Crazy fad diets paleo network

The 9 Craziest Fad Diets

It always amuses me when people describe the Paleo Diet as a fad diet. Given that we’ve only been eating our current diets of junk and processed foods for the last two or three generations, isn’t the Standard American (or Australian) Diet the real fad?!

You can’t really argue with paleo, I mean who could possibly say not eating processed foods is harmful? The true fad diets out there – well, that’s a whole different story! Here are my all time favourite Fad Diets. Warning: some of them are seriously weird – and outright dangerous…

Crazy fad diets paleo network

The Cabbage Soup Diet

Perhaps the most popular diet on my list, it amazes me how many people have tried this. I guess it’s only popular because it’s viewed as a quick-fix thing. I mean who wants to actually eat healthy long term?

Cabbage soup diet

Basically, for 7-days you eat cabbage soup, drink water and can also add in a bit of fruit (not into the soup – that would be even more disgusting), veg, skim milk and a bit of brown rice. After seven days, people of the cabbage soup diet are promised that they’ll have lost loads of weight, though in reality it’s going to be water weight, not long term fat loss.

The Fletcherism diet

Basically lose loads of weight and avoid ill health, by Fletcherism. All you have to do is chew every single mouthful 32 times (not 31, or 33, or presumably it won’t work). I gather it works just as well whether you chew your grass-fed beef, or your Big Mac – so long as it’s 32 times.

Fletcherism What It Is Or How I Became Young At Sixty chew 32 times

The Baby Food Diet

Instead of eating normal, age appropriate food swap some, or all of your meals for a jar of baby food. I’m not kidding, people actually do this. What’s suitable for a baby, probably isn’t so good for a grown-up….

The Master Cleanse Diet

This was so popular a couple of years ago, remember? Another short-term fix, you’re supposed to swap eating, for a drink made from lemon juice, water, maple syrup and cayenne pepper. It supposedly detoxes the body and magically removes excess fat. Yeah, sounds very sustainable.

The Hallelujah diet

Oh yes, there’s even a religious diet. All you need to do to lose weight is eat what Adam and Eve ate in the garden of Eden. Raw fruit and vegetables are in, wholegrains are good, and bizarrely vitamin B12 supplements. They must be a whole lot older than I realised….

Hallelujah Diet Religious bible fad diet

 The Vision Diet

Eating too much of the wrong thing? All you need to do is wear blue lensed glasses, to make food look as unappealing as possible and stop you eating it. Obviously. You don’t do this?

The Cotton Wool Diet

Dieting plans been led astray by feelings of hunger? Apparently some people actually eat cotton balls to fill their stomach and prevent them from eating real food. On what level is this supposed to be a good idea?

The Parasite Diet

Believe it or not, you used to be able to buy pills that were claimed to contain tapeworms! You’d swallow the pills, with the intention that your new parasite infection would eat all the food in your stomach, before you could digest it.


Eating’s cheating… Breatharianists believe you can live on just spirituality and sunlight. They claim not to ever need any type of food, or even water. Scientists have not been able to confirm the claims… surprised?

Breatharianism Food-Free at Last How I Learned to Eat Air

Have you ever tried a crazy fad diet? I’d love to hear about it – please share your experiences in the comments below!

The dash diet paleo primal fad-min

The DASH Diet

One of the things I liked so much when I started researching about Paleo, was the ease and simplicity. The books basically tell you to eat a simple diet, of the natural foods we've evolved to eat. I found there really was nothing confusing or contentious. As well as reading the Paleo and Evolutionary health books – I read everything else I could find on nutrition. There is a book for every fad diet imaginable, with completely conflicting and confusing advice. Some of the diets just seem downright complicated to follow and devoid of any logic.

One of the best selling diet books in Australia at the moment is about the “DASH Diet”, so I couldn't resist taking a look. I've noticed the newer fad diets seem to be more closely resembling Paleo, so I always hold out hope that books like this will be about Paleo, but with a different name.

DASH stands for “Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension” and is aimed at those suffering from High Blood Pressure, though it also has a significant focus on weight loss. I had high hopes when I picked up the book – but it quickly became apparent that the book is based on the flawed food pyramid. The plan recommends a diet high in fruit, low-fat dairy and whole grains. It also advises avoiding processed food and limiting (not eliminating) sugar.

While the DASH diet is based on studies, these studies only compared three different nutritional plans. Unfortunately they don’t give the specific meal plans for each of the diets in the study, just the macro nutrient profiles – and some of the micro nutrient profiles. From this it’s apparent the DASH diet had 10% less fat than the other diets (taken entirely as Saturated fat), with the 10% added onto the protein and carbohydrate consumed. Without knowing exactly what they ate, this is rather meaningless. Cheap, commercial chocolate is high in saturated fat – as is butter – they clearly aren't equal, yet this study doesn't allow us to differentiate.

The book is full of un-Paleo recommendations such as only eating whole-grain bread, avoiding coconut oil, trimming all visible fat off meat and only eating low-fat dairy.

I'm sure someone coming from a highly processed SAD diet would (initially) see benefits on a DASH diet – but only because they had cut out processed foods, sugars and therefore reduced their carbohydrate intake. It saddens me that unwell people follow this diet in good faith – when it isn't based on good science – and certainly doesn't seem optimal.

What do you make of the DASH diet and the other fad diets out there?

The dash diet paleo primal fad-min