy and ‘nourish your body’, I can’t imagine feeling anything but exhausted and cranky sipping on lemons all day.

The Lemonade Diet was originally created by Stanley Burroughs, a wannabe alternative health practitioner in the 1950’s. Burroughs was convicted of practicing medicine without a license and charged with murder for attempting to heal a cancer patient with this special ‘lemonade’, colored lights, and massages.

As much as you may want a Beyonce body, it would be best to disregard the ‘advice’ of this quack and convicted felon!

9. The Zen Diet

Believed to have been started by Buddhist monks, The Zen Diet eating plan follows a long list of strict guidelines.

Killing is forbidden, so forget about meat or fish. Meals must also be a balance of yin (passive, cold and dark) and yang ingredients (hot and active). Food must be prepared by balancing all five flavors with all five colors…and using all five ways of cooking.

Confused yet? So am I.

Proponents see it as a way of life as opposed to a fad diet, but it’s certainly as restrictive as some of the others already mentioned.

But because it focuses on simpler, less processed foods, and encourages organic, fresh and in season produce (followed by a cup of green tea) it’s certainly a healthier and more sustainable option than most fad diets.

10. The Hollywood 24 Hour Miracle Diet

Sustainably losing 5 lbs in 24 hours? Now that would be a miracle. But that’s exactly this Hollywood 24 Hour Miracle Diet claims to do, along with helping your body to ‘detox, cleanse, and rejuvenate’.

Basically, you just need to purchase some overpriced fruit juice and drink it four times in the 24 hours, along with some water.

As you’re only taking in around 400 calories, and no healthy fat or protein, you’re probably going to feel tired and may get headaches, shakes, dizziness, anxiety, and irritability.

For the more hardcore dieters, there is a 48 hour plan which claims double the weight loss.

11. The Sleeping Beauty Diet

If you aren’t awake you can’t eat, right? That’s the whole premise of this wacky Sleeping Beauty ‘diet’, made famous by Elvis Presley.

All participants need to do is find a doctor that will sedate them for several hours or days at a time, so they can’t binge on pizza and cookies.

Depriving your body of physical movement and good nutrition for days at a time, whilst simultaneously pumping yourself full of potentially addictive sleeping pills, just isn’t a wise choice on any level.

12. The ‘Feeding Tube’ Diet

Officially known as the K-E diet, this controversial weight loss plan sees doctors insert feeding tubes into otherwise healthy people to help them drop their excess weight.

Participants in this procedure need to wear a portable feeding tube for 10 days, which delivers an 800 calorie per day solution, made up of vitamins, minerals, protein, and oil.

To be considered for the program, applicants must have a BMI of 27 or higher and fork out $1,600 for the 10 day plan. Patients who want to repeat the cycle must take a 10 day break and then can have the tube inserted for an additional 10 days.

Aside from how ridiculous you would look carrying around a bag of your dinner connected to the tube in your nose, you’ve got to question the ethics of such a ‘treatment’.

13. The Tapeworm Diet

I admit it, I saved the best one for last.

Definitely not for the squeamish, The Tapeworm Diet involves swallowing a capsule filled with tapeworm eggs. As these intestinal parasites hatch and grow inside you, they actually absorb some of your food and nutrients before you do.

According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms of an intestinal parasitic infection include loss of appetite, nausea, weakness, diarrhea, weight loss, and malnutrition. If these worms migrate out of your intestines they can cause fever, infections, and eventual organ and tissue damage. They’ll also happily live inside you for up to 30 years!

Although this alleged fad was first advertised in the early 1900s, there have been several media worthy cases in recent years. Notable ones include one woman in Iowa who completely stumped her doctor with her stupidity, prompting him to call the state health department; and the Florida teenager who was spiked with tapeworm eggs by her mother before a big pageant.

Both had to be treated with anti-parasitic medication to kill the intestinal invader.

As interesting as it was to research and write about the extreme, and sometimes illegal, lengths some will go to in the name of weight loss, I obviously don’t condone any one of these ‘diet’ plans.

Aside from some of the more serious medical issues mentioned, these types of diets can often lead to malnutrition and disordered eating habits.

Because you’re essentially starving yourself, you probably will lose weight on them, the muscle and water kind. Of course, once you begin eating normally again, those pounds will pile right back on.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends, before starting a new diet, you ask: ‘Can I picture myself eating this way forever?’

If not, you’re looking at a quick fix…and that is no substitute for a whole foods, balanced diet complemented by regular exercise.

What’s your take on fad diets? Have anything else you’d like to share? Let me know in the comments below!

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Fad diets are the fitness world’s equivalent to get-rich-quick schemes—they’re often too good to be true. But that doesn’t mean it’s not worth examining the principles behind these popular diets, and separating fact from fiction.

We spoke to Lilly Nhan, R.D., a clinical dietitian and current Master of Public Health candidate at the UC-Berkeley School of Public Health, about some of the top dieting trends on the market. We wanted to know: Do they work? Are they safe? And what practical information can we learn from them?

Here’s a close examination of seven popular weight-loss and diet methods, with Nhan’s analysis of what works—and what might be a waste of time.

1. Juice diets

The idea of “detoxifying” juice “cleanses” became big in 2007 when celebrities started crediting the Master Cleanse for massive weight loss. The restrictive and potentially dangerous fad has fallen out of favor since then, but it did pave the way for the current juice craze.

Juice diets can vary from substituting one meal with a juice (usually made from a combination of fresh fruits and vegetables, so put down that carton of OJ) to subsisting entirely on juices for a period of usually three to 10 days.

While there are nutritional benefits to juice—it’s a fast way to get vitamins and minerals—you’re better off eating fruits and vegetables in their whole form. “There’s more fiber in whole fruits and vegetables, so when you’re juicing, you’re throwing away all that nutritious fiber,” Nhan says.

And while juicing is a legitimate way to quickly reduce calorie intake, it’s not ideal long-term. “Fiber takes longer for your body to process, so when you have more fiber and complex carbohydrates, you feel more full,” she explains. “In contrast, when you’re drinking juice, it has a lot of sugar that’s going to get processed very quickly, and your body’s not going to register that as fullness. Your body has ways of compensating. You may drink that juice for breakfast, but at lunch and dinner you’ll wind up overeating to make up that calorie deficit.”

Recommendation: A juice fast or diet is a good way to “reset” your body in preparation for a more sustainable weight-loss regimen. Longer-term, it’s perfectly safe and healthy to replace a meal with juice, but instead of extracting juice, try blending whole fruits and vegetables into a smoothie or supplementing with fiber-rich foods to help stave off hunger.

2. Intermittent fasting

Intermittent fasting is hugely popular right now, thanks to a growing body of research backing its benefits. There are several types of intermittent fasting programs, ranging from 16-hour fasting periods followed by eight hours of “feeding” to alternating a full day of fasting with a day of normal eating. Preliminary research has shown that intermittent fasting is beneficial, although some programs require significantly more willpower than others.

“It’s a very promising area of research, although it’s a relatively new topic,” Nhan says. “The thing I would be wary of—and this is typical of any diet this restrictive—is that when you’re restricting yourself to an extreme degree, you can get into a cycle where you’re overcompensating by binging. That’s just not a healthy behavior around food.” Not all intermittent fasting programs are that extreme, Nhan points out, and many people who practice intermittent fasting can incorporate it well.

On a more practical level, intermittent fasting (and any highly restrictive diet) can disrupt social life, too: “If you’re on a fasting day and it’s a special occasion or your friends want to go out for dinner, it can adversely affect your lifestyle.”

Recommendation: Intermittent fasting is a safe and legitimate way to lose weight, according to current research. If you choose to start an intermittent fasting regimen, ease your way in with a less restrictive program like the 16/8 method before you graduate to a more extreme variation such as alternate-day fasting. Some even allow for fasting as your lifestyle permits. Be cautious about regulating your relationship with food, though. If at any point you begin to develop dangerous habits like binging and purging or restricting food for longer periods than the program dictates, stop the diet immediately, and seek help from a professional.

3. Paleo and keto diets

The Paleolithic diet (often the diet of choice for CrossFit athletes) and the ketogenic diet share similar principles, with some basic differences. The Paleo diet restricts legumes, grains, sugar, and most dairy. Carbs are allowed in the form of root vegetables and squash. The ketogenic diet shares a similar restriction list, with allowances for dairy and more stringent restrictions on carb intake. This high-fat, low-carb plan is meant to put the body into a metabolic, fat-burning state known as ketosis.

“People really latch on to these two diets in particular because you can see fast results if you adhere to them strictly,” Nhan says. “People achieve significant weight loss and report feeling better in general on them.”

But the biggest hurdle comes in terms of sustainability. “Most people are able to do the diet short-term, but it’s difficult to translate that really strict adherence into a lifestyle overall. They’re pretty expensive, and if you follow the diet exactly, being able to eat out and sharing food with others can also be difficult.”

Nhan has worked with patients to adopt ketogenic diets, which has been shown to help treat epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, and type-2 diabetes in a medical capacity. In those situations, she closely monitored their micro- and macronutrient intake and health status. “It can be dangerous to restrict your carbohydrate intake to such an extreme degree,” Nhan says. “Our bodies do need at baseline a certain amount of carbs and glucose, so when you’re restricting yourself, you can be at risk for certain adverse health events.”

Recommendations: Several tenets of the Paleo and keto diets are universally beneficial. Everyone should consider opting for high-quality carbs, limiting or eliminating all refined sugar, cutting out processed foods and refined grains, and eating more leafy vegetables. Replace carbs like pasta and white rice with spaghetti squash, sweet potatoes, riced cauliflower, and brown rice. If you do choose to fully adopt these diets, be aware that once you stop the weight will come back. If you’re an avid lifter, then you should read this before attempting the keto diet.

4. Carb cutting

“In general, most people over-consume carbohydrates—particularly refined carbs—so reducing your carbohydrate intake is generally a good idea,” Nhan says. Cutting carbohydrates can be a healthy move (although it can be problematic for people with hypoglycemia). But some people turn to extreme carb-cutting to lose fat, which has the potential for adverse effects (remember the Atkins Diet?) and the results are negated as soon as you stop.

Instead, Nhan recommends adopting some carb-cutting tricks without completely eliminating carbs. “Swap your carbs for vegetables—a lot of people are getting into cauliflower rice or spiralizing vegetables like zucchini into ‘zoodles,’” she says. “Across the board, most people do not consume enough vegetables, so I personally advocate for these techniques.”

Recommendation: Before you cut out carbs, focus on getting the best carbs possible. Refined carbohydrates strip out all the nutritional benefits of carbs, like fiber and vitamins. Opt instead for whole-wheat pasta and bread. If you’re willing to take the next step, start substituting rice and pasta with vegetables like spiralized zucchini, butternut squash, sweet potato, and riced broccoli and cauliflower. When you do eat carbs, go complex—farro, bulgur, quinoa, millet, and brown rice—which are absorbed much more slowly than refined grains.

5. The raw diet

The raw diet upside: It’ll undoubtedly help you lose weight by significantly reducing your calorie intake and increasing your fiber intake.

The downside of the raw diet: It’s incredibly restrictive, and requires superhuman amounts of willpower to maintain. Worse yet, there’s a point at which it can become very dangerous. Steve Jobs was famously a raw-foodist, and some speculate that it was a contributing factor in the pancreatic cancer that eventually killed him. Ashton Kutcher, who portrayed Jobs in his biopic, attempted the same diet for one month and it landed him in the hospital.

“My biggest concern about raw diets is getting enough protein and fats,” Nhan says. “People consume most protein in cooked form, whether it’s meat or vegetarian protein like beans. Fat is an essential macronutrient, and if you’re not preparing your foods with additional fats, you’re at risk for deficiency.”

On the flipside, raw foods do have their benefits. “A lot of times, during the cooking process, there’s the potential to have some of those vitamins or minerals leach out. By keeping them raw, there’s an opportunity to keep all the vitamins and nutrients contained within the food,” Nhan says. “But the caveat to that is that sometimes vitamins and minerals are activated by the cooking process, so there’s the other side of that coin.”

Recommendation: Choosing to do a raw diet can be beneficial in the short term, but we don’t recommend it long-term because of the stress on your liver and pancreas and the lack of protein. Of course, it’s beneficial to consume some vegetables raw, particularly nuts and seeds, berries, and onions. Meanwhile, carrots, tomatoes, spinach, and cruciferous vegetables benefit from being cooked.

6. Weight-loss teas

Diet teas? Hard pass, Nhan says.

While diet teas may help people achieve rapid weight loss, it’s definitely not a sustainable weight loss. “Usually diet teas are laxatives, and the weight that you’re losing is water weight. You’re not actually burning more calories,” she cautions. “Bodies are amazing and they do a lot of work to keep themselves in what’s called homeostasis, meaning keeping a balance in terms of hydration and electrolyte content. Eventually you’re going to—hopefully!—get that water back and that means gaining all that weight back.”

As with any aggressive weight-loss plan that revolves around an extreme water cut, be careful of going too far. “Abusing laxatives has serious health risks,” Nhan says. “Anyone committed to losing weight and keeping it off, I advise against diet teas.”

Recommendation: Unless you’re constipated and are using a diet tea sparingly for relief, we don’t recommend weight-loss teas.

7. The cabbage soup diet/grapefruit diet

These diets work on the philosophy that there are “negative-calorie foods,” which is to say that your body effectively burns calories digesting them.

But while the thermal effect of food (aka the energy your body expends to break down a food and absorb it) could theoretically offset the food item’s calorie content, the idea of “negative-calorie foods” is bogus, Nhan says.

“There is credence to the idea that some foods require more energy to absorb, but it doesn’t constitute a large portion of calories in your overall diet,” she explains. “Yes, if you’re eating cabbage and grapefruit and nothing else, of course you’re going to lose weight. But if you’re adding half a grapefruit or drinking cabbage soup every day with your normal diet, it’s not going to burn additional calories. That idea is totally false.”

Recommendation: Cabbage and grapefruit are both good for you. Eat as much of it as you like, but don’t expect it to magically singe off your love handles.

A final note about extreme diet plans

While most of these diets aren’t inherently bad for you, Nhan stresses that any form of extreme restriction can be difficult to maintain and create unhealthy mental hangups and behaviors around food. “The diets that work the best are the ones you can actually stick to,” she says. “You need to be able to incorporate the diet into your existing lifestyle, and that could mean a lot of learning and trial and error.” She emphasizes sustainable strategies like portion control, moderation, and smart substitution.

If you do need to lose weight fast, she recommends seeking the advice of a professional. “There are absolutely times when people want to lose weight fast. We hear about it all the time in celebrity culture when actors are losing weight for roles. The best way to do this is with the help of a professional like a registered dietitian, nutritionist, or personal trainer.” And brace yourself for some serious commitment. “If you want to lose weight that fast, it’ll require burning a lot of additional calories through exercise and high calorie restriction”—not to mention serious mental fortitude.

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    WebMD reviews the pros and cons of Dr. Phil’s diet, which emphasizes emotions and thought patterns as much as food groups.

  • Eat This, Not That Diet Plan Review

    “Eat This, Not That” encourages eating a better food than the one you were planning on. Find out from WebMD whether this diet program works.

  • Eat to Live Diet: Review

    WebMD discusses pros and cons of following the “Eat to Live” diet plan by Joel Fuhrman, MD.

  • Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat

    Find out with this WebMD diet review if “Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat” is a weight loss plan that will work for you.

  • French Women Don’t Get Fat Diet Review

    Get the scoop from WebMD on the French Women Don’t Get Fat diet. Does it work? What can you eat?

  • High School Reunion Diet Review: 30-Day Weight Loss?

    Have a reunion coming up and need to lose weight fast? Find out from WebMD whether the High School Reunion Diet is right for you.

  • Diet A to Z: Intermittent Fasting

    The two-day-a-week diet: How intermittent fasting can help you lose weight and boost your health.

  • Jenny Craig Diet Review: Cost, Foods, Benefits, & More

    WebMD reviews the pros and cons of the Jenny Craig diet plan.

  • Living Low-Carb Diet Review: How It Works

    Could a low-carbohydrate diet work for you? Read WebMD’s overview of the low-carb lifestyle.

  • Lose 21 Pounds in 21 Days: The Martha’s Vineyard Diet Detox

    The Martha’s Vineyard Detox Diet promises rapid weight loss: 21 pounds in 21 days. Read WebMD’s review here.

  • Macrobiotic Diet Plan Review

    Is the Macrobiotic Diet an effective weight loss plan? Find out in this diet review.

  • The VB6 Diet Review: Does Mark Bittman’s Diet Work?

    WebMD reviews food writer Mark Bittman’s heavily vegan VB6 Diet.

  • Master Your Metabolism: Jillian Michaels Diet Review

    Find out from WebMD which foods you can eat on the “Master Your Metabolism” diet and how it claims to work.

  • Medifast Diet Plan Review

    Does eating Medifast meal replacements help you lose weight and keep it off? Find out in WebMD’s diet review.

  • Review of ‘Naturally Thin’ Diet by Bethenny Frankel

    WebMD reviews the pros and cons of the Naturally Thin diet, which does away with calorie tracking.

  • P.I.N.K. Method Diet Review: What Is It?

    WebMD reviews the pros and cons of the P.I.N.K. Method diet program.

  • Pritikin Principle Diet Review: Plant-Based Foods for Weight Loss?

    WebMD takes a look at the Pritikin Diet, one of the first popular diets aimed at reducing and even reversing heart disease.

  • Raw Food Diet Review: Benefits, What You Eat, & More

    Does cooking food lower its nutritional value? The Raw Food Diet claims it does. Read the truth about this diet plan.

  • Review: The Full Diet Plan

    FullBars: Do they work for weight loss? WebMD reviews the Full Diet plan, including how it works, what you can eat, and whether it’s healthy.

  • Shangri-La Diet Review: Does Drinking Oil Keep You Full?

    What can you eat on the Shangri-La Diet? Learn that and more in this WebMD review.

  • Skinny Bitch Vegan Diet Plan Review

    The Skinny Bitch Diet is a vegan diet that emphasizes organic foods. WebMD reviews its pros and cons.

  • Slimfast Diet Review: Shakes for Weight Loss?

    Will drinking Slimfast shakes help you lose weight and keep it off? Read WebMD’s review to find out.

  • The 17 Day Diet

    WebMD provides information about “The 17 Day Diet,” including dietary restrictions, effectiveness, and level of effort.

  • The 3 Day Diet Plan Review, Foods, Effectiveness

    Does the 3 Day Diet plan work? Do the results last? Find out in this diet plan review from WebMD.

  • 3-Hour Diet Review: Frequent Eating for Weight Loss?

    Will eating frequent, small meals help you lose weight on The 3-Hour Diet? Read WebMD’s review to find out.

  • 4 Day Diet Plan Review: What Can You Eat?

    The 4 Day Diet plan encourages diet variety and exercise to help with weight loss. WebMD reviews the pros and cons of this diet.

  • 5-Factor Diet Plan Review: What You Eat & More

    Meals with five ingredients, prepared in five minutes? Is weight loss so simple? Find out in WebMD’s 5-Factor Diet review.

  • The Baby Food Diet Review: Does This Weight Loss Plan Work?

    If you eat mostly baby food, can you lose weight? Yes, but. WebMD looks at the pros and cons of the Baby Food Diet.

  • Big Breakfast Diet Plan Review: What Is It?

    Eating a huge breakfast and light lunches and dinners is how this diet plan works. WebMD reviews the pros and cons of the Big Breakfast Diet.

  • Biggest Loser Diet Plan Review: Foods & Exercise

    Is The Biggest Loser Diet right for you? WebMD looks at the pros and cons of this TV-ready diet.

  • Blood Type Diet: Eating for Types O, A, B, & AB

    Is the Blood Type Diet a healthy way to eat and lose weight? WebMD reviews the pros and cons of this diet – and what the research says.

  • Cabbage Soup Diet Review: Ingredients and Effectiveness

    Will eating mostly cabbage soup help you lose weight? WebMD’s Cabbage Soup Diet Review gives you the details.

  • CarbLovers Diet Review: What Are Resistant Starches?

    Can you eat the carbs you love and still lose weight? WebMD’s diet plan review discusses pros and cons of the Carb Lovers Diet.

  • Cheater’s Diet Review: Foods and Effectiveness

    The Cheater’s Diet suggests a normally healthy diet with “cheating” on weekends. Does this plan work? Find out from a WebMD expert.

  • The Cinch Diet Plan Review

    Does the Cinch Diet work? WebMD reviews this diet plan and discusses pros and cons.

  • Dukan Diet Review: Phases, Menu, & More

    What can you eat on the Dukan Diet? WebMD reviews the pros and cons of this diet.

  • Eat Clean Diet Review: Unprocessed Foods for Weight Loss

    Eating whole, unprocessed foods is the mantra of the Eat Clean Diet. Find out more from WebMD, including whether the diet is safe and healthy.

  • Engine 2 Diet Review: What to Expect

    Is The Engine 2 Diet right for you? WebMD reviews the pros and cons of this “plant-strong” diet by former firefighter Rip Esselstyn.

  • The Fast Diet Review: What to Expect

    The Fast Diet lets you eat as you like 5 days a week, and then you fast for the other 2 days. Does it work, and is it safe? WebMD explains.

  • Fast Food Diet Review: Better Choices for Weight Loss

    If you find yourself eating out often, the Fast Food Diet may work for you. WebMD reviews the pros and cons of this diet.

  • Fat Smash Diet Review: Detox and Diet Phases

    The Fat Smash Diet has four phases of learning to eat better. WebMD reviews the pros and cons of this diet.

  • Flat Belly Diet Review: What You Eat

    Does the Flat Belly Diet deliver on its promises? WebMD reviews the pros and cons of this diet.

  • David Katz’s Flavor Point Diet Review

    Can limiting the flavors on your plate help you lose weight – and stay healthy? WebMD reviews the pros and cons of the Flavor Point Diet.

  • Flexitarian Diet Review: Less Meat and Weight Loss?

    Will eating less meat help you lose weight? Find out in this Flexitarian Diet review from WebMD.

  • Fresh Diet Review: Meal Delivery Service for Weight Loss?

    Want to lose weight and eat like royalty? WebMD reviews the pros and cons of The Fresh Diet.

  • Fruit Flush Diet Plan Review: Detoxing With Fruit?

    What are the effects of a fruit-based detox diet? Read WebMD’s review of the Fruit Flush diet and find out.

  • Elisabeth Hasselbeck’s G-Free (Gluten-Free) Diet Review

    If you don’t have celiac disease, will adopting a gluten-free diet help you be healthier and lose weight? WebMD reviews the G-Free Diet.

  • Gene Smart Diet Review: Do Genetics Affect Weight?

    Do your genes affect your weight? The Gene Smart Diet claims that your genes can work with you to help you lose weight. Find out more about this diet at WebMD.

  • Grapefruit Diet Plan Review: Does It Work?

    Is the grapefruit diet a plan that is healthy or safe? WebMD reviews the pros and cons of this fad diet.

  • Hallelujah Diet Review: Foods and Supplements for Weight Loss?

    The Hallelujah Diet encourages juicing, raw foods, and supplements for weight loss. But is this diet effective or safe? WebMD reviews the pros and cons of this diet.

  • Hormone Diet Plan Review: Phases, Foods, and More

    Will eating foods to regulate your hormones make you lose weight? Read WebMD’s review of The Hormone Diet to find out.

  • Instinct Diet Plan Review: Stages, Foods, and More

    The Instinct Diet claims it teaches you how and what to eat to change your cravings. Find out more in this WebMD review.

  • Kind Diet Review: Alicia Silverstone’s Weight Loss Plan

    The Kind Diet, developed by Alicia Silverstone, is an organic vegan diet. Find out from WebMD whether this diet would work for you.

  • Master Cleanse (Lemonade) Diet Review, Ingredients, Effectiveness

    Does the Master Cleanse (Lemonade) Diet really detoxify your body? This WebMD review discusses the claims, ingredients, and truth about the diet.

  • Mayo Clinic Diet Plan Review: Realistic Goals and Healthy Diet

    The Mayo Clinic Diet — the one actually developed by the Mayo Clinic — recommends a healthy diet and exercise for weight loss. Find out more at WebMD.

  • Mediterranean Diet Review: Foods & Weight Loss Effectiveness

    WebMD explains why the Mediterranean Diet is healthy and how the diet plan works.

  • The Military Diet: Everything You Should Know

    Could the Military Diet really work for you? Learn the facts about the diet.

  • Morning Banana Diet Review: Resistant Starch & Weight Loss?

    The Morning Banana Diet claims to help you lose weight. But could weight loss really be as simple as eating bananas? WebMD reviews the pros and cons of this diet.

  • The New Beverly Hills Diet Review: Phases, Foods, & More

    WebMD looks at the pros and cons of The New Beverly Hills Diet.

  • Nutrisystem Diet Plan Review: Foods, Products, & More

    With Nutrisystem, you choose foods you want to eat from a menu, and the food is delivered to your door. But does it work just because it’s easy? WebMD reviews its pros and cons.

  • O2 Diet Plan Review: Antioxidants for Weight Loss?

    The O2 Diet measures antioxidants to determine which foods you should eat. Find out from WebMD whether this method works.

  • Omni Diet Review: What You Can Eat and What to Expect

    Thinking about trying The Omni Diet by Tana Amen? WebMD explains what foods you can and can’t eat and what you can expect from this diet plan.

  • Paleo Diet (Caveman Diet) Review, Foods List, and More

    The Paleo Diet, or Caveman Diet, recommends eating as ancient paleolithic hunter-gatherers did — heavy on proteins and low in carbs. WebMD reviews the pros and cons of the diet.

  • Park Avenue Diet Review: Beauty and Weight Loss

    The Park Avenue Diet claims that losing weight is just part of being healthy; beauty is another part. Learn whether this diet works in WebMD’s diet review.

  • The Perricone Weight-Loss Diet Review: What Is It?

    WebMD evaluates the diet plan formulated by dermatologist Nicholas Perricone.

  • The Protein Power Diet: Low-Carb, High-Protein Diet Plan

    WebMD reviews the low-carb Protein Power diet, including a basic overview and expert opinions.

  • The Rice Diet Plan Review: Does It Work?

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  • The Sonoma Diet Review: Phases, Foods, and More

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  • South Beach Diet Review: Foods, Products, and More

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  • Detox Diets: Do They Work? Are They Healthy?

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  • The UltraMetabolism Diet Review: Does It Work?

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  • The Weigh Down Diet Review: Praying to Lose Weight?

    “The Weigh Down Diet” recommends drawing on the Bible to lose weight. Find out more about this diet plan at WebMD .

  • The Zone Diet Plan Review and Foods

    WebMD evaluates The Zone diet, how healthy it is, and whether it’s effective.

  • Anne Fletcher’s Thin for Life Diet Review

    “Thin for Life” looks to those who have maintained significant weight loss for tips and recipes. Find out from WebMD if this diet may be right for you.

  • This Is Why You’re Fat Diet Review: A Healthy Plan?

    WebMD reviews the pros and cons of “This Is Why You’re Fat,” a diet that focuses on sticking to the basics.

  • Volumetrics Diet Plan Review: Foods and Effectiveness

    WebMD reviews the pros and cons of the Volumetrics diet, an eating plan that focuses on foods that fill you up.

  • ‘What Color Is Your Diet’ Review: Variety for Weight Loss?

    “What Color Is Your Diet” claims adding brightly colored fruits and veggies to your diet will help you lose weight. Get the facts in WebMD’s review.

  • Wheat Belly Diet Review: What to Expect

    “Wheat Belly” is a best-selling diet book, but is it the right diet for you? WebMD explains what you can eat and what you can expect from this plan.

  • Weight Watchers Freestyle

    WW (formerly called Weight Watchers) is a very popular diet plan, in which foods are assigned points that you count every day. Is this plan a good option for you?

When it comes to weight loss, we’d all like a quick fix. And plenty of diets promise that, advertising results that sound too good to be true.

The problem is, they probably are.

“Fad diets are attractive because they seem to promise something we all want: an easy way to lose a lot of weight,” says Paul Loomis, M.D., a family medicine physician at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire. “The truth is, losing weight comes down to a formula we’ve known about for a long time: eating a variety of healthy foods in reasonable proportions and combining that with exercise.”

TELL-TALE SIGNS OF FAD DIETS

Dr. Loomis says there are some tell-tale signs of fad diets, including:

  • They promise rapid weight loss. If a plan promises losses of more than 2 pounds a week, proceed with caution.
  • They require eliminating foods. Beware of diets that claim entire food groups, such as carbs, are bad. You need a variety of foods to get the nutrition your body needs.
  • They have rigid rules. Some fad diets require purchasing expensive meal replacement products, such as protein shakes or weight loss bars. Others may emphasize eating predominantly one type of food, such as meat, grapefruit or cabbage soup.
  • They severely restrict calories. You’ll lose weight anytime you severely restrict your calories. But this extreme approach is unhealthy and unsustainable. Calories are the fuel your body needs to function.

“Instead of jumping from one fad to another, try to make healthy changes that will last a lifetime,” Dr. Loomis says.

THREE KEY ELEMENTS TO WEIGHT LOSS

To lose weight and keep it off, Jamie Pronschinske, a registered dietitian at Mayo Clinic Health System in La Crosse, recommends looking for a plan that includes:

  1. Variety. A healthy diet includes fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, lean protein, nuts and seeds, and even a sweet treat once in a while. “To ensure you’re getting the right amount of nutrients to nourish your body, choose a plan that includes all the food groups,” says Jamie. “It also is important your eating pattern is appealing and tasty, or it won’t be something you’ll stick with.”
  2. Exercise. Achieving a healthy weight is easier when you are eating healthfully and exercising. Look for a plan that recognizes the importance of movement.
  3. A long-term plan. The changes you make should be ones you can live with forever. “There’s no finish line when it comes to healthy eating and being active,” says Jamie. “I don’t even like using the word ‘diet’ because so many people think of it in terms of something you do for a while and then stop.”

If you’re looking for guidance, Dr. Loomis and Jamie say there are several healthy plans that meet the criteria outlined, including the Mayo Clinic Diet, the Mediterranean diet and Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet.

“Education is a big part of these programs,” Dr. Loomis says. “For some people, just learning about portion sizes and then measuring their food can be a game changer.”

Jamie agrees. “These eating approaches will help you learn how to make long-term changes to manage your weight in a healthy way,” she says.

Explore additional healthy weight resources and information.

5 of the Strangest Diets That Actually Work for Weight Loss

After years of dealing with a nationwide weight problem, it seems Americans have developed a correlated obsession with weight loss. A survey taken between 2011 and 2012 reported that more than two-thirds, or 68.6% of American adults, were either overweight or obese.

Here are five of the craziest, often unhealthy, weight-loss tactics out there.

1. Dessert for breakfast

Eating pie for breakfast may be something you should give a try. | iStock.com/manyakotic

Have a major sweet tooth? Chances are you splurge after dinner or maybe even for a rare ice cream cone on a warm afternoon, but how often do you eat dessert with breakfast? One study has found that obese adults who wanted to lose weight were able to do so if they ate a breakfast full of carbs, protein, and … dessert. The study found that not only did participants lose an average of 30 to 33 pounds on the calorie-restricted diet after four months, but that those who had dessert with breakfast continued to lose weight (an average of 15 pounds) after the program ended.

2. Beer and brats

Beer and brats may yield weight loss, but you’ll be missing many vitamins and minerals. | iStock.com

Love beer and brats? The question is: How much? Evo Terra, an online executive from Arizona, loved the duo so much he subsisted on a primarily beer and sausage diet for 30 days. The result was almost 20 pounds of weight loss. Using calorie counting and restriction, Terra consumed around 1,500 calories worth of high-quality sausage and craft beers daily. According to Terra, the key is to eat organic, quality-made sausages and guzzle IPAs or hops-heavy stouts. While this crazy diet has plenty of protein, it isn’t going to win any awards for overall nutritional benefits.

3. Bacteria diet

Probiotics may help your cravings. | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/Getty Images

What if your tendency to lose and gain weight was more dependent on the bacteria in your stomach than the foods you did or didn’t eat? This is a theory that Raphael Kellman, M.D., who wrote The Microbiome Diet, promotes. He argues that instead of worrying about the amount of carbohydrates, protein, and fat you consume, you should focus your energy on the good and bad bacteria in your body. According to research, ingesting more good bacteria helps beat cravings and fight weight gain. To up your good bacteria levels, try taking a daily probiotic supplement or eat plain yogurt, which is rich in live and active cultures.

4. Chain diets

Some people lose weight on chain diets. | Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Remember Subway spokesman Jared Fogle? He lost 245 pounds by eating Subway sandwiches twice a day for a year. His impressive weight loss made him the brand’s spokesman for many years and his chain diet results inspired others. More recently, Christine Hall of Virginia took advantage of Starbuck’s calorie-labeled foods and store accessibility to lose 75 pounds over two years.

5. Cabbage soup diet

Cabbage is good for you, but we recommend varying your diet a little more. | iStock.com/Valentyn Volkov

This is more of a crash diet than anything else. It entails eating cabbage soup for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for seven consecutive days. Most dieters report losing around 10 pounds on this low-calorie soup that is stocked with green onions, green peppers, tomatoes, carrots, mushrooms, celery, and of course, half a head of cabbage. The cabbage soup diet works because even though the soup is low in calories, it’s water-based, which makes you feel full.

Disclaimer: ScoopWhoop does not promote extreme lifestyles. Please consult a certified nutritionist before you decide to alter your diet.

Losing weight is like a nightmare for most of the people. It seems that in order to lose weight you might have to give-up tasty, not so healthy food forever. But here we are, with 11 extreme diets that are much more, than just losing weight.

1. Cotton ball diet

This includes eating (you read that right), literally eating cotton balls.

Ever thought, something used to clean makeup can also clean body fat? Apparently, few people actually make use of cotton balls to get rid of their extra kilos. The recipe to this crazy diet is, chewing one plate of cotton balls dipped in your favourite fruit juice for a week till your body gets deprived of all the basic nutrients.

Image: ByeByeBellyBlog

2. The tapeworm diet

This diet includes ingesting tapeworms in your intestine to not gain weight.

This practically is self induced diarrhoea. Tape worms are those organisms that can breed in your intestine, which means they can also share the nutrition & fats of your food. There are certain pills which induce the growth of tapeworms in your body which makes you thin because of incomplete nutrition.

Image: Zidbits

3. The ketogenic enteral nutrition diet

This diet restricts on any kind of food intake from the mouth for 10 days.

This is the ‘baap’ of all other diets. People who practice KEN diet aren’t allowed to eat or drink anything for a span of 10 days, they even have to get a pipe inserted through their nose for the supply of basic nutrients.

Image: Kissfmmedan

4. David Kirsch 48-hour super charged cleanse

This is a diet that includes 48 hours of drinking nothing except lemonade.

This is introducing your body to a flood of lemonade. For those who follow this diet, even drinking water is restricted. It is an intake of only lemonade for minimum 48 hours in order to shed weight.

Image: Pinterest

5. Baby food diet

It replaces few of your food items with baby food (also means you poop like a baby).

This one might seem easy, but trust me it’s like giving the taste of hell to your tongue. Having boiled, pureed vegies for 10 days without salt or any other spices can be a real tough task to perform. The things we do to lose weight!

Image: Pinterest

6. The master cleanse diet

This involves the intake of only fluids for 10 days.

Apparently this is a popular detox diet followed by many celebrities. It requires a lot of dedication and will power to sustain yourself only on the intake of fluid material for a time span of 10 days. By following it you might lose 20 pounds in 10 days.

Image:Pinterest

7. The five bite diet

This one works on the ideology of taking only 5 bites of a meal.

Call it a disaster or starvation, but this diet is a training of having only 5 bites from your meal each time, irrespective of its content. Avoiding food and teaching your body to lose appetite is the actual requirement of this diet. Lack of food intake makes the body shed weight.

Image: PlaysInBusiness

8. Vegetable soup diet

This works on the consumption of vegetable soup for a week in large quantities.

If you are looking for a tasteless way to lose weight, this is where your search ends. Boil as many vegetables you like, make a soup and start having them in a large bowl for a full week.

Image: FoodViva

9. Miracle Diet

For this diet, one must consume only fruits for 2 days minimum.

Also known as the Hollywood diet, this diet is all about making your body run on fruits or fruit juice for a span of 48 hours, minimum.

Image: Pinterest

10. The blue print cleanse

Basically you have 3 different variants of chemical based fluid cleansers.

This diet can be practised by drinking chemical detox drinks made by various companies in the health business. It requires you to have only detox drinks till the time you achieve your desired target.

Image: EndlessSimmer

11. The apple cider liver cleanse

You eat your normal diet along with with apple cider vinegar with every meal.

You may call it the easiest one. It involves drinking 2 spoons of apple cider vinegar before every meal you take. Since apple cider vinegar has fat burning qualities, it might help you get rid of your saturated fats.

Image: HealthLine

Note: before taking any of these diet plans please consult a legal medical practitioner.

15 Diet Fads That Are Downright Dangerous

Every few months, there seems to be a new diet craze that comes out of the woodworks. The problem with these fad diets? They’re restrictive, not always backed by science, and can in fact be downright dangerous. We get the appeal, though; eating fruit, veggies, and drinking plenty of water to lose weight isn’t the most exciting thing in the world, so it makes sense that people seek more thrilling options.

But for serious (and seriously healthy) weight loss, your best bet is stick to the simple, proven methods—and avoid these dangerous diets at all costs. And for tips on how to shed pounds healthily, bone up on the 20 Science-Backed Ways to Motivate Yourself to Lose Weight.

1 The Werewolf Diet

Don’t worry—the werewolf diet doesn’t have you hunting prey and howling at the moon. What is does have you do is almost as crazy, though: ingesting only water and fruit and veggie juice for 24 hours during the full moon or new moon. Not only are you missing out on chewing on real food, but you’re also setting yourself up for failure: experts say there’s no research to back it up and you’ll regain any weight you lose.

2 Five-Bite Diet

Can you imagine only eating 10 bites of food a day? Experts say it’s an eating disorder waiting to happen and isn’t even a little bit healthy. Surprisingly, it was created by an actual medical professional—Dr. Alwin Lewis, of Burbank, California—and involves skipping breakfast, then eating only 5 bites of food for lunch and 5 bites for dinner.

Yes, you can eat anything you want, but it’s still so low-calorie that this—and other crash diets—can really mess up your body, causing everything from heart palpitations to a decrease in your immune function. For more ways to stick to your current healthy regimen, check out these 30 Best Ways to Stick to Any Diet.

3 Military Diet

The Military Diet—also called the Hot Dog Diet—involves eating things like hot dogs and tuna to lose weight. There are claims that it boosts your metabolism and can make you lose 10 pounds in a week, but according to experts, that’s all false. You might lose some water weight, but the low-calorie count can put your body straight into starvation-mode, which actually slows down your metabolism—not speeds it up. And because your body thinks you’re starving, you’ll actually end up packing on more pounds after your “diet” is over. To actually get the most out of your body’s fat-burning furnace, check out the 30 Ways to Boost Your Metabolism After 30.

4 Baby Food Diet

If you had to guess, what age group is baby food made for: babies or adults? If you guessed babies, you’re right, obviously—but you might be surprised to learn there’s an actual diet plan where grown-ups are getting their calories from Gerber jars. Fitness guru Tracy Anderson reportedly first made the Baby Food Diet a thing, and it sounds all sorts of gross: Instead of eating real, wholesome food, you replace breakfast and lunch with 14 jars of baby food (pureed peas, included!) that are incredibly low in calories and won’t give your body everything it needs to stay healthy. For more diet myth busting, check out these 20 Worst Food Myths That Still Persist.

5 Master Cleanse

Thanks to Beyoncé, the Master Cleanse took off in 2006 when she used it to drop weight for the movie Dream Girls. Basically, it involves drinking a mix of lemon juice, maple syrup, cayenne pepper, and water 6 to 12 times a day. With the lack of calories, of course, you’ll lose weight—but at the cost of putting your body in harm’s way. And even worse, once you stop, all the weight you lost will come right back.

6 Cabbage Soup Diet

Eating soup can be a hearty, nutritious way to lose weight when you make something that’s full of wholesome ingredients. The Cabbage Soup Diet, on the other hand—which just involves eating as much cabbage soup as you want throughout the day—is not. What’s more, the American Heart Association says it’s a bad idea due to all the negative side effects, like abdominal pain and exhaustion.

7 Grapefruit Diet

Like cabbage, grapefruit is great in moderation: it’s full of vitamin A, vitamin C, and potassium. When you surround your entire diet around one food, though, that’s when things get messy. This fad diet, wherein you eat nothing more than grapefruit for 10 to 12 days, first became a thing in the 1930s, and it’s somehow still making the rounds. Eat grapefruit with your meals if you want to, but eating only the fruit can lead to serious health problems down the line, says the Cleveland Clinic—particularly because you’re not getting everything your body needs to function properly, like, you know, protein. For more failed weight loss tactics, check out these 40 Weight Loss “Secrets” That Don’t Work.

8 Cotton Ball Diet

This diet has “dangerous” written all over it, but people still continue to think it’s safe and effective. Here’s how it goes: instead of eating, you chow down five cotton balls dipped in orange juice, lemonade, or a smoothie as a meal to make you feel full. Not only are those cotton balls filled with dangerous chemicals, but experts also say eating them could severely obstruct your intestinal tract—something that can be life-threatening. Use them in the bathroom and keep them far, far away from your dinner plate.

9 HCG Diet

If you desperately want gallstones, an irregular heartbeat, depression, and fatigue, try the HCG Diet. According to the Mayo Clinic, it involves severely restricting your calories and using HCG—a hormone produced during pregnancy—to make you lose weight. Not only does the Food and Drug Administration recommend avoiding using HCG for weight-loss at all costs, you should also know that this method simply doesn’t work. All it does it put your body at risk for health issues in the future.

10 Tapeworm Diet

Some people are so desperate to lose weight that they’re willing to swallow an actual tapeworm to get the job done. Yes, really. Of course you’ll lose weight: you voluntarily gave your body a parasitic infection that’s eating food right out of your intestines. But it’s super dangerous, and according to experts, it can leave you with horrible side effects—and the potential for death.

11 Juice Cleanses

Juice cleanses are super trendy and will probably always be super trendy: every Instagram star swears by them as a healthy way to lose weight. The reality, though, is that drinking all your calories does a lot more harm than good: experts say cleanses aren’t a long-term solution to weight loss. Once you eat normal food again, you’ll gain the weight back—and while you’re sipping juices, you put yourself at risk of nutritional deficiencies. Also, because they’re low in protein, the weight you do lose isn’t fat—it’s muscle. (So: the polar opposite of what you want.) To clear up any dieting confusion, check out the Difference Between a “Cleanse” and a “Detox.”

12 Sleeping Beauty Diet

One of the worst things you can do for your health is to turn yourself into Sleeping Beauty to lose weight. The Sleeping Beauty diet involves taking a sedative to sleep around 10 hours a day—because when you’re sleeping, you’re not eating. Not only is it an incredibly disordered way to lose weight, but experts also say it’s downright dangerous. You should never depend on drugs to help you sleep away your life, all to avoid extra calories. To actually sleep healthily, learn the 70 Science-Backed Tips for Your Best Sleep Ever.

13 Blood Type Diet

Knowing your blood type is important for an instance where you might need or are donating blood. Basing your diet around it, though, is a horrible idea. The Blood Type Diet—which comes from naturopathic doctor Peter J. D’Adamo’s book—involves eating certain things based on whether you’re Type O, A, B, or AB. The funny thing is that, despite sounding good, there’s no real scientific evidence to back this diet up, and, according to Harvard Medical School, it can ultimately be restrictive and inhibit foods that would actually do your body a lot of good.

14 Breatharian Diet

As crazy as it seems, there’s a diet out there that people are actually doing that involves only living off of water, sunlight, and tea for months. Not at all surprisingly, experts don’t think the Breatharian Diet is a good idea: “Anyone advocating that we can live largely without food or fluids is giving dangerous advice. Living on air and sunshine will provide no caloric or fluid intake. Anyone who claims to be maintaining a steady body weight on such a diet is unlikely to be telling the truth,” says David Oliver, PhD.

15 The Flecherizing Diet

Why chew your food normally when you can chew everything a minimum of 100 times before swallowing? It sounds absolutely horrible (hello, jaw cramps!), but that’s exactly what the Flecherizing Diet—which was created over 200 years ago—consists of. The only thing “Fletcherizing” is going to do is take up all your free time and make your jaw hurt really bad—especially since “chewing” liquids is somehow part of the plan, too. Chew your food slowly—which really can help you lose weight!—but do so in moderation. Chewing your food 15 times is much better than anything in the triple digits. For more weight-loss motivation, check out these 50 Genius Weight-Loss Motivation Tricks.

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