The Strangest Diets In History

Every now and then we all need to lose a couple of pounds.

For most people, the solution is to reduce their calorie intake – eat less and lose weight guaranteed. This principle is at the heart of the French diet: they eat butter, cream, chocolate and other goodies, but in small quantities. Perhaps that is why they are so slender.

Overweight people are always surrounded by a swarm of careless nutritionists offering the most incredible diets in the hope of making money. They can surprise, amuse and even disgust. Here are just a few of these diets.

Macrobiotic diet

In fact, it is one of the most ancient diets. It includes cereals as a staple food with added vegetables and beans. This is probably the least bizarre diet on the list, but it has one notable quirk: some macrobiotic experts advocate smoking for good health. In their opinion, cancer is caused not at all by smoking, but by an unbalanced diet.

They cite Michio Kushi, the founder of the US macrobiotic movement, as an example. A heavy smoker, he suffered colon cancer in 2004. Preoperative X-rays showed Michio’s lungs were surprisingly clear, like that of a twenty-year-old boy.

Cabbage soup diet

This is a radical weight loss diet consisting of consuming large amounts of low-calorie cabbage soup for 7 days. The diet is almost universally frowned upon by physicians as it lacks nutrients and the weight loss it causes is actually just dehydration, not fat loss. Therefore, it cannot be permanent.

In defense, supporters cite the fact that cabbage soup is often used in hospitals in order to quickly reduce weight in patients undergoing heart surgery. Most people who switch to this diet suffer from loss of energy and dizziness. Also, another unpleasant side effect is flatulence.

Paleolithic diet

This diet takes us back to cavemen and their eating habits. It is based on the diet of our ancestors from the Paleolithic era, which consisted of wild plants, animals and insects. Adherents of the paleo diet are abandoning the foods that have appeared on our tables with the development of agriculture and animal husbandry.

Today, it consists of lean meats, fish, vegetables, fruits, roots and nuts, excluding grains, legumes, dairy products, salt, refined sugar, and processed oils.


Already from the name it is clear that this diet consists of only one fruit. Followers of this way of eating consider it to be the only correct one, since it was inherited by mankind from Adam and Eve. Fruit-eaters eat only what the trees do not need to be destroyed.

They believe that returning to Eden, paradise, requires a simple life and a holistic approach to health and nutrition. They care little that a fruit-based diet can cause deficiencies in calcium, protein, iron, zinc, vitamin D, most B vitamins (especially B12), and essential fatty acids. In addition, such restrictions on food can lead to mental disorders – obsession with food, nervous breakdowns and social isolation.

Biblical diet

The “Creator’s Diet”, as it is also called, is based on the idea that food is “pleasing to God”. The main promoter of the biblical diet is Jordan S. Rubin, who claims that it was the cause of his recovery from Crohn’s disease at the age of 19.

The daily diet begins and ends with prayers of thanks, requests for healing and cleansing. To get the maximum spiritual benefit from frequent fasting, it is recommended that you pray whenever you feel hungry. The diet is divided into three phases.

The main thing is to avoid eating meat, such as pork, bacon, ostrich meat, ham, sausages and products that imitate meat. Fish (other than boiled or baked) and seafood are also prohibited.

Shangri-La diet

For people who love to eat, the Shangri-La diet is a godsend. Basically, you can eat whatever you like. The bottom line is that the body is already programmed for a certain weight, and the appetite is needed in order to regulate the necessary balance.

The inventor of the diet, Seth Roberts, says that using his method, you can reduce the value set by nature, tame your appetite and, as a result, lose weight. Calling it a method is difficult: you need to consume a small amount of liquids every day, containing from 100 to 400 calories, with an interval of two hours. This one can be just sugar water or light olive oil.

An important aspect is the need to turn off the sense of smell for this time – no smells and aromas. Despite the absurdity and scientific lack of validity, the diet is popular and is considered by many to be effective.


The name is unfamiliar, but, in fact, everyone is familiar with its essence. “Nature will punish those who do not chew properly” – these words Horace Fletcher used to promote his new diet in the early 20th century. A person should chew each piece of food at least 32 times, while tilting his head forward.

After chewing is complete, you should tilt your head back, allowing the contents of your mouth to slide down your throat. Any food that doesn’t slip off on its own should be spat out.

In addition, the nutritionist argued that you should not eat when you are angry or sad.

Horace Fletcher passed away at the age of 69 as a millionaire, and most of his fortune was bequeathed to promoting the diet, which, by the way, has become incredibly popular.

The sleeping beauty diet

As the name suggests, the diet includes sleep – a lot of sleep. The principle is simple: when you sleep, you don’t eat. Supporters of this type of diet take all kinds of sedatives and sleep for several days to lose weight. It is clear that the method works, but such an unhealthy approach is intimidating.

The diet was developed in the 1970s and is rumored to have been heavily used by Elvis Presley, who found it difficult to bend over to tie his blue suede shoes.

Eating tapeworms

This diet is as disgusting as its name suggests. The person must eat the worm and let it grow in his own stomach. After a while, the worm is removed. The proponents of this crazy diet assure people that they can lose a few pounds a week with absolutely no effort.

Since the import of these creatures is prohibited in many countries, enterprising businessmen have organized entire farms in Mexico and Africa to breed them, which tourists can visit to get infected “safely”. In these enterprises, cows are artificially infected and they are incubators for growing tapeworms. The diet, in general, works: getting into the intestinal tract, the worm absorbs all the nutrients from the food you eat. But…

Of course, this is just a small list of unusual ways to deal with obesity. Human ingenuity, like gullibility or even stupidity, is constantly evolving. Therefore, approach the problem with intelligence and discretion. Lose weight and be healthy!

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