Would You Eat a Tapeworm to Lose Weight?
And 6 other totally bonkers diets we can’t believe people actually tried
We get it: Those get-skinny-fast diet trends are pretty tough to resist. But what if in order to see any results, you had to eat a tapeworm? Or chew your food 32 times? Ew, and also yikes.
Here, seven of the most insane diet fads in all of history.
THE TAPEWORM DIET
In the 1920s, this diet trend (rumored to be most popular with jockeys) required you to ingest a tapeworm in order to shed any unwanted pounds. Um, gross.
THE “CHEW YOUR FOOD FOREVER” DIET
Nineteenth-century health nut Horace Fletcher introduced this fad in 1911. His secret to losing weight? Chewing every mouthful at least 32 times or until it liquefied in your mouth. Good for digestion, bad for conversation.
THE CANDY DIET
It involved a candy called Ayds, which looked and tasted liked a delicious chocolate but, via local anesthetic, allegedly kept you from getting hungry. Guess what? People still got hungry.
THE LEMONADE DIET
First popular in the 1940s, this method, wherein you drink a mixture of water, lemon juice, maple syrup and cayenne pepper, is still going strong. Beyoncé admitted on Ellen that the whole thing made her evil. Still, celebs like Gwyneth and Demi swear by it. We’ll take eating, thank you.
THE COOKIE DIET
A doctor by the name of Sanford Siegel endorsed this one in 1975. His homemade 90-calorie cookies contain oats, rice, whole-wheat flour and bran. And guess what? In lieu of meals, you can eat up to ten a day (as long as you follow the plan-dictated schedule). But even though Snooki swears by it, it's well proven that short-term weight loss like this just doesn’t work.
THE BABY FOOD DIET
This one’s pretty basic, and was all the rage when celebrity trainer Tracy Anderson introduced it in 2010: Swap real, grown-up food for those Gerber purées and the pounds will come right off. Effective…but sad. We have teeth for a reason, people.
THE SLEEPING BEAUTY DIET
Inspired by Jacqueline Susann’s best-selling 1966 novel Valley of the Dolls, this one requires being heavily sedated for several days, so you sleep off the weight and wake up skinnier. Good plan.