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Bootcamp Mzansi: The Worst Diets in History

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08 January 2015
Tapeworm, Air, Sleeping Beauty and more.
Bootcamp Mzansi: The Worst Diets in History Image : 205
You, with the carrot, lemon and salt water. Yes you! Did you know that you could actually be doing your body more harm than good every moment you ditch a balanced meal for water and air, or yet another jug of rancid, cleanse juice? Apart from failing to producing long-term weight loss results, some diets can be harmful to your health. Here’s a list of the 10 worst diets in history, according to Likes.com

The Air Diet (Yup. No typo)
Also known as "L’Air Fooding" this French fad diet was popularised by a Dolce & Gabbana campaign. It showed Madonna and a few other celebrities holding up delicious foods to their mouths but not eating them. The concept of this diet is that you cook the food, put it on the plate, serve a setting like you were actually going to eat it and then rather than consume it, you hold it up to your mouth but do not take a bite. It is supposed to fool your body into thinking you've eaten.

The Cigarette Diet
Nicotine is a stimulant so smoking instead of eating can trigger your brain to feel satisfied. They are also said to suppress appetite in some people. In theory, the dieter smokes a cigarette instead of eating a meal. This is said to result in weight loss but we all know that smoking can cause a myriad of illness including asthma, heart attacks and cancer! This diet is not only bad, it's deadly.

The Tapeworm Diet
This diet fad was popular in the early 1900's when people would sell tapeworms for weight loss. As medicine advanced the world learned that this parasite can cause malnutrition, diarrhea, anaemia, the formation of fluid-filled cysts that damage organs and vomiting. In 2009, talk show host Tyra Banks interviewed women who said they would willingly ingest a tapeworm for weight loss, even though it could result in serious damage to organs, blocked circulation, seizures or even death. Since then, this diet has picked up some fame again despite the clear warnings.

Sleeping Beauty Diet
With the Sleeping Beauty diet, dieters sleep off the extra pounds. Granted, sleep can slow down metabolism and result in major weight gain, but this particular diet calls for heavy sedation and days of sleep. The dieters have to take sleeping pills or other medications to sedate them. Yikes!

HCG Diet
According to the diet plan, you are only supposed to consume 500 calories a day and the rest is supposed to be made up for by taking the hCG hormone which is supposed to suppress appetite. Experts say that the results are that of starvation and not a balanced metabolism. The risks far outweigh the "benefits" with this one.

The Grapefruit Diet
The world has been hearing about this diet so long it almost seems normal. However, it is far from normal or healthy. In this low-calorie diet, the average caloric intake is between 800-1,000 calories per day! The experts have said that this diet will likely result in a slower metabolism down the road and there is no evidence that says grapefruit will give more health benefits than a well-balanced diet.

Baby Food Diet
When celebrity trainer Tracy Anderson created this diet, she probably had no idea it would become so popular. This diet, created by celebrity trainer Tracy Anderson, is exactly what it sounds like. Instead of eating regular foods, you replace your meals with 14 jars of baby food spread throughout the day. The major problem with this diet is that adults have different dietary needs than babies. By following this plan to lose weight you run the risk of a serious nutrient deficiency.

Cabbage Soup Diet
We've all heard about this one. This is supposed to be some miracle diet where you consume cabbage soup every day as a main meal. Along with it, you are able to eat bananas, some meat or skim milk depending on the day. According to director of university nutrition at Washington University, Connie Diekman, "It is a monotonous, short-term fix, severely lacking in nutrients, which will result in a weight loss that is primarily water and not the essential fat loss that is so important to improving health." Torture and no real fat loss or health benefits.

The Cotton Ball Diet
This one is as alarming as the Air Diet. Instead of eating a regular meal, dieters eat cotton balls before a mealtime. This is supposed to fill their stomachs so they will only eat a few bites of food and stay skinny. In some extreme cases, dieters don't eat anything at all and opt to dip the cotton balls in orange juice or something high in sugars for the energy. The risks of this diet are astounding as it will lead to malnutrition, fainting spells, damaged organs and a variety of risks that could prove fatal.

The Master Cleanse/Lemonade Diet
This diet has been around for decades, and there are a ton of variations. Pretty much all involve subsisting for days on only lemon juice, maple syrup and cayenne pepper mixed in water. "You are essentially just drinking diuretics," Ochner says. "You'll shed mostly water weight." Once you start eating solid foods again, you will gain all the weight back. Common side effects include fatigue, nausea, dizziness and dehydration. Plus, on an extremely low-calorie diet like this one, you are going to lose muscle, exactly the kind of weight you don't want to lose, Caspero says.

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