Have you ever tried a fad diet? Let us if it worked out for you in the comments section below.
Yes, laxatives prompt rapid weight loss, but do you really want to stock up on Depends® diapers? How about hooking up an IV to stream liquid nutrients into your body so it can be safely starved? Ice cube snacking, boiled egg meals, Nicorette® patches… it's not a pretty picture.
"It's as though they pay me not to eat," Desperate Housewife Marcia Cross was recently quoted as saying. Adding: "It's a living hell."
Here's our list of the top Hollywood diets from hell, best read while enjoying your favourite guilty snack indulgence.
Name: Baby Food Diet
What it is: Conceived by Tracy Anderson, Gwyneth Paltrow's trainer, you eat baby food for two meals each day (for a total of 14 jars of baby food), then you keep your third meal light. Daily calorie intake is restricted to about 600 calories.
Famous dieters: Reese Witherspoon.
Why it's bad: Not enough calories. Plus, puréed food contains less fibre than actual food. The British Dietary Association had this to say to baby food dieters: "grow up."
Name: Cabbage Soup Diet
What it is: It's soup consisting of cabbage, onions and tomatoes. The good news? Eat as much as you want. The bad news? You fart a lot. You can also eat fruit and vegetables, milk (only skim), low-fat yogurt, tea, coffee, bananas on day 4 and brown rice on day 6. But no alcohol.
Famous dieters: Sarah Michelle Gellar and Jaime Pressly.
Page 1 of 3 – Learn about the downsides of the Cabbage Soup Diet, and The Master Cleanse on page 2.
Why it's bad: Yes, you do lose weight. However, like many quick fixes the weight you lose is mostly water and once you begin to eat normally again, that weight will come back on. Also, the diet is associated with elevated sugar cravings, low energy (duh) and mood swings. And did we mention the farting?
Name: The Master Cleanse (also known as the Lemonade Diet, or the Maple Syrup Diet)
What it is: A liquid diet consisting of a homemade mixture of lemonade, maple syrup, water and cayenne pepper. No solid food for 10 days. The idea behind this diet, which has been around for 40 years, is to lose weight, detoxify and boost metabolism.
Famous dieters: Beyoncé. Though she quickly dropped 20 pounds for her role in Dream Girls, she said this diet made her "evil." Speaking of which, Naomi Campbell is also a follower. And, keeping up with the theme, to shed the 60 pounds he gained for his role as Mark Chapman who (killed John Lennon) Jared Leto has also done it.
Why it's bad: With no nutritional value and so few calories, the medical profession warns that this diet is dangerous. One Hollywood trainer, who calls the cleanse "you're an idiot" diet, reported that a client who used it looked grey and had such low energy that after 10 days he could only shuffle his feet when he walked.
Name: Eat Like A Bird Diet
What it is: The brainchild of Victoria Beckham, this plan consists of a diet of soya beans, strawberries and lettuce, plus two daily pints of algae as well as a seaweed shake. (Another twist on this diet is to keep your meals impossibly small, then split them with a friend.)
Famous dieters: Victoria Beckham
Why it's bad: Neither enough calories nor nutrition. Plus, it sounds gross.
Page 2 of 3 – Learn about The Cookie Diet, The Purple Food Diet and The Grapefruit Diet on page 3.
Name: The Cookie Diet
What it is: Not a Chip's Ahoy free-for-all. You eat two special low-glycemic cookies each for your breakfast and lunch, then follow up with a light dinner.
Famous dieters: Kim Kardashian and Snooki. Also, Guy Ritchie – however then-wife Madonna said she didn't like the diet because while Ritchie was on it, he wasn't interested in sex.
Why it's bad: Not enough fruits, vegetables or calories. Too little fibre. Weight gain is likely after resuming a normal diet. And it's expensive. One week's worth of cookies will cost you about $60!
Name: The Purple Food Diet
What it is: Eat nothing but purple (including dark red) food for at least three days a week. Typical purple food consists of red grapes, plums, beets, juniper berries and dark red apples. The idea here is not only to lose weight – adherents to the diet believe that purplish foods help combat wrinkles.
Famous dieters: Mariah Carey (It's also known as the Mariah Carey Diet)
Why it's bad: Undoubtedly, purple foods are great for you. They're high in anti-oxidants and are linked to anti-aging, not to mention they help fight cancer, reduce the signs of stress and promote healing. However, to restrict three days' worth of meals to only purple food means you won't be getting enough of the other good things your body needs, like protein, grains, calcium and, um, calories.
Name: The Grapefruit Diet
What is it: You eat half a grapefruit before each healthy meal, which itself must be small enough that your total caloric intake is less than 800 calories a day. The principle behind it is that grapefruits contain enzymes that help burn fat.
Famous dieters: Kylie Minogue. (Jennifer Lopez reportedly carries around a vial of grapefruit oil – sniffing the aroma apparently helps break down fat.)
Why it's bad: Not enough calories. Plus, an overdose of grapefruit can interfere with some prescription medications and herbal medicines, so consult your doctor and/or naturopath before stocking up on this citrus.
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