Bonkers diets of 2014

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portrait of young man grimacing

Think we’ll be avoiding these!

Summer’s on it’s way and it won’t be long before we start worrying about our beach bellies.

Soon, every newspaper, magazine and lifestyle blog will be pushing the latest in crash diets – each claiming to help you shed 10 lb a minute.

In anticipation of the madness, we bring you the worst of this year’s bonkers diets.

1. The Banana Girl Diet

Bananas

Image source: Santiago Cornejo
“Banana girl” eats up to 50 bananas a day.

This is the diet plan of Facebook sensation Freelee (AKA Banana Girl). She claims to have lost 40 lb by gorging on bananas – up to 50 a day! The regime is strictly vegan, high fruit (97% of her diet) and high carb. If this doesn’t sound restrictive enough, food is consumed in ‘mono meals’ – shedloads of just one type of fruit or vegetable (e.g. 20 bananas or a bag of potatoes).

So how do we rate this diet? Quite frankly, it’s bananas. Sure the high sugar, high carb food choices provide tonnes of calories. But there’s virtually no protein there, which, we all know is vital for cell structure. This kind of diet would need to be balanced out with plenty of supplements, especially iron, calcium, whey protein and B12.

2. Werewolf Diet

Werewolf Diet

Image source: Rudall 30
Wannabe werewolves claim to lose 6 lb in 24 hours!

The Werewolf (or Lunar) Diet involves liquid fasts during full and new moons and restrictive food plans during the moon’s other phases. Wannabe werewolves (including Madonna and Demi Moore) believe the tidal pull of the moon affects the water in our bodies, facilitating weight loss. And the weight loss claims are ridiculous – up to 6 lb in 24 hours!

What’s the truth behind the hype? Losing 6 lb in a day sounds too good to be true. But this kind of fasting will promote rapid water loss and the restrictive food plan is basically a very low calorie regime. You will probably lose weight, but it’s got nothing to do with the moon. Verdict: just another fasting/low cal diet dressed up in pseudoscience.

3. Breatharian Diet

Portrait Of A Beautiful Arab Woman Breathing Fresh Air With Raised Arms

Image source: Antonio Guillem
Mmm, a nice tasty slice of air.

Followers of the Breatharian diet believe human beings don’t need food to survive, but can reach – through meditation – a state where we can live off air and energy absorbed from the sun. Basically, Breatharianism is a dangerous cult offering extreme weight loss – Michelle Pfeiffer fell victim in her youth and Barbie Girl, Valeria Lukyanova, is the latest celeb to be lured in.

We say: this ‘diet’ is deadly – it has self-starvation and self-dehydration at its core. Many have died trying to follow this extreme form of fasting. We’re not plants, we’re people. We need more than air and sunlight to survive. We need food – it’s the fuel that keeps us running. So fill up your tank!

4.The Baby Food Diet

Baby food

Image source: Nyul
Baby food: for babies, not adults.

The Baby Food Diet requires little explanation. Basically, you replace solid, tasty, grown-up food with as many jars of baby mush as you can stomach. Fitness trainer to the stars, Tracy Anderson, is credited with inventing this diet (although she now denies having anything to do with it). Celeb fans include Jennifer Aniston, Cheryl Cole and Lady Gaga.

How does it work? Well, baby food is packed in tiny portions, keeping the calorie count low. Plus it’s so repulsive you won’t want to eat much of it anyway. What should you expect? Well, weight loss, probably. But also a lot less money in your pocket (each jar costs around £1), mood swings, extreme hunger and you’ll be pooping like a baby – nice!

5. The Honey Diet

Honey

Image source: Mady 70
Claims to help shift a stone in a month.

The honey diet claims to help you lose a stone in a month and keep it off forever. How? Well, lots of honey and an otherwise low-carb, unprocessed, and fairly restrictive diet. Dieters use honey in place of all sugar and end the day with a cup of hot water laden with two tablespoons of honey. This sickly brew is supposed to help you sleep and fuel rapid weight loss.

Cutting out processed food, refined carbs and low-fat products will surely promote weight loss and better eating habits. But there’s no evidence that honey is one of nature’s fat burners. At it’s heart, the Honey Diet is just another very low-carb diet with the sweet bonus of several spoonfuls of honey to cheer your hungry self up at the end of the day.

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