[Originally published here at SpoonUniversity.com on June 22, 2015]
We’ve all heard of fad diets: the Hollywood Diet, the Mediterranean Diet, Atkins, Paleo, etc. etc. – the list can go on forever. But I bet you haven’t heard of the Cookie Diet or the Red Bull Diet, probably because while they help you lose weight, they’re also all kinds of hazardous to your body.
Check out these fad diets that may actually work, but at a cost.
The Cookie Diet
The Cookie Diet: aka the dream. This diet is similar to the Baby Food Diet in terms of slashing calories and entire food groups by just eating small, precise portions of one specific food.
So how this works is you buy cookie mixes from Dr. Siegal’s website and then munch on the baked cookies throughout the day.
The point is that the cookies supply a minimal amount of calories while simultaneously suppressing hunger so you aren’t tempted to stray from the diet. Sounds easy enough, right?
Wrong. There are a ton of downsides to this method of weight loss. Exercise is great for your body but also for your mind–it releases endorphins and improves self-esteem.
However, because cookie dieters are only allowed to consume roughly 800 calories a day, you probably shouldn’t workout. And although this may sound like the best thing that’ll ever happen to you, it’s definitely not worth it. Sorry, cookie monster.
The Cigarette Diet
Back in the 1920s, cigarette companies began to market their products toward women as a way to lose weight in order to increase sales. Sneaky, right?
The way this “diet” works is to simply smoke as many cigarettes as possible and eat only when you’re hungry, which won’t be often because the nicotine will continually suppress your hunger.
One of the main reasons people refuse to put stop smoking is because of the weight gain that comes with it. However, I think we all know why this diet is a complete flop. Can you say lung cancer?
The Baby Food Diet
The way the Baby Food Diet works is by replacing entire meals and snacks with jars of baby food.
Apparently, a jar of baby food yields anywhere between 20 and 100 calories. If you add it all up, this means you’re taking in roughly a fourth of the amount of calories recommended for an adult.
So that’s awesome because it means no working out. Your everyday activities, such as walking, burn more calories than you’re taking in, resulting in weight loss.
But you’re basically starving yourself. And who wants to eat jars on jars on jars of tasteless mush all day?
Not only that, but baby food is designed for babies, go figure. This means the vital nutrients that are normally found in an adult diet are lost, which can then lead to a decrease in muscle tissue and a decreased metabolic rate, according to an article on BC Living.
Mmmm, better not.
The Red Bull Diet
The Red Bull Diet is probably the most dangerous diet on this list and for good reason–it works freakishly fast.
For this diet you pretty much eat nothing and drink 10 to 14 cans of Red Bull to keep you energized and awake.
The founder of the Red Bull Diet, New Zealand mom Brooke Robertson, claims to have lost roughly 98 pounds in just eight months.
I’m a huge fan of Red Bull so this really got me excited. That is, until I heard about what other effects Red Bull had on Robertson’s body. She experienced severe cramping and crippling anxiety on a day to day basis, and that was after suffering from a minor heart attack.
Caffeine is definitely not a substitute for food. And in such large quantities your central nervous system would be perpetually stimulated, leaving you with one wack sleep schedule, or lack thereof. So just don’t.
The Egg and Wine Diet
Though the Egg & Wine Diet website was a little sketch, it makes a couple great claims on why this diet could actually work.
It can’t get any easier than getting a little tipsy and making some scrambled eggs. But they don’t even have to be scrambled eggs; you can make them any way you’d like as long as there’s no salt added and you’re eating them while drinking wine in half-bottle increments.
What could possibly go wrong?
Quite a bit, actually. A glass of wine is recommended every day, according to WebMD.com, but a whole bottle is very hard on your liver and you’re practically drunk all day long.
The Cabbage Soup Diet
Spanning over just seven days, you’re promised to shed 10 lbs. The only downside is that you’re only allowed to eat cabbage soup (ew).
As easy and modest as this diet may sound, it can really take a toll on your body. Like I said before with the baby food diet and cookie diet, it’s super unhealthy to cut out entire food groups because it can cause severe vitamin and mineral deficiencies, which can screw with the appearance of your hair, nails and skin.
But isn’t the point of a diet to look and/or feel better?
As you can see, it’s probably best to stick to a healthy regime of balanced fruits, veggies, protein and carbs, along with a healthy amount of exercise. A little sweat and carrot juice never hurt anyone.