Fad diets are nothing new to our world; in fact, people have been following them for thousands of years. Fads started with things like The Tapeworm Diet, but quickly turned into ridiculous ideas like eating one food for an extended amount of time and other drastic measures. 

In a world pressured by media and unrealistic standards, we go to such drastic and unhealthy measures in order to meet the standards set by those in the limelight. In light of the serious issues that can go along with many fad diets, we compiled a list of the 10 craziest fad diets out there, because WHY?!

1. The Taco Cleanse

bread, vegetable
Hailey Maher

Woah, woah, woah. A diet that promises you'll lose weight while eating one of the best foods out there? Sounds amazing, but does it really work?

The Taco Cleanse was curated by a group of "taco scientists" who created over 75 vegan taco recipes designed to detox and cleanse your body all while keeping you full. I have to say, this idea has me hooked, but eating any one food for a long period of time has me a bit sketched out. 

2. Lemonade Diet

lemon, juice, citrus, lemonade, ice
Jocelyn Hsu

On the trend of liquid diets, The Master Cleanse (or lemonade diet) came around. This diet claims to help you drop 20 pounds in 10 days all while cleansing your body of nasty toxins.

The diet includes downing four cups of salt water each morning, 6-12 glasses of "lemonade" (lemon juice, maple syrup, cayenne pepper, and water) throughout the day, and a cup of herbal laxative tea at night.

Like other liquid diets, the idea is that if you take solid foods out of your diet, short-term weight loss is bound to happen. Well, DUH, but there's no way this is healthy. 

3. Cookie Diet

10 cookies a day, keeps the pounds away?! No way this actually works. Designed by renowned physician and weight-loss expert, Dr. Siegal, this diet uses the idea that reducing your caloric intake to 1,000-1,200 calories a day will cause rapid weight loss. While that seems obvious, it can often be difficult to monitor your intake.

Siegal created these 60 calorie cookies to help guide your intake. For all you cookie monsters out there, this diet includes nine snack times (of cookies) and a light dinner. Join the list of celebrities like: Mandy Moore, Madonna, Jessica Simpson and more if you decide to give this diet a shot.

4. 5-Bite Diet

Created by Dr. Alwin Lewis, his fad diet should definitely place emphasis on the word "fad," as it is surely not following healthy eating habits. The idea behind this fad is that eating less will cause you to lose weight (who knew?!).

Specifically, this diet claims that you can eat anything you want in (extreme) moderation (5 bites of food). Even if it’s a box of Chick-fil-A nuggets and fries, have at it, BUT you can only have one French fry, so nibble slowly.

5. Baby Food Diet

Said to have begun with celebrity trainer, Tracy Anderson, The Baby Food Diet is a ploy for cutting caloric intake, which involves replacing 1-2 meals/snacks a day with a jar of 20-100 calorie baby food. The amount of baby food consumed daily is really up to the dieter and how much weight they wish to lose.

Because this fad was more of an internet trend and not an official publication, there are no official guidelines. However, it seems obvious, you got out calories (and solid foods) and you'll lose weight, but no one is claiming it to be healthy, and who wants to replace a nice steak dinner with a jar of canned peas anyway?

6. Cotton Ball Diet

A photo posted by Corey Harmon (@corey_harmon) on

This has to be one of the most outrageous fads out there. The idea here is to eat cotton balls dipped in liquids like: lemonade, smoothies, ketchup, and much more. They say you feel full without consuming tons of calories.

Can one even call this a diet, when you're not even consuming a real food item? This has to be one of the least recommended "diets" out there—keep your cotton balls for arts and crafts, people.

7. Breatharian Diet

A photo posted by @the_air_diet on

There are groups of people out there who believe that one can survive on air alone without food. They believe that you can live off of, "prana" or "life air" translated from the Sacred Texts of Hinduism.  

It's thought that an eventual movement to full prana is done by gradual development from vegetarianism, to veganism, to raw food, and eventually to solely "life air." For some, this is a spiritual fasting; however, many are using this practice to lose weight, which is surely not recommended. 

8. Grapefruit Diet

juice, grapefruit, citrus, lemon
Justin Schwebel

I'm a big fan of grapefruit, however, the idea of eating it all day every day doesn't exactly appeal to me. This fad has been around since the 1930s, outlasting many of the other fads on this list. This diet includes a significant cut back in daily calories and the addition of grapefruit to every meal, before and after.

Do this and you're "promised" a weight loss of 10 pounds in 10 days, but who actually knows if this actually works. Here we go again with the monotonous eating habits in a goal to lose weight... just why?

9. Ear Stapling 

Not only are people limiting their caloric intake and eating copious amounts of the same food to lose weight; now, people are intentionally causing pain to themselves in order to shed a few pounds.

This method has been around for over 20 years and involves surgically placing a metal rod in the inner cartilage of your ear. This is said to trigger acupuncture points that aid in weight loss and also help to quit smoking. I'm no Doctor, but it seems like it would just be easier to eat healthy and hit the gym more often. 

10. The Cabbage Soup Diet

Typically used to jump start weight loss or lose weight fast, the cabbage soup diet promises a loss of 10 pounds or more in a week. The majority of the diet consists of bland, cabbage soup, two to three times a day, paired with small amounts of fruits and veggies.

This diet has been around for a long time and has proven successful for rapid weight loss. However, this is simply due to the deprivation of calories and loss of water weight, which you are more than likely to gain back the next week.

This listing is in no, way, shape, or form a list of recommended fad diets. I'm no dietician but it seems like diets consisting of a single food (or even no food in the case of some) would deprive your body of what it needs to function. I know it can be hard to eat your veggies when there's a McDonald's right around the corner, but c'mon people, we can do better than this.