It’s hard to hop online these days without seeing at least one as for the newest surefire method to get the bod you want. Especially with online access to #fitspiration Instagram accounts and online access to celebrity meal plans (like supermodel Giselle Bündchen’s), keeping up with the latest diet trends is now easier than ever.
But if you think going paleo or whey protein meal-replacement shakes are weird, just wait until you see what diet-hard trendsetters have tried through the decades.
1900s : Fletcherism (a.k.a. The “Chew-Chew” Diet)
Chew on this: in the late nineteeth century, a San Fran businessman named Horace Fletcher claimed that chewing your food until it was reduced to liquid before swallowing would aid in digestion and weight loss (here are some actual ways to aid in digestive health). Fletcherizers could thus eat whatever they wanted, as long as they chewed it up real nice (might be worth a shot today, if you had five hours to finish a meal).
1910s: The Tapeworm Diet
This one’s definitely not for the squeamish, or for those who fear crawly thing; you literally eat a worm. Or rather, the egg of a warm to hatch and then eat the food in your stomach. No joke. Never mind the discomfort, not to mention the fact that those suckers could grow to be 30 ft long. Health risks, shmealth risks. Do it for the bod.
1920s: The Cigarette Diet
It may have been a new era for women, but not even their shorter hemlines and revolutionized social status could curb their desire for the right physique, or product advertising from targeting it. The coveted, ultra-thin ‘20s figure meant extreme calorie-cutting and shortcuts like opting for a cigarette or a laxative instead of a meal. Cig company Lucky Strike once advertised “reach for a Lucky instead of dessert.” (Personally, we’d pick that dessert.)
1950s: The Cabbage Soup Diet
Ever wonder how the stars of the Hollywood Golden Age kept it so slim? An unknown mystery genius thought of this gem: seven days a week of strictly cabbage soup. A surefire way to lose a little weight, and all your happiness. (Click here for some yummier soup options.)
1980s: The Beverly Hills Diet
Only fruit is allowed for the first ten days of this diet (specifically lots and lots of pineapple) created by “diet guru” Judy Mazel. Later on, other foods can be gradually introduced so as not to “confuse” the enzymes your body used to digest your food. Who needs protein? Similar to the sentiments of pop culture today: pineapples are life.
1990s: The Blood Type Diet
Naturopath (basically an herbal remedies expert) Peter D’Adamo coined this diet linking certain types of foods to blood types. The A group, for example, should be strictly vegetarian, and the B group should stay away from carbs and tomatoes (find out the foods recommended for your blood type here). So, if you’ve got an A blood type and a hankering for burgers, or it’s spaghetti night at home and you’re B positive, you’re fresh outta luck.
Early 2000s: The Baby Food Diet.
That’s right: nothin’ but baby food. Those who choose this diet are limited to purely puréed options. Who cares if your fiber, protein, and fat intake drop to, well, infantile levels (not to mention a bathroom schedule fairly similar to that of an infant)? If shedding pounds means only eating chicken thats been liquefied, then so be it.
From strained pees to binging strictly on pineapple, the diet world has had to make a few wrong turns to get to where it is today. Thankfully, we’ve learned a thing or two over the years. Click here for simple, non-crazy ways to keep up a healthy lifestyle.