Top five fad diets to avoid

By Andrea Petrou on January 6th, 2012 8 comments

Every year, around this time, millions of ladies announce they will be going on a diet.

Some of us do it in a bid to get that celebrity figure, others to cleanse themselves of too much Christmas turkey and some to simply fit into that next size down pair of jeans without having to walk around breathing in the whole day – we hold our hands up to the latter.

However, there’s one thing we all want when it comes to the “D” word and that’s of course a quick fix. Let’s be honest if we could lose those stones and love handles with a magic pill we’d choose it over salad, no alcohol and no cakes, which is why so many of us turn to those “miracle diets”.

Some are endorsed by celebrities while others promise the world and whilst many may work there comes a price – think smells that you blame your other half for and starvation so bad you’ll tempted to push your pet out of the way and stick your face in their bowl. We give you the lowdown on the top five fad diets we think you should avoid.

1. The Master Cleanse diet, most commonly known as the lemonade or maple syrup diet.
Beyonce swore she lost 20Ib on this diet which is basically a concoction of lemon juice, water, maple syrup and cayenne pepper drank six to 12 times a day.
However, this isn’t the kind of lemonade you buy freshly from food markets. Beyonce may have looked fab but she said the juice made her “evil” – we assume she meant that horrible grouchiness you feel when you, well, haven’t eaten for days. And we all know what the spicy cayenne pepper was put in there for…. if you still want to do this diet we recommend staying close to a toilet at all times.

2. The baby food diet
We probably hate the stuff when we were babies, but it now seems some, including the likes of Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston, are falling over themselves to get a jar of baby food.

The diet claims to help you lose pounds by swapping one or two meals a day for tinier, baby-size purees.

In theory this works, after all if you cut down your meals you’ll lose weight. However the effects will include hunger, probably a few trips to the loo and in extreme cases the urge to steal that last spoonful of grub from a nearby baby.

3. The Cabbage food diet
If you’re an extreme dieter then the cabbage food diet may have been one of the first you tried and probably never went back to. Apart from the obvious side effect that you’ll get from this diet, it’s pretty mundane.

For the first seven days you’re only allowed fruit, vegetables, skimmed milk and tea and coffee with the odd fat free yoghurt thrown in.

On the fourth day you have the privilege of  bananas and lean meat and brown rice on day six but thats as exciting it gets.

4. The Paleo Diet
This diet is based on what our ancestors were thought to have eaten- hence the name.
Boffins decided that if we ate meat, fish, shellfish, eggs, non-starchy and root vegetables, with a smattering of herbs, spices and some fruit and nuts we’d end up slimmer.

However, following this diet means avoiding wheat and dairy as well as many carbs meaning you don’t get the nutrients you need.

5. The tape worm diet.
We’re not sure if even we would be desperate enough to try this one and frankly we wouldn’t be able to afford it.

The diet is basically what it says on the tin – you plant a tapeworm inside your body and according to scientists it absorbs nutrients, which means that you can consume more calories and still lose around two pounds a week.

Apart from the gruesome reasons why this diet is no good, there are a few more flaws.

Firstly although there are a few places offering “tapeworm pills” implantation treatment is only offered in Mexico for around $1500. However, the effects including the formation of cysts in the liver, eyes, brain, and spinal cord as well as bloated belly and the risk of piling on the weight once the worm is expelled really don’t sell this one to us.

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