Some of the Strangest Diets, People Actually Do

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It’s a new year, and that means itemized self-loathing. It also means that after a month of effort, you’re ready to quit your New Year’s resolutions. Since you’re reading this in English, I assume you resolved to lose weight, or possibly to learn good the spelling for make much big dollars in email schemes of confidence. Either way, I can help you, the same way I helped that Nigerian prince when he needed to lose weight.

Right now you’re probably saying, “Dieting — who has the time?” And it’s true that healthy food takes longer to swallow because it’s not lubricated with partially hydrogenitalized soybean-like oil product. Unless you’re a celebrity with an army of asparagus-wielding personal trainers, you’re probably an avalanche of lard. That doesn’t mean you can’t eat a more nutritious diet and grow fatter regardless.

But what is healthy eating? I’ve studied all the diets, and the only thing they all agree we should eat is half an avocado.


The Ice Cube Diet

Hungry? Curb those cravings with an ice cube! You won’t actually trick your body into thinking it’s food, but you may trick yourself into paying for hoodia gordonii ice cubes, even though there are scant data to suggest that those trigger weight loss or suppress appetite.

But hey, you’re smarter than that — you’ll just eat plain ol’ ice cubes and let your body heat them up to 98.6 degrees. Now you’ve switched to the Ice Diet, and the calories will literally melt away!

You’ll never improve your life or health if your meal plan for the week only contains three ingredients, two of them are water, and all of them make you miserable. Remember why you went on a diet in the first place? To be happier with your life?


Air-Tense X979

If you want to burn calories, go right to the fuel tank. Hyperventilate your way to a thinner you with Air-Tense x979! This patented system of forceful respiration oxygenates your blood beyond all reasonable levels, triggering a fat holocaust! Lungs are given an intense workout while fat cells are burned in an inferno of oxygen. Comes with paper bag and tank of oxygen, affordable at $199 per year. No smokers.


The Facial Analysis Diet

This one’s brilliantly conceived, because it involves famous people’s favorite activities of staring at themselves and pretending they’re introspective. How can any discipline with “analysis” in its title be nutso?

The facial analyst looks at your face to determine your deficiencies and invents a diet tailored to your personal gullibility. Like many other diets in this article, it was created by a naturopath, the career choice for people who find science too hard. But the real root of facial analysis is iridology, which in turn is based on the cackles of charlatans.

Iridology (from the Greek, meaning “Let’s see if they fall for this one”) says that by examining the colored portion of the eye, one can detect physical ailments in a holisti- LOOK OUT! Here comes proof that it’s bullshit!

There are plenty of pseudosciences out there, but only iridiology’s origin story involves a crankjob who broke an owl’s leg and then compared its eyes to a human’s several years later. And if you’re the kind of iridologist who scoffs at that legend, that’s even worse, because without it there’s no reason to invent iridology. Your discipline just becomes something a guy created for fun back when doctors still scoffed at soap.

The advice in this diet might be right on, but that doesn’t mean it has any relevance to your face beyond “Stop pile driving Cheetos into your mouth, you monstrosity.” The truth is you can only diagnose someone’s maladies by staring deeply into their eyes if they’re suffering from jaundice or a broken heart.

Facial profiling is expensive, because only Julliard-trained actors can deduce a dietary profile from someone’s face without bursting into laughter. Fortunately, there’s one diet we’re all equipped for in our BIOS settings, and that’s the Thanks for the Mammaries Meal Plan. Eat anything you want in this dairy-based regimen, as long as it’s made from human breast milk.

You don’t have to give up any of your favorite flavors; just ask your supplier to eat, say, liver and onions, then wait a day. You’ll swear you were drinking real liver and onions in milk. From a human.

This is a great way for couples to lose weight as she struggles to produce enough milk for a full-grown human and her partner subsists on a baby-size serving of calories. The best part is it’s barely dangerous to both parties at all!


The Blood Type Diet

You don’t normally encounter this much blood and bullshit together outside of a slaughterhouse dumpster, so I’ll try to explain: Supposedly your blood type dictates what kinds of foods you naturally prefer. But the only sustenance all four blood types are expected to swallow is this gigantic load.

It’s not that the author, Peter D’Adamo, is wrong; it’s that he’s so wrong, he deserves his own show on the History Channel. People haven’t been this mistaken about the influence of blood type since Japan decided it only had use for the branches of science that build panty-sniffing robots.

The words “doctor” and “blood type” automatically make people think there’s science here they can’t comprehend, but the good news is that your ignorance actually qualifies you to be the inventor of the Blood Type Diet. If real scientists hadn’t discovered terminology for him to appropriate, D’Adamo’s understanding of how blood works would sound no more legit than a witch telling you which of the four natural elements characterizes your soul.

And yes, he’s is a doctor of naturopathic medicine, but since I’m writing this from New York, legally speaking, I think I am, too. The differences between us are that I don’t claim that you can extract a genetics-based diet from fingerprints and jaw angle, whereas he is a rich man.


Extenz E-Z W8 Loss System

Since the Blood Type Diet is completely made up of properties your body doesn’t actually possess, why not try twisting your spine to health? That’s the principle of the Extenz E-Z W8 Loss System. It works by reeeeeeally stretching out that spinal column to extend the distance food must travel to reach its intended destination. Additionally, when vertebrae are sufficiently spaced, they’ll release witherigestone, the hormone that causes skinny to happen.* Bonus: you’ll be taller.


The Master Cleanse

The famous Master Cleanse instructs you to starve yourself for 10 to 40 days while drinking diluted acids and capsaicin to trigger metabolic change.

Yes, you will definitely lose weight if you stop eating food for a goddamn week. Of course, you could do that without paying anyone money, but then you’d have to make up your own nameless batch of “toxins” to pretend you were expelling from your body.


The Medal of Honor Diet

If you’re going to spend money to give your anorexia a new name, you should have something to show for it. That’s why my revolutionary new Medal of Horror Diet lets people know how committed you are to … well, for legal purposes we can’t call it healthy living.

Here’s how it works: Eat nothing and wear a wafer-thin metal medallion around your neck at all times. When you can bear the thunderous pangs of famine no longer, take off the necklace and eat anything you want — as long as it’s served on your neck-wafer, which you must also eat.

While effective, this diet of precious soft metals is expensive. As such, it is very popular among rich people, who think cost equals quality and don’t know any better, poor dears.


The Cotton Ball Diet

If there was a single fallacy we were brought up with in the last 100 years, it’s that celebrities know what they’re doing. When an ugly person eats textiles, it’s either an A&E program or the first act of Dracula. But when a beautiful person does it, ooh, suddenly it’s the hot new trend that’s sweeping a world forsaken by God!

Enter the Cotton Ball Diet, which — uh-uh, no way is this a real thing. There can’t be more than 100 people practicing this who didn’t come preloaded with every other eating disorder. If you’re honestly swallowing cotton instead of just NOT EATING for a day, you’re not only suffering some kind of body dysmorphia, you’re not even good at it. It takes way more willpower to eat textiles than to just deny yourself food for the day, and in both cases, you’re not part of a trend, you’re a victim of a mania.


Solution 23

If it didn’t exist, such a diet would be inconceivable to all but the reddest names in hell’s ledger. But that won’t do for you. You have gazed into the acidic maw of human depravity and found it wanting. You need a diet so abhorrent that to know its details would explode a weaker heart. You need … Solution 23.

We do not discuss Solution 23 with those of Theta-rank security grade or lower. However, this is what is publicly known.

Developed in 1971 by Dr. Nils Terroir Terreur, Solution 23 begins with random, indiscriminate attacks on fat cells throughout the body. In Stage 1, fat learns that fear has a name, and it is Solution 23. Adipose tissue stays at home, afraid to go out and multiply. As night falls, white blood cells impose a curfew prohibiting fat from venturing out after midnight.

Phase 2 is even more obscure, but involves targeted strikes on highly populated fat deposits. At this point, lard should be willing to negotiate. If not, Solution 23 enters its third and final stage: the Omegacrom Paradox. No one has ever regained weight after Step 3.


The Viking Diet

Jabbing your entire body with needles is totally metal, but not as metal as the Viking life. In the Viking Diet, practitioners eat only what they can steal through violence. No smuggling, no swiping, no shoplifting: pure mayhem is how you get your nutrients. If it wasn’t pillaged, put it back! Except on cheat day, when you eat salted fish soaked in lye. METAL!



Now we come at last to the unabashed Final Diet, not only on this list, but in life and, indeed, the concept of dieting itself. Breatharianism is a carnival of wackadooery that’s less about weight loss and more about respect for all life. But don’t take my word for it. Visit their website in that link there and count how many times you ask yourself if it was designed by a victim of schizophrenia.

Breatharians believe that acting like you’re too good for food will force your body to subsist on air and light. After much preparation and meditation, practitioners can harness their sheer willpower to starve to death.

Foregoing food in favor of some humanized brand of photosynthesis is a uniquely “spiritual” middle-class person’s brand of bullshit. Was there ever a Breatharian practitioner who uses the name they were born with instead of some Aquarian crap like “Euphoria Starbreather”?

Bonus: Does it cure other diseases? You don’t have to be a doctor to say YES! And in fact, you’re probably not!

In a world where all human life is precious, Breatharians prefer to pretend they’re plants, which even vegans — traditionally the touchiest of dieters — admit we are free to mow down. This is the diet for the twaddlehead who looks at the Master Cleanse and thinks, Why stop there?


Carcinoma Diet

If you honestly believe the body you’re piloting can break the laws of physics and start generating energy without any plant cells, you’re either insane or a reincarnation of the Buddha. And since nobody considers themselves insane, welcome back, Prince Siddhartha! But isn’t it selfish not to put your miracles to the benefit of mankind? Why not cure our ills with The Carcinoma Diet?

Yes, in this healing new plan, you can eat anything you want as long as it’s a cancerous growth! Good luck finding a pizza with tumors; your lot is to excise the woes of your fellow living beings. Once you’ve located an animal or — hilariously — a crown of broccoli suffering the debilitating disease, its wounds are yours to consume … before the cancer does!

The unfortunate truth of satire is that it can never keep up with reality. Here were my top three craziest diet ideas … all of which were beaten to the punch by famous people.


The All-Vinegar Diet

I’m gonna be honest — I invented this one as a sarcastic reply to the Master Cleanse. Then I found out Lord Byron did exactly this. But let’s pretend he didn’t!

On cheat day you can eat anything pickled except actual pickles, which are cucumbers and therefore real food.

The rest of the week you binge on any flavor vinegar you want, including cider, balsamic, white, and moderate amounts of soy sauce. Once a month, you get a half day to eat all the cabbage soup and grapefruit you can devour. Go crazy! You’ve earned it! May cause ulcers.


The Smell Food Diet

No fancy tricks here! Just as it says, this meal plan provides “aromatic sustenance” with a lean 25 calories per day in the form of putting your face near piping hot foods and inhaling deeply.

I liked the air diet better when it was called anorexia and didn’t waste everyone’s time and gas bill by simmering up a kettle of saline solution and pretending it’s food. Also, my version is better because you don’t waste time pantomiming dinner. Are you trying to lose weight by pretending to eat food? You’re an adult, for God’s sake.


Bone Powder

This vegetable-focused diet includes liberal sprinklings of pulverized bones for rich nutrients and horrendous flavor.

In the Last Chance Diet, you only consume 400 calories a day, and none of it is a Snickers bar. Instead, you get all the parts of the cow that Roger Linn presumably bought off slaughterhouses on the cheap because they don’t even go into hot dogs. Then he doused them in every chemical he could find, because it was the ’70s and that was considered a good idea. Linn was yet another “doctor” in that he practiced osteopathy, which is (guess what?) a naturopathic notion founded by a guy who claimed he could cure a child’s whooping cough “by a wring of its neck.”

Look, if you want to lose weight for health reasons, don’t try any diet that’s obviously damaging to your body. It’s not worth it. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather die happy at 75 than miserable at 80.

If you’re trying to lose weight because somebody told you that only one or two body types look good, ignore them and keep on enjoying life. If they still try — whether for sadism or profit — to talk you out of being yourself, don’t worry. I can teach you a naturopathic treatment for whooping cough that also cures such bad behavior.