The 11 Worst Diets Out There

The 11 Worst Diets Out There

Every once in a while| a new diet fad crops up that you MUST try| but in actuality these trends rarely work. In fact| most diet crazes are truly detrimental to your health. Luckily| our friends at YourTango have compiled a list of the worst ones so you can avoid them.

There’s a price to pay for beauty (and a slim waist) and you’ll definitely pay it with these “”WTF”” diet trends.

It seems that fitness is more “”in”” than it was when Olivia Newton John had it trending in the 80’s| demanding that we all get physical. (Wait| maybe we’re talking a different kind of physical … eh| oh well| it all works the same.)

Everywhere you turn| people are posting their green smoothies| fitness playlists| and gym selfies u2014 because what would a trend be without such selfies in 2015? Nonetheless| nobody can complain about a trend that gets motivated to look| feel| and be their best selves.

Only thing is| we live in a society where no one has the patience to get fit the proper way u2014 delayed gratification is extinct and celebrities are always slinging the latest fad diets and fitness gear. But| little do we know| these trends may be hurting our health more than helping it.

So| call us dramatic| but as a warning| we’ve got 11 fad diets and products to avoid at all costs … because the most expensive cost is your health.

| The Tapeworm Diet

No| this isn’t just some catchy name. Woman-to-woman| I completely get wanting to look your best| but seriously?! This is horrifically dangerous and lazy way to do so. When the trend began in the 1900s| dieters would swallow a “”beef tapeworm cyst”” (typically in the form of a pill)| but now people buy these parasites off the black market| as they’re illegal.

| The Sleeping Beauty Diet

For those of us adulting and what not| this one seems pretty damn awesome … at first. A diet that values slumber above all? I mean which one of us couldn’t adjust to that. But| here’s where it takes a weird turn (eh| or just plain old illogical?) … you don’t just rest up| you sedate yourself into a comatose slumber in hopes of shedding several pounds| while sleeping.

The reality is there’s no Prince Charming to wake you up from this heavily sedated slumber| so you never waking up (read bluntly: death) by trying this “”diet.””

| The Master Cleanse

One thing people must learn is that celebrities u2014 no matter how human we like to pretend they are u2014 they just don’t count! What I’m saying is| you shouldn’t be so quick to go out and start wearing| living| or doing the all that your fave celebs do. While I’m sure chugging several cups of fresh lemonade| packed with cayenne pepper| lemon juice| honey| and water sounds quite delicious … it’s just not all that healthy| for you or those surrounding you. Queen Bey| herself| lost 20 pounds for Dreamgirls but admitted to being unpleasant during this time.

If we could put a “”Do NOT try at home”” label on the actions of celebrities| this would be a good time to throw out that disclaim. This diet has been known to cause fatigue| dizziness| and dehydration (duh?)| as you’re essentially starving your body of the proper nutrition.

| The hCG Diet

Sounds a little complex in comparison to the other| which is already a pretty good indication that this diet no good. Apparently| there’s a tight calorie restriction with this diet| we’re talking NYC transit at 5 o’clock| tight u2014 with an astounding 500 calorie intake (le sigh) of organic| unprocessed foods and a daily dose of pregnancy related hormones known as| human chorionic gondatropin.

Here’s what I have to say: 1) My mom taught me to steer clear of things you can’t pronounce; 2) Thanks| but no thanks on any extra shots … I barely made it through that rough period of childhood! 3) Sounds as expensive| as it actually is; 4) It hasn’t been approved by the FDA; 5) It limits you to 500 calories| which is code for starvation.

So with all of that in consideration| it’s probably best to pass.

| The Cotton Ball Diet

This diet is for those of you who enjoyed eating paper as a child! Congrats| you’re moving up to the big leagues! With this diet you eat a cotton ball (or two| or five) before each meal in hopes of filling more full prior to divulging in this now paper-tasting meal.

And| if you really want to add a kick of flavor try letting your cotton ball absorb some good ol’ OJ| your favorite smoothie| or lemonade before eating them. Mmmm| don’t we just have a knack for delicious dinner recipes? All jokes aside| eating anything other than food can block the intestines … not sure (don’t want to find out) what happens when your intestines get blocked| but sounds pretty shitty. The worst part? Cotton balls aren’t just made out of cotton but bleach and synthetic fibers u2014 need I say more?

| Waist Training

When fitness meets 16th century chic| you get waist training. I’ll be the first to admit| I myself| am interested in this trend … I’ve seen some of the results (including Kim Kardashian and real life beings) and I suppose I’m willing to risk crushing a few organs for a slim waist| with a crazy butt.

It’s said that this trend is safe in moderation| but we all know that’s not how it works u2014 fellow waist trainees know that you sleep| breath| and eat with the damn thing cutting off your airway.

Apparently| it doesn’t actually help you lose fat| but simply “”trains”” your curves. And| just like the rest of these fad tactics you’ll be gaining the weight back the moment you stop. Guess they’re not as magical as we’d like to believe.

| The Grapefruit Diet

Also known as: the Hollywood Diet| formed in the 1930s u2014 this diet involved eating half of a grapefruit| in addition to a cup of coffee and a teeny bit of lean meat and salad. While there are multiple versions of this diet to surface since then (people never know when to end a sequel| huh?) this is the most common and straight forward.

This diet limits your cals from 800-1|000 … once again| this is under the recommended calorie intake and while it does show results| it won’t keep working after you’ve completed it.

| The Raw Food Diet

Loads of veggies? Yes| please (well| kinda). Loads of uncooked food? Eh| I’m not buying it. Doesn’t it sort of take away from the health of the meal if you’re risking it all (very literally) for meals drenched in bacteria| e. coli| and parasites? Because| that’s what I hear when you say “”raw food diet.””

| The Werewolf Diet

Unfortunately| I’m thinking this is the closest I can get to transforming on a full moon. Anyways| this is also known as the lunar diet and you’re supposed to fast| drinking nothing but water or “”juiced juice”” during a full moon and new moon phases u2014 this diets claim to fame is the fact that they swear to shed (at least) six pounds during this 24-hour period. As with all fad diets| you will lose the weight temporarily and gain it back and soon as the full moon turns into crescent one.

| The Five-Bite Diet

Yes| this is exactly what it sounds like u2014 a disgrace of a diet that let’s you eat WHATEVER| just as long as you stop after five bites.

Now| this is YourTango| so we know a tease when we see one and damn it| THIS is a tease. Why the hell would I want to take five bites out of a yummy barbecue rib (keep in mind| there’s a slab in front of you)| with a side of creamy mashed potatoes? Please| explain this craziness to me. Better yet| don’t! Because it’s unexplainable. No real foodie (and let’s face it| if you’re reading this and can’t say “”no”” to food … that would mean you) is walking away from a piping hot plates of tasty anything; besides| didn’t your mother teach you not to waste food? Not to mention| by only taking 5 bites of a meal you’re not likely to receive the recommended amount of calories per day u2014 even with larger bites.

| The Cookie Diet

Most diets are painful and disappointing (prior to the results| that is) but this sounds pretty darn delightful u2014 especially if cookie dough counts as cookies (they’ve got to have smart choice cookie dough| right?) u2014 but| of course| there’s a catch. The catch being| you can only eat cookies and only the special| diet cookies.

It’s effective because you’re cutting down on calories| tremendously| but as soon as you eat anything without chocolate chips and vanilla extract you’re going to blow up faster than a sex doll| at a bachelorette party. Not to mention| because you eat so little daily come dinner time you’ll be salivating over any and everything u2014 with that you risk binge eating.

u2014 Kiarra Sylvester

Check out more great stories from YourTango:

I’ve Been on a Diet Since 1994

Dieting can be hard, but is it something that we can ever escape from? Elyssa Friedland, author of Love and Miss Communication, shares her experience with dieting and its presence in her everyday life over the last twenty-one years.

It’s date night. Actually, it’s not date night. I hate that term. My husband and I are just out to dinner by ourselves, enjoying an evening without the cacophony of our three young children or the company of friends. All is going well. We are simply catching each other up on the week’s events, our jobs, our errands. As harried, working parents in Manhattan, the time we have to really talk is limited. Hence date night, or not-date-night as I prefer to call it. And it feels great. Until something startling arrives that subtly shifts the power dynamic between us and darkens my mood: the bread basket.

The waiter has no idea what he’s unleashed when he places the crusty sliced baguette on the table. I watch my husband reach for a double slice and spread creamy butter across the surface. He takes a first bite and all I hear is a soul-sucking “crunch.” A bit of white, foamy butter rests on his upper lip and he licks it off. He signals to the waiter to come back. “Would you mind bringing olive oil as well?” Jesus, honey, I think ¨C are you trying to kill me? First you need to cover your crusty bread in heavenly butter, then you need to soak your second piece in a pool of golden olive oil.

I consider my options: (1) Abstain from the bread basket, feeling terribly resentful of my husband but happier by the time we get home; (2) eat half a slice, a compromise that will end up feeling worse than abstention; or (3) eat as much bread as I want, slicked with oil and coated in butter, which will be orgasmic for about fifteen minutes and cataclysmic by the meal’s end.

I choose option three. And when I take my first bite, I don’t hear a decadent crunch. I hear the sound of my teeth grinding up guilt. And because I’ve decided to eat three pieces of bread, I conclude that the meal is basically a lost cause. Cue the pasta and molten lava cake. I try my best to enjoy them. Because if I’m going to consume 2,000 calories in one meal, I might as well savor them. But I can’t, and the reason is this: I’VE BEEN ON A DIET SINCE 1994.

That’s right, ladies. I’ve been on a diet for the past 21 years. In 1994, I was in seventh grade. Puberty hit with its usual wrath and I took notice of my body like I never had before. I read Seventeen magazine and talked about boys ad nauseum with my friends. And I started to watch what I ate. When I turned down that first dessert, how would I have felt knowing that was the start of a lifelong obsession with my daily consumption? Pretty depressed, most likely. And the crazy thing? I don’t have an eating disorder. Not even an ounce of one. I’m a healthy weight, I do indulge from time to time, and I look pretty good, but if I lost five pounds, I’d look even better.

So if I don’t have an eating disorder, then what is making me scrutinize my caloric intake? Why do I glance at my friends’ plates to see what they’ve chosen? Why do I feel guilty after an indulgence and frustrated after an abstention? What I have are two X chromosomes. I’m a woman, plain and simple. Now I know some of you will respond to this and say that I don’t have a healthy body image, that not all women think about what they eat so much. So I’ll take a step back and redefine myself: I’m a woman in a major metropolitan city that cares about my appearance. Not obsessively. I don’t sneak glances in mirrors and dog-ear fashion magazines. But yes, I care what I look like, and I suck in my gut when I need to and I wear black when I’m feeling bloated.

I polled a number of my friends before writing this piece. And it turns out they feel the same way. They too said that even if they haven’t been an official diet for the past twenty years, they’ve at least watched what they ate pretty much continuously. It’s not like I’ve gone from Atkins to Weight Watchers to South Beach to Dukan without a stop. It’s just that it’s been a really long time since I ate a pint of ice cream in front of the TV and then didn’t self-flagellate at least for a bit after. In a word, it’s been a long time since I’ve heard a scrumptious “crunch” instead of the chewy sound of what I perceive to be lack of discipline.

It’s a bummer and it also makes me hate my husband a little. He wanted to lose weight before our wedding so he cut down on carbs pretty effortlessly and dropped fifteen pounds in about two months. Yes, that actually happened, and he wasn’t even grumpy. The worst part, depending on how you look at it, is that he’s kept it off for nine years already! Can you imagine?

When will it end? I’d like to think when I’m seventy-five, I’ll eat Brie and jam for breakfast and steak frites for dinner without a care in the world. But maybe I won’t. Maybe it never goes away, and I’ll want to be the hot granny, the one who can wear a swimsuit without a coverup around the retirement village. I bring this up with my mother. She’s in her sixties. I won’t get more specific than that because I’d like to continue having a relationship with her. We’re out to lunch and I tell her I’m working on a piece about dieting.

“Your generation is nuts,” she says. “We were never this crazy about dieting.”

“What about your friend Susanne [not her real name]? She’s a stick.”

“Oh, I think she’s just naturally like that.”

“Nobody’s naturally like that, Mom.”

“Come to think of it, she always orders salad. And she says her stomach can’t tolerate dressing.”

Aha.

Maybe that’s the difference between our generations. We are open about dieting and exercise, probably to excess. The older generation did in fact diet (though exercise seems to have completely evaded them), but at least they had the decency to keep it out of cocktail party conversation.

“So do you watch your weight, Mom?”

“Not really,” she says, a half second after she’s ordered simply grilled salmon with extra vegetables instead of the whipped potatoes. Conclusion about my mother? Nothing for certain, really. She either has warped taste buds or genuinely doesn’t believe that she’s on a diet because she’s not weighing in at a Weight Watchers meeting or recording her intake on her smartphone.

I like to fantasize about a day that starts with waffles, is punctuated with a hot pastrami sandwich and capped off with penne a la vodka. That day ends when I lay my full belly and dreamy head to sleep and I don’t plan a gluten-free, fat-free, taste-free tomorrow to balance out the damage. Will it be when I’m fifty? Sixty? Seventy? Or what if I give myself one day a year to do that, starting now. That could work¡­ maybe. I’m not sure. I really am quite talented at being hard on myself.

I said this to my husband recently: On my deathbed, in case I’m not coherent, please bring me a pint of Talenti mint chocolate chip ice cream. It is my absolute favorite and I’d like to enjoy it at least once without the aftertaste of guilt. He responded, with honest-to-goodness confusion, “If you love it so much, why don’t you just eat it now? It’s in the freezer.”

Oh, honey, if only it were that simple.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Matthew Barnes

I’ve Been on a Diet Since 1994

Dieting can be hard| but is it something that we can ever escape from? Elyssa Friedland| author of Love and Miss Communication| shares her experience with dieting and its presence in her everyday life over the last twenty-one years.

It’s date night. Actually| it’s not date night. I hate that term. My husband and I are just out to dinner by ourselves| enjoying an evening without the cacophony of our three young children or the company of friends. All is going well. We are simply catching each other up on the week’s events| our jobs| our errands. As harried| working parents in Manhattan| the time we have to really talk is limited. Hence date night| or not-date-night as I prefer to call it. And it feels great. Until something startling arrives that subtly shifts the power dynamic between us and darkens my mood: the bread basket.

The waiter has no idea what he’s unleashed when he places the crusty sliced baguette on the table. I watch my husband reach for a double slice and spread creamy butter across the surface. He takes a first bite and all I hear is a soul-sucking “crunch.” A bit of white| foamy butter rests on his upper lip and he licks it off. He signals to the waiter to come back. “Would you mind bringing olive oil as well?” Jesus| honey| I think C are you trying to kill me? First you need to cover your crusty bread in heavenly butter| then you need to soak your second piece in a pool of golden olive oil.

I consider my options: (1) Abstain from the bread basket| feeling terribly resentful of my husband but happier by the time we get home; (2) eat half a slice| a compromise that will end up feeling worse than abstention; or (3) eat as much bread as I want| slicked with oil and coated in butter| which will be orgasmic for about fifteen minutes and cataclysmic by the meal’s end.

I choose option three. And when I take my first bite| I don’t hear a decadent crunch. I hear the sound of my teeth grinding up guilt. And because I’ve decided to eat three pieces of bread| I conclude that the meal is basically a lost cause. Cue the pasta and molten lava cake. I try my best to enjoy them. Because if I’m going to consume 2|000 calories in one meal| I might as well savor them. But I can’t| and the reason is this: I’VE BEEN ON A DIET SINCE 1994.

That’s right| ladies. I’ve been on a diet for the past 21 years. In 1994| I was in seventh grade. Puberty hit with its usual wrath and I took notice of my body like I never had before. I read Seventeen magazine and talked about boys ad nauseum with my friends. And I started to watch what I ate. When I turned down that first dessert| how would I have felt knowing that was the start of a lifelong obsession with my daily consumption? Pretty depressed| most likely. And the crazy thing? I don’t have an eating disorder. Not even an ounce of one. I’m a healthy weight| I do indulge from time to time| and I look pretty good| but if I lost five pounds| I’d look even better.

So if I don’t have an eating disorder| then what is making me scrutinize my caloric intake? Why do I glance at my friends’ plates to see what they’ve chosen? Why do I feel guilty after an indulgence and frustrated after an abstention? What I have are two X chromosomes. I’m a woman| plain and simple. Now I know some of you will respond to this and say that I don’t have a healthy body image| that not all women think about what they eat so much. So I’ll take a step back and redefine myself: I’m a woman in a major metropolitan city that cares about my appearance. Not obsessively. I don’t sneak glances in mirrors and dog-ear fashion magazines. But yes| I care what I look like| and I suck in my gut when I need to and I wear black when I’m feeling bloated.

I polled a number of my friends before writing this piece. And it turns out they feel the same way. They too said that even if they haven’t been an official diet for the past twenty years| they’ve at least watched what they ate pretty much continuously. It’s not like I’ve gone from Atkins to Weight Watchers to South Beach to Dukan without a stop. It’s just that it’s been a really long time since I ate a pint of ice cream in front of the TV and then didn’t self-flagellate at least for a bit after. In a word| it’s been a long time since I’ve heard a scrumptious “crunch” instead of the chewy sound of what I perceive to be lack of discipline.

It’s a bummer and it also makes me hate my husband a little. He wanted to lose weight before our wedding so he cut down on carbs pretty effortlessly and dropped fifteen pounds in about two months. Yes| that actually happened| and he wasn’t even grumpy. The worst part| depending on how you look at it| is that he’s kept it off for nine years already! Can you imagine?

When will it end? I’d like to think when I’m seventy-five| I’ll eat Brie and jam for breakfast and steak frites for dinner without a care in the world. But maybe I won’t. Maybe it never goes away| and I’ll want to be the hot granny| the one who can wear a swimsuit without a coverup around the retirement village. I bring this up with my mother. She’s in her sixties. I won’t get more specific than that because I’d like to continue having a relationship with her. We’re out to lunch and I tell her I’m working on a piece about dieting.

“Your generation is nuts|” she says. “We were never this crazy about dieting.”

“What about your friend Susanne [not her real name]? She’s a stick.”

“Oh| I think she’s just naturally like that.”

“Nobody’s naturally like that| Mom.”

“Come to think of it| she always orders salad. And she says her stomach can’t tolerate dressing.”

Aha.

Maybe that’s the difference between our generations. We are open about dieting and exercise| probably to excess. The older generation did in fact diet (though exercise seems to have completely evaded them)| but at least they had the decency to keep it out of cocktail party conversation.

“So do you watch your weight| Mom?”

“Not really|” she says| a half second after she’s ordered simply grilled salmon with extra vegetables instead of the whipped potatoes. Conclusion about my mother? Nothing for certain| really. She either has warped taste buds or genuinely doesn’t believe that she’s on a diet because she’s not weighing in at a Weight Watchers meeting or recording her intake on her smartphone.

I like to fantasize about a day that starts with waffles| is punctuated with a hot pastrami sandwich and capped off with penne a la vodka. That day ends when I lay my full belly and dreamy head to sleep and I don’t plan a gluten-free| fat-free| taste-free tomorrow to balance out the damage. Will it be when I’m fifty? Sixty? Seventy? Or what if I give myself one day a year to do that| starting now. That could work¡­ maybe. I’m not sure. I really am quite talented at being hard on myself.

I said this to my husband recently: On my deathbed| in case I’m not coherent| please bring me a pint of Talenti mint chocolate chip ice cream. It is my absolute favorite and I’d like to enjoy it at least once without the aftertaste of guilt. He responded| with honest-to-goodness confusion| “If you love it so much| why don’t you just eat it now? It’s in the freezer.”

Oh| honey| if only it were that simple.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Matthew Barnes

Should You Be on the DASH Diet?

This year’s trendy diet is actually not a diet at all. The DASH diet, which the US News and World Report routinely marks as the best overall diet every year, is actually a healthy-eating plan that includes sensible rules to cut salt, fats, and sugar and upping fruits and veggies in order to lower bad cholesterol levels and possibly lose weight. If you’re ready to try the diet that everyone’s talking about, read on for DASH’s highlights.

What Is the DASH Diet?

DASH, which stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, was developed by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute in order to help people lower blood pressure. While it’s not a diet that promises rapid weight loss, many people do find success in dropping pounds slowly while following the DASH diet by cutting out the types of high-sugar, high-fat foods that aren’t allowed on the diet.

How to Do the DASH

Luckily, the DASH diet doesn’t include any gimmicks, powders or snack bars ¡ª?you just need fresh, whole foods and enough time to prepare healthy meals. In general, follow these guidelines:

    First, estimate how many calories you’ll need to maintain weight. For example, the DASH diet recommends that a sedentary 30-year-old woman eat 2,000 calories a day to maintain weight, while a moderately active woman would need up to 2,200 calories. Get the DASH diet’s recommended caloric intake to maintain weight here. Remember that you’ll need to subtract calories or up your activity level to create a calorie deficit if you’d like to lose weight. Once you know the amount of calories you’ll need, follow along to the DASH eating plan chart, which outlines how many servings of a food group you should eat per day. For a 2,000-calorie diet, for example, you’ll need six to eight servings of grains, four to five servings of vegetables, four to five servings of fruits, two to three servings of fat-free or low-fat dairy, and six or fewer servings of lean meats. It also recommends four to five servings of nuts a week, five or fewer sweets or added sugars per week, and two to three servings of fats and oils a day.Ensure you get only 2,300 milligrams of salt a day (about a teaspoon); eventually the DASH diet recommends you lower to under 1,500 milligrams a day.The DASH diet also recommends doing at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise in each day, which is similar to what the American College of Sports Medicine recommends to help lower your risk of diseases like cancer and heart conditions. If you’re trying to lose weight, DASH diet recommends at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise each day.

While the DASH diet wasn’t created for weight loss, following these guidelines will help you eat healthier and cut out the junk ¡ª which often means a lower number on the scale as well. No matter what, you’ll definitely be helping your health, especially your heart, by changing your eating habits for the better. Tell us, have you ever tried the DASH diet?

Image Source: Thinkstock

Should You Be on the DASH Diet?

This year’s trendy diet is actually not a diet at all. The DASH diet| which the US News and World Report routinely marks as the best overall diet every year| is actually a healthy-eating plan that includes sensible rules to cut salt| fats| and sugar and upping fruits and veggies in order to lower bad cholesterol levels and possibly lose weight. If you’re ready to try the diet that everyone’s talking about| read on for DASH’s highlights.

What Is the DASH Diet?

DASH| which stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension| was developed by the National Heart| Lung| and Blood Institute in order to help people lower blood pressure. While it’s not a diet that promises rapid weight loss| many people do find success in dropping pounds slowly while following the DASH diet by cutting out the types of high-sugar| high-fat foods that aren’t allowed on the diet.

How to Do the DASH

Luckily| the DASH diet doesn’t include any gimmicks| powders or snack bars ?you just need fresh| whole foods and enough time to prepare healthy meals. In general| follow these guidelines:

    First| estimate how many calories you’ll need to maintain weight. For example| the DASH diet recommends that a sedentary 30-year-old woman eat 2|000 calories a day to maintain weight| while a moderately active woman would need up to 2|200 calories. Get the DASH diet’s recommended caloric intake to maintain weight here. Remember that you’ll need to subtract calories or up your activity level to create a calorie deficit if you’d like to lose weight. Once you know the amount of calories you’ll need| follow along to the DASH eating plan chart| which outlines how many servings of a food group you should eat per day. For a 2|000-calorie diet| for example| you’ll need six to eight servings of grains| four to five servings of vegetables| four to five servings of fruits| two to three servings of fat-free or low-fat dairy| and six or fewer servings of lean meats. It also recommends four to five servings of nuts a week| five or fewer sweets or added sugars per week| and two to three servings of fats and oils a day.Ensure you get only 2|300 milligrams of salt a day (about a teaspoon); eventually the DASH diet recommends you lower to under 1|500 milligrams a day.The DASH diet also recommends doing at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise in each day| which is similar to what the American College of Sports Medicine recommends to help lower your risk of diseases like cancer and heart conditions. If you’re trying to lose weight| DASH diet recommends at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise each day.

While the DASH diet wasn’t created for weight loss| following these guidelines will help you eat healthier and cut out the junk ¡ª which often means a lower number on the scale as well. No matter what| you’ll definitely be helping your health| especially your heart| by changing your eating habits for the better. Tell us| have you ever tried the DASH diet?

Image Source: Thinkstock