This year brought a lot of change to the world, including some (more) crazy diets. In fact, these “fad” diet trends began as early as ancient Greek and Roman times. Oftentimes, fad diets are incredibly restrictive and unsustainable for long-term weight loss, hence the term. Some fad diets can even be dangerous for the body.
Compiled below are four of the craziest diets of 2017:
1. The Grapefruit Juice Diet
This diet originated in 1930, so it’s been around for quite a while. The Grapefruit Juice Diet is usually done for 12 days and is said to allow a weight loss of up to 10 pounds occur. With this diet, participants typically keep their total calorie intake under 1000 per day.
Meals are encouraged to be rich in protein, often including foods such as eggs, butter, bacon and rich sauces and dressings. Along with each meal, half a grapefruit or eight ounces of freshly squeezed grapefruit juice must be consumed as well. The theory behind this diet is that the grapefruit juice can actually help to burn off excess fat.
However, there are no founding claims to this diet and it’s thought that it is really the limited calorie intake that leads to the weight loss. As with many restrictive diets, once normal eating habits are resumed, the lost weight typically piles back on.
2. The Blood Type Diet
This diet was developed in 1996 by Dr. Peter D’Adamo, a popular naturopathic physician. The premise and theory behind this diet is that everybody’s nutritional needs can be determined by their blood type. Dr. D’Adamo firmly believes his theory proves while some people can be on the same diet and have differing results.
His book, Eat Right 4 Your Type, actually became an incredibly popular New York Times bestseller, with many positive testimonials.
Here is how each blood type is supposed to eat:
- Type A: Fresh, organic, mostly vegetarian. Diet completely void of red meat.
- Type B: Can eat both plants and meat (except for chicken and pork), as well as some dairy. Should avoid wheat, lentils, tomatoes, corn and a few other foods.
- Type AB: Diet should be somewhat of a mixture between the A and B diets. Good foods include seafood, dairy, beans, grains, and tofu. AB’s should avoid kidney beans, corn, beef, and chicken.
- Type O: This blood-type diet should be based largely on protein, such as meat, fish and certain fruits and vegetables. Grains, legumes, and dairy should be limited. Type O’s diet closely resembles the standard “Paleo” diet.
While some people have had great success with the Blood Type Diet, more research needs to be done to examine the validity of it.
→ For more information on the Blood Type Diet, click here.
3. The Baby Food Diet
It’s unknown just where exactly this diet originated, but it’s rumored that celebrity trainer Tracy Anderson was the creator. The diet consists of eating roughly 14 jars of baby food each day, followed by a “grown-up” meal. There is many a celebrity rumored to have participated in this incredibly restrictive fad diet including Lady Gaga, Jennifer Aniston, and Reese Witherspoon.
The problem with most baby food is that because it is processed and strained, it is severely lacking in the fiber department. Fiber is an essential nutrient for any healthy, productive digestive system. Furthermore, the actual act of chewing itself is thought to help you feel full.
It’s hard to say whether or not this diet is effective, as the baby food quality can vary greatly and it largely depends on what the evening, “grown-up” meal consists of.
4. The Fruitarian Diet
Considered to be a subset of the standard vegan diet, the fruitarian diet is taken to a new extreme. Participants are to consume 75 percent of their calories through fruit, and the remaining 25 percent can come from other whole foods such as nuts, seeds, vegetables, and grains. While this diet is seemingly healthy and does offer a few health benefits, there are a few concerns as well.
The main health benefit of a fruitarian diet is that fruits contain numerous essential vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. Plus, many fruits have significant anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties as well. These combining factors make fruit a great addition to any diet.
However, a diet that consists of nearly all fruit is likely bound to be lacking in some way.
One common deficiency seen in fruitarians is heme iron, which can lead to anemia. Another common deficiency is Vitamin B12. This vitamin is primarily found in animal products, which fruitarians don’t consume. Many choose to take B12 supplements to prevent this from happening. Vitamin D is another vitamin that fruitarians commonly lack in their diet. While you can get Vitamin D from the sun, very few people spend enough time outside to solely depend on the sun for their Vitamin D needs.
This being said, there are many people who report great success with this diet, so it’s ultimately up to you to decide what works best for your body.
Are There Good Diets Out There?
Now that you’ve read about some various “fad” diets out there, you’re probably wondering if there are any diets that really do work. The answer is that there are some diets that are both reportedly healthy and effective. If you are trying to lose weight, consider experimenting with one of the following diets.
An easy enough premise, simply cut out all meat and replace with other whole foods such as fruits and vegetables. This diet is sustainable and can significantly improve your overall health.
The TLC diet, which stands for “therapeutic lifestyle changes” is primarily geared to those who need or want to lower their cholesterol intake levels. This being said, the dietary guidelines for this diet can benefit other people as well. The diet is centered around food with less saturated fat. Popular foods for this diet include fruits, vegetables, skinless chicken, fish and low-fat dairy products.
This diet is modeled after the traditional diet and various foods commonly eaten in countries along the Mediterranean Sea. This diet typically is high in fruits, vegetables, fish and whole grains such as brown rice and whole-wheat bread. Another important component of this diet is the incorporation of extra-virgin olive oil, which is shown to have numerous health benefits.
Before starting any new way of eating, it’s important to do your research. In addition, you should always consult your doctor or another health professional before you begin a new diet. Always remember, while fad diets are tempting, it’s truly about what you fuel your body with on a day to day basis. Opt for a diet that is sustainable and best suited for your body coupled with regular physical activity.