Can I complain about my Weight Watcher’s journey? Not at all when taking some of the crazy diets of the past century! This fantastic guest post, written by a man nonetheless details some of the diets we could have actually faced today!
A Century Of Crazy Diets: 5 Of The Best. Or Worst.
There are some crazy diets out there. Some so crazy that you may need medical attention if you were to try them.
They seem to be getting wackier too and, playing on the insecurities of men and women, many of us seem willing to try almost anything – regardless of how ridiculous it sounds.
Just look at the latest diet courtesy of the good folks at the Daily Mail. Apparently, according to them, you’re allowed to eat your face off from Monday to Friday then diet on Saturday and Sunday.
How does that work?
Well that one seems quite tame when you take into consideration the list of crazy diets that you’re about to read. Fad diets aren’t a new thing though – they’ve been around for centuries. And those men and women who publicised such dieting techniques have made a fortune from essentially babbling a load of old codge.
It’s much like the way in which an evangelist preacher claims to cure illnesses, for a fee of course. Their ‘followers’ are so desperate that they’ll try anything. Those unfortunate enough to have tried some of the below diets were desperate enough to do just that and try anything.
This is a list of the craziest diets of the last century. Here we go, starting with number five.
5. The Hallelujah Diet
When Rev. George H. Malkmus (above) reportedly made a baseball-sized tumour disappear with nothing but the aid of one sentence from the bible, he knew that it was God’s will to share this knowledge.
The sentence in question comes from Genesis Chapter 1, Verse 29: “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole Earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.”
And it was a kind twist of fate that God led him to this exact sentence because only four later the words “wine”, “meat” and “chocolate” are mentioned. Thankfully, though, Rev. Malkmus did choose this sentence and, by doing so, the Hallelujah Diet’s success led him to purchase the 50-acre Eidson Farm in Tennessee where we now have the pleasure of his products on factory scale production.
Those of us fortunate enough to have consumed Rev. Malkmus’ products would have tasted the delights of Hallelujah Barley Max, Hallelujah Carrot Max and, of course, Hallelujah Vitamin b12 – all personally blessed by God himself. The diet is reported to have generated a whopping $15m since its introduction in the late 1990s. I’m sure the good Reverend donates all profits back to the Church, though.
4. The Tapeworm Diet
Unfortunately for our ancestors, tummy tucks, liposuction and gastric bypass surgery were still decades away, meaning that they took extreme measures.
Make no mistake, this diet literally involves eating a tapeworm. In the late 1800s tapeworms were sold in pill form, from which they grew after ingestion – sometimes up to nine metres long!
The Food Standards Agency would go mad these days. Although there’s a chance they may still be sold in China. It’s true to a certain extent that you can eat more with a tapeworm lodged inside your intestines and not gain weight. However, the potential side effects can be disastrous.
Infections, nausea, diarrhoea and headaches aside, fans of the tapeworm diet may expect eye problems, dementia, meningitis and epilepsy – sometimes even death if the tapeworm and its eggs blocked the vital organs. And then there’s the problem of getting rid of the tapeworm. An anti-parasitic pill was employed to help the dieter excrete the tapeworm, often leading to rectal and abdominal issues.
All in all, it’s difficult to see how the Tapeworm Diet is anything other than a misguided menace. Although if it was marketed the right way, I’m sure there would still be takers even in 2013!
3. The Arsenic Diet
You thought the Tapeworm Diet was a whole world of crazy? Try this one on for size…
The Arsenic Diet. That’s arsenic. The poison of choice for silver screen villains for decades.
Made famous in the 1800s, arsenic was a key ingredient in many diet pills of the era. The problem was, the fact that it’s arsenic aside, that it was almost completely unregulated and concocted by fly-by-night apothecaries (like the one above).
Much like an amphetamine, arsenic was thought to hurry the metabolism into weight loss. Adversely, it could also hurry you into death. Each pill, usually hand-created by charlatan apothecaries, may have contained different quantities of arsenic which is dangerous in itself.
What’s more dangerous is that, in weight loss desperation, many arsenic aficionados would take more diet pills than recommended in the belief that it would help them shed the pounds faster, bringing the arsenic in their bodies to fatal levels.
2. The Bible Diet
Sometimes referred to as the Maker’s Diet, here’s another religion-based protagonist who has eventually built a diet food empire from the teachings of the bible.
This time it’s Jordan S. Rubin (left), who claims that his unique diet, based on readings from Exodus, Leviticus and Habakkuk to name a few, cured him of the incurable Crohn’s disease.
His diet claims that certain foods are viewed as “clean” or “unclean” in the eyes of God. “Clean” foods include grains, seeds, legumes, fruits, nuts, vegetables, livestock, fish and poultry. Which appears to be pretty much every food type on the planet.
The difference is, though, that you add a prayer into the mix at different times in different situations. At the start of the day, you pray. At the end of the day, you pray. Every time you feel hungry, you pray. Every time you feel stressed, you pray. Basically ladies, pray that flab away.
Rubin now has his own multi-million dollar food production company, Garden Of Life Inc. Hallelujah! Oh, that one’s already been done. Incidentally, Rubin’s Garden Of Life Inc. was ordered by the US Food and Drug Administration to stop claiming that their dietary supplements cured everything from a cold to cancer.
Under no circumstances to be mistaken for feltcherizing, Fletcherizing consists of nothing but mastication. “Nature will castigate those who don’t masticate” claimed Horace Fletcher (above), an early 20th century dietician.
His idea was that you cook the food as normal, feel free to make it tasty too, but just don’t eat it. Put it in your mouth and chew by all means, just don’t eat it. That way you get the taste and enjoyment of food, just not the nutritional value.
Fletcherizers chew each mouthful 32 times then tilt their head back to allow juices to flow down the throat. Any food that doesn’t go down without swallowing is then spat out.
The nutritional value gained from this technique is negligible and no person can live off Fletcherizing alone for long. Nevertheless, Fletcher became a millionaire and his techniques, seemingly invented by the imagination of a four-year-old, were unbelievably popular.
I’m no dietary expert but surely the safest and most sensible weight loss method is healthy eating and exercise.
I’m not in great shape myself so am in no position to give dietary advice. However, if anybody did ask for some, the only thing I could offer would be to avoid the above fad diets at all costs!
Disclosure: I received a gift voucher for hosting this fantastic and informative post!