Crazy Fad Diets Of The Past


Western beauty standards lead many of us to demand a slimmer figure than what comes naturally, turning the diet industry into a kajillion-dollar empire. Today's dieters can hop on the keto craze or the paleo bandwagon or even indulge in some intermittent fasting, but those options sound as tempting as a double cheeseburger compared to the fad diets of the past.

Tapeworm Diet

Wouldn't it be great if everything we wanted to eat magically disappeared from our stomachs before it had a chance to be processed and stored as fat? This was the promise of the tapeworm diet, one of the more disgusting fad diets of the early 1900s. According to the old ads promoting this weight loss technique, a dieter just had to swallow a pill containing a tapeworm egg in their stomach and eat all the food they made. It wasn't a nave population gimmick to hawk placebos—it actually worked. Of course, it was also extremely dangerous. Tapeworms can grow up to 25 feet long and can cause seizures, cysts, meningitis, anemia, blindness, and liver failure. You're so much better off downing that salad.

Chewy Food

Around the same time that people were swallowing tapeworms, Horace Fletcher advocated no swallowing at all. After being denied health insurance based on his weight, he developed his own weight loss method that helped him lose 40 pounds. And he got the strange nickname "The Great Masticator". what was his move? Spitting out his food. According to Fletcher, chewing each bite of food 32 times before spitting it out removes its beneficial nutrients but not fat or sugar. It is more likely that he swallowed only a fraction of the whole food, fat and all, but his technique caught on after publishing his 1903 pamphlet using the eyebrow-raising headline, "Nature will deny those Those who don't chew." It's a shame he didn't write poetry.

Liquid Diet

Skeptical experts have been advising dieters to stop eating solid foods since the turn of the last millennium. In 1085 William the Conqueror became too heavy to ride his favorite horse, resolved to eat as little food as possible and sate his hunger instead with copious amounts of wine. He was actually back on his horse, but he died in a riding accident two years later, so it wasn't entirely in his best interest. In the 1800s, Lord Byron maintained his childish figure by drinking vinegar, swallowing a few spoonfuls not only to suppress appetite (as some still practice) but also to chew it to replace a whole meal. Consuming excess vinegar has some unpleasant side effects including stomach cramps, diarrhea and vomiting, so it is no slimfast. Those side effects may be why historians believe Lord Byron was bulimic, although he apparently had some food issues.

These days, dieters are more likely to turn to the juice diet, the so-called "master cleanse" (a period of consuming nothing but a mixture of lemon juice, water, maple syrup, and cayenne pepper, first introduced in 1941). was promoted), or the Cabbage Soup Diet. The latter is fairly recent, only dating back to the 1980s, and prohibits eating almost anything other than cabbage soup, which contains few calories, but as does anyone who spends time around a follower. Is, he knows—produces a lot of gas in the digestive tract to make a dieter. feel full They are only allowed to eat specific other foods in limited quantities, such as raw vegetables and fresh fruits. Some people refer to the Cabbage Soup Diet as the "Dolly Parton Diet" because the Buxom singer relies on it to maintain her small waist, but it's one of the few instances when you'll probably end up living your life after Dolly. I don't want to model.

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