Every few years, we're bombarded with fad diets that are "guaranteed" to work. Throw in a celebrity endorsement or two and everyone wants to get on the bandwagon, too. But how many of them actually work? Here are six crazy diets that don't do the job.
The baby food diet
Its creator, celebrity personal trainer Tracy Anderson, describes it as “a cleanse where you still eat” and celebs such as Jennifer Aniston and Lady Gaga were said to be on it. You basically eat only one meal a day and replace the other two with several jars – up to 14 or 16 of them, according to some sources – of baby food, so you'll get all the useful nutrients, as babies do. However, baby food lacks fibre, so you're not doing your digestive system any favours with this diet. Also, not all baby foods are low in calories and what you eat in your one "grown-up" meal affects the end result too.
The blood type diet
Naturopath Dr Peter D'Adamo came up with this diet and even wrote a book, Eat Right For Your Blood Type, which became a New York Times bestseller. The diet follows the premise that people of different blood groups should eat different types of food, as our genetic make-up makes us predisposed to certain sicknesses so we should eat the right foods to lower these risks. However, while it sounds sensible, there is no actual scientific evidence to back this up.
The juice cleanse
Victoria's Secret angel Adriana Lima is a big fan of this diet; unfortunately, we all can't look like her just by following it. The rules of this diet: Drink several ready-to-drink fruit and vegetable juices throughout the day, up to six a day. While there's a high chance that you will lose weight, what you're actually shedding is water weight, not fat. And it'll be really easy to put it back on once you're back to solids.
The cabbage soup diet
If you want to follow this seven-day diet, you'll have to eat cabbage soup every day. While cabbage soup is low in calories as well as fat, it's also not packed with nutrients, which means you're not going to have a lot of energy during these seven days. And because the soup is so bland, there's a high chance that you'll reach for foods with tons of flavour – which mostly equals to salt and sugar – for a good while once you're done with this diet, and probably in large quantities, too. So unless you have the willpower to eat healthy after you end this diet, it's not going to be of much use.
The sleeping beauty diet
Reportedly made famous by Elvis Presley, the rationale of this diet is that, if you're asleep, you can't eat, so you're not going to put on weight, as your body works to burn off the calories that you have stored. Also, studies have shown that a lack of sleep results in an increase in body fat so, the more sleep you get, the less fat there'll be in your body, right? Well, wrong, actually. Going for a long period of time without food can damage your body, and depriving your body of any physical movement is detrimental to your health too. Once you take into account the dangers of sleeping pills or other sedatives, you'll realise that this diet really isn't good for you.
The cotton ball diet
We've definitely saved the craziest (and most dangerous) diet for last. All you have to do here is dip up to five cotton balls in orange juice or lemonade and swallow them. It's meant to curb your hunger so you'll stay away from unhealthy foods, and you'll also feel full without a high calorie intake so you won't gain weight. The fact that you're actually ingesting cotton balls should tell you what an atrocious idea this is. You could choke on them, plus you're getting none of the nutrients that your body needs to function properly. Don't try this at home!